Massive one year old hermann?

RatQueen_Irene

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Hello! It's Kepler's birthday today so I measured him, but looking around it seems like he's massive compared to other people's eastern hermann tortoises, and quite developed in the tail. Is this normal size/weight? He matches a 4 year old tortoise better it seems, but I've observed him personally since a squishy-shelled hatchling.

He eats a varied diet of miscellaneous safe weeds, dark romaine, and mazuri. Humidity has been religiously maintained at 70-90% with T5 uvb and cuttlebone.

He's 325g, and nearly 4.5 inches long, with a Jackson ratio around 0.21 I think. I know for a fact I got him as a baby almost exactly a year ago, at around 1.25 inches long. He has some mild pyramiding viewed from head on, but humidity is so consistently high I think it's unavoidable, and in a low enough degree to be okay.

Are there any steps I should take? Is he just chonky?

Is an open top enclosure advisable at this point, or is a vivarium still best for smooth further growth?
 

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Tom

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This seems like a normal growth rate for a healthy, well started hermanni that is housed, hydrated and fed correctly. Your tortoise looks great.

Pyramiding can also be caused by using the wrong bulbs, having a low ambient temp which causes them to bask more, having the bulb height set too low, or too much outside time for babies. I would examine these things and make adjustments if needed.
 

RatQueen_Irene

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Corvallis, Oregon
This seems like a normal growth rate for a healthy, well started hermanni that is housed, hydrated and fed correctly. Your tortoise looks great.

Pyramiding can also be caused by using the wrong bulbs, having a low ambient temp which causes them to bask more, having the bulb height set too low, or too much outside time for babies. I would examine these things and make adjustments if needed.
Thank you so much! I think it's the height of the bulb, that makes sense, I'll readjust. I maintain ambient heat with a CHE, but that incident spotlight so to speak from the light/heat bulb I think might be a lil intense. When is adequate growth that he would be safe in an open enclosure, close to fully grown at 6-8 inches-ish?
 
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Tom

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Thank you so much! I think it's the height of the bulb, that makes sense, I'll readjust. I maintain ambient heat with a CHE, but that incident spotlight so to speak from the light/heat bulb I think might be a lil intense. When is adequate growth that he would be safe in an open enclosure, close to fully grown at 6-8 inches-ish?
Spot bulbs should not be used. Flood bulbs are best. Set the height by resting a digital thermometer under the bulb and letting it cook for an hour. It should reach 95-100 directly under the bulb at tortoise shell height.
 

Tom

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Thank you so much! I think it's the height of the bulb, that makes sense, I'll readjust. I maintain ambient heat with a CHE, but that incident spotlight so to speak from the light/heat bulb I think might be a lil intense. When is adequate growth that he would be safe in an open enclosure, close to fully grown at 6-8 inches-ish?
What is the over night low temperature? Did you brumate him this last winter?
 

RatQueen_Irene

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I didn't brumate him, I figured he was too young and was nervous I'd kill him, this being my first tortoise. I've seen around should wait until they're a couple years old? He did get a little chubby in the winter with a fat butt poking out a tiny bit more than usual in between his tail and legs in the rear, then had a growth spurt in the spring. This is temp records from a week I didn't open up the top and bug him too much for steady data, the monitor is on the warm side but off to the side not in direct light.

His tail looks (while young) that he's male to me, in terms of the giant hook that formed and the length of it, with a sort of line butthole shape. Is that accurate? His plastron scutes near the tail look more female, but he's young so I'm not sure. Being female might somewhat explain the size?

Screenshot 20220614 064003 Govee Home
 

RatQueen_Irene

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Oh apologies, in terms of the weather outside it gets to around 50 currently, but indoors it remains the same as measured there at around 60-65 at night lows. Humidity in the room is around 40-60%, as measured by another meter that's going to be used for a hognose snake :)

That is a bit low still, and idk if spraying would be enough, maybe putting a grow tent around a bookshelf would work

I would put him for an open top in a sideways bookshelf with a liner and dampish coco coir (with light/cover etc) , I live in an area that recently had a bunch of things stolen and wouldn't want to lose him as an exotic pet of value to theives by having him outdoors, in weighing options
 
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