Leopard tortoise pyramiding...

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Tortus

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jtrux said:
Here's mine...

You can see a waviness or a slight raise to the scutes esecially the upper most ones. I got him very young and the scutes were like that and i'm really not sure whether it was the beginning of pyramiding or just the way the scutes were from birth. Either way, you can see the smooth growth between the scutes now and I have a VERY humid enclosure for him.

It's pretty tedious if I do say so myself, two soaks a day, sunlight every day, 70%-100% humidity in enclosure depending on temp since I put humdifier in. It takes a little time but it appears that the results are worth it. I feel that over time the waviness of the scutes will hardly be noticeable. I'm also toying with the idea of converting a garden shed from Home Depot or Lowes into a giant closed chamber to allow high humidity for him up to 12" in length or so to ensure a smooth tortoise all the way to adulthood but we'll see how things progress.

I'm convinced that the high humidity is necessary to raise a smooth tort. I'll continue to provide that sort of environment as long as I feel it's needed.

How old is yours? Mine looks almost like that and it's almost 3 months. I got it at just under 4 weeks old. I'm hoping this growth will smooth out.

I'll see how high I can keep the humidity when the humidifier gets here, but it's never been under 50% during the day at any time that I'm aware of, and it's usually 80% when I check it in the morning. The area where the enclosure is will stay blocked off from the rest of the house so we'll see.


Also jtrux, how long have you had yours in that high humidity? I made a comparison pic with mine on the right, yours on the left:

QbG0u.jpg



One more thing I forgot to ask.

Can someone post a pic of what you'd consider a smooth 3 month old leopard at the same angle? I know some of you have a bunch of them and I'm just curious as to what they're supposed to look like at this age.
 

jtrux

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I was told mine was about 2.5 months old when I recieved it a little over a month ago. Ours are virtually identical. I've had mine with somewhat high humidity (50%) since I got him and really high humidity (80%) for about two weeks.

This is the smoothest one i've seen...

Smooth Leopard
 

Tom

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I just want to say that both of yours are looking pretty good and you are both doing a good job. In years past leopard tortoise would look like a medieval weapon by this age. Progress is being made. Tortus, you should not feel like you need to emulate a tropical jungle with 100% humidity all day long. Many people are able to grow them smooth and I think care does, and should, differ in different parts of the country. Where I live it is extremely dry all year long, so I need to take step to compensate for my environment. If I lived in South FL or New Orleans, I would go about things a little differently. Do what you feel is right for you, based on your research, knowledge base and level of experience. In time your style of keeping and your opinions will evolve, as all of ours do. If you are not entirely pleased with the results you get, make adjustments the next time. That is the process that has led me to where I am today. Of course it took starting hundreds of tortoises for me to get to where I am now, but my style of keeping and opinions have certainly changed over the years.
 

Levi the Leopard

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Tortus said:
Can someone post a pic of what you'd consider a smooth 3 month old leopard at the same angle? I know some of you have a bunch of them and I'm just curious as to what they're supposed to look like at this age.

Here are some pictures of my leo the day he turned 3months. I raise him in the high humidity.
9ar2w7.jpg


kinda dry in this picture,
213rcw6.jpg


back shot
i4es0z.jpg


compared to 6 months. still kept in humid conditions when inside
2rvzg51.jpg


and 10 days ago on his 7month bday
330e3dl.jpg


hope this helps for comparison...
 

Tortus

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Thanks, Tom. I didn't mean for my frustration to sound like anything personal to anyone in particular. It's just been a hectic week in general.

For the past couple nights its been sleeping in the covered side of the enclosure where the heat mat is and it's really moist. I guess it's pretty much like a humid hide. I was considering getting a strip of plexiglass and cutting a hole in it, sort of enclosing that entire side. The hygrometer is positioned on the border between the covered and open sides, and if it's reading 80% at night the humidity is most likely higher down where the tort has been sleeping. Its shell was a toasty 81 degrees when I turned the light on this morning so I think the temp is good on that end.

That looks great Team Gomberg. Do you know the weight during the 3 month and 6 month pics? Judging by the white growth, mine looks very similar to your 6 month pic right now. I know growth rates will vary. I'll post an update pic and weight on the 15th.
 

Levi the Leopard

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Tortus said:
That looks great Team Gomberg. Do you know the weight during the 3 month and 6 month pics? Judging by the white growth, mine looks very similar to your 6 month pic right now. I know growth rates will vary. I'll post an update pic and weight on the 15th.

Thank you. My last weight was at 5months 73grams and 3". I no longer have my scale and have been needing to replace it!!

I was hopeful for more white growth. I've seen smaller ones than mine with alot more white, but I know all these little guys will look so different when they are bigger so I don't compare too much.

I'll get on top of getting a new scale and get back to weighing him.
 

Tortus

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Sounds good. Mine was 64 grams at 2 months (gained 24 grams in 1 month) and I'm about to weigh it again when it turns 3 in a few days. It makes me wonder again if slower growers may turn out a little smoother. Like the pic of 10 month old Eros jtrux linked to that's only 100 grams or so. It's perfectly smooth.
 

