New Red Footed Tortoise

Neris

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Joined
Dec 15, 2017
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23
Location (City and/or State)
Calgary
Hello all. We just got a little red footed tortoise a month ago. I’ve been reading a lot on how to care for them, and I want to share what we’ve done so far and ask a couple of questions. First of all, we live in Calgary, Canada so she (not sure if is a she or he) is indoors. We got a glass enclosure and sime wood chips for the substrate (recommended by the reptile specialist in the pet store) of which I’m not so sure is the right one for her. We have a heat mat that is on 24/7 in the middle of the enclosure, a shallow water dish big enough for her to go in and a smaller food dish, also shallow. These are in the oposite side of her “cave”. We have a UV lamp and a heat lamp that are on around 12 hrs and a night heat lamp. Daytime temps are around 30C and night temp is around 20C. Humidity is between 70 and 90%, we get this spraying the substrate with water a few times early in the morning, in the late afternoon when we get home from work and at night before going to bed. We feed her forest tortoise food mixed with romaine, and twice a week we give her a stawberry. We also sprinkle her food with multivitamin twice a week. We soak her every other day. So my quiestions are: is the habitat good for her? Today she started eating the substrate wich worries me because I think the wood may perforate her stomach/intestines? Also after reading and reading last night I realized she may have pyramiding, and we got her like that from the pet store. Is this reversible? I don’t know how old she is, from the pet store she is supposed to be around 5 months old. She measures around 3 inches from heat to tail (the shell). Any advice would be great! I’m attaching some pictures of the enclosure, substrate, water and food dishes
 

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Cheryl Hills

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Sure is cute. I don’t have red foots but from what I have read, that water dish is a flip hazard. We use a shallow Teracota saucer from the plant section. It is only about an inch deep. Sink it in the substrate to the lip. Good luck.
 

wellington

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Sure is cute. I don’t have red foots but from what I have read, that water dish is a flip hazard. We use a shallow Teracota saucer from the plant section. It is only about an inch deep. Sink it in the substrate to the lip. Good luck.
Those types of dishes is not a flip hazard, it's the kind with the ramp.
 

wellington

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The water dish is not a flip hazard but should be placed further into the substrate so the top of it is level with the substrate.
S/he is pyramided quite a bit but expected coming from a pet store, they don't know much about tortoises and also don't keep them properly.
You can't reverse it but you can stop it by keeping humidity up at 80%.
The diet needs improving, with a bunch more stuff added and RF needs protein, I'm not sure how often, I will alert someone to help further.
The enclosure is okay for maybe a few more months but then needs to be much bigger.
@allegraf can help you.
 

Neris

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Calgary
The water dish is not a flip hazard but should be placed further into the substrate so the top of it is level with the substrate.
S/he is pyramided quite a bit but expected coming from a pet store, they don't know much about tortoises and also don't keep them properly.
You can't reverse it but you can stop it by keeping humidity up at 80%.
The diet needs improving, with a bunch more stuff added and RF needs protein, I'm not sure how often, I will alert someone to help further.
The enclosure is okay for maybe a few more months but then needs to be much bigger.
@allegraf can help you.
Thanks for the advice. We’ve been buring both dishes so they’re at the substrate level now, the pictures are from when we got her/him. What type of protein should we feed and how often? Here is a picture of the food and vitamins. He/she has beeb very very quiet today. She usually gets out of the cave when we’re around and she hasn’t today
 

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Alaskamike

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I no longer keep redfoots , but when I had a young one , about once a week I would crush up a boiled egg , shell & all. She ❤️ it.
 

Neris

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I no longer keep redfoots , but when I had a young one , about once a week I would crush up a boiled egg , shell & all. She ❤️ it.
Thanks. I will try that. I tried with just the crushed shell once but she didn’t like it
 

Sticky Feets

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I'm new to tortoise keeping myself but very familiar with reptile vitamins. You should get some calcium powder, one with D3 and one without. Then alternate between the two calciums and the herptivite each day. Don't wanna mix herptivite with calcium cuz it throws the balance of calcium to phosphorus off. I suggested two types of calcium because even with the UV bulb, depending on where it's placed, how much UVB it's giving off, quality will always be lower than natural sunlight. I take my tort out to sun a few times a week but still supplement with D3 once a week to make sure it gets enough since it's only 4 months old and still growing. But since it IS also getting UVB, you don't want to overdose on D3, so that's when the calcium without D3 comes in.

The same brand that makes the herptivite also makes a good calcium with D3. I get my pure calcium from zoomed
 

Yvonne G

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Those types of dishes is not a flip hazard, it's the kind with the ramp.
Actually, any of those lizard bowl are flip hazards. It's the straight up and down sides that causes the baby to over balance and end up on his back in the water.
 

