New and Concerned Pancake owner.

Flapjack

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Edmonds
20220516 192546

Hello,
I want to make sure I am doing everything correctly. The more knowledge the better, right?

I'm kind of worried about shell growth. I've had since December, im assuming he's about a year old now? I want to make sure I am doing enough.

Shell on butt is curving upwards and doesn't look like they are flattening out.

Is he getting enough UV? He likes to hide/sleep most of the time. Only out for less than 1 hour a day. I have a camera to monitor behavior.
 

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zovick

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
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Nov 17, 2013
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2,376
View attachment 344845

Hello,
I want to make sure I am doing everything correctly. The more knowledge the better, right?

I'm kind of worried about shell growth. I've had since December, im assuming he's about a year old now? I want to make sure I am doing enough.

Shell on butt is curving upwards and doesn't look like they are flattening out.

Is he getting enough UV? He likes to hide/sleep most of the time. Only out for less than 1 hour a day. I have a camera to monitor behavior.
It is definitely abnormal growth. Not sure what the cause might be, though. Does the tortoise get any calcium and vitamin supplements?

You will most probably need to list what you are feeding the tortoise as well as the type of lighting you are using to get a helpful response on the TFO and to be able make any necessary changes to your husbandry regimen.
 
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Flapjack

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Edmonds
@Flapjack
Also, what is your humidity? How often do you soak?
I have a humidifier on a timer that is on and off through out the day. The humidity can dip between 40% - 80% at night I turn it off.

I soak just about every day for longer then 10 minutes but usually soon after he'll poop or pee and I'll replace the water but he'll want out.
 

Flapjack

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Edmonds
It is definitely abnormal growth. Not sure what the cause might be, though. Does the tortoise get any calcium and vitamin supplements?

You will most probably need to list what you are feeding the tortoise as well as the type of lighting you are using to get a helpful response on the TFO and to be able make any necessary changes to your husbandry regimen.
I sprinkle calcium powder with every meal and occasionally use a Repashy grassland and dust that too. Not sure if there are any vitamins in there. As for food, I just started growing a verity of greens, I'll have to get a picture when I get home from work. Lots of research done on the food to make sure it's tort safe.

He's in a 40 low with a UVB 12 inches away from him

Zilla Reptile T8 Slimline Desert Pet Habitat Light Fixture with 15 Watt Fluorescent Bulb, 18 Inches https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00780X1O2/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

I bought this housing before I got the 40gal, should I invest in a longer one?
 

Tom

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I have a humidifier on a timer that is on and off through out the day. The humidity can dip between 40% - 80% at night I turn it off.

I soak just about every day for longer then 10 minutes but usually soon after he'll poop or pee and I'll replace the water but he'll want out.
Soaks should be 30-40 minutes, and it doesn't matter if they want out. We call that the tortoise treadmill. Its good exercise.

Humidifiers should not be run directly into an enclosure. They are okay to use in the room to raise ambient humidity in the whole room, but tortoises should not be breathing those little foggy micro-droplets. Humidity should be maintained by using a large closed chamber with the heating and lighting inside.

I suspect the drastic daily changes in humidity might be the cause of your issue.

I sprinkle calcium powder with every meal and occasionally use a Repashy grassland and dust that too. Not sure if there are any vitamins in there. As for food, I just started growing a verity of greens, I'll have to get a picture when I get home from work. Lots of research done on the food to make sure it's tort safe.

He's in a 40 low with a UVB 12 inches away from him

Zilla Reptile T8 Slimline Desert Pet Habitat Light Fixture with 15 Watt Fluorescent Bulb, 18 Inches https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00780X1O2/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

I bought this housing before I got the 40gal, should I invest in a longer one?
Calcium should only be used once or twice a week. It interferes with the absorption of other important minerals and trace elements.

I don't know that particular Repashy supplement, but other posters have mentioned not to use Repashy for tortoises due to the high vitamin A content. I'm just passing that along as second hand info.

