New Owner's of Sulcatas

Saiki&Guinee

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Lauderdale Lakes, FL
Hello everyone! My name is Ginette and my daughter is Ava (9) are new owners off 2 sulcata tortoises. They both just turned 7 months old Saiki is our big guy, and Princess Guinevere (Guinee for short) is our smaller tort. They are both very active and definitely have their own little personalities; never a dull moment! I'm so glad we found you guys. My daughter will be on here as well, learning what she needs to know about her forever friends to keep them healthy and happy.
 

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wellington

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Welcome. The first thing you need to do is get them separated. Tortoises should not be kept in pairs. This most likely is why one is smaller, it's being bullied.
They also were not raised properly so they have pyramided. Get them in a closed chamber with 80% humidity so you can get the pyramiding to stop.
Also I would change out the coir mat for either loose coconut coir or orchid bark.
Tell us more about their enclosure size, temps-day, night, basking, diet, soaking?
 

Warren

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I'm not an expert, but my opinion is that the Tortoises look older than 7 months. Your Tortoise should be kept separate and both are showing signs of pyramiding, they need to be in a controlled closed enclosure to help with temperature and humidity.
 

Saiki&Guinee

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We just got them a month ago. One was always bigger than the upon purchase. I put them close to get a quick pic or else they're always in opposite directions getting into something lol. Thanks for the advice about pyramiding, this is all new my forte is with aquatic turtles but Ava wanted tortoises 😃.

As for humidity in the enclosure (currently glass tank) it's about 60% but I spray often to get it higher. I'm looking into getting a different enclosure or maybe having my husband build us one as I'm not a fan of the tank. Temperature is usually around 90-95. Heat lamp on at night temp 80.

So many different advice on substrate couldn't figure out which was best, I'll be switching immediately.
 

Warren

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There is a link to help with the correct information for your Sucata's. I'm sure someone that has the link for that information will make it available. Sorry I'm not a computer person.
 

wellington

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The tank is not big enough for one let alone two. They each need their own enclosure. I can just about 100% guarantee there is bullying going on as sulcatas are one of the worst species to keep as a pair. We don't just guess at this stuff. Its proven many times over.
Please learn the right way which you can find in this forum and from the help we give.
 

Tom

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Hello everyone! My name is Ginette and my daughter is Ava (9) are new owners off 2 sulcata tortoises. They both just turned 7 months old Saiki is our big guy, and Princess Guinevere (Guinee for short) is our smaller tort. They are both very active and definitely have their own little personalities; never a dull moment! I'm so glad we found you guys. My daughter will be on here as well, learning what she needs to know about her forever friends to keep them healthy and happy.
Hello and welcome! Most of the care info given for this species online and in pet stores is all wrong. Here is the correct care info and your questions are welcome:
 

Saiki&Guinee

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Lauderdale Lakes, FL
UVB Zoo Med 10.0 Reptisun
Infrared heat emitter 150W
Mercury vapor bulb UVA/UVB 100W - basking area temp 90-95
Hello and welcome! Most of the care info given for this species online and in pet stores is all wrong. Here is the correct care info and your questions are welcome:
Thanks Tom! Any idea on how I can print out your care sheet?
 

Saiki&Guinee

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Thanks you guys. I can only go buy the info the breeder told me as far as age. One is 10.2oz and the other is 8oz. I was not expecting to have to get separate enclosures, but if that's what's necessary then it must be done. I wish I'd known more about having them in pairs...with all the info the breeder gave me somehow he forgot to tell me anything about bullying and how 2 is a no-no but 3 might be bliss lol. I guess he figured I'd say "just one please" 😃 😀.

Thank goodness for Amazon...Coco coir will be here in the morning. Now to get back on there and purchase items for a whole new set-up whyyyyyy. They're so cute though, so I guess it's worth it!
 

Saiki&Guinee

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This is the one I purchased, is it okay?

Check this out on Amazon
Compressed Coco Coir, 5 Pack Organic Coconut Coir, 1.4 Lb Coco Coir Brick, Coconut Soil with Low EC & pH Balance, Coco Fiber for Herbs & Flowers, High Expansion, Renewable Coconut Soil for Planting https://a.co/d/ae0Wxec
 

Tom

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UVB Zoo Med 10.0 Reptisun
Infrared heat emitter 150W
Mercury vapor bulb UVA/UVB 100W - basking area temp 90-95

Thanks Tom! Any idea on how I can print out your care sheet?
What type of 10.0 Reptisun? What type of bulb? They make several that are called Reptisun. T8 tubes, T5 HO tubes, cfl, LED...

Are you talking about a Ceramic heat emitter that emits no light, or are you talking about an infrared incandescent light bulb?

Mercury vapor bulbs should not be used for a variety of reasons, one of which being they cause pyramiding.

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.
This is the one I purchased, is it okay?

Check this out on Amazon
Compressed Coco Coir, 5 Pack Organic Coconut Coir, 1.4 Lb Coco Coir Brick, Coconut Soil with Low EC & pH Balance, Coco Fiber for Herbs & Flowers, High Expansion, Renewable Coconut Soil for Planting https://a.co/d/ae0Wxec
That looks oaky, but coco coir is too messy. Fine grade orchid bark works much better.
 
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