New Tortoise mama! Info Please

Sheldon24

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2024
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Fairfield,ohio
Hello! I just found this forum and I am looking for advice!
I just adopted my first tortoise for my son. My tortoise is six months old and is a Red Footed tortoise!
We brought him home almost exactly a week ago. He ate very well that first day. However, he is moving less and less and isn’t eating now. We are trying to keep the temp at 80 and humidity at 75. I am giving him several soaks a day. After his soaks he seems to perk up and then he slows back down again and still doesn’t eat. I have tried kale, mixed greens, pellets soaked in water, yellow squash and strawberries. I feel like I’m doing something wrong. I thought maybe it’s because he’s in a new place and new terrarium. Any advice is great! We love this little tortoise and want him to strive!
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Aug 21, 2023
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Cyprus
Hello and welcome!

Here is the care sheet for redfooted tortoises to self-check if anything is good: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-tortoise-care-sheet.175319/

While change is certainly stressful foe tortoises, I guess your issue right now are too low temperatures. For a redfooted you need a relatively narrow temperature gradient - 80 to 86F, optimally 82-84F. Humidity should be 80-90%.

Please, post information about it's enclosure (substrate, size, heat and lightning) and some photos. Will try to help with more precise advise.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2023
Messages
1,340
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hello! I just found this forum and I am looking for advice!
I just adopted my first tortoise for my son. My tortoise is six months old and is a Red Footed tortoise!
We brought him home almost exactly a week ago. He ate very well that first day. However, he is moving less and less and isn’t eating now. We are trying to keep the temp at 80 and humidity at 75. I am giving him several soaks a day. After his soaks he seems to perk up and then he slows back down again and still doesn’t eat. I have tried kale, mixed greens, pellets soaked in water, yellow squash and strawberries. I feel like I’m doing something wrong. I thought maybe it’s because he’s in a new place and new terrarium. Any advice is great! We love this little tortoise and want him to strive!
Hello and welcome to the forum!🙂
The overall ambient temperature can range from 80-86f 24/7, it might be worth upping the temps just a few degrees if they’re becoming inactive, warmer is better for babies anyway. Humidity could do with being 80-85% 24/7, this will be a constant battle if your enclosure is an open top, may we get a picture of your set up? It’s so helpful for us when advising!🙂
What substrate are you using?
What lights are you using specifically?
And what is your uv situation?

One soak a day is usually enough for babies, provide them with a large enough shallow terracotta saucer they can self soak in too, sitting flush with the substrate.

Also what size enclosure do you have?
Try and answer our questions, then we can go over some things you can try diet wise😊
 

Sheldon24

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2024
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Fairfield,ohio
Hello and welcome!

Here is the care sheet for redfooted tortoises to self-check if anything is good: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-tortoise-care-sheet.175319/

While change is certainly stressful foe tortoises, I guess your issue right now are too low temperatures. For a redfooted you need a relatively narrow temperature gradient - 80 to 86F, optimally 82-84F. Humidity should be 80-90%.

Please, post information about it's enclosure (substrate, size, heat and lightning) and some photos. Will try to help with more precise advise.
Thank you! I will attach a photo the moment I get home! Right now we are using paper towels for the substrate because the exotic store we got the tortoise from said to use it because the tortoise will aspirate. Which I’m finding that’s false info. She also gave us the tank and the lighting which we already had to switch out because it was junk and I’m now realizing the bowls she gave us are way too high for him to climb into so I put his food straight in the bottom of the tank so he could reach it. I am getting new bowls today. The tank is a 20 gallon. We are also going to put mister attached to the tank to help with humidity. Im not sure what the lights are off the top of my head but I have the box at home and will post that photo here soon as well! Again thank you so much! Clearly this shop gave us all wrong info.
 

Sheldon24

New Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2024
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Fairfield,ohio
Hello and welcome to the forum!🙂
The overall ambient temperature can range from 80-86f 24/7, it might be worth upping the temps just a few degrees if they’re becoming inactive, warmer is better for babies anyway. Humidity could do with being 80-85% 24/7, this will be a constant battle if your enclosure is an open top, may we get a picture of your set up? It’s so helpful for us when advising!🙂
What substrate are you using?
What lights are you using specifically?
And what is your uv situation?

One soak a day is usually enough for babies, provide them with a large enough shallow terracotta saucer they can self soak in too, sitting flush with the substrate.

