New leopard worries

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EKLC

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Hi,

New here, and have a long list of worries, so I'll just write out the story.

We got our baby leopard 2 weeks ago. I assume he is very young since he is 3 inches head to tail and 2 inches across. He spends most of his time sleeping. He does not eat much and will often open his mouth and miss the food. When we wake him up to soak/eat he clicks his jaws, and will push his front legs/head out and back slightly in rhythm. Are these things normal? We are keeping him in the Zoomed tortoise house, on sand/coir, and have been feeding him collards and chicory. And what is a good way to ensure he will grow up not afraid of us or even be social?


Thanks,

Evan
 

Kenny

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Hi Evan,
What are the temps in your enclosure? Humidity is essential with these guys when young. Dehydration can often be an issue. Do you spray him down in addition to the soakings?
Sand Is a bad substrate for torts, I would remove it immediately and replace it with peat moss, or coconut coir.
 

onarock

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clicking?? Hatchling tortoises do all sorts of weird things. I dont know about this clicking noise. Can you describe his enclosure or post some pics so we can see how you have him set up. Can you also tell us basking spot temps as well as cool side temp and humid hide box temp? Also type of substrate and what your feeding him. Supplaments? Every thing you can think of will help. Aloha
 

Tom

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First a question. Are you using one of those coil type flourescent bulbs? If so go turn it off right now. They seem to damage tortoise eyes.

Second, here is how I keep them. This was typed for sulcatas, but I keep all my leopards this way too.
http://tortoiseforum.org/Thread-How-To-Raise-Sulcata-Hatchlings-and-Babies

Hopefully this will answer a bunch of questions for you.
 

EKLC

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Thank you all for your quick responses. Here are the answers to your questions:


Temp: (now this seems too hot)
110 degrees right underneat lamp
90 degrees around it
80 degrees under enclosure

Substrate: (should I replace with just coir?)
sand with coir mixed in

diet:
chicory and collards for now
calcium supplement once a week

Here are two pictures, sorry it's from a cell phone.
1116002301.jpg

Leroy.jpg


We use a UV-B lamp and a basking lamp. The basking lamp is not in the shape of a coil, but the UV-B lamp is
 

Balboa

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I'll respectfully disagree with Kenny on the substrate and Tom on the UVB, aren't opinions fun? In reality those guys are WAY more experienced than me, but I know I'm not alone in liking a sand/coir mixed substrate.

The problem with the coil type UVB lamps is SUPPOSED to be fixed in newer production UVB lamps. If it has thorough, clear directions on how to correctly place the lamp during break in and after break in, it SHOULD be safe. Some of the older ones had unclear directions and when placed too close to the animal were causing tons of harm.

http://www.uvguide.co.uk/phototherapyphosphor-summary.htm#update23sept09

Down at the bottom of the page is a guide describing how to tell the new safe lamps from the old dangerous ones.

The leg pushing, head moving is breathing. Torts have no diaphrams, so breathe by moving, amazing huh?

Chicory and collards are good, just add more variety would be my suggestion. Tom's Sully page has good diet info that works for leopards too.

You know, I really dig those zoo med houses, nice to see a proper enclosure on the market. Only trouble with them is might need a cover added to keep enough humidity in.

dang. comment overflow, that looks like you need way more coir in it though, too much sand
should be 50/50 or so
 

onarock

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I use a coco or peat / sand mix, but I keep my hatchlings outside. I find that the sand helps pack the coir or peat and with drainage. I get alot of rain where I live so I need fast draining without giving up the humidity. I would say I use 50% coir or peat 30% sand and 20% topsoil all mixed together. You'll find a wide range of opinions on this. As far as light and all that other stuff goes , like I said, I keep them outside. Good luck. You should have no problem getting sound advice here. You came to the right place. Sorry about asking all those questions and only answering one of them. I just knew the next person would have asked them, so I beat them to it
 

Tom

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Well Mr. inexperience, when you've seen a bunch of torts die due to sand impaction, then you might start to agree with Kenny. Hopefully EKLC won't have to learn that one the hard way.

On the coil bulbs: Why risk it? MVBs don't ever cause eye problems, so why not ditch the heat bulb and the possibly detrimental coil bulb, and just use what we all know to be safe and effective? Even better, how about using a plain flood or spot bulb and getting your UV from the sun? I too have heard that the problem is supposedly fixed with these coil bulbs, but guess how many of my tortoises I'm willing to risk to find out. Are you really going to take the manufacturers and sellers word for it?

