Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

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DvotedMOMMY

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Hi everyone! :D

I just requested to join your group on Facebook, and also just register here as well.
I have a Leopard Tortoise hatching do here, at his new home, sometime in the next few days, (weather permitting how soon!)

I have been doing my research for a couple weeks now, and have a bunch of stuff ready, but still have a few questions that I need some help with! I was preffering the Facebook group, as I've seen here, you can get some rather "unfriendly" -know-it-all types who seem out to make everyone but them look uneducated! I just would like helpful tips and recommendations, from the average Tort owner with their own experiences. :)

I will list the items I have ready for our little guy, and then ask my question thereafter.

I was at first looking into an open habitat, such as a large Cement Mixing Tub, but then went with a 20 gallons tank with lid "for now", to better control humidity. I am going to add a full scenery image to the back of the tank, and then maybe a 3"-4" border along the bottom front and sides of the tank, so the glass will not be cause for stress.
I have 2 ceramic lamps, 1 with a Powersun 100w UVA/UVB and Heat Bulb, and one with a Infrared Bulb for night time. A timer for the lights.
Also, a heating pad that sticks to the bottom of the tank, and a temperature and humidity gauge.
I have various accessories, such as a half log, a large water basin with ramp, a feeding dish (2 actually), a spray bottle, Retivite bottle, Repitsafe for water, (not sure if I need either of the last 2, it was thrown in with my kit.)

Now, as for substrates, boy! I've read so much info on Substrates, and they were all diffent. This was my hardest thing to deal with! At first, I "thought" most people recommended a mix OS play sand and loam, or organic top soil, but then I read to stay away from sand due to impaction. LOL! Tough situation!
Anyways, what I ended up with, and maybe will use a little of both, is:
Organic Top Soil, Orchid Moss, and Orchid Bark.

MY QUESTION:

With everything I have, what is the best way to set up the tank? For example, where should I place each light, and where should the half log, that I will somewhat fill with the moss for a humid hide, be in regards to the lights? Where should the food dish go? I'm assuming not directly under the UVB/Heat lamp.. Where should the water tray (for soaking) be placed? Under the heat lamp?

Also, This may be a dumb question, the tank is around 20"x12", if I sit the large 100w Powersun UVA/UVB Heat lamp directly on top of the tank screen cover, and half say 3" of substrate in the tank bottom, would that heat beaming down be too much on such a short area? As in, can the temp peak higher than 100, or only as high as the bulb? (sorry if a lame question! Haha.. I don't want to burn my baby! :tort:)

Please, if there is anything you feel would benefit me in knowing or doing, please let me know. Most importantly, I would like to know how and where to set up the tank environment.

I'm not sure how I will get your responses, I'm guessing if someone replies, I'll receive an email.. Hopefully! Haha ;)

I also have a few pics of my little leo from the breeder, but I doubt I can post them here via my iPhone, so I'll have to share them on the Facebook group once I'm accepted! :)

Thanks to anyone that has taken the time to ready lengthy post, and further more, thanks to any that supply helpful tips!

I'm very excited, and cant wait to have my baby here! I just hope I get everything prepared perfectly, with your help! :D
 

Yvonne G

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

Hi Dvotedmommy:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

I split off your post from the facebook thread because you have so many questions about your own tortoise, not about the facebook thread. Not a good idea to hi-jack someone else's thread with your own questions!

What would you like us to call you?

And may we know where in the world you are?

