Sulcata Hatchling Pyramiding Experiment

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DeanS

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Just to clarify further...I live in the High Desert...currently about 85. I bring them out if it's at least 75...at peak hours of the day...If they are kept inside...their habitats fluctuate between 80 and 100...their dens are about 75 with 10 - 20 % humidity. I've been here what? three days? and this is my favorite topic so far...Fife set some GREAT groundwork a few years back and it's AMAZING to see the variations people have developed since. Keep up the good work and Tom! Thanks for starting such a GREAT thread!
 

Tom

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-EJ said:
One more time folks...

With the best diet (whatever that is) and the best hydration(whatever that is)... all that is worthless unless you have the proper temperatures to metabolize the stuff. Now.. the stuff can be metabolized but it will not be metabolized properly without the proper temperatures.

With good heat and hydration you would be surprised at how forgiving the other stuff can be.

I keep several tortoises bone dry and they have zero pyramiding. Those that do have a little pyramiding are species that seem to be prone to pyramiding.

Again the 2 main factors seem to be Heat, first, and hydration second.


[/quote]

Ej, mine have always had adequate heat and proper gradients. Didn't stop them pyramiding. Are you telling us you disagree with the humidity thing?
 

-EJ

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I'd be willing to bet you are wrong on the temperatures you are providing. You might want to add a heat mat in a section of the enclosure and see what happens. Yup... it is my opinion.

Humidity is part of hydration. There is intennal hydration and external hydration.

Without the heat even the external humidity is not very beneficial.

Tom said:
-EJ said:
One more time folks...

With the best diet (whatever that is) and the best hydration(whatever that is)... all that is worthless unless you have the proper temperatures to metabolize the stuff. Now.. the stuff can be metabolized but it will not be metabolized properly without the proper temperatures.

With good heat and hydration you would be surprised at how forgiving the other stuff can be.

I keep several tortoises bone dry and they have zero pyramiding. Those that do have a little pyramiding are species that seem to be prone to pyramiding.

Again the 2 main factors seem to be Heat, first, and hydration second.





Ej, mine have always had adequate heat and proper gradients. Didn't stop them pyramiding. Are you telling us you disagree with the humidity thing?
[/quote]
 

Kayti

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I assume EJ means 'internal' not 'intennal'...

Either way, my Russians have always had the same heat set up their entire lives - full spectrum day, ceramic heater nights- and only with an increase in humidity/moisture has there been any positive change in their growth.
 

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Ej, what are the right temps? You've obviously raised a whole lot of torts and if my temps have been wrong all these years, I'd certainly like to learn what they ought to be.

Are you talking about heat mats like the Kane heat mats for hatchlings? This is not the first time I've heard this and I'm actually planning this for a couple of upcoming sulcata hatchlings.
 

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The heat thing kind of got me thinking...

Ever seen a pyramided RES? I have. Lots of times.

So, what causes the pyramiding in a WATER turtle? Obviously it is not humidity. Some believe it to be too much protein/overfeeding. It is possible. Overfeeding a turtle that doesn't get enough exercise COULD contribute. It is believed to contribute in tortoises, right?

But what if keeping the turtle too cold had a lot more to do with it than we thought?

Just an idea.

I don't think upping the humidity is going to be a cure all. I think there are too many other factors.
 

Tom

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Good point. Time will tell. I wonder if a grass eating desert dwelling tortoise pyramids for a different reason than a meat eating aquatic turtle.

I have seen mal-formed shells in RES, but nothing that I would call pyramiding in the sense of a sulcata or a leopard. In the RES I've seen there was no basking site, no UV and too cold temps. Usually the water was foul and the diet poor too. I don't know which factor or combination of factors causes the mis-shappen shell in these RES, but it seems quite a lot different than the pyramiding effect, so common in the desert species of tortoises.
 

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Adult RES are no more meat eaters than a RF or Hingeback ;) They are mostly meat eaters as hatchlings, but become more vegetarian as they mature.

And I am talking true pyramiding, not malformation.

92718375_dbc4d965cd.jpg
 
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stells

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Just to say i don't disagree with the whole humidity thing... i do have humid areas in SOME of my tortoise enclosures... but have also had good results with tortoises that i have raised dry...

I think some people are getting to stuck on the humidity thing and are not taking other factors... like temps (as Ed said)... and other variables into play
 

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stells said:
Just to say i don't disagree with the whole humidity thing... i do have humid areas in SOME of my tortoise enclosures... but have also had good results with tortoises that i have raised dry...

