Sulcata water intake/gritty urates

asampson760

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Aug 24, 2021
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Morongo Valley
Hi all!

I've had my sulcata for 3 weeks now. The first week I had him home I found this forum and changed the way I was told to care for him by the reptile store. I was told he is a year old, he weighs 92.9 grams and is probably 4-5 inches long.

He lives in an enclosed chamber where humidity is 80-90%. Ambient day time temp is around 87-90, basking spot is around 95. Temps get down to around 82-84 at night.

He eats a mixture of grocery store greens for now while all my various seed mixes (mostly the Testudo mix) are still sprouting. He gets a variety of escarole, endive, red and green lettuces, butter lettuce, mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, and carrots tops. I give him cactus pads a few days a week and he also gets Mazuri small tortoise food put on top of his greens a few days a week. And a pinch of calcium twice a week.

He gets outside in a large enclosure for an hour or so each morning and is soaked for 30 minutes once he comes back inside.

I noticed he had gritty urates the first day I ever soaked him. And these have continued off and on. Some days he doesn't have any urates. Some days they are more stringy looking. And some days they are still gritty. This morning they were still gritty. I have only ever seen them when he is being soaked. I also have noticed that he never uses the water in his enclosures. He has a terra cotta saucer sunken into the substrate inside and has two of them in his outdoor enclosure. I never see them used.

Should I be worried about his water intake? I have taken to misting his food in an attempt to add more water to his life. I have read on the forum that he can be getting rid of those gritty urates from the poor care he received before I got him, but would that still be the case now? Is there anything else I should be doing or something I need to change?
 

Chubbs the tegu

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Are u sure hes 4-5 inches? A 4-5 inch tortoise would be way heavier than that. And that is really small for a year old sulcata... most breeders dont start their babies the correct way and this is what ur seeing.
your current care seems pretty good. How long do you soak daily? I would up ur soak times to 45 min to an hr/day. Stick with what ur doing and hopefully u will start seeing some improvement. Good luck!
 

wellington

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You are probably seeing the result of bad care before you got him.
Keep doing what you are doing and it should clear out the bad and improve with the good.
 

asampson760

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Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
Morongo Valley
Are u sure hes 4-5 inches? A 4-5 inch tortoise would be way heavier than that. And that is really small for a year old sulcata... most breeders dont start their babies the correct way and this is what ur seeing.
your current care seems pretty good. How long do you soak daily? I would up ur soak times to 45 min to an hr/day. Stick with what ur doing and hopefully u will start seeing some improvement. Good luck!
Apparently I am a poor estimator of length (lol), I just watched a video about measuring and measured him. He is not quite 3 inches long. Does his weight seem more appropriate for that length? Does anybody have any guesses on how old he is? Is he even a year old or were they wrong about that too?
 

mastershake

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Jan 19, 2018
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585
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Florida
if you are following the care guide here in this forum for how to raise a sulcata you are doing everything correctly. they can vary wildly in weight at different ages. and some are super slow growers and others grow crazy fast.

 
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