Sleeping in hide - a lot!

sbwalker5

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Hi everyone. Nothing major, but as a first-time tortoise owner, just looking for some reassurance or advice.

Douglas is an 8 month old marginated tortoise, who we've had for almost 2 months now. He's been fine in general, but the last couple of weeks he just seems to have been asleep in his hide quite a lot of the time. Nothing has changed enclosure-wise in this time, and I'm just worried that it might be a sign of a problem?

Here is some basic info about this indoor enclosure..

34BFE794-CF2A-48FD-B46A-6EAB4CF95993.jpg~original


The size is around 4 x 2 feet.
The substrate is a product called Tortoise Life - a mixture of soil and sand, with some small pieces of limestone.
The bulb is a 100W MVB, providing UVA/UVB and heat.
Temperature on the cool side (left) is around 70 degrees constant. I also frequently use an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of the substrate directly below the lamp, which is usually around 100 degrees.
I provide the amount of food shown each day on the piece of slate. I rotate a mixture of
Lambs lettuce
Rocket
Cress
Coriander
Romaine lettuce
Cucumber once or twice a week for hydration
Small amount of kale or spinach once a week

I'm still waiting for more growth from my tortoise food seed kit (bottom left of enclosure), to be able to provide better variety. I have only recently purchased some nutrobal which I will sprinkle on his food once per week.

He gets daily soaks, and as per another thread - he is much better hydrated now then when we got him.

Previously he would have long nights asleep (around 14 hours) but be in the light side for the rest of the day.. He always goes into the covered side of his enclosure to sleep, where there is some hay for him to nestle beneath.

However, recently when I come home from work he is always in his covered side asleep. I know he's been up because there is only about a quarter of the food left. We monitored him this last weekend, and even in the middle of the day he retreats back to his covered side to sleep.

Is this normal, or the sign of something that needs rectifying?
May he be lacking in nutrition due to the limited diet? And will nutrobal once or twice a week be helpful towards this?
Is it a sign of the temperature being too hot or too cold?

Any advice is appreciated..
Thanks
 

ascott

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It does not sound as though he is distressed by what you have described.....before the last couple of weeks was he running crazy in the enclosure? Way active?
 

Tom

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Doesn't sound all that far from the norm. He might be seeking more humidity since it is very difficult to maintain adequate humidity in open tables.
 

sbwalker5

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Thanks. I place some moist sphagnum moss inside of the log near the heat lamp, but he never goes in it.. I'm wary of creating a cold and damp area in the covered side - as that does not receive much warmth..
He wasn't active as in running around his enclosure before, just didn't retreat to the covered side during the day!
 

ascott

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creating a cold and damp area in the covered side

Oh no, you absolutely DO NOT want to do this.....:D

Perhaps what you can do, add some places that have plants for cover...so the tort can perhaps move about the entire enclosure from spot to spot....now also understand that the tort is driven to know that out in the open he is easy pickens for anything to eat....even though he is logically inside your home...he does not have that thought. So keeping warm then cooling off in the hide area makes perfect sense....Perhaps try offering up a variety of places to hide so when he feels safe and secure and wants to venture the rest of the enclosure he can feel like he has cover....?

Also, perhaps replace the log with like a dark small plastic container turned upside down and cut a large enough hole for the tort to enter/exit and then cut up some of the moss into smaller pieces and keep the hide close enough to the heat source that he can get in and juicy up and stay warm if he so feels like it....
 

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