More PVC tanks

PA2019

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4x2x18”. One of the biggest benefits I’ve found with focusing on small species is the ability to have enclosures that are not very high. Allows you to stack more, and more importantly, allows you to use smaller wattage bulbs, lowering costs and keeping the tortoise room at a more manageable temperature.
 

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wellington

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White stone really? I wouldn't recommend that to anyone.
The size is awful small for adults. That's the size recommended for hatchlings.
Might be convenient to you but not the best for the tortoises.
Being in Florida, you should take advantage of your weather and house them outside, that would really cut costs.
 

PA2019

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White stone really? I wouldn't recommend that to anyone.
The size is awful small for adults. That's the size recommended for hatchlings.
Might be convenient to you but not the best for the tortoises.
Being in Florida, you should take advantage of your weather and house them outside, that would really cut costs.
White stone really? I wouldn't recommend that to anyone.
The size is awful small for adults. That's the size recommended for hatchlings.
Might be convenient to you but not the best for the tortoises.
Being in Florida, you should take advantage of your weather and house them outside, that would really cut costs.

As a moderator on here Wellington you should be more informed on species-specific husbandry before making recommendations or negative comments.

Those tanks house Egyptian tortoises. They all weigh under 250 grams. In fact my males weigh under 140 grams. Their substrate is completely acceptable, and in fact is used by almost all breeders of this species in the USA. Ralph Till, the most successful Egyptian breeder in the USA uses essentially the same setups. If I were to house them outside in Florida they would likely die. The heavy humidity is literally the worst environment for them.

Your lack of knowledge is very obvious right now. Learn from this, do better Wellington.
 

wellington

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From what I know, the old way isn't the best way. All tortoises can swallow rocks! Your torts could use some humidity as they are quite pyramided.
No, I don't know Egyptians and as a moderator, knowing every species is not a requirement btw! I do know they live in areas bigger than you give them, they don't live on only white rocks and they aren't suppose to be pyramided.
Maybe learning a newer better way is what your successful breeder needs to be informed of.
Btw, just because he is successfully, doesn't mean it is best for the tortoise or there isn't a better way. Open minds learn more!
 

PA2019

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From what I know, the old way isn't the best way. All tortoises can swallow rocks! Your torts could use some humidity as they are quite pyramided.
No, I don't know Egyptians and as a moderator, knowing every species is not a requirement btw! I do know they live in areas bigger than you give them, they don't live on only white rocks and they aren't suppose to be pyramided.
Maybe learning a newer better way is what your successful breeder needs to be informed of.
Btw, just because he is successfully, doesn't mean it is best for the tortoise or there isn't a better way. Open minds learn more!
From what I know, the old way isn't the best way. All tortoises can swallow rocks! Your torts could use some humidity as they are quite pyramided.
No, I don't know Egyptians and as a moderator, knowing every species is not a requirement btw! I do know they live in areas bigger than you give them, they don't live on only white rocks and they aren't suppose to be pyramided.
Maybe learning a newer better way is what your successful breeder needs to be informed of.
Btw, just because he is successfully, doesn't mean it is best for the tortoise or there isn't a better way. Open minds learn more!

Incredibly immature response after being called out on ZERO knowledge about a setup for a unique species.

The heavily pyramided female was not raised by me, she is 12-14 years old and was raised in dry conditions, as was common practice a decade ago. She did just get a basically clean bill of health from the vet this week. But thanks for trying take a dig at me for her pyramiding, another example of great behavior from a moderator.

I included a picture of one of my adult males that I raised from a 12 gram hatchling, one of the smoothest Egyptians I know of.

I constantly read, experiment, and work with some of the most difficult species available in the USA. I am not stuck in the past. I respect and take aspects of care that others like Ralph Till have learned over the decades to better provide for my animals.

My point is simple. You DONT know, so you shouldn’t give comments or recommendations unless you actually have experience.

You have no leg to stand on, your just yelling into the wind with your pants down.
 

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wellington

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Nice looking torts, but the male is not smooth, it is pyramided.
But just continue on. Like I said, open minds learn, yours seems closed.
Hoping all the new members that are looking to get into the Egyptian tortoise care and breeding considers accurate space and substrate of importance.
You might learn a bit from @dovelett15. Not only are theirs not on just white stones, but in an area more suited in size to be able to next.
 
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G-stars

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Wow. @wellington your ignorance on this species is very clear for those like myself that actually keep them. Instead of admitting your ignorance for this species and admitting that you in fact recommend a possible death sentence; by recommending someone in Florida to keep them outdoors, you instead attack the op.

That male Egyptian is probably one of the smoothest captive bred Egyptian I’ve ever seen.

And before you attack me of having a closed mind as well, I keep and breed my Egyptians outdoors in California. It’s possible in my climate, but would not recommend it to someone in Florida.
 

wellington

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Wow. @wellington your ignorance on this species is very clear for those like myself that actually keep them. Instead of admitting your ignorance for this species and admitting that you in fact recommend a possible death sentence; by recommending someone in Florida to keep them outdoors, you instead attack the op.

