Shedding or enclosure issue?

Henry’s mom

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Joined
Dec 17, 2021
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94
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Tampa FL
Hi there and happy new year. If you don’t recognize me I have a 5 month old baby Sulcata and was worried about AW. So far I think still ok. I’ve attached a pic from yesterday and he has one of the little “pimple-looking” bumps over his eye but wondering if he’s starting to shed? You’ll notice the skin hanging from his chin and seems to be increasing the past week. Trying to make sure I’m soaking every day. I’ve read other threads so I think it’s normal but I’m concerned my humidity or something is off?
@Tom I fully read your care guidelines multiple times and thank you for creating it. I was so worried when he wasn’t doing well before Christmas that I ordered a TON of stuff (including multiple types of some things) but I’m not sure what to use, how to best set it up with timers and thermostats and thermometers/hydrometers, etc. Based on the guidelines I know one of my biggest problems is that I have a tort table. ? I don’t have the ability to build an enclosed one and haven’t been able to quickly find one I can buy so I’ve been trying to do everything possible to make it proper. Does anyone happen to have a breakdown of how to connect everything and/or the best types or brands of supplies? @mastershake maybe? I have 2 weeks to return everything I don’t need but hate to return things that I’ll need. Thank you in advance.
 

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Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
Oh! Also to try and get the humidity up (it was as low as 37%!! ?) I started spraying down the enclosure 6-7 times a day. I bought a reptile humidifier/mister machine and he seemed to get much better but after a week he started sneezing/squeaking and not as active. I have a CHE that I use at night but worried maybe it was still too wet or cold coming out of the tube so I haven’t been using it for several days and back to just spraying down 2-3 times a day.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Hi there and happy new year. If you don’t recognize me I have a 5 month old baby Sulcata and was worried about AW. So far I think still ok. I’ve attached a pic from yesterday and he has one of the little “pimple-looking” bumps over his eye but wondering if he’s starting to shed? You’ll notice the skin hanging from his chin and seems to be increasing the past week. Trying to make sure I’m soaking every day. I’ve read other threads so I think it’s normal but I’m concerned my humidity or something is off?
@Tom I fully read your care guidelines multiple times and thank you for creating it. I was so worried when he wasn’t doing well before Christmas that I ordered a TON of stuff (including multiple types of some things) but I’m not sure what to use, how to best set it up with timers and thermostats and thermometers/hydrometers, etc. Based on the guidelines I know one of my biggest problems is that I have a tort table. ? I don’t have the ability to build an enclosed one and haven’t been able to quickly find one I can buy so I’ve been trying to do everything possible to make it proper. Does anyone happen to have a breakdown of how to connect everything and/or the best types or brands of supplies? @mastershake maybe? I have 2 weeks to return everything I don’t need but hate to return things that I’ll need. Thank you in advance.
The picture just looks like normal rough skin.

Here is lighting and heating info:
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
If the above doesn't tell you what you need to know, please feel free to ask more questions. If it gets to be too much to type, I don't mind talking on the phone.

You've got to close in the enclosure, or get something else. The open top sounds like its making him sick. Humidifiers should not be used with tortoises. Misters should be okay as long as it is warm 24/7. The evaporative cooling in an open topped enclosure would cool things tremendously with a mister, and cool temps are what cause respiratory infections.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
22,403
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi,
I'm not an expert on AW but I know yellow bumps and claws falling out are 2 of the symptoms. I'll leave that to the more experienced keepers.
Humidifiers aren't recommended because the tort can inhale the water droplets which can cause RI.
You could get a portable mini greenhouse to put over your table and lamps to help with controlling heat and humidity.
 

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
The picture just looks like normal rough skin.

Here is lighting and heating info:
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
If the above doesn't tell you what you need to know, please feel free to ask more questions. If it gets to be too much to type, I don't mind talking on the phone.

You've got to close in the enclosure, or get something else. The open top sounds like its making him sick. Humidifiers should not be used with tortoises. Misters should be okay as long as it is warm 24/7. The evaporative cooling in an open topped enclosure would cool things tremendously with a mister, and cool temps are what cause respiratory infections.
Hi Tom, thank you very much. I had saved this lighting info and I’m going to get the rest of the lighting today (I might need to order the uv tubing. I’m trying to figure out how to arrange them all too especially if I can figure out how to enclose it more. I thought maybe a piece of plexiglass under/attached to the lid/top but no one mentions the need for oxygen?
I’m going to get everything out that I’ve bought to review again (the holidays were nuts) and see what I can figure out. If you are willing to talk on the phone sometime when it’s convenient for you that would be so helpful and very much appreciated.
 

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
Hi,
I'm not an expert on AW but I know yellow bumps and claws falling out are 2 of the symptoms. I'll leave that to the more experienced keepers.
Humidifiers aren't recommended because the tort can inhale the water droplets which can cause RI.
You could get a portable mini greenhouse to put over your table and lamps to help with controlling heat and humidity.
Thank you Lyn. I’m so lost with a lot of this but I’m determined to give my little buddy a long, happy, healthy life!
The machine I bought says both humidifier and mister-dang Amazon. It’s cool coming out though so I think that’s a humidifier but I don’t know what a mister should look like or function. I’ve tried three different humid hides because I don’t have a saw to cut my own and still not happy with it. I wet them underneath like the care instructions say but it doesn’t seem to stay wet.
I googled portable mini greenhouse and they look pretty big. Do they make them small enough for a tort table indoors?
 

mastershake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
534
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
hard to tell from that pic. can you take on in normal lighting? the greehouse setups are usually 3ft x 4ft they work amazingly well for us here with babies. they key to humidity is keeping the substrate a bit moist (not to much) and keeping a closed top. this helps hold in the humidity when you spray or add moisture to the button. humidifiers can help but should not be on all the time. in some cases we will use them but run them say 15 min once or twice per hour etc. i use a controller to monitor the humidity and control how often they run. amazon does have one that uses a digital touch panel and you can set it to do just that. the time it will run and how often. some here dont like humidifiers. we do not use them in every case but i dont feel they hurt when not overused and properly controlled. sprayers can work better in some cases but again you need to find a point where you are not soaking the enclosure since you dont want the substrate to be like a pool
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
56,774
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi Tom, thank you very much. I had saved this lighting info and I’m going to get the rest of the lighting today (I might need to order the uv tubing. I’m trying to figure out how to arrange them all too especially if I can figure out how to enclose it more. I thought maybe a piece of plexiglass under/attached to the lid/top but no one mentions the need for oxygen?
I’m going to get everything out that I’ve bought to review again (the holidays were nuts) and see what I can figure out. If you are willing to talk on the phone sometime when it’s convenient for you that would be so helpful and very much appreciated.
Closed chambers are not airtight. There is usually venting and air movement at the seams of the doors too. There is plenty of air to breathe, but ventilation is reduced so that heat and humidity can be more easily maintained, compared to an open top that allows all the heat and humidity to escape up and into the room.

Here are some of my closed chambers:

You need to wet the substrate under the humid hide. It is supposed to dry up. That is how you raise the humidity. You will have to continually dump water into the substrate to keep it damp. How much water and how often varies tremendously with each enclosure and seasonally within the same enclosure too.
 

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