You are right that a lot of people like sand or sand mixes. A lot of people like rabbit pellets too. And hay. Doesn't make them a good substrate.

Now go count yer fishes... :)
 

Kenny

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Everyone has their own opinions in keeping Torts. Sand may work for one keeper , and be devastating to another. I'm the latter. I've seen sand kill torts with impaction, and rectal blockages more times then I can count.
I don't know everything in the world of torts, but I strongly advise against the use of sand. If for nothing else, we know that peat,coir,and soil, are harmless.
 

onarock

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Ha, on behalf of all the tortoises in the world I would like to say thank god we dont encounter the following out in the wild sand, poisonus plants, toxic leaves, snails or slugs, cold temps, excessively hot temps, low humidity areas, burrows or lack thereof, excessive UV or low UV areas, plants or bugs with excessive protien, mold, mildew, fruit, anything containing sugar, GMO, mud, deepwater, etc.etc. LOL
 

Kenny

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onarock said:
Ha, on behalf of all the tortoises in the world I would like to say thank god we dont encounter the following out in the wild sand, poisonus plants, toxic leaves, snails or slugs, cold temps, excessively hot temps, low humidity areas, burrows or lack thereof, excessive UV or low UV areas, plants or bugs with excessive protien, mold, mildew, fruit, anything containing sugar, GMO, mud, deepwater, etc.etc. LOL

That is very true, but we're not talking about the wild. I have no idea what the survival rate for hatchling torts in the wild is, but I'd venture to guess its less then 50%. Some of the naturally occuring factors that you stated are why.
Again, I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong. I'm saying that in my experience sand is dangerous. Does that mean his tort will die on sand? no. Could it ? yes.
In my opinion, our job as keepers is to provide the most ideal conditions possible.
"sand, poisonus plants, toxic leaves, snails or slugs, cold temps, excessively hot temps, low humidity areas, burrows or lack thereof, excessive UV or low UV areas, plants or bugs with excessive protien, mold, mildew, fruit, anything containing sugar, GMO, mud, deepwater, etc.etc." are not the most ideal conditions. I'm not offering instructions here, just suggestions based on my experience.
 

onarock

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Kenny said:
onarock said:
Ha, on behalf of all the tortoises in the world I would like to say thank god we dont encounter the following out in the wild sand, poisonus plants, toxic leaves, snails or slugs, cold temps, excessively hot temps, low humidity areas, burrows or lack thereof, excessive UV or low UV areas, plants or bugs with excessive protien, mold, mildew, fruit, anything containing sugar, GMO, mud, deepwater, etc.etc. LOL

That is very true, but we're not talking about the wild. I have no idea what the survival rate for hatchling torts in the wild is, but I'd venture to guess its less then 50%. Some of the naturally occuring factors that you stated are why.
Again, I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong. I'm saying that in my experience sand is dangerous. Does that mean his tort will die on sand? no. Could it ? yes.
In my opinion, our job as keepers is to provide the most ideal conditions possible.
"sand, poisonus plants, toxic leaves, snails or slugs, cold temps, excessively hot temps, low humidity areas, burrows or lack thereof, excessive UV or low UV areas, plants or bugs with excessive protien, mold, mildew, fruit, anything containing sugar, GMO, mud, deepwater, etc.etc." are not the most ideal conditions. I'm not offering instructions here, just suggestions based on my experience.

got it. dont know if you noticed the ha and the lol at the end. I just think some things in here, not all, are over thought. I've been wanting to spit that out for a while now and I saw the opportinity. Ha ha ha
 

Kenny

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onarock said:
Kenny said:
onarock said:
Ha, on behalf of all the tortoises in the world I would like to say thank god we dont encounter the following out in the wild sand, poisonus plants, toxic leaves, snails or slugs, cold temps, excessively hot temps, low humidity areas, burrows or lack thereof, excessive UV or low UV areas, plants or bugs with excessive protien, mold, mildew, fruit, anything containing sugar, GMO, mud, deepwater, etc.etc. LOL

