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New owner here

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by Butrbean, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Butrbean

    Butrbean New Member

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    Ok not quite an owner but I am getting ready to purchase. I have a “tortoise box” with the bottom and sides lines with a vinyl material and I will put repriearth and some soil to mix and keep humidity high. I have a long UVB light that will go most of the length of the screen top. I also have a CHE for heat

    Here is a question. I have owned snakes and lizards in the past which don’t require heat 24/7. Should I put both heat and UVB on a 12 hr on/off timer or is the hot basking light needed 24/7. I assumed if the temps didn’t drop below 70’s it would be ok
  2. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! All of the answers depend on the type of tortoise you are getting and the age of the tortoise.
    Ray--Opo likes this.
  3. Butrbean

    Butrbean New Member

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    Sulcata. Sorry
  4. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/

    Please read this link.

    If it is a hatchling, you will need a closed chamber (no screen top) to keep the heat and humidity (80-100%) in the enclosure. The temp cannot drop below 80 at all times. You’ll need a basking spot 95-100 degrees.

    Everything you need to know is in that link.

    This is what we built. You will eventually need an 8x4 inside enclosure so you can either start that big but put up a wall to limit the amount of space or start small and keep having to build bigger and bigger ($$$$). AP cages make great ones you can buy.

    Attached Files:

    Ray--Opo and Tom like this.
  5. Butrbean

    Butrbean New Member

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    Why 8x4. My buddy has a 3ur old sulcata in Phoenix and his has been outside 24/7 for the last year.


    Yea I used to by AP cages for a Burmese python I owned
  6. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    It’s the recommended size for them before they are big enough to live outside 24/7. Usually when they are 10-12 inches, they can live outside with a heated night box. It’s all in the linked information. They need the space for exercise as they grow.
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  7. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    It’s only until they are large enough to live outside 24/7. My 14 yo does not come inside at all but my 2yo still comes inside on many nights. She is about 10” but I’m waiting until it warms up more before getting rid of her inside enclosure.
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  8. Butrbean

    Butrbean New Member

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    It’s amazing how any search engine as well as Pinterest not one single indoor sulcata enclosure has a closed lid. They are all open with hanging lights and heat
  9. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    Ray--Opo and SuIcata like this.
  10. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    That's because the Forum is up on the cutting edge practices for keeping tortoises. We have members who have done experiments and have been in contact with experts in Africa, and are posting the most up to date, current information on keeping tortoises. Ask any of those folks who tout an open topped tortoise table what the geography and weather is like where the baby sulcatas hatch in the wild. I'll bet you won't get the correct answer. Tomas Diagne has the African Chelonian Institute and has studied sulcatas in their native environment. He has educated us on the fact that babies hatch out in the monsoon season. The earth is wet and there is plenty of greenery growing, The air is hot and humid. In order for us to mimic the wet, hot humid environment we advise using a closed enclosure.
    Viola B, Ray--Opo, Chasen and 7 others like this.
  11. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    This is because we were all taught and all learned the wrong info 30 years ago. This info was based on incorrect assumptions of how they live in the wild. Many of us knew something wasn't right, but it took two decades and a whole lot of experimentation, and trial and error to figure out what was wrong and what was right. Some people now know the right way to do it, and why, but most tortoises keepers, vets, breeders, and "experts" still cling to the old wrong ways. I'm told that on some of the FB groups if you even mention this stuff, you get banned.

    Tricia explained it very well, but here is all the info in one place:
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
  12. Chasen

    Chasen Active Member

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    IMHO this forum is the bible for tort keepers. Follow the advice given by the folks on here who have the experience and knowledge to keep your little one happy and healthy and you can't go wrong. Keep an open mind to these husbandry practices that don't seem to be mainstream. I too used to subscribe to the old ways until I purchased a Leopard hatchling at an expo that hadn't been started correctly by the breeder, nor maintained properly by the shop selling it. I brought it home and kept it in a dry enclosure with only a humid hide. It struggled and I thought it wouldn't make it. Then I stumbled upon this forum. I followed the advice given and now he's thriving. When one has the choice between old husbandry and new practices (proven to maintain health and wellness), why not do it?
    Viola B, Ray--Opo, Quixx66 and 3 others like this.
  13. Butrbean

    Butrbean New Member

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    Oh I will. I was just trying to find a decent concept but all I see are open cages. Maybe they are older and don’t require that much humidity
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  14. Chasen

    Chasen Active Member

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    Fantastic! I haven't gone thru all pics on here, but I'm going to guess that the only open top enclosure posts you see on this forum would be either adult torts that no longer require enclosed chambers, or people such as yourself seeking advice on their setups. Or are you referring to other sites?
  15. Butrbean

    Butrbean New Member

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    I’m jusr kind of looking everywhere I can for ideas.
  16. Ray--Opo

    Ray--Opo Well-Known Member Platinum Supporter

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    20180609_174921.jpg 20180307_122559.jpg 20180307_122645.jpg
    This is what I ended up with because I bought the tub after watching a YouTube video. I have added thermostats and timers since then. I also put a furniture dolly under it to roll around when needed. I also put a cam inside to keep a eye on Opo from my phone.
    I had to make due with the tub. But everything else I learned from suggestions from here. I wish I had found this site before I bought the tub or the tort.
    But my Opo's cool so I am glad I bought the little rascal. You will find good ideas and save money from the suggestions you get here.
  17. Unkapunka

    Unkapunka New Member

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  18. Unkapunka

    Unkapunka New Member

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    I'm a new member however i have gone to this forum many times. They have the answers you need.
    Ray--Opo likes this.
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