[split] Indian Star tortoise shell question

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Preet917

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To all the Indian star tortoise experts out there.
I would like to know if an Indian star shell's outermost layer peels off at all. And if so, how regularly?
 

tortadise

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Could you post a picture for us. NO the shell should not be flaking off. Could be either too dry(dry rot) or too wet (wet rot) both are fungal issues. So a little more information on the husbandry you have for this guy.
 

Preet917

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tortadise said:
Could you post a picture for us. NO the shell should not be flaking off. Could be either too dry(dry rot) or too wet (wet rot) both are fungal issues. So a little more information on the husbandry you have for this guy.

That was just a question that popped in at back of my head.

Is there a way to improve the coloration of the indian star tort's shell? Or if not, at least maintain the existing coloration?
 

Redari

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They will keep their color patterns, but if you want it to look more shiny you can use a little bit of oil every once in awhile. This is kind of a controversial practice, and some tortoise keepers think it's a bad idea, just so you know.

I use a little bit of virgin coconut oil on my star's shell about once a month, because I think it makes him look nice and I hope it helps keep him moisturized. Just don't do it too often and wipe it off after so it's not goopy.


Also make sure you feed him a very healthy diet and keep him from being dehydrated, that will help keep his shell nice. Lots of variety of greens, succulents, weeds, etc., soaks every day (if a baby), every few days if an adult.
 

Preet917

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Redari said:
They will keep their color patterns, but if you want it to look more shiny you can use a little bit of oil every once in awhile. This is kind of a controversial practice, and some tortoise keepers think it's a bad idea, just so you know.

I use a little bit of virgin coconut oil on my star's shell about once a month, because I think it makes him look nice and I hope it helps keep him moisturized. Just don't do it too often and wipe it off after so it's not goopy.


Also make sure you feed him a very healthy diet and keep him from being dehydrated, that will help keep his shell nice. Lots of variety of greens, succulents, weeds, etc., soaks every day (if a baby), every few days if an adult.



How about aloe vera as an alternative to the oil?
 

arotester

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i thought torts are beautiful anyway without any oils and lotions.........good food+hyderation=beautiful tort(i don't see any oil in that equation )
 

shanu303

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arotester said:
i thought torts are beautiful anyway without any oils and lotions.........good food+hyderation=beautiful tort(i don't see any oil in that equation )

truly said....... why would anyone want to improve the colour/beauty of the star tortoise shell when it is already beautiful to the finest extent....??
 

Redari

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I'm not sure if anyone has used aloe vera or not. I know people have used olive oil, argon oil and coconut oil, as well as Vita Shell.

Here is Tom's Vita Shell experiment. http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-27085.html#axzz1OkqZ1aQx

Lots of people talk about their experiences with oils of various types in that thread. It seems that lots of people have had really good results by using a small amount every few weeks or so.
 

Preet917

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@Arotester and Shanu303

Kindly read and understand my questions properly before posting a question to an already existing question.

Is there a way to improve the coloration of the indian star tort's shell? Or if not, at least maintain the existing coloration?

If there isn't a plausible solution to the first question, kindly provide a solution to the second, if any exist.

And just fyi, indian star tort's display different coloration, some darker and duller and some brighter, hence the question whether improvement in coloration would be possible for the former type of shell. If not, is it possible to maintain the existing coloration?


Redari said:
I'm not sure if anyone has used aloe vera or not. I know people have used olive oil, argon oil and coconut oil, as well as Vita Shell.

Here is Tom's Vita Shell experiment. http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread-27085.html#axzz1OkqZ1aQx

Lots of people talk about their experiences with oils of various types in that thread. It seems that lots of people have had really good results by using a small amount every few weeks or so.

Thanks a lot for your inputs :)
Appreciate it!

I tried a little extra virgin olive oil on my torts today. Their shell's looked fantastic after the oil application. :)
 

shanu303

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Preet917 said:
@Arotester and Shanu303

Kindly read and understand my questions properly before posting a question to an already existing question.

Is there a way to improve the coloration of the indian star tort's shell? Or if not, at least maintain the existing coloration?

If there isn't a plausible solution to the first question, kindly provide a solution to the second, if any exist.

