Leopard Tortoise Feedback

Chloebark

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Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
71
Location (City and/or State)
Northern Indiana
Hang tight, this might be long...

I have recently joined the TFO and have found so much information for my new baby leopard tortoise that I feel a little overwhelmed. I have slowly been making changes and I know there is still a lot to do. I would appreciate some feedback for what I have already.

Rhae is about 2 months old, I purchased it from a reptile show 1 month ago. I am currently keeping Rhae in a 40 gallon tank until the end of June, when I will be able to make something larger and closed. I currently have foil covering the top of the tank to retain the humidity and heat, but I am still struggling. I use a 100 watt MVB and a 100 watt CHE, the CHE I leave on day and night. I spray the tank multiple times a day and can get the humidity to 90%, but it always falls throughout the day and I’m constantly spraying. I also have a humid hide with sphagnum moss for humidity, and the rest of the substrate is coco coir. I have read on here that it constantly needs high humidity or pyramiding will occur, and I’m not sure what else I should be doing?

The heat seems ok, it is 78-80 degrees everywhere, and about 90-95 in the basking area. I use a digital indoor/outdoor hygrometer near the basking area and the zoomed thermometer/humidity gauge on the cooler side. I soak Rhae every morning for 15-20 minutes and usually after work I’ll set Rhae in its water dish where I watch it drink vigorously, followed by munching on some greens.

Overall Rhae does not seem extremely active. I do find it in different parts of the tank but whenever I watch it is always sleeping (except right after the soaks). I had been feeding Rhae spring mix and dandelion weeds, and I recently purchased seed mixes to grow myself as well as hay for fiber. I also bought Mazuri but none of my tortoises seem interested in it. I have calcium powder and a calcium spray but I only use it once a week.

I have only taken Rhae out twice in the sunshine but it has been unbelievably hot and I don’t have a proper outdoor area made yet. I had read that outdoor time should be limited at this age, but I know I could do more.

Ok, sorry I think my post kind of went all over the place but I think I covered everything I’m doing. Let me know if there is anything I should change right away or recommendations to make things even better. Raising an older Russian tortoise has been relatively easy, but this baby leopard has me feeling like a worried mother all of the time!

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wellington

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Soak the substrate so it's wet. Spraying will never hold up throughout the day. I have 3 leopard hatchlings that have been on wet substrate since they were hatched. It's wet not damp just not pooling. Be sure the lowest temp is not below 80 and the basking is between 95-100 and humidity 80%. I have mine in a 50 gallon tote box with 2 CHE's on a thermostats day and night and one mvb for day time light/heat and uvb.
I think you just need to get the substrate wetter and get a thermostat for your Che and add another Che too that thermostat. If the added heat isn't needed it won't come on.
 

wellington

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Oh, add more items to his diet and they do sleep a lot. Mine will wake when light comes on in the a.m. Eat, wonder a bit then go back to sleep. They do that about 5 times a day which is how often I add food. Be sure food is always available.
 

Chloebark

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May 22, 2018
Messages
71
Location (City and/or State)
Northern Indiana
Soak the substrate so it's wet. Spraying will never hold up throughout the day. I have 3 leopard hatchlings that have been on wet substrate since they were hatched. It's wet not damp just not pooling. Be sure the lowest temp is not below 80 and the basking is between 95-100 and humidity 80%. I have mine in a 50 gallon tote box with 2 CHE's on a thermostats day and night and one mvb for day time light/heat and uvb.
I think you just need to get the substrate wetter and get a thermostat for your Che and add another Che too that thermostat. If the added heat isn't needed it won't come on.

Thank you! I had been thinking about getting a second CHE, I have a thermostat but haven’t been using it yet because the temps are just barely where they need to be. I didn’t even think to soak the substrate, I thought it may cause other issues but if you’ve been doing that then I’ll give it a try!
I appreciate your feedback!
 

daniellenc

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Jun 10, 2017
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My guys cage is wet!! He’s an RF and prone to shell rot but hasn’t happened yet. His hide is moist but not wet and that’s where he spends a lot of his time. I soak my substrate in a bucket of hot water and place it in. Once a week I pour more water in. Definitely keeps it humid!
 

Lyn W

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Jul 22, 2014
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One of the best tips I was given regarding humidity is to make sure you get the temps right
too cold + humidity = sick tort
right temps + humidity = healthy tort
The thermostat will switch your che on and off to make sure it doesn't get too hot or cold so I would use it to keep your temps even.
You will find a digital temp gun useful to spot check areas and the caresheet will help you with the 4 correct temps.
Have you checked the ingredients in the botanical hay to make sure they are all safe for torts?
The Tortoise Table website can help you there.
My tort loves dandies and plantains and clover and will rarely eat grass or hay even if I have soaked it to soften it, so I grind it up in a blender and sprinkle it on his wet leaves then spray with water again.
 

Chloebark

Member
Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
71
Location (City and/or State)
Northern Indiana
One of the best tips I was given regarding humidity is to make sure you get the temps right
too cold + humidity = sick tort
right temps + humidity = healthy tort
The thermostat will switch your che on and off to make sure it doesn't get too hot or cold so I would use it to keep your temps even.
You will find a digital temp gun useful to spot check areas and the caresheet will help you with the 4 correct temps.
Have you checked the ingredients in the botanical hay to make sure they are all safe for torts?
The Tortoise Table website can help you there.
My tort loves dandies and plantains and clover and will rarely eat grass or hay even if I have soaked it to soften it, so I grind it up in a blender and sprinkle it on his wet leaves then spray with water again.

Thank you! The hay I had read Tom suggest in another thread, so I didn’t think to check the ingredients. I soaked it and sprinkled it on top of dandelion weeds and Rhae seemed to not mind eating them. I also have the digital temp and just got back from the store, I purchased a second CHE. Now I just need to make sure I use the thermostat correctly! Thank you so much!
 

Lyn W

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Jul 22, 2014
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20,446
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UK
Thank you! The hay I had read Tom suggest in another thread, so I didn’t think to check the ingredients. I soaked it and sprinkled it on top of dandelion weeds and Rhae seemed to not mind eating them. I also have the digital temp and just got back from the store, I purchased a second CHE. Now I just need to make sure I use the thermostat correctly! Thank you so much!
If Tom uses that hay for his leopards or other torts then I'm sure it will be fine, when I first had my leopard he was very helpful and pointed me in the right direction.
 

Chloebark

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Joined
May 22, 2018
Messages
71
Location (City and/or State)
Northern Indiana
Update:
I have added a second CHE with a regulator and I soaked the substrate. Temps and humidity have all gone up and are much more stable! Rhae was roaming around this morning so it was nice to see him be active before the daily soak!
Thank you all [emoji5]
 

Millerlite

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Nov 20, 2008
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Nice update! seems like a happy little leopard. Nice to hear shes starting to become more active. The extra heat will help. Keep us updated!

Kyle
 
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