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Sulcata hatchling enclosure proper humidity

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by Erinelle, Jan 10, 2019.

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  1. Erinelle

    Erinelle Member

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    Just finished this project that has taken me weeks to complete. Essentially, an indoor green house!

    This is not a brag....not at all. I’ve been obsessed, trying to get this right! Since I started out with bad advice on desert terrain versus needing humidity!

    Ambient temperature: 84°
    (No cold spots)
    Basking spot: 93.4°
    Humidity: 88-92

    0260E891-E06C-42E6-A79E-D7CE4F342CED.jpeg 8CD1289F-EC8D-4008-90E8-DD500C9A6BD7.jpeg
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin

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    Oh, hey. . . go ahead and brag. It a pretty nice improv.
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  3. Erinelle

    Erinelle Member

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    Actually Yvonne, I was hoping you’d see this and respond because I have a question....(anyone else can respond as well, I’m just growing fond of Y’s helpful feedback!)

    I added a cool mist humidifier tube to the enclosure...see attached photo.
    I feel like I’m gassing them! Is this ok? It’s the only way I can think of to keep the humidity up consistently. (Not even sire consistently is the right word bc I just added this 20 mins ago)

    Help? Opinions?

    Attached Files:

  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    With it closed in like that, you shouldn't have an issue, and you shouldn't need the humidifier.

    The bigger problem I see is that they should not love as a pair, and that size discrepancy is very likely to result in injury or death to the little one.
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  5. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    I think it’s a trio, but I’m also worried about the size difference.
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  6. DeanS

    DeanS SULCATA OASIS 5 Year Member

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    I'm OK with it...but I like the temps a little higher...say 90º ambient and 100º basking!
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  7. Torta-geddon

    Torta-geddon Member

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    It looks like you have your lights clamped on the bar if so you should remove the clamps from the lamps and hang them without the clamps. The clamps fail and the lamps might hurt your tortoises or start a fire.
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  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Oh, you are right. I couldn't see the third one earlier.

    My apologies @Erinelle .
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  9. Erinelle

    Erinelle Member

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    Hi Torta-geddon,
    Thanks for the feedback but I don’t think the clamps will be an issue. They are quite strong and I have face cages on the front. I’m not the least bit concerned about clamp failure, in this application.
    Appreciate the advice!
  10. Erinelle

    Erinelle Member

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    Ok, thanks DeanS! I’ve adjusted accordingly! ;)
  11. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    I said the same thing about mine, until it fell into the enclosure multiple times and melted my thermometer. I wish I got pictures.

    My tortoise was named Lucky at first for a reason... ;)
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  12. Erinelle

    Erinelle Member

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    Hi Tom and Technocheese....(that name is hilarious!)

    I’ve been keeping my eye on them and diligently watching them feed for a while now and surprisingly up until today the size difference wasn’t a huge deal. However, he/she started being super pushy and bulldozing...and well, being a bit of a bully. He/she was actually jealous when I gave the others my attention. So I divided the enclosure temporarily until my other enclosure and parts come in for the smaller babies. They will share for a few months until they need separation as well. I’m hoping they last a year together but I’m doubtful.

    Yes, you are both correct it’s a trio of sulcata hatchlings with my soon-to-be-yearling sulcata. (I have a redfoot as well; not in the same enclosure although I do let them hang together supervised).

    Thank you all for the feedback & advice!

    Attached Files:

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  13. Erinelle

    Erinelle Member

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    Oh no! So sorry that happened! Glad “Lucky” was alright!
    The clamps are spring loaded and rubber ridged-grip, I can barely squeeze them together to get them off so I think we’re ok! If it seems otherwise, I have zip ties and will add that layer of security as a precautionary measure. Thanks!

    **Does anyone know if it’s common for redfoot hatchlings to completely bury themselves for most of the day??**

    I use the same substrate mixture (75% coco coir/ 20% top soil/ 5% sand). Heat and humidity are optimal and I always make it deep enough for them to burrow bc I feel like it best emmulates their natural environment. Today, I just about had a hard attack when I couldn’t find her and had to dig her out!
  14. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear you have them separated! However, I definitely wouldn’t let the redfoot visit, even supervised. Since they both come from very different places, and are immune to different things, they could potentially give each other diseases.
  15. Erinelle

    Erinelle Member

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    Hmm....I know they come from different continents entirely but their environment (at this age) is almost identical. I hadn’t heard they couldn’t visit one another before. I know a guy who housed leopards, RF’s & YF’s together for the better part of 43 years and they were all really healthy and thriving!
    Never any disease or parasite transfer or pathogen contamination between species. He had them regularly stool tested.
    He often let his smaller sulcatas in the same grazing space for a few hours daily, as well.
    Not at all to deny or attempt to diminish your point; I just hadn’t heard that there was any opposing evidence of cross species contamination. I mean, torts even of the same species could technically get each other sick if one is carrying parasites or disease, since they all eat poop!
    I’ll have to read up on housing different specifies together. I’ve heard some say not to but never any supporting evidence. That too was my friends answer when I asked him why he housed them together. I was always ok with that answer since he lived the experience himself with no issues.

    Do you happen to know any good references or articles where this is discussed in more detail? I’ll happily research and consider expert opinions on the matter! Again, thanks for the advice!
  16. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    You can find people that have done it and gotten away with it. Many of those people don't tell the whole story, and are quite vocal about the parts that did work. You can also find people who have lost entire collections due to the practice. Those people don't usually go on the internet telling everyone how they used to have a bunch of cool tortoises, but they killed them all by having them hang out together and share micro-organisms from different continents. Often people don't even know why their tortoise died. Necropsy is $500-1000. Few people will pay for that. Its cheaper to just buy another tortoise.

    In any case, you can do a search for "mixing species" and see this topic discussed at length, and here are a couple of links Yvonne posted a while back that sum up the topic well: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/mixing-species.139808/
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/mixing-species.70250/
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  17. Erinelle

    Erinelle Member

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    Thanks for sharing Tom!
    I agree that the risk would be detrimental to all torts involved if they were to carry and transfer disease that the foreign tort is incapable of fighting off. Though one could also make the argument that at one time, every disease and bacterial organism was once foreign to each individual species and they were able to build immunity after exposure. Who is to say that a healthy tort in captivity wouldn’t do the same naturally? Right?
    I think there are many unknowns in this case.
    The article you sited was a great read however, I’m not sure that I agree that housing different species causes one or both species needs to be compromised. If their environments are similar enough reflect their natural environment then both species needs are being met. Separate feeding areas can be established for each species. I’d never feed my sulcatas fruit like I would my RF, etc. but appropriate precautions and provisions can be made to assure that’s no risk or detriment or compromise to each individual tort.
    I’ll continie searching for evidence on this subject but will keep them separate as you suggest bc I certainly don’t want to cause any undue stress without knowing for certain, the safety of each individual. Thank you very much for the advice!!
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