My red foot❤️

Redfoottroubles2

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2024
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Iowa
Hi, I am new to the forum and want to know if I am taking care of my red foot properly. She is female as far as I know and I have had her for about 4 years now. She is about 8 and a half inches in shell length (I recently measured but don't know her age). Her diet consists of spring mix salads, berry's, veggies, and the occasional boiled egg. She loves to eat. I give her clean water when it gets dirty but I never see her in her water dish. I know she goes in there though because when I give her fresh water it always ends up dirty and some of my family members have seen her in it. I have one heating lamp above her tank but it doesn't really do its job so her tank remains around room temp which is 73 degrees (Fahrenheit). I don't think that is warm enough. I got into soaking her about a month ago. I mist her too. She lives indoors but I do take her outside. And for protein (when I have it for her) is worms. She loves eating worms but that's a rare food because I don't have enough time to get them for her. I do give her shell strokes and rubs and she doesn't mind those but she does tuck into her shell alot and I think she is stressed. Can you guys help me out? And also, how often are you supposed to take your tortoise to the vet? Thanks!
 

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The_Four_Toed_Edward

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Apr 6, 2024
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Finland
Welcome to the forum. Your enclousure sounds like it needs some changes. Please read this, it is meant for people new on the forum: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/info-for-new-people-please-read-this-first.202363/
  • What are your temps? (Hot side, cool side, ambient) Measure at tortoise level
  • What is your humidity? (Hot side, cool side, ambient) Measure at tortoise level
  • What heat lamp do you use? What height? If you have the right type of lamp it may be enough to move it lower, closer to the tortoise.
  • Do you have an UVB lamp? If so what are its specs?
  • What substrate do you use? What is your substrate depth?
  • What are your enclosure measurements?
  • Does your tortoise have a waterdish available?
If you answer these questions, we can help you a lot better.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Joined
Aug 21, 2023
Messages
1,713
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus
Hello!
She looks like a big girl, too big for a tank and pyramiding is minor, I suspect the care is mostly correct.

A photo of the tank would help to find out if something has to be improved. 73F is a tolerable temperature, but better to keep it in 82-86F range. High humidity and low temperatures is a bad match.

You can expand her diet, she will certainly appreciate mushrooms, papaya or mango and a small piece of boiled chicken breast (low-fat meat, no salt). Also you can add a pinch of calcium powder once a week and some tortoise pellets.

It's pretty normal when tortoises tuck in their shell when something unusual happens. If it's a recent behaviour - this may need some investigation.

Taking her to the vet without reason is not a good idea. Unless your have a really good vet experienced with tortoises (a rare bird, unfortunately).

You can add some photos of her as well - plastron (belly), her beak and tail area. A close-up of her head would be interesting too - it looks very pale.
 

Redfoottroubles2

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2024
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Iowa
Welcome to the forum. Your enclousure sounds like it needs some changes. Please read this, it is meant for people new on the forum: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/info-for-new-people-please-read-this-first.202363/
  • What are your temps? (Hot side, cool side, ambient) Measure at tortoise level
  • What is your humidity? (Hot side, cool side, ambient) Measure at tortoise level
  • What heat lamp do you use? What height? If you have the right type of lamp it may be enough to move it lower, closer to the tortoise.
  • Do you have an UVB lamp? If so what are its specs?
  • What substrate do you use? What is your substrate depth?
  • What are your enclosure measurements?
  • Does your tortoise have a waterdish available?
If you answer these questions, we can help you a lot better.
I don't know about the other things but I did lower the light so she could bask under it and get warm and she does have a water bowl available. And she uses kind of like a forest floor mulch for bedding. She also has a cave to sleep in and a fake plant.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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Tortoise Club
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It sounds fairly vague. More information could be helpful.
First of all, your Redfoot needs an ambient temperature of at least 80. And no warmer than 88. So, 82-84 is your target. Try to avoid hot or cold areas.
You mentioned in the PM that your room temperature is 73. That won't harm her as an overnight temperature if it's unavailable right now. But during the day, it must be up to 80 for full digestion to take place.
Tell your family that you need a CHE (a ceramic heat emitter) it will provide heat day and night because it provides no light. It must be dark at night.
They also need at least 70% humidity 24/7. It looks like your RF is pyramiding. That's from lack of humidity.
What are you keeping her in? How large is it? What kind of heating? Lights?
You didn't mention any UVB lighting. That is critical. Do you have a T5 HO linear strip florescent tube uvb?
How often does she spend time outside?
You need a correct uvb light if it's not at least twice a week.
Lastly, I never take a tortoise to the vet that seems healthy.
 
