New yellow foot tortoise- have questions

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Destiny

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We bought a Yellow Foot tortoise last Friday. They say she is about 12 yrs old. She was with a male before and when we went to go buy her he was gone. We were going to buy them both. Now I feel bad because I think she is even more lonely at our house! We were going to keep her outside but its been cold here this past few weeks, so my husband built her a turtle table for now...

1. The water tub, we believe is too small she can fit in it but can't turn around in it. Does she need alot of room in her water tray?
2. I am waking her up to eat. After I wake her up she eats and then goes to the corner under the heat lamp and "suns" for a while. Is that okay or should I just leave her to fend for herself?
3. I have noticed her wiping her eyes. Is this normal after she eats to get food out of her eyes or is something wrong? She doesn't do it alot.
4. The pet store didn't mention anything about humidity but now after researching I leave the lamp on all day and have sprayed the peat moss/ cypress mulch substrate down a little too help.

I'm aready and willing to learn and do whatever it takes to make her happy and healthy please help!

Thanks,
Destiny
 

Stephanie Logan

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Hi Destiny,

Welcome to the forum! How cool that you got a Yellowfoot...they are not that common but their care is similar to that of their Redfoot cousins, I believe. Make sure you read through the "Redfoot and Yellowfoot Friends" section of the forum. :D

My Chaco tortoise's enclosure is about 6' x 2', and she is 6" SCL. How big is your girl? She also needs a large shallow water dish big enough for her to get into and soak when she feels the need, so maybe slightly bigger than the one you have. Plant pot saucers make great water dishes for tortoises! :p

You'll need a good heat lamp--I use a T Rex 100w bulb in a 10 inch fixture hanging from an adjustable stand (all ordered online from Petco). In addition, I have a 160w CHE in an 8" fixture on a Fluker's clamp lamp, and a 100w red bulb on another adjustable stand. These three provide enough heat to keep the enclosure between 75 and 85 degrees, with a basking spot of 100-110 degrees. I think Yellowfoots stay a bit cooler, but still need a warm side and cool side, each with a hide so she can conceal and cool herself when necessary. :)

For substrate I use a combination of cypress mulch, coco coir, and sphagnum peat moss. I wet this down once or twice a week till it holds together when a handful is squeezed, but does not drip.

Heat and humidity are imperative to keeping a tortoise healthy and active. Your girl's rubbing her eyes may be a sign of too-dry substrate. Good luck with your new addition! Is she your first tortoise? Does she have a name? ;)
 

Destiny

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Thank you so much for all of the information. Her name is Eleanor and yes she is my first tortoise. I know some of my questions may seem common sense to you guys so please be patient with me. So I should have 2 different water trays a smaller one for drinking and a large shallow one for bathing and soaking? Should i spray the inside of her hide? I only have hay in there, should I have substrate in there also? Thanks again
 

Redfoot NERD

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Keep in mind Destiny that what Stephanie described is for a South American tortoise that lives considerably south of the equator.. whereas yours lives virtually IN the AMAZON Rainforest. Much more humid and LESS lights. And no cool or warm sides. My experience with 'Northern" South American tortoises [ redfoots ] is they don't bask the way you image a water turtle does.. they spend very little time in the direct sun/light.

So your yellowfoot needs a warm humid dimly lit enclosure where she can move around at will. The "crying" eyes does mean the AMBIENT humidity is too low. I prefer cypress mulch alone as it DOES NOT retain water. A 'wet' substrate has been known to encourage "fungus" on the plastron of some tortoises.. it could be that "rainforest" tortoises are less prone(?).

The less you handle her the better. I would say that a 12 yr. old Yellowfoot would be at least 12" long if not bigger.

This will demonstrate the temps and humidity for you - http://www.wunderground.com/global/Region/SA/2xTemperature.html

Locate here -

south_america_map.jpg


Terry K
 

Jacqui

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Yellows are such sweet tortoises, I look back fondly at the time we had ours, which was one of our first tortoise (other then the Bells Hingebacks). Started off being called Bonnie (as it was my Easter gift to myself...Easter Bonnet was her full name) and then when we realize she was a he, it became Bonner. :D I hope you have many wonderful experiences with yours too.

Just to clear things up...you said you leave the heat lamp on all day....does that mean your using a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) or a red bulb or a UV bulb? Or may be a combo of them?

Are the eyes running (crying look) or just she rubs them and only rubs them once she is done eating?

Jacqui
 

Destiny

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Jacqui said:
Yellows are such sweet tortoises, I look back fondly at the time we had ours, which was one of our first tortoise (other then the Bells Hingebacks). Started off being called Bonnie (as it was my Easter gift to myself...Easter Bonnet was her full name) and then when we realize she was a he, it became Bonner. :D I hope you have many wonderful experiences with yours too.

Just to clear things up...you said you leave the heat lamp on all day....does that mean your using a CHE (ceramic heat emitter) or a red bulb or a UV bulb? Or may be a combo of them?

Are the eyes running (crying look) or just she rubs them and only rubs them once she is done eating?

Jacqui


It is a 160 W Exo-Terra Solar Glo the kind that has the clamp on it.

And at first she had runny eyes but now she doesn't. She ate Sunday and Monday but seh didn't eat today so I didn't see if she rubbed her eyes or not today. I didn't get to observe her alot today though, I was at work all day.
 

Yvonne G

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I think you have too much light. Try putting more "things" in the enclosure to cause it to be more shady. You can either use artificial or real plants. Her eyes might have been watering that day because there was too much light.

Take the hay out of the hide and substitute it with moist sphagnum moss. The hay is for dry or desert-type tortoises. Yours is a rain forest tortoise and needs a damper habitat.
 

Destiny

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emysemys said:
I think you have too much light. Try putting more "things" in the enclosure to cause it to be more shady. You can either use artificial or real plants. Her eyes might have been watering that day because there was too much light.

Take the hay out of the hide and substitute it with moist sphagnum moss. The hay is for dry or desert-type tortoises. Yours is a rain forest tortoise and needs a damper habitat.


Okay I put peat moss now I know I need sphagnum peat moss. I just had the dirt. I will get that tomorrow.

But I was wondering what kind of plants I could put in to help with the shade? I know they like dandilion and other flowers but do you put those IN with them so they can munch or do you put flowers and plants they DON'T eat in with them?
 
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