She is finally in her new home

shaf1457

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For some that might not have seen my intro. I am new the Sulcata family and so far its been a lot of fun work. We adopted our new family member from a family that had just outgrown her. I will be referring to her as she because we have not come up with a good name for her yet.

She came from a good family but I think they never really researched on how to properly take care of her. She has spent all 9 years of her life in aquariums and we received her with a 20 gallon home. She had never been introduced to any substrate besides her fake grass carpet she has lived on. No humidity control, no proper temp, and no proper UV. Honestly I think she is undersized and weight for her age. She is roughly 8 inches and weighs under 5 lbs.

Well today was her big day she got to move into her new home finally. She is now in a 3 1/2' X 6 1/2' x 2 foot enclosure. Substrate is a mix of coir and cypress mulch. Today's test run was temperatures of 78 to 80 degrees and humidity hit 90 percent. Basking area was at 105. She got a lot of exercise today exploring and had a good poop. I have included some pics.
 

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mainey34

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Everything looks great, but i have a question. Your tort is 9 years old right? What is the reason for the humidity at this point? Its far past pyramiding. It wouldnt be necessary. Just ambient temps of 80-90 would work...
 

Team Gomberg

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9 years on fake grass in a 20gallon. wow. But hey she's made it and has a nice long life to give you in better care now :)

She is undersized but the past is behind her and you'll be going forward now.

Is this closed chamber a winter enclosure? year around enclosure? night time only?
I ask because I have been reading that once a sulcata hits 8-10" you let them live outside full time. Humidity to prevent pyramiding is no longer a concern and the best outdoor enclosure you can give them is how they live from that size and on. The chamber sounds like a perfect hatchling set up thats for sure :D

Enjoy your new moving rock. She'll bring you lots of enjoyment I'm sure!
 

AnnV

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Yes, the humidity requirement is for baby and juvenile sulcatas.
Poor thing never had uvb?! It is a wonder she has no severe mbd.
Glad you have her now.
 

shaf1457

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Is my thinking that when housing a Sulcata indoors you should provide them with good humidity even past the baby stage wrong?

This is her indoor enclosure for winter. We live in Ohio and getting her this late in the year I do not have time to get her an outdoor enclosure built nor with her small size do I feel comfortable with leaving her out unsupervised. We do have a decent population of coyotes in the area.

As with the UVB she has had it in the past not sure how much. When I got her though the bulb was at least 2 years old from what we found out. They were using a coil style bulb set in a horizontal position using a reptile style hood.
 

wellington

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A humid hide is all you need to provide as far as humidity. Some humidity is a good thing to offer at any age. Hatchlings and under 2 a closed chamber is best. Old, a humid hide. Glad she is going to have a better life now.
 

Sulcata_Sandy

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If it makes you feel any better, one of my rescue Sulcata's is 12" long, and weighs 4 lbs 10 oz. I can't get weight on him. He's not much of an eater, tho.
But he's active, explores, let's me scratch his nose. So just patience and he will be fine.

So proud of you. You did the right thing.
Get rid of the cover....save it for a hatchling!!!
[GRINNING FACE WITH SMILING EYES]

But that enclosure looks great. Get her some plants to snuggle under as well.
 

mainey34

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mainey34 said:
Everything looks great, but i have a question. Your tort is 9 years old right? What is the reason for the humidity at this point? Its far past pyramiding. It wouldnt be necessary. Just ambient temps of 80-90 would work...
I forgot to mention. Having your closed chamber at 90% humidity and your temp running 78-80* is really pushing it. You are asking for trouble with those temps. Never go below 80* your tort will end up sick with a respiratory infection..
 

Team Gomberg

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Re: RE: She is finally in her new home

SenjiSandy said:
Get rid of the cover....save it for a hatchling!!!
Get her some plants to snuggle under as well.

Great tips! Lots of plants will help her be happier while she is confined inside over winter.
 

shaf1457

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Thanks for the tip on the humidity. Top cover is off and humidity has dropped to 53 percent but I also lost about 5 degrees in temp down to 73 now. I just temped her under the light and she is at 101 and stretched all out. She loved to lay there. Since it is only her second day in there I had kept wondering how she kept getting her back dirty well I just noticed she is using her from legs to kick stuff onto her back.

Also I have noticed she isn't really into her hide. She will walk into it but doesn't ever stay in there very long. Overall she seems to be much happier and relaxed in her new enclosure.
 

mainey34

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The reason why she is kicking stuff on to her back is a natural digging thing. They are diggers. They love to burrow. Dont be surprised if she doesn't dig under her substrate. That was my reason for the suggestion of the dirt. Natural environment..make sense? Look up sulcatas and burrows...
 

AnnV

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I have different species, but found that mine often prefer to sit under the cover of a bushy plant.
Even if you keep them in a pot, the tort will appreciate it. Plants are natural oxygen producers and make for a more natural ecosystem. But a sulcatta may chow down on every plant you put in so make sure they are nontoxic.
 

shaf1457

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Thanks again everyone for some great advice and ideas. Ive actually been looking into plants to stick in there and that would actually survive in there. My concerns are lighting basically and not so much with the moisture/humidity. Would putting a plant light over one area of the enclosure be bad for her in any way? Her hide was hopefully built at a height that I could stick some African Violets up there or something similar that would both serve as food and decoration. Trying to find any plants that have not been treated or potted with some type of fertilizer is pretty difficult as everyone probably knows. I know Boston Ferns do not do well with fertilizers so I'm hoping that will be my best bet. Another idea that I have come up with is buying some sod. I live close to a sod farm and am going to go talk to them and see if they have any that hasn't been treated in any way. If that would work out I could put a couple pieces of sod at one end of her enclosure.

Oh btw she finally did disappear to her hide today. I had left for a while to buy a couple bails of hay and when I came back she wasn't basking any longer and I looked in her hide and she was in a corner that she dug out. This is the first time she has ever had one.
 

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