I think some people are getting to stuck on the humidity thing and are not taking other factors... like temps (as Ed said)... and other variables into play

I think this is different for different species and I think this is mostly about hatchlings. I'm mainly talking about sulcatas and Leopards as they seem really prone to it AND many other people who are much more knowledgeable and experienced with them than me have come to the conclusion that humidity is the key. Again, my sulcatas had all of the things listed as causes of pyramiding totally covered, except humidity, and they pyramided a lot. It is not a coincidence that people who live in humid areas have sulcatas and Leopards that are a less less pyramided than mine. I live in the driest of dry areas and mine all grew up in outdoor pens, out in the hot dry air everyday. Then they came in at night to a dry house with electric heaters and CHEs on a dry substrate. No one in my area has ever had a respiratory infection, but no has ever grown a smooth Leo or sulcata either. Go to South FL or New Orleans and look at the sulcatas and Leos raised outdoors there. At first, I tried to insist they were wild caught imports, but the evidence was just overwhelming. Most of these people were at or below average as far as knowledge of tortoise care and their techniques were quite variable, but they all had smooth torts.

We can all share opinions and discuss it all day, but the proof will be in the pudding, or not. A year from now, we'll see what my new hatchlings look like and go from there. I've already got four examples of raising them dry using MY techniques. Soon I'll have several examples of what they look like using my techniques AND humidity.
 

DeanS

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When I worked at Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach, I saw a lot of sulcatas and only a handful showed any signs of pyramiding...the one we had did look WC...and very well could have been (hole drilled in pygal)
 

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DeanS said:
When I worked at Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach, I saw a lot of sulcatas and only a handful showed any signs of pyramiding...the one we had did look WC...and very well could have been (hole drilled in pygal)

Thanks Dean. I am determined to get this figured out once and for all. Info like yours helps. I did see pyramided torts in those areas, but they were raised indoors, in A/C under hot lights, on a dry substrate.
 
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stells

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Thats the part i don't get... and probably never will... you say about your "control group" but also say you tried various things with them in the past... so it isn't just down to the fact that you raised them dry... it could be down to a number of other things...
 

DeanS

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Tom said:
DeanS said:
When I worked at Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach, I saw a lot of sulcatas and only a handful showed any signs of pyramiding...the one we had did look WC...and very well could have been (hole drilled in pygal)

Thanks Dean. I am determined to get this figured out once and for all. Info like yours helps. I did see pyramided torts in those areas, but they were raised indoors, in A/C under hot lights, on a dry substrate.

Exactly! The sulcatas raised outdoors (strictly) were not pyramiding at all, while the ones with artificial (indoor) environments were more inclined to pyramid. A GREAT point you make about A/C, because in FL, the A/C seems to eliminate any indoor humidity. Plus, the ONLY reason to bring torts indoors in FL would be to eliminate the predator problem (raccoons). I never saw temps drop below 65 (even in winter), so humidity is a bigger piece of the puzzle than most people think. Nevermind how arid the Sahara is...these are captive raised animals and ALL environments are artificial no matter how nice the habitat, no matter what plants, grasses, weeds, etc they have access to... anything not North Central Africa is not natural habitat and it is our responsibility as tort keepers to ensure that we make ALL strives to create that PERFECT environment for them, given the resources at our disposal! Ouch! That almost sounds like preaching!:rolleyes:
 

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What other points can you deduce from the tortoises having access to the warm outdoors?

DeanS said:
Tom said:
DeanS said:
When I worked at Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach, I saw a lot of sulcatas and only a handful showed any signs of pyramiding...the one we had did look WC...and very well could have been (hole drilled in pygal)

Thanks Dean. I am determined to get this figured out once and for all. Info like yours helps. I did see pyramided torts in those areas, but they were raised indoors, in A/C under hot lights, on a dry substrate.

Exactly! The sulcatas raised outdoors (strictly) were not pyramiding at all, while the ones with artificial (indoor) environments were more inclined to pyramid. A GREAT point you make about A/C, because in FL, the A/C seems to eliminate any indoor humidity. Plus, the ONLY reason to bring torts indoors in FL would be to eliminate the predator problem (raccoons). I never saw temps drop below 65 (even in winter), so humidity is a bigger piece of the puzzle than most people think. Nevermind how arid the Sahara is...these are captive raised animals and ALL environments are artificial no matter how nice the habitat, no matter what plants, grasses, weeds, etc they have access to... anything not North Central Africa is not natural habitat and it is our responsibility as tort keepers to ensure that we make ALL strives to create that PERFECT environment for them, given the resources at our disposal! Ouch! That almost sounds like preaching!:rolleyes:
 

DeanS

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-EJ said:
What other points can you deduce from the tortoises having access to the warm outdoors?