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Do a search for "Hrothgar". That is by far the fastest growing leopard I have ever seen. He's like 10 pounds at two years old. He is also one of the best looking smoothest leopards I have ever seen. Tico is another one. Out of the same group.

Some generalities: In groups of tortoises, the really slow growers are often the most pyramided. The "normal" growing ones are usually pretty smooth, and at least for my last group of 14 leopards, the fastest growers were the smoothest. This is assuming they are all housed together and fed the same. Hrothgar is out of the same group as those 14, but he is literally 2 or 3 times the size of my biggest of the same age.
 

Tortus

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Tom said:
Do a search for "Hrothgar". That is by far the fastest growing leopard I have ever seen. He's like 10 pounds at two years old. He is also one of the best looking smoothest leopards I have ever seen. Tico is another one. Out of the same group.

Some generalities: In groups of tortoises, the really slow growers are often the most pyramided. The "normal" growing ones are usually pretty smooth, and at least for my last group of 14 leopards, the fastest growers were the smoothest. This is assuming they are all housed together and fed the same. Hrothgar is out of the same group as those 14, but he is literally 2 or 3 times the size of my biggest of the same age.

10 pounds in 2 years? That is fast. Interesting points.

I honestly think, from all the pics I've seen that look similar, mine is too young to tell if it's truly pyramiding or if it's just growing fast and will smooth out. I'll just continue trying to do everything right and see how it develops.

This board is awesome. Reading and posting here sometimes discourages me on a bad day, but more importantly it keeps me motivated. I don't think I've ever put this much effort and planning into a pet.
 

Levi the Leopard

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Tico is my favorite leopard of all, even though i dont know him lol...i just love his look, his size,his pattern... If Tom ever has more of the G.p.p hatchings i want one!!
 

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Team Gomberg said:
If Tom ever has more of the G.p.p hatchings i want one!!

Me too!

I've already come to the conclusion that when my leo grows out of its enclosure and is ready for a table, probably within a year or so, I'm getting a pp hatchling. I really want one now but I don't want two young ones in the same enclosure and space is limited. Two fish aquariums will be going soon to make table room.

I guess I have the tortoise bug. It seems to be contagious.
 

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These are my results after 10 months of High Humidity and High Temp.
Gaia-37b.jpg
Gaia-37a.jpg
Eros-37a.jpg
Eros-37b.jpg


I cant speak for anyone else, but my pyramiding issues are 0% However, Growth has been slow. Eros is 11 months old and 105 gm and Gaia is 16 months old and 85 gm
 

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I am glad to see that there are smooth Leopards out there. I have wanted a Leopard for a while now, but I never got one because of the climate where I live. I live in Louisiana and I was living under the old assumption that it was too humid here. Now, after reading these types of posts, I see that it would be just fine for me to have one with my high humidity. My torts stay outdoors for most of the year, so I really live in a great climate for them. Thank you all for continuing to post and express your opinions. Good or bad, they all help to determine what is "right." As the saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words. I have a Leopard question related to pyramiding. Do males have trouble mounting and successfully mating with highly domed pyramided females?
 

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theresal said:
Do males have trouble mounting and successfully mating with highly domed pyramided females?

I, and others, have heard this thrown out there, but, to date, I have never seen this as a problem first hand.

I have also heard that people in FL, MS, TN and LA CAN experience problems due to your super high humidity. In this case those rumors are confirmed. It seems in most cases it is humidity in conjunction with cooler night temps that causes the issue. Outside on a warm sunny day = No problem. Outside at night during the cooler months = Respiratory infection. I suspect the problem will not occur with a warm, dry night box. The typical heating elements, like CHEs, tend to really dry the air out inside a night box, and I suspect the warm dry retreat makes a difference. I have not ever lived in those conditions with tortoises, so I am just speculating based on what I have seen and been told.
 

Levi the Leopard

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Zamic, your torts are not only smooth but have so much white!! They are beautiful.. I gotta get a current weight on my 7 month old.When I read that Toms leopards were averaging 500 grams around 9 months of age, and mine only had the weight of 73 grams at 5 months, I started to wonder if I was doing something wrong. Hearing your weights of your 11 and 16 month olds is comforting a bit to me
 

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Zamric, your tortoises look great. Do you let them eat to the point where some food is left over? Is food available at all times? If not, you could try that. I will assume that they do not have any issues with parasites and stuff like that. If they are hot, humid, and heavily fed, but still grow slowly, I would guess that is just their individual makeup. Not all of mine grow fast, but many do.
 

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It should be said that some of mine grew slower than others, and also that mine were of the pp subspecies which do "seem" to grow a bit faster, and eventually reach a much larger size than the babcocki subspecies. Sort of like comparing one "type" of apple to a different "type" of apple...

Okay not exactly accurate, but you get the point...
 
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