And just fyi, indian star tort's display different coloration, some darker and duller and some brighter, hence the question whether improvement in coloration would be possible for the former type of shell. If not, is it possible to maintain the existing coloration?



the torts shell's colours will never degenerate as such that we should even be concerned about maintaining it with oil and lotion..... let it be as natural as possible for your tort and not for your content...... i know you would like to see all the shine and stuff on their shell but they actually don't need it..... the only instance where the coloration might change is wear off or some abrasive scratches they might get if their surroundings aren't proper.... and regarding the dull, contrasting, darker coloration ....... it's there gene and no matter what you do it will remain the same throughout their life.......the oils would make it shine for sometime then it's back to normal unless you apply the oil everyday or every other day which is not recommended and i'm sure you won't do it.... so that just brings us back to zero..... it won't constantly maintain the shine 24/7 .... so that just doesn't solve the purpose of applying the oil...........

and you should have read previous threads regarding this oil and ointment application.... most people stay away from this because tortoise's shell is porous and the application of oil frequently would block the pores unless you apply once or twice every week... which doesn't solve your purpose of maintaining the shine/ colour 24/7.........

and the different coloration is due to the subspecies of torts(not really subspecies but segregations...) if the tort belongs to northern india i.e gujarat, rajasthan.... the tort will have dull coloration...... while on the other hand the torts belonging to southern india i.e kerela, andhra pradesh ..... have a darker more vibrant / contrasting coloration....... now if you have a tort from north india then you can't help it but to have the dull coloration on his shell..... no oil and stuff can change that..........

well that's person to person decision to do stuff....... it's your choice to use it or not.... i was just clearing my point ...... :)

and personally speaking...... coloration.... oil/ointment treatment is all cosmetic aspect of tortoise keeping and have nothing to do with the health of the tortoise as long as the diet, temp, humidity, enclosure is all right....
it's actually what you want to see in your tort and not what the tort really or essentially requires ........

sorry...... but i'm not arguing here... .just clearing my point
 

Redari

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Some of the forum members that I consider the most reliable and most experienced are okay with it in moderation, so I trust them. There has been a lot of progress in tortoise care in the last few decades, and lots of the things that people thought were right or wrong are changing as owners try new things.

And I have actually found that doing the oil once a month or so keeps his shell looking moisturized. Even at the end of the month it still looks nice. Before I did it it looked dry, despite my attempts to keep humidity up.

Also, I have no issues with making my pets look pretty, as long as it doesn't make them uncomfortable or impact their health. If it just improves the look and causes no ill effects, I say go for it. We get pets because we want to give them a good life, but also because we enjoy them.
 

Preet917

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Redari said:
Some of the forum members that I consider the most reliable and most experienced are okay with it in moderation, so I trust them. There has been a lot of progress in tortoise care in the last few decades, and lots of the things that people thought were right or wrong are changing as owners try new things.

And I have actually found that doing the oil once a month or so keeps his shell looking moisturized. Even at the end of the month it still looks nice. Before I did it it looked dry, despite my attempts to keep humidity up.

Also, I have no issues with making my pets look pretty, as long as it doesn't make them uncomfortable or impact their health. If it just improves the look and causes no ill effects, I say go for it. We get pets because we want to give them a good life, but also because we enjoy them.

A very meaningful contribution on your part, thanks for that! :)

I applied the olive oil over 12 hours ago and the shine is still evident on the torts' shells. I want to see how long it will last and whether there will be any over-heating of the shells.
 

arotester

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Lots of people say that the oils and lotions can make the shell stop "breathing",i don't know how much truth there is in this ,but practically oils will invite some small insects towards it which you will not like near your tort.In wild torts have lived for thousands of years without any oils and lotions and if we are trying to put it on their shells then we must be real sure about the pros and cons of the action.Healthy tort will always maintain it's coloration according to it's genes.(Stars in colder climate show dull appearance while in warmer climates show shiny black/brown color)
 

shanu303

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Ok let's just not argue further on this..... i've seen threads which have this long spanning argument which ended to no possible EQUAL conclusion for all......
@Preet and Redari you wish to achieve a shine on you torts shell.... well go for it.... it's your call and they're your torts so it's just personal preference.....)

while me and arotester will stick to our belief and we're good with untreated shell.....again its just personal preference :)

so are we cool on this ???

:)
 

Redari

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Shanu, I agree it's one of those things that people can just argue in circles over forever! I have really enjoyed building our little Star tortoise owners community here so I do want us all to get along, and arguing over things with no clear answers isn't going to get us anywhere.

I think as long as we all know that it's a bit controversial and no one really knows the true effects, we can leave it at that :) There are lots of good points on both sides in that thread I linked to above, where Tom did his experiment, so I would suggest anyone who is curious to read that over.
 

CLMoss

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A clean shell is a beautiful shell. I would never put anything on my Star's shell.

~C
 

Preet917

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shanu303 said:
Ok let's just not argue further on this..... i've seen threads which have this long spanning argument which ended to no possible EQUAL conclusion for all......
@Preet and Redari you wish to achieve a shine on you torts shell.... well go for it.... it's your call and they're your torts so it's just personal preference.....)

while me and arotester will stick to our belief and we're good with untreated shell.....again its just personal preference :)

so are we cool on this ???