That type of bulb, the T8 I mean, is not an effective UV source. They produce very little UV. Have you ever put a UV meter under it? If the tortoise never gets real sunshine, or if the calcium supplement has no D3, then this might have something to do with your issue.
 

Flapjack

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Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Edmonds
Soaks should be 30-40 minutes, and it doesn't matter if they want out. We call that the tortoise treadmill. Its good exercise.

Humidifiers should not be run directly into an enclosure. They are okay to use in the room to raise ambient humidity in the whole room, but tortoises should not be breathing those little foggy micro-droplets. Humidity should be maintained by using a large closed chamber with the heating and lighting inside.

I suspect the drastic daily changes in humidity might be the cause of your issue.


Calcium should only be used once or twice a week. It interferes with the absorption of other important minerals and trace elements.

I don't know that particular Repashy supplement, but other posters have mentioned not to use Repashy for tortoises due to the high vitamin A content. I'm just passing that along as second hand info.

That type of bulb, the T8 I mean, is not an effective UV source. They produce very little UV. Have you ever put a UV meter under it? If the tortoise never gets real sunshine, or if the calcium supplement has no D3, then this might have something to do with your issue.
I had no idea there were differences in the 'T_' and the effectiveness. I've been looking into other UVB bulbs, would something like this be more appropriate?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JHDBR8G/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

So the humidity in my bedroom where I have my reptiles. Is roughly 60%. The humidity gage in the tank shows 20% without the fog machine. I figure that's because of the heat which is in the high 80s and has a cool side of high 70s. This summer I have plans to switch to a bioactive substrate, that should help improve humidity levels.

That's good to know about the calcium power dosage. It does have D3:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002DHPF8/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

I've kept turtles and have been around reptiles all of my life, so I have some grasp to look out for. Do tortoises shed their scoots like turtles?

I added some photos of the food I just started growing to help give some verity.
I appreciate all the knowledge you've passed down.
 

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TeamZissou

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This looks like it could be MBD. With tortoises you typically see this show up as a drooped carapace along the spine. Curling up of the scutes is typically seen in turtles, but it could probably happen with a pancake as well.


The calcium supplement looks fine since it contains pure calcium and D3. I would avoid all Repashy products due to high vitamin A levels. Look for "Rep-Cal Herptivite" for a vitamin supplement. It's very safe.

Be sure to measure the actual UVI level with a Solarmeter 6.5. Otherwise you can't be certain what the UV level is.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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I had no idea there were differences in the 'T_' and the effectiveness. I've been looking into other UVB bulbs, would something like this be more appropriate?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JHDBR8G/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

So the humidity in my bedroom where I have my reptiles. Is roughly 60%. The humidity gage in the tank shows 20% without the fog machine. I figure that's because of the heat which is in the high 80s and has a cool side of high 70s. This summer I have plans to switch to a bioactive substrate, that should help improve humidity levels.

That's good to know about the calcium power dosage. It does have D3:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002DHPF8/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

I've kept turtles and have been around reptiles all of my life, so I have some grasp to look out for. Do tortoises shed their scoots like turtles?

I added some photos of the food I just started growing to help give some verity.
I appreciate all the knowledge you've passed down.
The Pro T5 kits from Arcadia are the best in my opinion. That is what I usually use when I need indoor UV.

Tortoises do not shed their scutes.

Humidity in open topped enclosures is always significantly lower then ambient room humidity. Closed chambers solve this problem and are much better for young growing tortoises of any species.
 

Flapjack

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Edmonds
This looks like it could be MBD. With tortoises you typically see this show up as a drooped carapace along the spine. Curling up of the scutes is typically seen in turtles, but it could probably happen with a pancake as well.


The calcium supplement looks fine since it contains pure calcium and D3. I would avoid all Repashy products due to high vitamin A levels. Look for "Rep-Cal Herptivite" for a vitamin supplement. It's very safe.

