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Is this the begining of a pyramiding shell or am I over reacting??

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by Sydneu, Nov 15, 2019.

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  1. Sydneu

    Sydneu New Member

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    I've only had him for about two weeks so I can't tell if I'm doing something wrong or if he's fine and I'm just over reacting. I've got a 160V UVB light on him 12-13 hrs a day (7am to 7 or 8pm), his diet consists of kale, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, and romain lettuce every other day (if I out food out for him every day it just sits there uneaten), I put about half tsp of calcium on his food every feeding and the same amount of Herptavite once a week. His enclosure is 4ft long and 2ish ft wide but I do plan on upgrading it soon. He has between 3 - 6 inches of substrate at any given part of his enclosure for digging as well as two hides and a water bowl that's always filled with clean chlorine feed water and he gets a warm soak once a week (which he hates and always trys to climb out of). Is there anything I'm doing wrong??? 15738531573267261427326562870072.jpg 15738536121346825905870777589973.jpg 15738536314474451303166396966016.jpg
  2. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Greetings... 1/2 tsp of calcium at every feeding is way too much. Just an occasional sprinkle is good. You can use regular tap water that you drink & use, no reason for chlorine “free”. How are you maintaining ambient temps, especially at night?

    Keep soaking & don’t worry about pyramiding...

    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/

    Good luck!
    Sydneu likes this.
  3. RosemaryDW

    RosemaryDW Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Welcome! Please start with reading the care sheet linked above.

    That looks like an adult tortoise. Did you buy him at a pet store or from a breeder? Most pet store tortoises in the U.S. are wild caught adults or very near to it; not likely to pyramid.

    Adult or baby he doesn’t need nearly that much calcium or vitamin supplement.

    You can take that water bowl back to the pet store if you still have the receipt. Tortoises can’t bend their necks to get down to a bowl. Get a cheap terracotta saucer from a nursery that is slightly bigger than the tortoise and sink it flat in the substrate. They can walk into it if they get thirsty, although in my experience a Russian tortoise won’t get thirsty all that often.

    You’ve got some great obstacles in your temporary enclosure but haven’t left him much space to walk around. He needs to walk and climb. Think about taking out one of those pieces of driftwood.

    Get him into a larger enclosure as soon as you can.
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  4. Vintage

    Vintage New Member

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    Congratulations on your new tort! Have you named him yet? I just got my first a couple of weeks ago as well, but he's just a baby (2 inch long shell).

    Just a couple of pieces of advice from me. First of all your UVB spotlight should hang vertically over the enclosure, this makes sure he gets the full effect of the UVB and the heat to bask under. To do this you'll need a bracket to hang the lamp. I use a Zoo Med bracket, it's fully adjustable and has a "foot" that goes underneath your enclosure to hold the bracket steady. Depending on the temperature of your room at night, you may also want to add a night bulb. I use a red bulb, normally used to keep chicks warm. I raise it over a foot above the enclosure so it doesn't get too hot. The idea is just to add a bit of gentle warmth. They need to be cooler at night than during the day.

    Do you have a laser temperature gun? They come in really handy to check your temps all over the enclosure, and they're not too expensive ($40 on Amazon or at Lowes).

    Re vitamins. I found a recipe that I use, it's cheap and easy to make. I put a cup of Timothy hay rabbit pellets (you can also use plain hay), a human multivitamin tablet and several human calcium+D3 tablets (equivalent to a teaspoon when ground) in the food processor and grind it fine. I store it in an airtight container in a dark cupboard to prevent vitamin loss. I give my Moe a pinch on his greens twice a week. It adds fiber to his diet as well as vitamins and calcium.
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  5. Sydneu

    Sydneu New Member

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    Okay! So I've fixed a few things. The ceramic heat bulb I ordered online for him arrived today and seems to be working well. It's also got a thermostat attached so I can keep track of the temperature but it's mainly just for night time when it's gets cold. I've also cut back on his calcium supplementation and increased the frequency of his feedings (every other day -> everyday). Some days he'll eat all of it, other days he'll still just pick at it but I want to make sure he always has some greens to munch on if need be. I'm also currently in the process of getting him a proper tortoise table set up and have been looking at a few pre made ones online (all of which still seem too small).

    His name is toad btw, he's my first reptile but I've had aquariums in my family since I was five and have been keeping them on my own since I was 10 or 11 so there's that. I'm a bit of a worry wot if you haven't noticed and have basically been obsessing over ever little thing he dies, despite the fact that I've only really had him for 2 weeks......needless to say, I'm very afraid of screwing up lol.

    The breeder I bought him from said he was captive bred and exactly 1 year old, but I've been comparing some pictures online and I'm not to sure if that information was entirely correct. The breeder I bought him from also had some hatchling sulcatas that were very obviously captive bred so I didn't think too much of it at the time but now I'm kind of questioning it. Is there a forum on here that could help me figure it out?
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  6. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    Your tortoise looks like an adult, way more than a year old. He also imo looks wild caught, not captive bred.
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  7. Sydneu

    Sydneu New Member

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  8. Sydneu

    Sydneu New Member

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    20191120_164515.jpg 20191120_163624.jpg Updated his enclosure a bit (the sun has set so it's dark)
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