DeanS said:
Tom said:
DeanS said:
When I worked at Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach, I saw a lot of sulcatas and only a handful showed any signs of pyramiding...the one we had did look WC...and very well could have been (hole drilled in pygal)

Thanks Dean. I am determined to get this figured out once and for all. Info like yours helps. I did see pyramided torts in those areas, but they were raised indoors, in A/C under hot lights, on a dry substrate.

Exactly! The sulcatas raised outdoors (strictly) were not pyramiding at all, while the ones with artificial (indoor) environments were more inclined to pyramid. A GREAT point you make about A/C, because in FL, the A/C seems to eliminate any indoor humidity. Plus, the ONLY reason to bring torts indoors in FL would be to eliminate the predator problem (raccoons). I never saw temps drop below 65 (even in winter), so humidity is a bigger piece of the puzzle than most people think. Nevermind how arid the Sahara is...these are captive raised animals and ALL environments are artificial no matter how nice the habitat, no matter what plants, grasses, weeds, etc they have access to... anything not North Central Africa is not natural habitat and it is our responsibility as tort keepers to ensure that we make ALL strives to create that PERFECT environment for them, given the resources at our disposal! Ouch! That almost sounds like preaching!:rolleyes:

Warm is GREAT! Hot is better! The Brits have it great because as the temps go up so does the humidity. As in Africa (in their natural environment [what's left of it]), they get plenty of humidity in their burrows from residual moisture from roots in the soil above them and whatever seapage found its way beneath them...let's be honest, it's only a haven when you consider the 120+ temps at the surface. After awhile, those burrows will increase in temp (probably as high as 90) so the humidity will skyrocket. Think about that when summer hits and these guys look for ccover for the bulk of the day...a nice moist burrow will be most welcome indeed!

Something just popped in my head...This past winter, Mortimer would get restless and I'd HAVE to give him some time to roam the yard a bit...when he was done I'd find him right under the vent for my dryer duct and he'd be covered in moisture...and now I just took the opportunity to weigh him and he's 11 pounds heavier than he was in September...I don't know if there's any corrolation here, but it's pretty damn curious.
 

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kyryah said:
The heat thing kind of got me thinking...

Ever seen a pyramided RES? I have. Lots of times.

So, what causes the pyramiding in a WATER turtle? Obviously it is not humidity. Some believe it to be too much protein/overfeeding. It is possible. Overfeeding a turtle that doesn't get enough exercise COULD contribute. It is believed to contribute in tortoises, right?

But what if keeping the turtle too cold had a lot more to do with it than we thought?

Just an idea.

I don't think upping the humidity is going to be a cure all. I think there are too many other factors.

Kristina my experience with 'water' turtles is pyramiding from too high protein food.. when hatchlings.

Of course 'too high' protein will have an affect on herbivorous tortoises also.
 

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Total BS... too much protein is not a factor. Imbalanced protein might be a factor.

I've yet to see a study or even anecdotal evidence to suggest that 'too much' protein is a major factor.

Redfoot NERD said:
kyryah said:
The heat thing kind of got me thinking...

Ever seen a pyramided RES? I have. Lots of times.

So, what causes the pyramiding in a WATER turtle? Obviously it is not humidity. Some believe it to be too much protein/overfeeding. It is possible. Overfeeding a turtle that doesn't get enough exercise COULD contribute. It is believed to contribute in tortoises, right?

But what if keeping the turtle too cold had a lot more to do with it than we thought?

Just an idea.

I don't think upping the humidity is going to be a cure all. I think there are too many other factors.

Kristina my experience with 'water' turtles is pyramiding from too high protein food.. when hatchlings.

Of course 'too high' protein will have an affect on herbivorous tortoises also.
 

Redfoot NERD

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It does not matter to me what others think or believe or deny.. and I agree with Richard Fife ( although he has not made it public yet ). All other factors the same.. regardless the species.. the "wet" carapace ( misting the carapace until it drips ) keeps the carapace growing smooth.. from hatchling on.

I appreciate the fact that this may be too simplistic.. but I've tried the ways the old caresheets suggested. Maybe simpler IS better!?

Terry K
 

DeanS

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I have played so many varients of what Richard has sworn by that I'm seeing this sh*t in my dreams...misting them when they come out...misting them in their sleep, saturating their hides during the day, moistening their bedding mid-afternoon so that it's merely damp when I put it in their den boxes...and the list goes on and on...
 
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