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Redfoottroubles2

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2024
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Iowa
Hello!
She looks like a big girl, too big for a tank and pyramiding is minor, I suspect the care is mostly correct.

A photo of the tank would help to find out if something has to be improved. 73F is a tolerable temperature, but better to keep it in 82-86F range. High humidity and low temperatures is a bad match.

You can expand her diet, she will certainly appreciate mushrooms, papaya or mango and a small piece of boiled chicken breast (low-fat meat, no salt). Also you can add a pinch of calcium powder once a week and some tortoise pellets.

It's pretty normal when tortoises tuck in their shell when something unusual happens. If it's a recent behaviour - this may need some investigation.

Taking her to the vet without reason is not a good idea. Unless your have a really good vet experienced with tortoises (a rare bird, unfortunately).

You can add some photos of her as well - plastron (belly), her beak and tail area. A close-up of her head would be interesting too - it looks very pale.
Thank you for the info.
 

Redfoottroubles2

New Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2024
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Iowa
It sounds fairly vague. More information could be helpful.
First of all, your Redfoot needs an ambient temperature of at least 80. And no warmer than 88. So, 82-84 is your target. Try to avoid hot or cold areas.
You mentioned in the PM that your room temperature is 73. That won't harm her as an overnight temperature if it's unavailable right now. But during the day, it must be up to 80 for full digestion to take place.
Tell your family that you need a CHE (a ceramic heat emitter) it will provide heat day and night because it provides no light. It must be dark at night.
They also need at least 70% humidity 24/7. It looks like your RF is pyramiding. That's from lack of humidity.
What are you keeping her in? How large is it? What kind of heating? Lights?
You didn't mention any UVB lighting. That is critical. Do you have a T5 HO linear strip florescent tube uvb?
How often does she spend time outside?
You need a correct uvb light if it's not at least twice a week.
Lastly, I never take a tortoise to the vet that seems healthy.
There have been a few people saying that the vet is unessasary but I have never actually taken her I just wanted to know.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
29,172
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
There have been a few people saying that the vet is unessasary but I have never actually taken her I just wanted to know.
Vets are sometimes required.
For now. Research a few of them nearby and see if they actually know anything about tortoises. Unfortunately, most do not.
I have an excellent vet. But I never bring in a tortoise that seems healthy.
That's what most of us suggest. Vets aren't needed for a healthy tortoise or for simple issues. But find a good one just in case.
 

COmtnLady

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Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
1,570
Location (City and/or State)
Colorado
Welcome to the forum!

All the info may seem overwhelming at first, but it is given with the intention of it being what is best for your Tortoise. (Don't get scared away or think we are picking on you, that's not the case. We just care about tortoises and sometimes get a little abrupt/tactless when sharing info.)

I keep my Redfoot at 80 degree Fahrenheit ( 27 Centigrade) with 80% humidity all the time. They evolved in the equatorial northern part of South America so like it warm and humid. It is easiest to keep the humidity constant in a CLOSED habitat - no lid to keep humidity in equals no humidity.

I don't use a mister because it can cause fungus to grow. If it seems dry (the humidity is low) I pour some water in the corners of her enclosure. It flows down the walls of the corner and slowly evaporates up, brining up the humidity fairly quickly and holding it fairly steadily until its gone. You have to check it frequently. Keep an eye on heat and humidity.

