Russian Hatchling Weight Gain Issues!!

Southernbellecn

New Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Gilbert, AZ
My baby Mochi is around 8-10 weeks old now. I got him October 8th. He is 1.5 inches big. His weight keeps moving around 24-28 grams. How can I help him gain more?? Should I be worried?

His behavior: Naturally wakes up around 10 but I wake him up around 8:30am for the morning soak (20-30min). After the soak he either eats right away or chills till 10am to eat then. He walks around often in the afternoon or basks under his lights. Then around 3pm or 4pm he naps under his hideout or humidity box. Only when he wants to sleep does he dig.

His habitat: His substrate is a mix of Eco Earth & organic Top Soil (shifted through for any rocks or big sticks). In his humidity box I have the substrate topped with sphagnum moss (loves sleeping under it). He does have a wooden hide out, a fake plant (soon replacing with real one), some round rocks surrounding his super thin flat water dish. He eats on this big basking stone and has a mini square basking stone under the lights. I do have a small pool I keep outside for his play area. But I've only used it 3 times since its fall. The times he was taken out there was 80 F for 30 minutes.

His temps: Lights area has 92-95 F and 98-100 F on his basking rock (rarely goes on it). Cool side is 74-78 (can get up to 80 on a warm day this fall). Humidity box has a temp of 77-78. Humidity level in the box are always at 60-70% but the dry areas area at 34-43% (I'm in AZ). At night my house and his habitant drop to 73-74 but no lower. I have his lights on 10-12 hours every day.

His diet: His favorite is romaine lettuce. But he has also had mustard greens, collard greens, and spring mix (without spinach). There was only one time I gave him a few bites of cactus fruit but I don't plan on letting him have that again. I put calcium powder with D3 on his food 2-3 times each week. and I just got this vitamin powder today from Rep-Cal herptivite. I added that to his food today.

Let me know if y'all want pictures/videos of him. My last post talked about him getting shots at the vet for calcium & antibiotics. I did not get those for him.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
Central islip
Hey, I had the same issue with my tortoise, I was always worried about her weight when I first got her. The growth is really slow to the eye. As long as the tortoise is eating everyday and has a supply of food they’ll be fine. I would do monthly weigh ins. They definitely should not be the same weight each month unless they are adults, from what I understand. Hope this helps!
 

Southernbellecn

New Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Gilbert, AZ
Hey, I had the same issue with my tortoise, I was always worried about her weight when I first got her. The growth is really slow to the eye. As long as the tortoise is eating everyday and has a supply of food they’ll be fine. I would do monthly weigh ins. They definitely should not be the same weight each month unless they are adults, from what I understand. Hope this helps!
Thank you!!
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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Don't weigh a baby tortoise very often.
I'd say do it every 2 months.
There's too much fluctuation between water retention and how much/often they poop.
For those of you looking for a good scale for this purpose. A WALMART type store has small, inexpensive digital scales in the department that sells pots and pans for cooking.
They're perfect for smaller torts to keep track of its health and growth.
 

MarginatedMooney

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Jan 25, 2021
Messages
109
Location (City and/or State)
Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina USA
I typically weigh my 9 month old tortoise once a week and hadn't really noticed his weight fluctuating until recently because he's mostly been putting on weight. I'm pretty sure it was happening though and we just didn't notice.
A couple weeks ago we weighed him on two different days and noticed his weight was fluctuating from 86 to 91g and then last week he was at 91g again. I'm hoping for a big gain this week but I'm thinking I may have to start weighing him less frequently.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
My baby Mochi is around 8-10 weeks old now. I got him October 8th. He is 1.5 inches big. His weight keeps moving around 24-28 grams. How can I help him gain more?? Should I be worried?

His behavior: Naturally wakes up around 10 but I wake him up around 8:30am for the morning soak (20-30min). After the soak he either eats right away or chills till 10am to eat then. He walks around often in the afternoon or basks under his lights. Then around 3pm or 4pm he naps under his hideout or humidity box. Only when he wants to sleep does he dig.

His habitat: His substrate is a mix of Eco Earth & organic Top Soil (shifted through for any rocks or big sticks). In his humidity box I have the substrate topped with sphagnum moss (loves sleeping under it). He does have a wooden hide out, a fake plant (soon replacing with real one), some round rocks surrounding his super thin flat water dish. He eats on this big basking stone and has a mini square basking stone under the lights. I do have a small pool I keep outside for his play area. But I've only used it 3 times since its fall. The times he was taken out there was 80 F for 30 minutes.

His temps: Lights area has 92-95 F and 98-100 F on his basking rock (rarely goes on it). Cool side is 74-78 (can get up to 80 on a warm day this fall). Humidity box has a temp of 77-78. Humidity level in the box are always at 60-70% but the dry areas area at 34-43% (I'm in AZ). At night my house and his habitant drop to 73-74 but no lower. I have his lights on 10-12 hours every day.

His diet: His favorite is romaine lettuce. But he has also had mustard greens, collard greens, and spring mix (without spinach). There was only one time I gave him a few bites of cactus fruit but I don't plan on letting him have that again. I put calcium powder with D3 on his food 2-3 times each week. and I just got this vitamin powder today from Rep-Cal herptivite. I added that to his food today.

Let me know if y'all want pictures/videos of him. My last post talked about him getting shots at the vet for calcium & antibiotics. I did not get those for him.
I see a few problems:
1. No soil for substrate. It cold be something toxic.
2. No moss. It does nothing, they eat it, and it can cause impaction.
3. Grocery store greens are not a good diet.
4. Lights should be on 12-13 hours a day, unless you want hm to brumate.

Pics of the enclosure will give us more ideas to help you.

Bits of opuntia cactus "fruits" are okay once in a while. Other fruits are not so good for them.

All this and more is right here:
 

Southernbellecn

New Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
Gilbert, AZ
I see a few problems:
1. No soil for substrate. It cold be something toxic.
2. No moss. It does nothing, they eat it, and it can cause impaction.
3. Grocery store greens are not a good diet.
4. Lights should be on 12-13 hours a day, unless you want hm to brumate.

Pics of the enclosure will give us more ideas to help you.

Bits of opuntia cactus "fruits" are okay once in a while. Other fruits are not so good for them.

All this and more is right here:
Thank you!
 
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