Coconikki

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Here is my enclosure. Just verifying what light strength, size, brand for UVB I should be using??
I am currently using Arcadia ProT5 UVB 14% 24 inch
I have slight Pyramiding.
Humidity is at 70%
My tortoise is a year old 408 grams.
**currently residing in South Dakota relocating to North Carolina this summer so he/she will have outdoor enclosure most of the year**
 

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wellington

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He has more than slight pyramiding but does have some smooth growth. Get humidity up to 80% and do not use any mercury or halogen bulbs or any of the coil type.
The Arcadia you have should be good.
Has he been in that enclosure since a hatchling or did you just get him?
 

Coconikki

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I have had him in this enclosure since last May.
The UVB is the Arcadia 24 inch I use…
Which basking light should I use then?
I am currently using a Fleukers for basking and a radiant heat panel for night.
 

wellington

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Get a incandescent flood bulb for basking. The mercury and halogen are too intense and cause pyramiding even with high humidity.
 

Tom

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Here is my enclosure. Just verifying what light strength, size, brand for UVB I should be using??
I am currently using Arcadia ProT5 UVB 14% 24 inch
I have slight Pyramiding.
Humidity is at 70%
My tortoise is a year old 408 grams.
**currently residing in South Dakota relocating to North Carolina this summer so he/she will have outdoor enclosure most of the year**
That level of pyramiding is surprising if the tortoise has been in there sine May. How much has the tortoise grown in that time? Where in the enclosure is the humidity 70%?

What type of bulb is the Flukers bulb? Spot? What is the temperature under it? Have you laid a digital thermometer on its back under the lamp and let it cook for an hour?
 

Coconikki

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I've never seen a CRITTER CONDO before.
It's much more appropriate to baby tortoises than those open topped wastes of cash.
I like it.
Do they have larger sizes?

That level of pyramiding is surprising if the tortoise has been in there sine May. How much has the tortoise grown in that time? Where in the enclosure is the humidity 70%?

What type of bulb is the Flukers bulb? Spot? What is the temperature under it? Have you laid a digital thermometer on its back under the lamp and let it cook for an hour?
That level of pyramiding is surprising if the tortoise has been in there sine May. How much has the tortoise grown in that time? Where in the enclosure is the humidity 70%?

What type of bulb is the Flukers bulb? Spot? What is the temperature under it? Have you laid a digital thermometer on its back under the lamp and let it cook for an hour?

That level of pyramiding is surprising if the tortoise has been in there sine May. How much has the tortoise grown in that time? Where in the enclosure is the humidity 70%?

What type of bulb is the Flukers bulb? Spot? What is the temperature under it? Have you laid a digital thermometer on its back under the lamp and let it cook for an hour?
I got the tortoise May,19th at 69 grams. As of Feb 29th he now weighs 406 grams (Thursdays are weekly weigh days).
Daily soaks with daily poops.
It is a closed enclosure (pictured) so the entire enclosure is in the 70s...dips to 50/60 in winter so I spray it down to bring it up.
substrate is coco coir with a top layer of repti bark.
I use a 75-watt Flukers Incandescent bulb.
I use a Nubee infared thermometer under the bulb and it reads 93.
I feed Organic green leaf lettuce and Organic red leaf daily with alternating Optied 52, other dried variety of dandelion, nettle, moringa, hibiscus....
I don't know what I am doing wrong?!
 

Sarah2020

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Above reads well but the pyramiding is certainly happening and root cause needs to be understood and resolved. My set up is similar to yours with same UVB and humidity and no pyramids. Heat lamp style, duration and heat should be checked. I have a ceramic bulb with a thermostat to control the temp. Or the bulb is too low to the tort. Check distance. Added pics to help but I am in UK. Hope you get it resolved.
On a different note suggest adding some low rocks to the enclosure.
 

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Tom

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I got the tortoise May,19th at 69 grams. As of Feb 29th he now weighs 406 grams (Thursdays are weekly weigh days).
Daily soaks with daily poops.
It is a closed enclosure (pictured) so the entire enclosure is in the 70s...dips to 50/60 in winter so I spray it down to bring it up.
substrate is coco coir with a top layer of repti bark.
I use a 75-watt Flukers Incandescent bulb.
I use a Nubee infared thermometer under the bulb and it reads 93.
I feed Organic green leaf lettuce and Organic red leaf daily with alternating Optied 52, other dried variety of dandelion, nettle, moringa, hibiscus....
I don't know what I am doing wrong?!
I see three things "wrong" in the above paragraph, and all would contribute to pyramiding. I say this not to hurt your feelings or be mean, but to let you know what is wrong so you can fix it.

1. Humidity needs to be 80+ at all times. If its only 50-70%, you will get pyramiding. If you are having to spray all the time that tells me that you have too much ventilation in your enclosure and need to close more of it off.
2. Your Fluker bulb is likely a spot bulb. You need a flood bulb.
3. You can't check the basking temp with an infrared temp gun. You need to lay a digital thermometer on its back at tortoise shell height and let it bake directly under the heat lamp for an hour or more. Do this and I think you will find that it is much hotter than 93 under there.

Not related to the pyramiding, but the diet needs improvement. Best to avoid grocery store greens entirely and use weeds, leaves, flowers and succulents from all around you. If you must use grocery store greens, favor endive and escarole, and add in arugula, cilantro, and many other greens for occasional variety. Try to stay away from lettuce and spring mix when possible, but those are okay once in a while with the additives you are adding in.

On the bright side, that is good growth and your tortoise is very healthy, in spite of the pyramiding that is caused by the too dry conditions and possibly the wrong bulb.

Questions are welcome!
 

Markw84

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@Coconikki

A couple of observations that I believe are causing pyramiding problems;

That enclosure has way too much venting to be able to maintain humidity. I would suggest closing off the vents entirely.

The substrate looks dry. Keep the substrate moist. Dump a gallon of water in and mix thoroughly. It should have a nice deeper brown look, but not be soggy. IF your humidity levels are good, you should have condensation constantly on the glass doors.

The 14% arcadia bulb is probably too strong for that enclosure. With only a 24" enclosure height, the inside height is probably more like 22". With 3-4" of substrate and the distance to the bottom of the mounted bulb on the ceiling, you will only have about 13"-14" distance from bottom of bulb to the tortoise height. That is too close for a 14% bulb in an arcadia hood. If you have that on 12 hours per day or so, that is probably one of the main reasons for the pyramiding. Especially with no deep shade provided with the plants you are using.

I would also recommend getting some pothos plants. In a nice, heavy pot, let it spill over the sides and create good cover for the tortoise. That is the best, natural hide you can provide. It will create a more humid spot under the leaves plus give good shading to hide in.
 

turtlesteve

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I would ask what are the temps at various locations in the enclosure (warmest and coolest)?

You can also run into problems if they are basking most of the day. That often indicates air temps are too cool, so they bask excessively, which counteracts the benefit of higher humidity. Normal behavior for small tortoises is to be well hidden most of the time, and this can be used to your advantage as the hiding areas (dug into substrate or under plants) are always more humid.
 
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