That is very true, but we're not talking about the wild. I have no idea what the survival rate for hatchling torts in the wild is, but I'd venture to guess its less then 50%. Some of the naturally occuring factors that you stated are why.
Again, I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong. I'm saying that in my experience sand is dangerous. Does that mean his tort will die on sand? no. Could it ? yes.
In my opinion, our job as keepers is to provide the most ideal conditions possible.
"sand, poisonus plants, toxic leaves, snails or slugs, cold temps, excessively hot temps, low humidity areas, burrows or lack thereof, excessive UV or low UV areas, plants or bugs with excessive protien, mold, mildew, fruit, anything containing sugar, GMO, mud, deepwater, etc.etc." are not the most ideal conditions. I'm not offering instructions here, just suggestions based on my experience.

got it. dont know if you noticed the ha and the lol at the end. I just think some things in here, not all, are over thought. I've been wanting to spit that out for a while now and I saw the opportinity. Ha ha ha

Oh, i didn't take offense. Sorry if it came off that way. I was just adding to what I find to be a very constructive conversation.
I respect you,Balboa,Tom, and everybody else on this forum thats willing to share experiences , and help out other members. I apologize if I came of as defensive, or argumentative. It was not my intent. just trying to provide every possible veiw for the OP and his tort.
 

onarock

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Kenny said:
onarock said:
Kenny said:
onarock said:
Ha, on behalf of all the tortoises in the world I would like to say thank god we dont encounter the following out in the wild sand, poisonus plants, toxic leaves, snails or slugs, cold temps, excessively hot temps, low humidity areas, burrows or lack thereof, excessive UV or low UV areas, plants or bugs with excessive protien, mold, mildew, fruit, anything containing sugar, GMO, mud, deepwater, etc.etc. LOL

That is very true, but we're not talking about the wild. I have no idea what the survival rate for hatchling torts in the wild is, but I'd venture to guess its less then 50%. Some of the naturally occuring factors that you stated are why.
Again, I'm not saying I'm right and you're wrong. I'm saying that in my experience sand is dangerous. Does that mean his tort will die on sand? no. Could it ? yes.
In my opinion, our job as keepers is to provide the most ideal conditions possible.
"sand, poisonus plants, toxic leaves, snails or slugs, cold temps, excessively hot temps, low humidity areas, burrows or lack thereof, excessive UV or low UV areas, plants or bugs with excessive protien, mold, mildew, fruit, anything containing sugar, GMO, mud, deepwater, etc.etc." are not the most ideal conditions. I'm not offering instructions here, just suggestions based on my experience.

got it. dont know if you noticed the ha and the lol at the end. I just think some things in here, not all, are over thought. I've been wanting to spit that out for a while now and I saw the opportinity. Ha ha ha

Oh, i didn't take offense. Sorry if it came off that way. I was just adding to what I find to be a very constructive conversation.
I respect you,Balboa,Tom, and everybody else on this forum thats willing to share experiences , and help out other members. I apologize if I came of as defensive, or argumentative. It was not my intent. just trying to provide every possible veiw for the OP and his tort.

Now.........Off to Yoga....HMMMMMMMM
 

EKLC

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Thank you all for the lively discussion. I replaced his substrate with coco coir, and it certainly holds a lot more moisture than the old substrate, which was bone dry.

Right now were using a Repti Glo 10.0 13 W UVB bulb and a Zoo Med 75 W basking spot lamp. They are about a foot above the substrate. Any comments on this? Are there better bulbs to get?
Thanks.
 

Balboa

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Tom said:
Well Mr. inexperience, when you've seen a bunch of torts die due to sand impaction, then you might start to agree with Kenny. Hopefully EKLC won't have to learn that one the hard way.

On the coil bulbs: Why risk it? MVBs don't ever cause eye problems, so why not ditch the heat bulb and the possibly detrimental coil bulb, and just use what we all know to be safe and effective? Even better, how about using a plain flood or spot bulb and getting your UV from the sun? I too have heard that the problem is supposedly fixed with these coil bulbs, but guess how many of my tortoises I'm willing to risk to find out. Are you really going to take the manufacturers and sellers word for it?

You are right that a lot of people like sand or sand mixes. A lot of people like rabbit pellets too. And hay. Doesn't make them a good substrate.

Now go count yer fishes... :)

All Hail Tom, All Hail Tom

Me thinkest his majesty, is feeling mighty full of himselfith.

Naw I do respect the hell out of your experience Bud, but I aint gonna roll over like a scolded puppy either.