:)

I don't believe there was any "argument" here on the pros/cons of applying shell "enhancing" substances to a tort's shell.
I look at it as a meaningful debate wherein we can hear out both sides and have practical experiments performed on the same, the results of which may vary depending upon location.
My question was aimed at primarily encouraging a debate or rather a discussion on the topic and I wish for it to continue.
This thread is not to hear out a choice based on personal preference or perception but rather to generate the pros and cons of the topic based on personal experience or even reliable sources.
 

shanu303

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Preet917 said:
shanu303 said:
Ok let's just not argue further on this..... i've seen threads which have this long spanning argument which ended to no possible EQUAL conclusion for all......
@Preet and Redari you wish to achieve a shine on you torts shell.... well go for it.... it's your call and they're your torts so it's just personal preference.....)

while me and arotester will stick to our belief and we're good with untreated shell.....again its just personal preference :)

so are we cool on this ???

:)

I don't believe there was any "argument" here on the pros/cons of applying shell "enhancing" substances to a tort's shell.
I look at it as a meaningful debate wherein we can hear out both sides and have practical experiments performed on the same, the results of which may vary depending upon location.
My question was aimed at primarily encouraging a debate or rather a discussion on the topic and I wish for it to continue.
This thread is not to hear out a choice based on personal preference or perception but rather to generate the pros and cons of the topic based on personal experience or even reliable sources.

there is no sense in rekindling a topic which has been left unanswered by the experts for the very reason that the topic in actuality has no end..... again as i said it's personal preference because the oil or ointment does not do anything beneficial to the tort other than improving the look of the shell...... please do read Tom's thread that Redari mentioned.... Tom has "experimentally" proven that there is no such difference in shells treated with vita shell and the ones without it. again it's all cosmetic...... and about this being a debate..... we all are correct in our places because we want something better for our tort.... be it the shine on the shell that you want or the natural "Breathing Shell" look which i and arotester want to be untouched....... so i think there is no further use of discussing what better the oil will do to the tort........ honestly what i want to say is that if the Oil was any good or beneficial... then the torts somehow would have received it on their shell .... nature could have implemented a way to do so.......

but if you still want to debate on this ..... then count me in :) but again as i said there is no end to this :tort:
 

Preet917

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shanu303 said:
Preet917 said:
shanu303 said:
Ok let's just not argue further on this..... i've seen threads which have this long spanning argument which ended to no possible EQUAL conclusion for all......
@Preet and Redari you wish to achieve a shine on you torts shell.... well go for it.... it's your call and they're your torts so it's just personal preference.....)

while me and arotester will stick to our belief and we're good with untreated shell.....again its just personal preference :)

so are we cool on this ???

:)

I don't believe there was any "argument" here on the pros/cons of applying shell "enhancing" substances to a tort's shell.
I look at it as a meaningful debate wherein we can hear out both sides and have practical experiments performed on the same, the results of which may vary depending upon location.
My question was aimed at primarily encouraging a debate or rather a discussion on the topic and I wish for it to continue.
This thread is not to hear out a choice based on personal preference or perception but rather to generate the pros and cons of the topic based on personal experience or even reliable sources.

there is no sense in rekindling a topic which has been left unanswered by the experts for the very reason that the topic in actuality has no end..... again as i said it's personal preference because the oil or ointment does not do anything beneficial to the tort other than improving the look of the shell...... please do read Tom's thread that Redari mentioned.... Tom has "experimentally" proven that there is no such difference in shells treated with vita shell and the ones without it. again it's all cosmetic...... and about this being a debate..... we all are correct in our places because we want something better for our tort.... be it the shine on the shell that you want or the natural "Breathing Shell" look which i and arotester want to be untouched....... so i think there is no further use of discussing what better the oil will do to the tort........ honestly what i want to say is that if the Oil was any good or beneficial... then the torts somehow would have received it on their shell .... nature could have implemented a way to do so.......

but if you still want to debate on this ..... then count me in :) but again as i said there is no end to this :tort:

If you have to make comparisons on an "in the wild" basis for such a topic then it would be prudent to leave your tortoise to fend for itself in the wild. All it's needs would be taken care of by "nature".
Do you know why torts tend to live longer lives in captivity than in the wild? Because many benefits and comforts which they do not enjoy readily or at all in the wild are available to them in captivity.
You can't cage an animal and then justify it's care with an "in the wild" phrase all the time.
For example, pyramiding in the Indian star occurs naturally in the wild whereas it may not occur at all in captivity due to the adequate nourishment which it readily receives. If the "in the wild" argument was always the utmost justification or reason, then one would tend to feed the tort less just so that it's shell would pyramid just like "in the wild".
Sufficient experimentation is required before a solid conclusion can be arrived at. You cannot simply carry out an experiment for a short duration of a couple of weeks or months and then expect conclusive results.
 

shanu303

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Preet917 said:
shanu303 said:
Preet917 said:
shanu303 said:
Ok let's just not argue further on this..... i've seen threads which have this long spanning argument which ended to no possible EQUAL conclusion for all......
@Preet and Redari you wish to achieve a shine on you torts shell.... well go for it.... it's your call and they're your torts so it's just personal preference.....)

while me and arotester will stick to our belief and we're good with untreated shell.....again its just personal preference :)

so are we cool on this ???

