My new Friend, Rose (new - please advise)

Jeiffel93

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Mar 18, 2019
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Hyattsville, MD
I’ve wanted a pet tortoise for a while. I love their little personalities, docile nature, and the fact that, barring illness or accident, i’ve just adopted a lifelong friend.
Two days ago I purchased Rose (a Hermann’s Tortoise) at a pet expo in Virginia, and, immediately after, an enclosure with special ventilation, “forest floor” shredded wood substrate, a cave, water dish, a UVA lamp, and a heat lamp. I purchased some romaine lettuce, pea shoots, and watercress to feed her for the week (there’s also a fortified pellet food I put in there meant to be secondary nutrition if she’s interested). Lastly, I got some phosphorus free calcium + D3 powder to brush onto her veggies a few days a week.

Day 2 and she seems to have good energy, and enjoys sitting under the heat + UV bulbs. I’ve taken her out to let her walk around my apartment several times, and she moves about like you wouldn’t know she’s a tortoise.

My only concern is that she doesn’t seem to eat much. By that I mean she’s eaten a few pea shoot leaves, and maybe two-three bites of watercress over the past two days. I’m hoping that it’s because she’s in a new environment and adjusting.

I attached a picture of her enclosure and set-up. Please let me know if there’s anything else I need to be aware of. Thanks for your help :)
 

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lilly_sand99

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Adults tend to take a longer time adjusting to a new! So her eating and activity might be down for a week or so.

But best of luck! Congrats!!
 

Pure Tortoise Power

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I’ve wanted a pet tortoise for a while. I love their little personalities, docile nature, and the fact that, barring illness or accident, i’ve just adopted a lifelong friend.
Two days ago I purchased Rose (a Hermann’s Tortoise) at a pet expo in Virginia, and, immediately after, an enclosure with special ventilation, “forest floor” shredded wood substrate, a cave, water dish, a UVA lamp, and a heat lamp. I purchased some romaine lettuce, pea shoots, and watercress to feed her for the week (there’s also a fortified pellet food I put in there meant to be secondary nutrition if she’s interested). Lastly, I got some phosphorus free calcium + D3 powder to brush onto her veggies a few days a week.

Day 2 and she seems to have good energy, and enjoys sitting under the heat + UV bulbs. I’ve taken her out to let her walk around my apartment several times, and she moves about like you wouldn’t know she’s a tortoise.

My only concern is that she doesn’t seem to eat much. By that I mean she’s eaten a few pea shoot leaves, and maybe two-three bites of watercress over the past two days. I’m hoping that it’s because she’s in a new environment and adjusting.

I attached a picture of her enclosure and set-up. Please let me know if there’s anything else I need to be aware of. Thanks for your help :)
Welcome my friend.
Now first, I must say that you're a caring person, already got so much for your little one! Keep up the good work!
How often do you feed calcium? I suggest you feed that to your tort every 4 days. Too much will harm them.
Next thing, I wouldn't recommend letting your tort walk around the apartment. The floor is cold, and there are dusts and dusts bunnies that your tort may accidentally eat. And that causes impaction, which is lethal overtime. Instead, let it go out for a walk, in a park, a garden. There would be easy less dusts outside because of the wind, and your tort can sunbathe, which actually increases its appetite! Killing two birds with one stone!
We also need to know the enclosure's temperature, humidity and size to give further advice.

Some useful references :

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/

https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
 

Jeiffel93

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Mar 18, 2019
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Location (City and/or State)
Hyattsville, MD
Welcome my friend.
Now first, I must say that you're a caring person, already got so much for your little one! Keep up the good work!
How often do you feed calcium? I suggest you feed that to your tort every 4 days. Too much will harm them.
Next thing, I wouldn't recommend letting your tort walk around the apartment. The floor is cold, and there are dusts and dusts bunnies that your tort may accidentally eat. And that causes impaction, which is lethal overtime. Instead, let it go out for a walk, in a park, a garden. There would be easy less dusts outside because of the wind, and your tort can sunbathe, which actually increases its appetite! Killing two birds with one stone!
We also need to know the enclosure's temperature, humidity and size to give further advice.

Some useful references :

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/

https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Thanks for the response!
I’ll be more careful with the apartment walkabouts. It’s still chilly up in Maryland, so she’ll be stuck inside for another few weeks. I have a nice large southern facing window though that gets direct sun, so I’ll let her bask in the light a bit, just off the floor, until outdoor temperatures warm up. I’m excited to take her to the park and let her snack on the weeds (I’ll be sure to check there’s no pesticide application where I let her wander).

The warm side of the enclosure with the heat lamp and UV sits around 90-94 degrees. I just got another thermometer today to place on the other side of the enclosure (which I would assume is about 75ish)(and lower in her cave - which she never uses?).

Im picking up a hygrometer today and will update when I get those numbers.

Haven’t fed calcium yet - will start today and keep it on an every-4-days schedule.

Thanks for the links! Will print them out!
 

Toddrickfl1

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It will take your tortoise a little while to settle down and develop a real routine. Tortoises are creatures of habit and will sulk when their environment changes.
 

Jeiffel93

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Hyattsville, MD
Update: I purchased a vertical florescent UVB setup (Reptisun 10.0), and Rose seems to be all about it. I gave her a pile of baby romaine today, dusted in calcium/d3 supplement (first time) and she ate all of it before retiring to her cave for the evening. :}
Im happy she seems happy and healthy.
I have a thermometer on both sides of the enclosure. One side is 90-95 during the day while the other side stays around 70. At night, the whole enclosure is about 65-70.
The humidity has been around 55%
 

Pure Tortoise Power

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Hong Kong
Update: I purchased a vertical florescent UVB setup (Reptisun 10.0), and Rose seems to be all about it. I gave her a pile of baby romaine today, dusted in calcium/d3 supplement (first time) and she ate all of it before retiring to her cave for the evening. :}
Im happy she seems happy and healthy.
I have a thermometer on both sides of the enclosure. One side is 90-95 during the day while the other side stays around 70. At night, the whole enclosure is about 65-70.
The humidity has been around 55%
Awesome job man! I forgot to mention that tortoises LOVE romaine lettuce XD.
For deeper information, refer to the links I posted above. I'm not too familiar with hermann's since I keep a sulcata.
Side note, don't feed romaine lettuce too often. It's not good for its health in the long run.
 
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