Also what size enclosure do you have?
Try and answer our questions, then we can go over some things you can try diet wise😊
Thank you! I will attach a photo the moment I get home! Right now we are using paper towels for the substrate because the exotic store we got the tortoise from said to use it because the tortoise will aspirate. Which I’m finding that’s false info. She also gave us the tank and the lighting which we already had to switch out because it was junk and I’m now realizing the bowls she gave us are way too high for him to climb into so I put his food straight in the bottom of the tank so he could reach it. I am getting new bowls today. The tank is a 20 gallon. We are also going to put mister attached to the tank to help with humidity. Im not sure what the lights are off the top of my head but I have the box at home and will post that photo here soon as well! Again thank you so much! Clearly this shop gave us all wrong info.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2023
Messages
1,340
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Thank you! I will attach a photo the moment I get home! Right now we are using paper towels for the substrate because the exotic store we got the tortoise from said to use it because the tortoise will aspirate. Which I’m finding that’s false info. She also gave us the tank and the lighting which we already had to switch out because it was junk and I’m now realizing the bowls she gave us are way too high for him to climb into so I put his food straight in the bottom of the tank so he could reach it. I am getting new bowls today. The tank is a 20 gallon. We are also going to put mister attached to the tank to help with humidity. Im not sure what the lights are off the top of my head but I have the box at home and will post that photo here soon as well! Again thank you so much! Clearly this shop gave us all wrong info.
Bowl wise, for a water dish get yourself a shallow terracotta saucer! It’s considered the safest, especially for babies, most water bowls you’ll find in store are a drowning hazard, they have no grip, in the event the tortoise accidentally flips themselves it’s difficult for them to flip back, sit it flush with the substrate.

Yeah that tank definitely isn’t big enough. Hang tight and I can show you a cost effective way to get an adequate set up for your baby before they try selling you anything else that’ll be useless to you.

You're going to need a closed chamber set up to maintain your humidity, I wouldn’t recommend a mister, it can cause respiratory issues. To maintain humidity you want to be aiming to keep the under layer of your substrate nice and damp and the top layer dry to avoid a fungal infection(shell rot)
To stop the top layer getting a little too dry and dusty, mix the substrate now n then. Simply pour luke warm water into the corners, not loads but enough to dampen that bottom layer, in a proper closed chamber set up you shouldn’t need to keep misting, it’s better to do the pours.

The type of uv you will be needing is a t5 12% strip bulb, I recommend the Arica brand, it comes with a built in reflector fitting. It’ll need to be on a 4hr timer from noon. It’ll need to be about 18-21 inches from substrate.

For heating/light, you can either go with a incandescent floodlight(though red foots aren’t really a basking species, they come from the forest floor, some do bask though, depends on the individual)backed with a che(ceramic heat emitter) for ambient night heat, the heat should never be going below 80, 80-86 ambient range is good for a red foot, 82-84 is optimal. The che will need to be on a thermostat and the floodlight a 12hr timer.
You could also go this route, which I personally find simpler and you know your temps are consistent, just have che for heat(running 24/7)on the thermostat and leds for ambient lighting, either a screw in led, 5000-6500k colour range, or a led strip light. The led will need to be on a 12hr timer.
be sure to create lots of shady areas with safe live plants and hides! They’re forest floor dwellers and don’t like things too bright.

Please post any products before you buy if you can, I’d hate for you to waste money🙏🏻
 

wellington

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Use coconut coir on the bottom dampened with fine grade orchid bark or fir bark on top. This gives the humidity needed while preventing shell rot that RF are prone to
A 20 gallon is pretty small so plan on something bigger in at least a year or sooner depending on how big he actually is now.
No misters or foggers. Just get the tank covered, with all lights and heat being inside the cover. A pop up portable greenhouse works good and are not expensive. Look for something like in the pic.
1000001352.png
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Dec 28, 2023
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
UK
Use coconut coir on the bottom dampened with fine grade orchid bark or fir bark on top. This gives the humidity needed while preventing shell rot that RF are prone to
A 20 gallon is pretty small so plan on something bigger in at least a year or sooner depending on how big he actually is now.
No misters or foggers. Just get the tank covered, with all lights and heat being inside the cover. A pop up portable greenhouse works good and are not expensive. Look for something like in the pic.
View attachment 372064
Yep expanding on the set up wellington is on about here(a really good stater set up for a red foot!) just simply either build some sort of base, or, take the shelves out a bookcase, lie flat and line, or even a lined flower bed base! Then secure the greenhouse frame on top, you can even hang your lights on the frame! Wrap the wires round so they’re the height you need them at(18-21inches for the uv and check with heat gun for the right height of your heat bulbs)then wrap cable ties around the wire to secure in place🙂
If you can’t find the perfect fit greenhouse for your base, simply place it over like the one with the white base in the photo, but I’d put some liner under the base and cover to stop condensate getting on your floor.
If you need to stick with the tank for a little bit, perhaps you could fashion something like in the third photo(doesn’t have to be that roof shape)and hang your lights from that frame.

Ignore whatever else is in these exclosures pictured, they’re just photo examples of a greenhouse set ups to give you a better idea👍🏻
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Jan 9, 2010
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64,080
Location (City and/or State)
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Hello! I just found this forum and I am looking for advice!
I just adopted my first tortoise for my son. My tortoise is six months old and is a Red Footed tortoise!
What size is the tortoise? How long is it and how much does it weigh in grams? I wonder if they were honest with you about the age. 20 gallons is too small even for a tiny hatchling.
 

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