Tom is Not The Only Expert!

Status
Not open for further replies.

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
58,627
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I am sorry, but Tom is not the only expert in tortoise care. He is however the only one who belittles people for questioning him. I am done with this group.
You have not been belittled. You gave advice that is potentially harmful, and I said so. That is not belittling. That is making sure poor tortoise care advice is called out and stopped before it does ever more damage. Sounds like you are far too sensitive. I welcomed you to the group and offered free knowledge that would improve your tortoise's lives. That is being helpful, not belittling. No insults were slung your way, and no insult was intended. I addressed your outdated wrong info, and offered you help. If you are so sensitive that you can't see that, then this is not the place for you, and I don't know what place could possibly be for you. We take great care here to be welcoming and not insult people. We also work hard to promote good husbandry and advance tortoise care. When people come here that are not up to speed on all the new knowledge, it can be a bit of a culture shock. I hope you can get past your self-wounded pride and imagined insult and stick around to learn some new stuff. I hope you can teach me some new stuff. Nobody's tortoises are better off if you leave and close your mind.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
26,504
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
It's very frustrating to be asked the same questions daily. Offering your time to answer those same questions and then having the answers ignored or second guessed.
Tom spends a great deal of time answering questions with elaborate detail. Far more than most of us do. We're lucky to have him.
No one has been condescending here.
Please consider the advice you've been given. It's meant to better the life of your tortoise. Not to upset you. And it is advice that we have collectively concluded is true.
This forum is the most valuable resource a tortoise keeper can have. Don't let this one issue stop you from staying.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
91,614
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
No, Tom is NOT the only expert, however, I appreciate his advice. Years ago Tom was hatching sulcata babies by the dozens. He set groups of babies up in different situations for experiments. He shared his findings with us, showing pictures. He kept us all in the loop, so we were actually privy to how the experiments worked or didn't work.

Most of us parrot what we've heard other people saying, I'm guilty of that myself. But now that we've seen Tom's results, we not longer have to repeat what we've seen and heard on You Tube or Face Book, or wherever. We've seen the results first hand. We now know what works and what doesn't work.

No, Tom is NOT the be all, end all. But his advice is good stuff. Do I follow ALL his advice? No, I still have a mind of my own in some areas, but if it works, why change it?
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
5,521
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
If you were to do some research here on the forum, you would discover that many, many keepers come back, sometimes months or years later, to thank the forum, and Tom specifically, for his extraordinary assistance in saving their torts' lives.

Does he ever ruffle some feathers? Of course he does, because that's what is necessary to shake people out of their pre-conceived ideas and biases.

Sometimes, feelings get hurt, but our focus in this forum is the betterment of tortoise husbandry., not the coddling of super sensitive egos.

Come down off your pedestal, and you will learn something valuable...the best care possible for your tortoise.
 

Skunkworks

Active Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
141
Location (City and/or State)
Coeur D Alene,ID
I am sorry, but Tom is not the only expert in tortoise care. He is however the only one who belittles people for questioning him. I am done with this group.
Very True ,Tom is Not the only Expert here on this Forum, But Tom takes time to Help Everyone in Need.God Bless Tom.. We All have his Knowledge because he Shares it. I wouldn't care if he cussed me out on this Forum because I understand it's is Best for My Tortoise. Sorry you Feel the way you do, I'm sure Tom had your Tortoises best interests in mind and was trying to Help.
 

OliveW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2022
Messages
285
Location (City and/or State)
Branford, FL
@Retiree I just read every thread you've posted on and saw nothing close to being belittled.

Would you expect someone with some 30 years of a experience in a field to back down on his own personal knowledge and agree with you, just to not hurt your feelings?

This is not the the Dr. Phil forum. This is the TORTOISE CARE forum. Tom, and everyone else here wants your tortoise to live it's best and healthiest life.
 

Neal

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
4,958
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
I'm really not a fan of labels like "expert" or "newbie" or whatever. I've learned long ago that it is more helpful to not view others as a whatever label, but rather as an equal. I've certainly learned things from people that are new to the hobby as much as I've gained from people like Tom who have been at it for awhile. Of all the disagreements I've had with Tom or others, things usually end up with a positive outcome. Whether my convictions grew stronger or I made changes to better husbandry.

I've known Tom for awhile now and I don't think even he would say he's an expert necessarily. At least, to the point where he would be dismissive of anyone else's success. He's willing to learn just like the rest of us. I get that it can be a challenge sometimes to prove a point in a group that has as long of a history as us on TFO, but if you have some information or experience that can help others then you should share it regardless of how it's received.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I can see how people come and get scared off. I have yet to post pictures of my own enclosure, which I am extremely proud of, because it goes against the common grain of how hatchlings are recommended to be cared for here- primarily by Tom. Still I really do think he would appreciate it, even if it's not how he would raise Sulcatas.

I think it's important not to dismiss in our frustrated feelings that amount of knowledge available and freely shared here. I do not agree with everything Tom says, but I am fascinated by the immense knowledge and experience he has and open to learning from whatever he is generous enough to share. I can see value in learning from him even when I do not agree. I like to know the WHY, he is good at backing up his Why's. He is not a person that makes it up as he goes, and he has sound reasoning and data behind what he recommends. I've seen over and over where he says, please if I'm wrong teach me something, show me what leads you to believe or conclude XYZ, and share with us your experiences in return.

