New member to this forum, my name is Danny and my sulcata hatchling is named Tortellini

Tortellini5

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Santa Monica, CA
So far my main concern has been the diet. I have been purchasing flowers and plants from nurseries in order to feed variety as well as proper diet. I have already started feeding him the plants I have purchased this week and all I did was wash off the leaves and flowers with water so they are rinsed well. However I am still concerned since the plants are full of fertilizer in the soil from these places. Is it bad if plants that have fertilizer in the soil are eaten by the torts? Also, how long would it take for the fertilizer to be out of the plants system and be safe for tort consumption?! I also wonder if anyone has done this with their tortoise and it has been fine over the years, no known sickness from this practice. Please let me know as I plan to pause my plants/flower feeding until I know how long it takes for the plant to be safe.
 

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jeff kushner

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North of Annapolis
Hi Danny and welcome!

I think if you are rinsing, that's sufficient. If you really want to learn some cool stuff, can I suggest you grab a Red bull or coffee and cozy up with the care sheets here; https://www.tortoiseforum.org/forums/sulcata-tortoises.88/
It's pretty cool learning what we don't know...and it's amazing what we don't know, till we do!

Tort looks GREAT! but he won't be a "lini" very long......you'll be renaming him TortelGrande` LOL

WTTC

jeff
 

maggie3fan

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Jun 30, 2018
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PacificNorthWest
Hi Danny and welcome!

I think if you are rinsing, that's sufficient. If you really want to learn some cool stuff, can I suggest you grab a Red bull or coffee and cozy up with the care sheets here; https://www.tortoiseforum.org/forums/sulcata-tortoises.88/
It's pretty cool learning what we don't know...and it's amazing what we don't know, till we do!

Tort looks GREAT! but he won't be a "lini" very long......you'll be renaming him TortelGrande` LOL

WTTC

jeff
hahaha good one Jeff...TortelGrande`
 

Lyn W

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5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
22,527
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi and welcome,
It's generally advised that any store/garden centre bought plants are re potted (after washing the roots) in chemical free soil then left for at least a year before adding to enclosures so that any chemicals/fertilisers/pesticides that have been absorbed by the plant have a chance to grow out. So it's not something I would risk.
Do you have plenty of weeds still growing in your part of the world? They are free and as long as they are from fume free areas would be as good.
www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is based on UK plants but may include some from US too. It's a good starter guide to tort safe food
 

Ray--Opo

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
6,024
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
So far my main concern has been the diet. I have been purchasing flowers and plants from nurseries in order to feed variety as well as proper diet. I have already started feeding him the plants I have purchased this week and all I did was wash off the leaves and flowers with water so they are rinsed well. However I am still concerned since the plants are full of fertilizer in the soil from these places. Is it bad if plants that have fertilizer in the soil are eaten by the torts? Also, how long would it take for the fertilizer to be out of the plants system and be safe for tort consumption?! I also wonder if anyone has done this with their tortoise and it has been fine over the years, no known sickness from this practice. Please let me know as I plan to pause my plants/flower feeding until I know how long it takes for the plant to be safe.
Welcome, to You and Tortellini, you can get 3 or 4 small flower pots and buy some wheatgrass seeds. Plant the seeds in the pots in 3 or 4 day intervals. As it grows use scissors and cut 1/2 peices on top of the food.
 

Tortellini5

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Santa Monica, CA
Hi Danny and welcome!

I think if you are rinsing, that's sufficient. If you really want to learn some cool stuff, can I suggest you grab a Red bull or coffee and cozy up with the care sheets here; https://www.tortoiseforum.org/forums/sulcata-tortoises.88/
It's pretty cool learning what we don't know...and it's amazing what we don't know, till we do!

Tort looks GREAT! but he won't be a "lini" very long......you'll be renaming him TortelGrande` LOL

WTTC

jeff
Thank you I have been so worried about the purchased plants, either way I am starting to gather my seeds to see how my gardening skills go so I can control what goes into the plant/grass. Thanks for the material I have been searching forums and reading many of these forums some of which I have already encountered and the others I will get to reading today. Haha yes looking forward to his growth.
 

