The Best Way To Raise Any Temperate Species Of Tortoise

Amoeba

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This is really good guide for me that never kept any testudo before. I have some question, is that ok if the night temp a bit high? Because I live in tropical area which is the night temperature on summer rarely go bellow 80F. And second question, in my experience with sulcata or leopard, the cause of RI is high humidity and low temperature, but for temperate species what the common cause of RI? Because we keep them on 70% humidity and no night time heating, so I feel bit insecure here when the cold season come.
 

Tom

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This is really good guide for me that never kept any testudo before. I have some question, is that ok if the night temp a bit high? Because I live in tropical area which is the night temperature on summer rarely go bellow 80F. And second question, in my experience with sulcata or leopard, the cause of RI is high humidity and low temperature, but for temperate species what the common cause of RI? Because we keep them on 70% humidity and no night time heating, so I feel bit insecure here when the cold season come.
I frequently talk with experienced tortoise keepers about choosing species that are best suited to our own climate. Testudo come from a Mediterranean climate. so 80 degree nights are not ideal, but they will likely survive it.

Where people in your type of climate run into trouble is when they think their climate is warm enough, so they don't use all the correct heating and lighting. When housed indoors, all species need the correct heating, lighting, and enclosure anywhere in the world. Follow the care guide, and you should succeed.
 

Amoeba

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Thank you for the answer Tom.:) I will still using temp controlled place for the night.
 

tag78

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First I have to say that English is not my native tongue, I always do my best, but bare with me?

I think this a good informative piece! I don't agree with everything completely, but the majority of it I do. I tried to read this as if I knew nothing about tortoises or tortoise husbandry.

There is one thing that I feel is very important. I've noticed that on this forum there's a lot of emphasis on pyramiding and preventing it, which is good. You should try to prevent it, growing up too dry can other problems like kidney problems, urate issues etc.

But technically, the pyramiding itself is not harmfull. A pyramided tortoise can live a normal life. It's not as esthetically pleasing, but it can live a normal life.
Feeding your tortoise way too much protein, wrong foods, no calcium, no uvb, tortoises full of parasites, worms etc etc is seriously harmful and can cause your tortoise to be seriously disfigured, ill and die.

I live in the Netherlands and a friend of mine is a reptile vet in Germany, specialized in tortoises and turtles. The things he sees as a vet are horrible and the majority has to do with wrong foods, lack of uvb, calcium and way too much protein. Sometimes he sends me pics of dead tortoises he's done autopsies on to show me the impact these things have. And these are the tortoises he sees, the majority of them die miserable at home without ever visiting a vet. The majority he sees has pyramiding but there are enough that look pretty smooth, they still end up being severely ill or have to be put down.

A few weeks ago he showed me a video of two squeaky tortoises. His colleage had put them down 10 minutes earlier. I was stunned! These toirtoises felt like rubber duckies, you could squeeze them in completely and they would bounce back like a toy. It made a squeaky noise. These tortoises where in tremendous pain. He said 'the owners said they had done nothing wrong', which was a lie ofcourse. Lack of calcium, bad foods, no uvb for years had caused this.

Sometimes he showes me pictures of tortoises, dead, full of worms and being eaten alive. There's nothing you can do at a certain point.
Or severely deformed tortoises who were fed way too much protein or without uvb for years. They look horrible and it's amazing they are still alive.

I have rescue tort, Timmie. He's 5 years old. He was captive bred in 2015 and sold at a reptile show in 2016. The people who bought him kept him in a 12 by 12 inch box, no water, no uvb, a lamp that was scorching hot and all he ate was Romain. He lived like this for 4 years. He has shell deformations, but he looks decent now. He walked weird in the beginning, belly sliding and not able to lift himself up. He's doing really well, he can climb now and lift himself up. Getting him to eat a more variety of foods is still a struggle, but we're getting there. I have no idea what the future holds, have no idea what's going on inside the little dude. But I'll do what I can for him.

So the conclusion is, in my opinion, that pyramiding is a thing to be mentioned, definitely! But pyramiding is the least of your concern when you actually see the results of very poor care on different levels.
It's the least of your concern when you see what ignorant people do and what the results are of that ignorance or lack of interest or whatever it is.

There should be a lot of emphasis on that.
You are speaking about human nature here and there is nothing you can do about that. One would be tempted to call for more regulation but look what world politics has done with that concept.
 

Tom

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You are speaking about human nature here and there is nothing you can do about that. One would be tempted to call for more regulation but look what world politics has done with that concept.
You got that right. Government involvement is not a good solution for almost any problem.
 

Tom

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Are Calcium supplements from a pharmacy (originally for humans) alright for tortoises? or does it have to be from a repti-brand?
Depends on what it is. For tortoises we generally want calcium carbonate.
 

pillow

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pillow

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That is not fine grade, its not fir bark, and the color makes it a no go.
I see, and what about this dirt?
 

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Tom

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I see, and what about this dirt?
There is no way to know what composted material that stuff is made of. Soil should never be used as tortoise substrate, and "potting soil" tends to be the worse.
 

pillow

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Tom

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