Here's a link to a couple of threads that might be helpful to you:

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread...ive-or-Beginner-Tortoise-Owners#axzz1ndRlKdFK

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread-Leopard-Tortoise-Care-Sheet#axzz1ndRlKdFK
 

wellington

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

WELCOME :D not sure how you got your opinion about the people on this forum. They are great people, lots of passion for their torts and for helping people. You should stick around and you will find this out for yourself. That said. It's hard to say what your temp will get under the uv light. Best to do a trial run before your baby comes. I would also put the water near the heat light to keep the water warm. I would also put a hide on each end. One a little warmer than the other. The screen cover, you will have to cut a hole in it for the UVB to get to your tort. The screen blocks too much of it and it doesn't give out as much as we all would like, and no where near the natural sun light. Take a look at the bottom of this post and check out the threads. Both the leopard and sulcata threads will be very helpful. The tortoise table.org is a source for safe and unsafe plants, weeds etc. You will get a email if you marked your thread to send you one each time someone answers to your thread. Otherwise you will have to just keep checking back.
You should take another look around this forum. I am sure you will find a different opinion. In no time these people are like family. They will help out with anything you need help with, not just tortoises and turtles.
Post pics of your baby when you get him/her, we love pics. Good luck.
 

DvotedMOMMY

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

emysemys said:
Hi Dvotedmommy:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

I split off your post from the facebook thread because you have so many questions about your own tortoise, not about the facebook thread. Not a good idea to hi-jack someone else's thread with your own questions!

What would you like us to call you?

And may we know where in the world you are?

Here's a link to a couple of threads that might be helpful to you:

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread...ive-or-Beginner-Tortoise-Owners#axzz1ndRlKdFK

http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread-Leopard-Tortoise-Care-Sheet#axzz1ndRlKdFK


WOW!! I in NO way, meant to "hijack" someone else's post. I liked the idea of the Facebook group, but figured maybe they only accept members of this community, so I joined, and thought I was sharing a bit about myself and soon to be tort, and yes, ask for some suggestions, as others were speaking about in posts before mine. I didn't see the post as a "Facebook" specific topic, as members where sharing info on their torts, and their environments.
I'm new to all of this, please excuse me if I posted to the incorrect area, as it was not my intention to "hijack Someone else's post".

I apologize to the post's originator. :)
 

DvotedMOMMY

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

wellington said:
WELCOME :D not sure how you got your opinion about the people on this forum. They are great people, lots of passion for their torts and for helping people. You should stick around and you will find this out for yourself. That said. It's hard to say what your temp will get under the uv light. Best to do a trial run before your baby comes. I would also put the water near the heat light to keep the water warm. I would also put a hide on each end. One a little warmer than the other. The screen cover, you will have to cut a hole in it for the UVB to get to your tort. The screen blocks too much of it and it doesn't give out as much as we all would like, and no where near the natural sun light. Take a look at the bottom of this post and check out the threads. Both the leopard and sulcata threads will be very helpful. The tortoise table.org is a source for safe and unsafe plants, weeds etc. You will get a email if you marked your thread to send you one each time someone answers to your thread. Otherwise you will have to just keep checking back.
You should take another look around this forum. I am sure you will find a different opinion. In no time these people are like family. They will help out with anything you need help with, not just tortoises and turtles.
Post pics of your baby when you get him/her, we love pics. Good luck.


@Wellington

Thank you very much for your response! :D
Please, I in no way shape or form was trying to implicate the forum itself, and every user when I made mention of some of the unfriendly ones. I think the forum is GREAT! I've taken away a lot of knowledgeable tips and ideas from many of you. I like most, would love to provide helpful info to others on things I can relate to, from my own experiences. I just see that sometimes, though having the right to share ones own opinion, some people are a little bit negative. I just don't think that is very friendly, nor helpful.
I guess I was just trying to joke that I hope I don't get chewed out on anything! Haha.. I of course would respect anyone's opinion, if they give it in a positive manner.

I love everyone's pictures of their babies and their habitats! I have really enjoyed reading all the helpful info on some of the posts here! I hadn't joined right away, as it's no very easy from my phone! I do not use my laptop as much.