:)

I don't believe there was any "argument" here on the pros/cons of applying shell "enhancing" substances to a tort's shell.
I look at it as a meaningful debate wherein we can hear out both sides and have practical experiments performed on the same, the results of which may vary depending upon location.
My question was aimed at primarily encouraging a debate or rather a discussion on the topic and I wish for it to continue.
This thread is not to hear out a choice based on personal preference or perception but rather to generate the pros and cons of the topic based on personal experience or even reliable sources.

there is no sense in rekindling a topic which has been left unanswered by the experts for the very reason that the topic in actuality has no end..... again as i said it's personal preference because the oil or ointment does not do anything beneficial to the tort other than improving the look of the shell...... please do read Tom's thread that Redari mentioned.... Tom has "experimentally" proven that there is no such difference in shells treated with vita shell and the ones without it. again it's all cosmetic...... and about this being a debate..... we all are correct in our places because we want something better for our tort.... be it the shine on the shell that you want or the natural "Breathing Shell" look which i and arotester want to be untouched....... so i think there is no further use of discussing what better the oil will do to the tort........ honestly what i want to say is that if the Oil was any good or beneficial... then the torts somehow would have received it on their shell .... nature could have implemented a way to do so.......

but if you still want to debate on this ..... then count me in :) but again as i said there is no end to this :tort:

If you have to make comparisons on an "in the wild" basis for such a topic then it would be prudent to leave your tortoise to fend for itself in the wild. All it's needs would be taken care of by "nature".
Do you know why torts tend to live longer lives in captivity than in the wild? Because many benefits and comforts which they do not enjoy readily or at all in the wild are available to them in captivity.
You can't cage an animal and then justify it's care with an "in the wild" phrase all the time.
For example, pyramiding in the Indian star occurs naturally in the wild whereas it may not occur at all in captivity due to the adequate nourishment which it readily receives. If the "in the wild" argument was always the utmost justification or reason, then one would tend to feed the tort less just so that it's shell would pyramid just like "in the wild".
Sufficient experimentation is required before a solid conclusion can be arrived at. You cannot simply carry out an experiment for a short duration of a couple of weeks or months and then expect conclusive results.
first of all I DIDN'T cage Max........ I RESCUED him....... he was in very horrible condition to be fed tomatoes and cucumber only i have no intention to keep MAX as "PET" forever..... i intended to leave him in the wild,where he came from... but he got used to the feeding "tame " behaviour and couldn't have survived or could become a PREY to other humans... here i leave him and there someone else catches him for pet... i believe in providing as natural as possible environment for the tort...... and for your information tortoises get BETTER nourishment in the wild then in captivity with you or me or anybody....... its nature's balance and mechanism which is way above our HUMAN BRAINS.......indian star tortoises are meant to pyramid to some extent..... that's why they are pyramided in the wild now and always have been....... and have you seen pics of wild sulcata and red foot torts??? they are smooth shelled in the wild.... so how do you justify your statement with that????nature has every living creature's back covered.... those are meant to be smooth by nature and so they are smooth shelled in wild......Stars are meant to pyramid .... the pyramiding helps them turn themselves up if they tip off ...well thats just a theory....... and the oil and ointment does not do any benefit to your tort... it just fulfils your content of seeing the shell shiny........ and Tom is one of the most experienced member around on this forum and he has studied and worked on torts for more than 20 years.... his experimentation and proof isn't flawed and it is completely justified.... although a few months is not that enough but it is sufficient to tell or prove that oil and ointment don't do any better than normal water sprays on shell................ seeing your last statements it seems you haven't read all the pages of Tom's thread mentioned by Redari..... the proof is in front of your eyes..........
but still if you don't want to believe the proof in Tom's thread then you can carry on and experiment by yourself and tell us the result if we're wrong.... i am always open to criticism and arguments :)and if i am wrong then i will whole-heartedly apologise to you and others whom i've stated wrong.....:)

and lastly me and many other members on this forum strive to maintain or achieve a habitat as wild/natural as possible for the torts........ that's the reason for all those plants(well aside form feeding purpose) are being planted in the enclosures to make it look and feel as natural as possible to the torts...... they aren't domestic animals which you want to pet and tame..... they are wild and exotics..... they are never meant to be tamed..... and let me tell you my real goal of keeping torts...... i keep max and soon am going to bring a female... because i intend to start a breeding program and release juveniles in the wild to boost up and sustain the wild population........ and lastly torts are more threatened by humans than the wild.....
 
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