So I'm gonna question you to make sure I really got this straight. Were these impactions from the days of dehydrated pets? Back when your Sullys were starved, pyramiding and dried up because the experts told you to keep them that way?

Or have you seen a properly fed, hydrated and humidified Tort die of impaction from a damp 50/50 mix of sand/dirt,coir,whatever?

If so I apologize, and I will promptly rip out Rocky's substrate, how dare I risk her so. Why do I risk her so now? because I have it on good faith from other experts, whom I also respect, that it is a safe substrate if used correctly.

As to the lamps fine, but if you honestly think an incorrectly used or malfunctioning MVB won't harm a torts eyes, you are deceiving yourself Bud. In reality we all need meters to check our levels, but instead put our faith in manufacturers. I AM using a new production Spiral UVB. I like it because the colors and brightness are at correct levels to ensure correct pupil dilation, so no burnt eyes. You're right, sun is best, no argument there.

Like I/you said, I'm Mr. Inexperience, you're the man, but it don't mean I aint gonna call you on a blanket statement if I feel like it. Guess I'll go count my fishes.

:p
 

Balboa

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Bah, after a little introspection I must make my apologies to EKLC and Tom, this was not the place to debate this. I would like to recind my comments here, but reserve the right to debate this topic at a later date, as I do find the topic interesting and would like to hear more of Tom's experience on the matter. :)
 

Seiryu

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50/50 sand/coir shouldn't cause any issues. I had my two leopard hatchlings on probably a 70-80 coir, 20-30 playsand mixture for over a year and never had an issue. The sand basically was almost not noticeable. 50/50 might be cutting it close though.

The problem lies in if your tortoise is either being fed ON the substrate or is actively eating the substrate that you usually see the most issues. Of course, all it takes is 1 gulp of sand that can cause death. But if your tort is eating any substrate you use, you need to replace it anyhow.

In this persons case, it's way too much sand and they could see issues because of it.

Balboa- that UVB link you linked didn't work for me. As far as the coiled tubes go, I agree with Tom. Why take the chance. I recently got a bearded dragon, and joined that bearded dragon forum. Let me tell you, almost every day there is a post about a dragon not eating, closing its eyes, not moving etc and the person just happens to be using a coiled UVB light.

Some people get lucky and have no issues, others not. I know of people who have reported eye issues with PowerSun MVBs, yet I know many people who use them without problems. It's pretty scary stuff to know that you could get a bad bulb on bulbs that generally don't have issues.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Evan:

Welcome to the forum!!
 

Badgemash

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I'm thinking this thread might belong in the debates section, but I'm going to add my two cents anyway because I think it might help. As a geologist I'll go ahead and address the sand issue from a geologic perspective.

Almost all sand found in nature (with a few exceptions such as volcanic island arcs) is a product of the weathering of more complex minerals and is typically SiO2 (ie Quartz) with a few trace elements (the other mineral parts mostly form clays). Quartz in this form is not reactive at pressures and temperatures seen on the earth's surface, it just hangs around doing nothing until a geologic process like subduction or deep burial occurs (it has to either melt or get glued together by something else). Every single bag of sand I have seen in pet stores however is calcium carbonate sand, aka limestone. Calcium carbonate unlike quartz will react, especially with acids, in fact it is often the binding agent that glues together the quartz sand to form a sandstone.

In nature I would expect a tort to ingest some soil especially in a desert environment. However silica sand should not bind in the gut but pass harmlessly through, as should the clay (in fact kaolinite clays are used as milkshake thickening agents and to calm upset stomachs in humans). However I would not expect a tort to ingest carbonate sand unless it was eating at an ocean beach (thus eating the ground up seashells in large quantities). If ingested I would not be surprised to see the carbonates begin to react and clump together forming an impaction.

So this might be one of the accidental side effects of keeping our torts in an artificial environment, not all sand is equal. I am not willing to risk impaction in my babies, and I do not have the time or inclination to run analysis on every batch of sand, so I do not use it. I could be totally wrong in this line of thought since I am not a biologist, but it makes sense to me geologically.

Sorry to hijack your thread Evan, if it helps some of my little guys are really picky about food and seem to have taste preferences. Octavia would nibble collards, but Mr.T wouldn't touch them if his little life depended on it. Your tort might enjoy a broader range of things to choose from, both for nutrition and just for taste.

-Devon
 
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