I am a newbie, so any and all advice, tips, and ideas will be much appreciated! :)
I do have some pictures of my little guy from the breeder, and I'll have to sit down at my laptop to add one, so you guys can let me know what you think! :)

Once again, that's to those that took the time to welcome me, and thanks in advance to anyone that responds to my many questions! Haha

Sincerely,

Kim
 

yagyujubei

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

Welcome. There are many here with leopards, including myself.If you peruse the section about enclosures and habitats, you will be able to see many, which may give you ideas. At your leisure, read any threads in the leopard area (there's lots of pictures)I think that your tank will need to be enlarged surprisingly soon, so think about that.I feed my leopards a lot of mazuri, there are many threads about this. The people who use it generally love it.Depending on the part of the country you live, your routine will vary a little from others. Good Luck. We like pictures. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you like.
 

DvotedMOMMY

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

yagyujubei said:
Welcome. There are many here with leopards, including myself.If you peruse the section about enclosures and habitats, you will be able to see many, which may give you ideas. At your leisure, read any threads in the leopard area (there's lots of pictures)I think that your tank will need to be enlarged surprisingly soon, so think about that.I feed my leopards a lot of mazuri, there are many threads about this. The people who use it generally love it.Depending on the part of the country you live, your routine will vary a little from others. Good Luck. We like pictures. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you like.

Thank you, yagyujubei!

I had only stumbled across this Forum in a google search, but now I'm learning to understand there is many a topic in the Leopard Tortoise forum! I've been reading so much helpful information. You all are great! :D

Thanks again! :)
 

dmarcus

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

Hello Kim and welcome to the forum...

Its tough to navigate a new forum when you first join but its won't take you long to get the hang of it. Just keep asking questions when you don't understand something or just need help. We are all here to help each other out.
 

DvotedMOMMY

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

dmarcus said:
Hello Kim and welcome to the forum...

Its tough to navigate a new forum when you first join but its won't take you long to get the hang of it. Just keep asking questions when you don't understand something or just need help. We are all here to help each other out.

Thank you, Dmarcus! I really appreciate it! :)
 

Zamric

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

Welcome to the Forum!

I am also a member of the facebook group but am a Devoted fan of this site. "yes", sometimes we get a little crazy and out spoken but the Moderators are great at reminding us that, not everyone is as experianced of some of us at raising differant types of Torts.

As in my case, I have 6 years experiance in raising a juvenile Sulcata (WalkingRock) but have just recently adopted a pair of Leopard Hatchlings... BIG DIFFERANCE in care and Husbandry! I'm just now learning about these guys and feel kinda dumb when it comes to them but I am learning with the help of all the great breeders and owners of Leopards on this site.
 

DvotedMOMMY

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

Zamric said:
Welcome to the Forum!

I am also a member of the facebook group but am a Devoted fan of this site. "yes", sometimes we get a little crazy and out spoken but the Moderators are great at reminding us that, not everyone is as experianced of some of us at raising differant types of Torts.

As in my case, I have 6 years experiance in raising a juvenile Sulcata (WalkingRock) but have just recently adopted a pair of Leopard Hatchlings... BIG DIFFERANCE in care and Husbandry! I'm just now learning about these guys and feel kinda dumb when it comes to them but I am learning with the help of all the great breeders and owners of Leopards on this site.

WOW!!!! Zamric!!

Your torts are BEAUTIFUL! Your 12 yr old Sulcata is gorgeous! I love how they keep their shell patterning, whereas the Leopards smooth lines go away.

Your Leo hatchlings have got to be some of the cutest I've ever seen! I think I missed how old they are, but they are just perfect!

I'm so excited to have found this site, and the Facebook group. You all are so very helpful! :)
 

Zamric

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

Thank You Very Much! My wife raised WalkingRock from day 2 of hatching and did a great job for the 1st 6 years... now he's to big for her to do more than just feed him. I have really enjoyed building for him and creating a "Tortoise Friendly" yard with all his favorite grasses!