Be sure to measure the actual UVI level with a Solarmeter 6.5. Otherwise you can't be certain what the UV level is.
Yikes, didn't think I was messing up that bad. Hopefully I can stop it from getting any worse. I'm starting off getting a better more appropriate UVB bulb and invest in a meter later, unless someone on this forum has a spare.
 

Flapjack

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Edmonds
The Pro T5 kits from Arcadia are the best in my opinion. That is what I usually use when I need indoor UV.

Tortoises do not shed their scutes.

Humidity in open topped enclosures is always significantly lower then ambient room humidity. Closed chambers solve this problem and are much better for young growing tortoises of any species.
Any recommend cages you can send a link to? I might have to work with what I have until I can get my hands on a better enclosure.
 

Tom

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Greater Seattle area, Washington.
Gotcha. @Markw84 makes the most perfect tortoise cages in the world. Smart Enclosure, is the name. The price is lower than what you'd pay if you bought all the parts separately and built it yourself. I tease him by asking how much money he loses on each sale. He has a 48x36 inch basic model, and later on you can add on another 48x36 cheaply and easily, bringing the total to 96x36, which would be great for an adult pancake. I've assembled 5 of these now and they are the absolute best.

I also like Animal Plastics, but you will wait 8-12 months to get a cage from them after ordering, and then you have to buy and install all your own heating and lighting.

I don't have personal experience with anyone except the two above.
 

Flapjack

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Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Edmonds
Gotcha. @Markw84 makes the most perfect tortoise cages in the world. Smart Enclosure, is the name. The price is lower than what you'd pay if you bought all the parts separately and built it yourself. I tease him by asking how much money he loses on each sale. He has a 48x36 inch basic model, and later on you can add on another 48x36 cheaply and easily, bringing the total to 96x36, which would be great for an adult pancake. I've assembled 5 of these now and they are the absolute best.

I also like Animal Plastics, but you will wait 8-12 months to get a cage from them after ordering, and then you have to buy and install all your own heating and lighting.

I don't have personal experience with anyone except the two above.
I just got my hands on the Arcadia Pro T5 and holy crap. The quality from this light is visibly stunning. I feel awful for using the zoo med light for so long. He's seems more interested in coming out from his burrow and socializing.

I have the light positioned roughly 12inchs away, I know without a Solarmeter I won't know if it's too much. What are some signs to look out for, if the UVB is too strong or close?

I can't thank you enough for being so helpful.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,954
Location (City and/or State)
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I just got my hands on the Arcadia Pro T5 and holy crap. The quality from this light is visibly stunning. I feel awful for using the zoo med light for so long. He's seems more interested in coming out from his burrow and socializing.

I have the light positioned roughly 12inchs away, I know without a Solarmeter I won't know if it's too much. What are some signs to look out for, if the UVB is too strong or close?

I can't thank you enough for being so helpful.
If it is a 12% HO tube with a reflector, it needs to be 18-20 inches away typically. 12 inches is MUCH too close. That could damage the skin and eyes.
 

TaylorTortoise

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View attachment 344845

Hello,
I want to make sure I am doing everything correctly. The more knowledge the better, right?

I'm kind of worried about shell growth. I've had since December, im assuming he's about a year old now? I want to make sure I am doing enough.

Shell on butt is curving upwards and doesn't look like they are flattening out.

Is he getting enough UV? He likes to hide/sleep most of the time. Only out for less than 1 hour a day. I have a camera to monitor behavior.
is the pancake called flapjack?
 

Flapjack

New Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Edmonds
This looks like it could be MBD. With tortoises you typically see this show up as a drooped carapace along the spine. Curling up of the scutes is typically seen in turtles, but it could probably happen with a pancake as well.


The calcium supplement looks fine since it contains pure calcium and D3. I would avoid all Repashy products due to high vitamin A levels. Look for "Rep-Cal Herptivite" for a vitamin supplement. It's very safe.

Be sure to measure the actual UVI level with a Solarmeter 6.5. Otherwise you can't be certain what the UV level is.
What UVI should I be aiming for? I just bought a Solarmeter, I had to save up to purchase one.
 

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