New and worried sulcata parent here

whatsup-dude

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Hey all! I’ve only had my baby (hatchling Sulcata) for a few months, hes outgrown his last home (see right) and I just put him in his new one today. He’s tucking himself in the dark corner, isn’t interested in food (but has already eaten today as well). Do you have any advice for new parents? How long should I give him to adjust to his new home before being worried? He’s usually quite active and he’s definitely not being active right now CF519A2B-C437-4E2E-969D-FFEBBD70EE3F.jpegB59199FD-E54A-48D0-B01C-53CCC5441B22.jpeg
 

OliveW

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I'm new myself, but one thing I know for certain is that your little guy needs high humidity. His new home looks quite airy.

He's a cutie! 😍
 

Tom

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Hey all! I’ve only had my baby (hatchling Sulcata) for a few months, hes outgrown his last home (see right) and I just put him in his new one today. He’s tucking himself in the dark corner, isn’t interested in food (but has already eaten today as well). Do you have any advice for new parents? How long should I give him to adjust to his new home before being worried? He’s usually quite active and he’s definitely not being active right now View attachment 347674View attachment 347675
Those tortoise houses are no good. You can't maintain the correct heat and humidity in something with an open top. Also, Where is the heating and lighting? Most of the care info found online is all wrong. The same wrong info has been paroled for decades. Pet stores are even worse.

Here is the correct care info:

Correct the problems and the appetite and activity will come right back. Your questions are welcome.
 

whatsup-dude

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I'm new myself, but one thing I know for certain is that your little guy needs high humidity. His new home looks quite airy.

He's a cutie! 😍
Thank you!
Those tortoise houses are no good. You can't maintain the correct heat and humidity in something with an open top. Also, Where is the heating and lighting? Most of the care info found online is all wrong. The same wrong info has been paroled for decades. Pet stores are even worse.

Here is the correct care info:

Correct the problems and the appetite and activity will come right back. Your questions are welcome.
i have lighting and heating, I’m using the one from my other set. I’m thinking of using two 100 watts instead of 1 like I’m using right now, and I can mist it for humidity (that’s what I’ve been told). I have a temperature and humidity gauge in there too. He also already ate today so I think that may be why he’s not interested in food. I was thinking I could try to cover the top for the humidity and temp
 

TammyJ

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Hi there. If you follow that care sheet, you will be doing everything exactly right and your tortoise will get the best possible chance to thrive.
 

whatsup-dude

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Those tortoise houses are no good. You can't maintain the correct heat and humidity in something with an open top. Also, Where is the heating and lighting? Most of the care info found online is all wrong. The same wrong info has been paroled for decades. Pet stores are even worse.

Here is the correct care info:

Correct the problems and the appetite and activity will come right back. Your questions are welcome.
Are reptile humidifiers good? I looked online and it says they can help keep humidity up in open tanks, like a reptile fogger.
 

wellington

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Are reptile humidifiers good? I looked online and it says they can help keep humidity up in open tanks, like a reptile fogger.
Open tank wirh humidifier won't work. I tried it years ago. Your sully is already pyramiding. If you don't get him in a closed chamber high humidity asap, the pyramiding will just keep getting worse.
Follow Tom's caresheet
 

Tom

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Are reptile humidifiers good? I looked online and it says they can help keep humidity up in open tanks, like a reptile fogger.
No. Tortoises shouldn't be breathing that mist. You can use it to humidify the whole room, but that won't do much in your enclosure. People in South Florida still need to use closed chamber indoors. Same in South East Asian countries where its warm and humid all the time.

Covering the top and having the lights outside creates a chimney effect and dries everything out, and takes double or triple that wattage of a closed chamber to maintain warmth. Having an open top is like trying to heat your house in winter with no roof. It just doesn't work. It can't work. Its like dunking your strawberry margarita in the hot tub. There is nothing to keep the two liquids from mixing.

I know its a pain in the rear, and not what you want to hear, but I had to learn all this the hard way. You don't. If you reject this help, your tortoise will pyramid and every time you look at him you will be reminded of what I am trying to help you avoid right now. Pyramiding is irreversible. Every day that goes by in a dry pen topped enclosure, it gets worse.