Don't keep all the whole surface of the substrate damp, she needs places to walk that are dry.

Here is a link to a good overview info sheet.

Since it was posted we have learned a couple of the statements are a little wrong - for example:
*While this says its ok to keep more than one together, they do better on their own. They get into bullying the other one if there is more than one to an enclosure, just like other varieties of tortoises do.
*And NEVER use moss as substrate. They can become impacted if they eat it - and they will eat it. (Fake plants are a bad idea for this same reason - despite having no teeth, they will manage to try to eat anything in their enclosure.)
*Never use soil as a substrate, its got too many problematic things (think rocks and sand), plus the kind you buy at a store has perlite in it (little white balls) that can be eaten and cause impaction or other digestive issues, and you never know what is actually in it.

Don't trust live plants from stores either. Many have been sprayed with pesticides or fertilized with hazardous chemicals before they got to the store.
Its great to feed "weeds" from the yard, but be SURE that they haven't been sprayed or fertilized recently. In summer I feed a lot of stuff picked from my yard, but I know what's been put on it. (Redfoots love dandelions - mine likes the flowers more than the leaves.)

Other kinds of tortoises don't do well with fruit, but Redfoots love a much more varied diet and do fine with it. Back to the 80/80 idea, while they can handle a bit a more, I try to keep it around 80% greens and 20% fruit (though it can get as lop-sided as 60% to 40% sometimes, not all the time).

Some food ideas:
*All sorts of green leafy plants should make up the bulk of what you give her.
(I you have to rely on grocery store fare, aim for organic - don't trust them to not spray pesticides and other preservatives on the regular stuff. And wash it off well before you feed, even if it says its organic. )
*all different kinds of lettuces, endive, escarole (not iceberg)
*kale - mine only likes lacinato kale, which is sometimes called dinosaur kale, not the ruffly types, but yours may be different,
*chard, collards, mustard greens, turnip tops
"spring mixes"
*grape leaves, hibiscus leaves and flowers, dandelions (mine loves the buds & flowers but isn't thrilled with the leaves), and other EDIBLE flowers/leaves
Redfoot Tortoise edible landscaping
*Raddicio, also called Italian Lettuce (it looks like a small head - softball-sized - of wine-red and white cabbage and is usually on the top shelf in the produce department because so few people buy it)
*Cactus pads (though mine didn't eat them anytime I tried)
*Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries (big favourites)
*bananas (this is so loved that if I need to trick her into eating something with medicine in it, this is what I put it in or on)
*Mango
*melon bites
*apple
*carrot (I usually boil slices until they are not-quite-soft just because torts don't have teeth and carrots are awfully hard. )
*cherry tomatoes (yellow are her faves, but she likes both)
*squash bites
*bell pepper in various colors

DO NOT SALT ANYTHING YOU GIVE YOUR TORT

Mine loves blueberries, so a couple times per week I dust (or barely touch the berry to the ReptiCal powder so that it has a small white end) for calcium needs. This works with bananas, too. Only use just a very little, its kind of bitter and could teach them not to eat it if you put too much on.

I also "farm" mealworms for protein. Super easy to deal with; they're non-indigenous and don't live very long if any do escape, water kills them. Buy the first few at PetsMart or online. I keep a small plastic bin with a couple inches of wheat bran in it (just dump them onto it, they'll adjust) and put a few peelings (not onions) on top of it. If they are hungrier than that, I put an apple slice or two in, or piece of whole wheat bread, or a stick of celery... perhaps two times per week, and pretty much ignore them the rest of time. In no time you will have a feel for how much is enough and how much is too much. I scoop out a spoonful or so of the worms, when they get to be a half-inch or inch long, and put them on top of the greens when its time to feed them to my tortoise.

Hope this helps a little. Share pics and tell us about her!
 
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