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Ray--Opo

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Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
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Messages
6,024
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
Thank you I have been so worried about the purchased plants, either way I am starting to gather my seeds to see how my gardening skills go so I can control what goes into the plant/grass. Thanks for the material I have been searching forums and reading many of these forums some of which I have already encountered and the others I will get to reading today. Haha yes looking forward to his growth.
Don't worry if Tortellini doesn't eat yard grass right away. It took Opo 2 years before he figured out grass was good.
 

Markw84

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Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
Thank you I have been so worried about the purchased plants, either way I am starting to gather my seeds to see how my gardening skills go so I can control what goes into the plant/grass. Thanks for the material I have been searching forums and reading many of these forums some of which I have already encountered and the others I will get to reading today. Haha yes looking forward to his growth.
Welcome to the forum. You have found in the forum the only place I would trust for the latest as best info on tortoise care. We can help you get everything the best possible for your tortoise if you wish.

I will start with suggesting you do read the care sheet on sulcatas. Your tortoise has just the beginning of pyramiding starting - suggesting conditions are too dry. Correcting that now is easy and will lead to a beautiful and healthy tortoise in the future.

As far as the store-bought plants. It is not fertilizer you need to be concerned about. It is systemic and foliar pesticides. That can be deadly for your tortoise. Most garden plants you buy have pesticides in them. That does take a long time to clear from a plant.

Also, could you possible add the city to the location in your account? It is very helpful in giving advice as so much with tortoises depends upon the climate in which they are being kept. California has almost every gardening zone within the state unlike almost anywhere else. San Diego is way different than Quincy, or San Fransisco!
 

Tortellini5

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Santa Monica, CA
Welcome to the forum. You have found in the forum the only place I would trust for the latest as best info on tortoise care. We can help you get everything the best possible for your tortoise if you wish.

I will start with suggesting you do read the care sheet on sulcatas. Your tortoise has just the beginning of pyramiding starting - suggesting conditions are too dry. Correcting that now is easy and will lead to a beautiful and healthy tortoise in the future.

As far as the store-bought plants. It is not fertilizer you need to be concerned about. It is systemic and foliar pesticides. That can be deadly for your tortoise. Most garden plants you buy have pesticides in them. That does take a long time to clear from a plant.

Also, could you possible add the city to the location in your account? It is very helpful in giving advice as so much with tortoises depends upon the climate in which they are being kept. California has almost every gardening zone within the state unlike almost anywhere else. San Diego is way different than Quincy, or San Fransisco!
Yes we are in the Santa Monica area, and yes I was not misting at first because I read online that was not needed. After finding this forum I have started to mist the habitat. Thank you for pointing that out as it was also a concern for that the habitat was not ideal for torti. I will correct and continue to monitor the temps and humidity in the enclosure as suggested by the care sheet guide. Can you point me to a good thermometer that reads each area? I so far only have 2 one under the heat lamp and another across from the heat lamp.
 

Tortellini5

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Santa Monica, CA
Don't worry if Tortellini doesn't eat yard grass right away. It took Opo 2 years before he figured out grass was good.
He does eat grass and I have done some grass clipping and clover clipping from a park nearby, I thought it was awesome that I can have grass ready to go, but then I thought about the fertiliZer or pesticides that may be in the park grasses, should we consider the parks safe ?? Or is the only grass we can rely on is our own plantings we know are grown organically?
 

Tortellini5

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Santa Monica, CA
Hi and welcome,
It's generally advised that any store/garden centre bought plants are re potted (after washing the roots) in chemical free soil then left for at least a year before adding to enclosures so that any chemicals/fertilisers/pesticides that have been absorbed by the plant have a chance to grow out. So it's not something I would risk.
Do you have plenty of weeds still growing in your part of the world? They are free and as long as they are from fume free areas would be as good.
www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is based on UK plants but may include some from US too. It's a good starter guide to tort safe food
I have reported some of the plants the others are I’m process, however I did not know to rinse off the previous soil and knock off the majority of that soil. I did scrub some of the sides to remove the soil and just loosen the roots and then I planted it with organic soil in a larger pot. If I reply my already repotted plants do you think there’s a risk of me overworking and killing the plants? If not I will report to ensure the fetilizer is removed and washed off. Thank you! Yes there is weeds around it’s just a matter of me starting to identify the safe ones around my area.
 