Here is some lighting info in addition to the care sheet:
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
 

KarenSoCal

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Everything the other members have said is true. You need a closed chamber enclosure. One of the fastest ways to achieve that is to order a grow tent from Amazon. Here are some pictures to show you what I mean.



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If you order a grow tent, it will be turned onto its side for your use. So the dimensions for height will actually be width, and the width will be the height of the enclosure.

If you will read this post, it may help you decide what you want to do.


Another way is to completely cover your current enclosure with a plastic tent-like structure. You can use a shower curtain liner for this. You build a framework over the enclosure, then drape the shower curtain over the frame. All your lights, etc hang under the plastic.


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I have a grow tent that I actually use to grow plants. I just wanted to show you what it looks like. It would be turned on its side..
20210513_183438.jpg

As for your tortoise not eating, it's true that fixing his housing will help a lot. But torts don't like any kind of change, and they tend to sulk for a while. It can take up to 2 weeks for them to adjust, but less than a week is more usual for a baby. Suddenly he'll be chomping greens like it's his last meal. 😃
 

Sarah2020

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Are reptile humidifiers good? I looked online and it says they can help keep humidity up in open tanks, like a reptile fogger.
No to a reptile humidifier. If you have an enclosed enclosure, heat and water spray substrate then you will get humidity and then repeat water spray daily but you can not allow it to be soggy! Sulcatas will grow enormous so try to get a set up in place that will help with growth and future tortoise well being. Tortoise hate change so what your also seeing is the result of changing enclosures.
 

Beasty_Artemis

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I wish someone would post step by step pics of themselves building one of the hard core grow tent set ups. Due to all of the building additions to the original tent, it's very hard for me to see how it is constructed..... there is alot going on there!!!
I only really see what your saying with the clear tent one. I've made that set up before....
 

KarenSoCal

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I wish someone would post step by step pics of themselves building one of the hard core grow tent set ups. Due to all of the building additions to the original tent, it's very hard for me to see how it is constructed..... there is alot going on there!!!
I only really see what your saying with the clear tent one. I've made that set up before....
Grow tents are supported by a framework of steel pipes that attach to each other to make the proper size tent....the kind that you push a little button, slide one pipe end into the other, and the little button pops out of the hole, keeping the 2 pipes from separating.

After putting the entire tent together, you would turn it on its side, so the "door" would roll up or down (your choice). Then you put your lights, etc in, using the steel framework to hang them from at the proper height. Fill the bottom with substrate and furnishings...Voila!

I have never actually done one, so I'll tag a member who has. She can tell you whatecer you need to know. The first pic of a grow tent enclosure in post # 9 is hers.

@Srmcclure
 

Srmcclure

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Yea, those top 3 are all mine 😁 I've had mine running for a bit over 2 years now I think and it works really well for me and my tort. It's a lot easier than it looks I promise! Get a tent, either 3ftx6ft or the one size bigger. Any bigger and it's hard to keep consistent temps. Set it up as instructed, turn on its side, I get a thick clear shower curtain and black gorilla tape( that's the strongest in my opinion) lay it down, I like to fill a bit with bedding so I know where it's going to pull, then tape it all the way around so no water can seep underneath. This is the most annoying part, but still not hard. I use the pole arms they give you to hang all my lights and things from. Easy peasy, I can do it very quickly now lol
 

Maggie3fan

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Hey all! I’ve only had my baby (hatchling Sulcata) for a few months, hes outgrown his last home (see right) and I just put him in his new one today. He’s tucking himself in the dark corner, isn’t interested in food (but has already eaten today as well). Do you have any advice for new parents? How long should I give him to adjust to his new home before being worried? He’s usually quite active and he’s definitely not being active right now View attachment 347674View attachment 347675
Hi there and welcome...I will get right to the point...if you do not follow Tom's advice, your baby (who is already pyramiding) will grow to look like this...I promise...IMG_0294.JPG
as an adult...100_3222 (1).JPG
pay attention...
 

Srmcclure

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Yea, Tom's advice saved my SA Leopard I had. I trust his info without fail or question. Follow it to a T and life will be so much easier
 

Yvonne G

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Another note just FYI: In your old enclosure you had the lights on top of screen. Screen filters out the majority of the UVB rays. UVB lights need to be under the screen, not on top of it.
 

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