Neris

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I'm new to tortoise keeping myself but very familiar with reptile vitamins. You should get some calcium powder, one with D3 and one without. Then alternate between the two calciums and the herptivite each day. Don't wanna mix herptivite with calcium cuz it throws the balance of calcium to phosphorus off. I suggested two types of calcium because even with the UV bulb, depending on where it's placed, how much UVB it's giving off, quality will always be lower than natural sunlight. I take my tort out to sun a few times a week but still supplement with D3 once a week to make sure it gets enough since it's only 4 months old and still growing. But since it IS also getting UVB, you don't want to overdose on D3, so that's when the calcium without D3 comes in.

The same brand that makes the herptivite also makes a good calcium with D3. I get my pure calcium from zoomed
I'm new to tortoise keeping myself but very familiar with reptile vitamins. You should get some calcium powder, one with D3 and one without. Then alternate between the two calciums and the herptivite each day. Don't wanna mix herptivite with calcium cuz it throws the balance of calcium to phosphorus off. I suggested two types of calcium because even with the UV bulb, depending on where it's placed, how much UVB it's giving off, quality will always be lower than natural sunlight. I take my tort out to sun a few times a week but still supplement with D3 once a week to make sure it gets enough since it's only 4 months old and still growing. But since it IS also getting UVB, you don't want to overdose on D3, so that's when the calcium without D3 comes in.

The same brand that makes the herptivite also makes a good calcium with D3. I get my pure calcium from zoomed

Thanks!
So I need to alternate the multivitamin, calcium and calcium + D3, correct? I just want to make sure I understand what is needed
 

wellington

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Actually, any of those lizard bowl are flip hazards. It's the straight up and down sides that causes the baby to over balance and end up on his back in the water.
Those lips on the smaller ones are not very high. Yes straight, but so short, I would be shocked if a baby could flip on its back by the lip of the smaller ones. Not even sure I have seen a large one with a big lip. The clay saucers are much higher. No, most are not straight, but much higher.
I also have never read that they were flip hazards. Only the ramped ones.
 

Sticky Feets

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Yup Neris!!! That's how I do my reptiles. Just alternate. Don't really have to keep a set schedule but as long as you swap out what you sprinkle it's enough variety for a good balance. An easier way would be to just make sure they get at least 2 different supplements per week. Sometimes I just stick to herptivite for 2-3 days before switching. Good luck!
 

Anyfoot

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Hello all. We just got a little red footed tortoise a month ago. I’ve been reading a lot on how to care for them, and I want to share what we’ve done so far and ask a couple of questions. First of all, we live in Calgary, Canada so she (not sure if is a she or he) is indoors. We got a glass enclosure and sime wood chips for the substrate (recommended by the reptile specialist in the pet store) of which I’m not so sure is the right one for her. We have a heat mat that is on 24/7 in the middle of the enclosure, a shallow water dish big enough for her to go in and a smaller food dish, also shallow. These are in the oposite side of her “cave”. We have a UV lamp and a heat lamp that are on around 12 hrs and a night heat lamp. Daytime temps are around 30C and night temp is around 20C. Humidity is between 70 and 90%, we get this spraying the substrate with water a few times early in the morning, in the late afternoon when we get home from work and at night before going to bed. We feed her forest tortoise food mixed with romaine, and twice a week we give her a stawberry. We also sprinkle her food with multivitamin twice a week. We soak her every other day. So my quiestions are: is the habitat good for her? Today she started eating the substrate wich worries me because I think the wood may perforate her stomach/intestines? Also after reading and reading last night I realized she may have pyramiding, and we got her like that from the pet store. Is this reversible? I don’t know how old she is, from the pet store she is supposed to be around 5 months old. She measures around 3 inches from heat to tail (the shell). Any advice would be great! I’m attaching some pictures of the enclosure, substrate, water and food dishes
Hi Neris

Tank is ok.
Substrate looks like Cyprus mulch which is ok.
Put some moist spagnhum moss in the hide for a super humid hide.
Aim for 27/30deg throughout the enclosure.
Humidity of 80/90%.
Feed weed and greens every day with a piece of mushroom or fruit the size of your torts head. Sprinkle calcium/D3 2 or 3 times a week.
Use a uvb 5.0 strip light set to one end over the feeding area, on for 12/14hrs a day.
Use a CHE for heat so you don't get any hot drying spots that will continue the pyramiding
I don't bother with night time lows.

You can't correct existing pyramiding. But if you try hard enough you can pull new growth back to being smooth. Personally I would soak this tort every day for 20mins until you see new growth levelling off. I would also spray its carapace at night and make sure moss is covering the carapace. I bit of attention and you'll not see that pyramiding when it's bigger.

Good luck
 

Sticky Feets

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You can't correct existing pyramiding. But if you try hard enough you can pull new growth back to being smooth. Personally I would soak this tort every day for 20mins until you see new growth levelling off. I would also spray its carapace at night and make sure moss is covering the carapace. I bit of attention and you'll not see that pyramiding when it's bigger.

I know this is a completely diff species from my tort but leopardtortoises.com has a really good article with photos proving that pyramiding caught this young can look almost nonexistent with future growth. Your baby is little and has a ton of growth still to be able to round himself out.
 

Robrocphilly

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This is for bee 62, Thank you for all your help I finally found the page for all my people I’m trying to figure out how I can post something hopefully this is it
 

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