Tortellini5

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Santa Monica, CA
Welcome to the forum. You have found in the forum the only place I would trust for the latest as best info on tortoise care. We can help you get everything the best possible for your tortoise if you wish.

I will start with suggesting you do read the care sheet on sulcatas. Your tortoise has just the beginning of pyramiding starting - suggesting conditions are too dry. Correcting that now is easy and will lead to a beautiful and healthy tortoise in the future.

As far as the store-bought plants. It is not fertilizer you need to be concerned about. It is systemic and foliar pesticides. That can be deadly for your tortoise. Most garden plants you buy have pesticides in them. That does take a long time to clear from a plant.

Also, could you possible add the city to the location in your account? It is very helpful in giving advice as so much with tortoises depends upon the climate in which they are being kept. California has almost every gardening zone within the state unlike almost anywhere else. San Diego is way different than Quincy, or San Fransisco!
I’ve added the city to my profile now as well
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
22,527
Location (City and/or State)
UK
He does eat grass and I have done some grass clipping and clover clipping from a park nearby, I thought it was awesome that I can have grass ready to go, but then I thought about the fertiliZer or pesticides that may be in the park grasses, should we consider the parks safe ?? Or is the only grass we can rely on is our own plantings we know are grown organically?
The trouble with public places is that you don't know what the groundkeepers have used on the grass and plants, plus you also have the fact that other animals could be peeing and pooping everywhere and so you could be passing on pathogens that could be harmful to your tort. Best to grow your own or get from places where you know chemicals have not been used.
If you post a picture of your tort's enclosure and lamps you'll get good feedback and advice to make sure everything is as safe as possible for him.
 

Ray--Opo

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
6,024
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
Yes we are in the Santa Monica area, and yes I was not misting at first because I read online that was not needed. After finding this forum I have started to mist the habitat. Thank you for pointing that out as it was also a concern for that the habitat was not ideal for torti. I will correct and continue to monitor the temps and humidity in the enclosure as suggested by the care sheet guide. Can you point me to a good thermometer that reads each area? I so far only have 2 one under the heat lamp and another across from the heat lamp.
A infrared temp gun is really a must. I put off getting one and when I finally did. I found how useful it is. Just don't point at any eyes. Screenshot 20201118 094349 Chrome
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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57,228
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
So far my main concern has been the diet. I have been purchasing flowers and plants from nurseries in order to feed variety as well as proper diet. I have already started feeding him the plants I have purchased this week and all I did was wash off the leaves and flowers with water so they are rinsed well. However I am still concerned since the plants are full of fertilizer in the soil from these places. Is it bad if plants that have fertilizer in the soil are eaten by the torts? Also, how long would it take for the fertilizer to be out of the plants system and be safe for tort consumption?! I also wonder if anyone has done this with their tortoise and it has been fine over the years, no known sickness from this practice. Please let me know as I plan to pause my plants/flower feeding until I know how long it takes for the plant to be safe.
As Mark already pointed out, store bought plants are grown with systemic pesticides. This cannot be washed off and rinsing the roots does nothing. The pesticides are taken up in to the plant's tissues and can take a full year to dissipate. I would remove those immediately. As Lyn pointed out, grass that you did not sprout and grow yourself is also very likely laced with toxins. You are trying to feed the right foods, but you are getting them from the wrong sources. Grow your own from seed, or from cuttings off of long established plants.

Misting the enclosure does very little. You need to dump water into the substrate to dampen it. How much water and how often varies tremendously.

Just know that most of what you've read outside of this forum will be old wrong info, and following it will not result in a happy outcome.

Here is the care sheet you need:
 

Tortellini5

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2021
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Santa Monica, CA
Thank you Tom. I have stopped feeding those purchased plants but will maintain them to feed next year or so. I have started to grow and purchase my seeds for both grass, weeds, and flowers, and I am now starting to plant so I hope the planting goes well and I can await those plants for feeding. Also, thanks for pointing out that the substrate needs to be dampened with much more water than just misting. This information is new to me and going to be life changing to be able to rely on the humidity levels. Thank you so much for your feedback, all other feedback is welcome for my tortellini. I am currently putting together the new habitat and once that is set up I can share a foto and welcome more tips for my enclosure.
 
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