That male Egyptian is probably one of the smoothest captive bred Egyptian I’ve ever seen.

And before you attack me of having a closed mind as well, I keep and breed my Egyptians outdoors in California. It’s possible in my climate, but would not recommend it to someone in Florida.
My ignorance is not as much as you think! I don't know all the ins and outs with them, but I do know that a high humidity is not a death sentence but an enclosure with a gradient of not only temps but humidity is preferred. I do understand they don't need a huge enclosure but one with enough room to actually be able to give the gradient of temps, humidity and substrate is also preferred.
Can this all be done outside in Florida, well of course it can! Of course you would have to give it a bit more room than you are obviously willing to give!
If you two think they only live on rocks or oyster shells 24/7 then you are truly the ignorant ones!
Btw, I didn't attack anyone!
 

Tom

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@PA2019 and @G-stars

I'm not getting into the middle of this one in any way, but I have a genuine question for you both. I've long suspected that the care info for Egyptians was all wrong, like it was for sulcatas, leopards, and other Testudo for so many decades, but everyone seems to house them the same way with the same results. I've found a few people doing it differently, and getting better results. Have either of you, or do either of you know anyone, who has kept them on damp substrate with a humid hide and daily soaks?

Much like I did with the sulcatas, I intended to get hatchlings and try out my theories, but those efforts got back burnered when covid hit, and I haven't had the time or space to revisit this issue since then. Any thoughts?
 

Yvonne G

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Rather than white rocks, I thought the preferred substrate for Egyptians was crushed oyster shell???
 

G-stars

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Let me address the “white pebbles”. Those are actually crushed oyster shell. I’ve seen 2 variants of “oyster shell”, the white one. Which I believe it to actually be crushed cuttlebone but can’t confirm that. Then there is the grey looking flaky one. I prefer the white one.

Why do Egyptian keepers prefer oyster shell or sandy substrate? For one it doesn’t hold moisture that well like other substrates. You don’t want Egyptians sitting on damp substrates for prolonged periods of time. They will develop respiratory infections. Humid hides and daily soaks do work, since it’s not constant. The second reason why we choose these substrates, is because Egyptians are tiny. They need fine substrates to easily walk on.

This does not mean that they don’t require humidity. Just like all tortoises they need water. They get it in different ways. I provide a large enough water dish that they can soak themselves in, but have rarely seen them drink out of it like some of my other species. However, they do go in it, even if it’s just to walk through it. I can tell because they will drag substrate into the water dish. Egyptians are unlike other species I've ever kept in that they like to drink water droplets found on grass or other vegetation. I’ve seen this numerous times when are marching around in their outdoor enclosure after I've turned on the sprinklers.

This is how I care for them: I use sandy substrate because they like to partially dig themselves into it. But I also use oyster shell around their food and water dishes to prevent sand from getting on their food and into their water dish. I do soak hatchlings and juveniles daily, while also providing a humid hide. They are raised in a closed enclosure. I do allow temps to get as low as 70 during the night and aim for humidity levels at around 60-70%. Humid hide is usually higher.

Once they reach about 60-70g I will move them outdoors for most of the year. I’ll bring them in during the cooler months. Typically when night temps start heading towards 40 degree temps. Currently they are outdoors, day temps are in the 70-80’s and nights around mid 50’s.
 
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turtlesteve

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I’d be very apprehensive about keeping Egyptians outside in FL, seems to be a poor match for their native climate.

I do think, Wellington, that you came across much too strong in criticism. Like Tom I would like to see experiments on higher humidity for hatchlings. However, PA2019’s setups are very traditional for Egyptians and tightly based on those used by very successful breeders, including Ralph and Annette. There has been very little innovation or diversity of thought with care of this species in the past many years since this particular type of setup was shown to work. Humidity in these enclosures can stay pretty high and there are obvious design features to increase it (extra clay saucers on the hide boxes).

At the risk of being nit picky, this substrate may be labeled “oyster shell” when sold - but it is not. It’s some other type of aragonite, probably crushed coral, that is marketed under the wrong name because the name is what people recognize. It’s chemically the same but very different in shape. Actual oyster shell (the platy pieces that G-stars refers to as the other type) is what I’ve seen others use and it seems to pass through the digestive system, or at least nobody has told me of any impaction issue. I don’t think it is known if the shape of the pieces will matter or not.
 

TeamZissou

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With regard to soaking frequency, I find that they stress very easily when soaked daily, and almost never eat anything after being returned to their boxes after the soak, and then they go to hide immediately. Weight gain was also minimal during this time. I then switched to soaking every other day for several months, and they would come out a bit more, and gain a little more weight. I finally settled on once weekly soaking and see a lot more activity, and maximum weight gain. Which still, is very slow. I keep the humidity around 50-60% during the day and 80% at night. They have access to humid hides but often sleep outside the hides, all on the same oyster shell (or crushed coral). They were already pyramided and a year old when I got them, so it's difficult to tell progress.

European keepers have much smoother Egyptians than what you see in the US, and they all use sand/clay mixtures.
 
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