As for the 2 little Leopards.... Eros (the smaller, darker one) was hatched on New Years Eve making him about 8 weeks old and Gaia is roughly 7 months olds. Since they are still so young, thier shells are still smooth... I'm working on keeping it that way but only time will tell!:)
 

Utah Lynn

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

Welcome to TFO Kim. You have come to the right place to get quality information. It's all good; but remember, everyone eventually comes up with her/his own, proper way to care for their tort's. If I offer you advice, I'm just saying it is the way I do things to keep my Tort's happy and healthy to the best of my ability. Again, Welcome. :cool:
 

DesertGrandma

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

Welcome Kim. Glad to have another leopard lover on the forum.
 

DvotedMOMMY

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RE: [split] Leopard Tortoise- new to the forum

Zamric said:
Thank You Very Much! My wife raised WalkingRock from day 2 of hatching and did a great job for the 1st 6 years... now he's to big for her to do more than just feed him. I have really enjoyed building for him and creating a "Tortoise Friendly" yard with all his favorite grasses!

As for the 2 little Leopards.... Eros (the smaller, darker one) was hatched on New Years Eve making him about 8 weeks old and Gaia is roughly 7 months olds. Since they are still so young, thier shells are still smooth... I'm working on keeping it that way but only time will tell!:)


Oh wow! Well you guys are doing an AMAZING job with them!

Your oldest Leopard is 7 months?! It looks so much younger! The shell coloring, and yes, the smoothness, made me assume it was younger. I've seen Leo's a few months old, maybe 5 months, already get that patchy white lining. Yours still has the smooth dark lines. I love the colors/patterning of the scute on your babies! Absolutely beautiful!
So what's your best suggestions for a nice smooth shell? Humidity, hydration, and frequent misting??

Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcomes! ;)

You guys are awesome! :D
 

Jacob

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Welcome, You Can Just Setup The enclosure and test the heat and humidity.
Its all about trail and error, I Would layer the substrate deep and spray it along with
the enclosure and tortoise shell to maintain humidity.
 

DvotedMOMMY

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Jacob said:
Welcome, You Can Just Setup The enclosure and test the heat and humidity.
Its all about trail and error, I Would layer the substrate deep and spray it along with
the enclosure and tortoise shell to maintain humidity.

So I would spray everything? This is not cause for mold?

Also, how often should I change the Sustrate? I read once a week, but that confuses me as to when I read of people planting seeds that would take even more than a week to fully bloom. So what is good?

Once again, thank you everyone! You are all do very informative and helpful! :)
 

Neal

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Sounds like you are ready to go.

Quick question, are you able to adjust the temperature of the under-tank heat pad? The reason I ask, is some of those heat pads don't have the ability unless they are hooked up to some sort of temperature control device. I used one awhile back without anything to control the temperature and dumped some water into the tank...the water started to boil. Thankfully the tortoises were far away from the pad.

As far as setting up the lights, the size of your tank isn't going to give you much room to play around with the configuration, but I think the best set up is to place the day light on one side, and the infrared light on the other. That way, during the day the tortoise can escape the heat from the day-light if he needs to, then at night he can move to the other side if the infrared bulb makes that side too warm. In that type of set-up, I think your best bet is to put the humid hide right in the middle. That's most likely where your stable temperatures are going to be, so you won't have to worry as much about it getting to hot or cold if he decides to spend most of his time in there.

I would recommend removing the screen cover, they have a tendency to block the UV rays. A good thing to have is an adjustable lamp stand, that way you can move the lamp up or down to get the basking spot to the temperatures you want.

To help with the pyramiding, I would recommend daily soaks. We have had success raising smooth tortoises on dry substrate and in humid environments. Consider the suggestions and implement whatever works best for you.

Good luck!
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Kim:

Most of my tortoises are outside (no substrate to worry about), but I DO have a few that I have to overwinter indoors. For these, the substrate is used for the whole winter period. I don't change it out until I take the tortoises out of it in the spring and put them outside. Every morning when I turn on the lights, I spot clean any poop I can see and any uneaten food. I pour a glass or pitcher of water over it and mix it up with my hand. I should say that I use cypress mulch or orchid bark. It stays good all winter.
 
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