Much like him, I don't care about being right or wrong, but I love to learn. I do absorb as much information as I can from every corner, make my own observations, and find my own way adjusting as necessary. The wealth of information I have learned here from Tom's posts spanning back over a dozen years is invaluable. I only wish when reading those 10 year old threads about his experiments Yvonne mentions that I still benefitted from the pictures (which are no longer active). I would love to see them.

Sometimes he is shorter than others, but like Zeropilot said, people don't like to do their due diligence and show up time and again saying here is my new tortoise now tell me how to take care of it. It's aggravating to start, and definitely when people come admit they are clueless, but somehow still seem to know better than you when you take the time to be helpful.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
43,740
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I think it's a joke when newbies come on here, don't read any of the past threads, hump in with their bad info and then think we are suppose to trust they have a clue as they give that bad info.
Before anyone should listen to a newbie is after we get to know them, what they know about tortoises and what the do with the care of their own.
Then they think themselves is an expert lol.
That's just too funny!
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
43,740
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I can see how people come and get scared off. I have yet to post pictures of my own enclosure, which I am extremely proud of, because it goes against the common grain of how hatchlings are recommended to be cared for here- primarily by Tom. Still I really do think he would appreciate it, even if it's not how he would raise Sulcatas.

I think it's important not to dismiss in our frustrated feelings that amount of knowledge available and freely shared here. I do not agree with everything Tom says, but I am fascinated by the immense knowledge and experience he has and open to learning from whatever he is generous enough to share. I can see value in learning from him even when I do not agree. I like to know the WHY, he is good at backing up his Why's. He is not a person that makes it up as he goes, and he has sound reasoning and data behind what he recommends. I've seen over and over where he says, please if I'm wrong teach me something, show me what leads you to believe or conclude XYZ, and share with us your experiences in return.

Much like him, I don't care about being right or wrong, but I love to learn. I do absorb as much information as I can from every corner, make my own observations, and find my own way adjusting as necessary. The wealth of information I have learned here from Tom's posts spanning back over a dozen years is invaluable. I only wish when reading those 10 year old threads about his experiments Yvonne mentions that I still benefitted from the pictures (which are no longer active). I would love to see them.

Sometimes he is shorter than others, but like Zeropilot said, people don't like to do their due diligence and show up time and again saying here is my new tortoise now tell me how to take care of it. It's aggravating to start, and definitely when people come admit they are clueless, but somehow still seem to know better than you when you take the time to be helpful.
If it's wrong why wouldn't you change or improve it?
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
If it's wrong why wouldn't you change or improve it?
Because I truly don't feel it is wrong for my tortoises. As the title of the thread says, Tom is not the only expert; I agree. It is a mistake to only learn from one person. Chris from GST said my tortoises look "FANTASTIC" at a year of age. But they do disagree on how to do things, most here are aware of that. In fact, most TFO recommended Testudo breeders do not advocate for closed chambers of their hatchlings.

I have Testudo graeca ibera which do not require the same conditions as the species Tom raises, and which from my understanding he has more limited experience with. I do understand it is common for many here to recommend closed chambers regardless of species, but that is the part I disagree with. I believe there is more than one way to do something. I am following closely my tortoises and researching here daily to challenge my ideas, compare my progress, and be sure I feel confident they are receiving the best care. This includes reading Tom's advice to understand why he gives it, and comparing to other sources.

I would love to put them in front of Tom and ask his opinion, but that does require thick skin. I've slowly been introducing myself to posting more and considering it though. I can understand how it is intimidating to challenge Tom's ideas, which are widely accepted here. His reputation is well-earned though.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
43,740
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Because I truly don't feel it is wrong for my tortoises. As the title of the thread says, Tom is not the only expert; I agree. It is a mistake to only learn from one person. Chris from GST said my tortoises look "FANTASTIC" at a year of age. But they do disagree on how to do things, most here are aware of that. In fact, most TFO recommended Testudo breeders do not advocate for closed chambers of their hatchlings.

I have Testudo graeca ibera which do not require the same conditions as the species Tom raises, and which from my understanding he has more limited experience with. I do understand it is common for many here to recommend closed chambers regardless of species, but that is the part I disagree with. I believe there is more than one way to do something. I am following closely my tortoises and researching here daily to challenge my ideas, compare my progress, and be sure I feel confident they are receiving the best care. This includes reading Tom's advice to understand why he gives it, and comparing to other sources.

I would love to put them in front of Tom and ask his opinion, but that does require thick skin. I've slowly been introducing myself to posting more and considering it though. I can understand how it is intimidating to challenge Tom's ideas, which are widely accepted here. His reputation is well-earned though.
If your tortoises are smooth then you must be doing something right. If they are not, well then I'd say you are following the wrong advice.
I also know some breeders know better but won't spend the time or money to start their hatchlings right.
I believe @Tom did and I think is back into raising Russians. He can comment on that if he wishes.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
58,627
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Because I truly don't feel it is wrong for my tortoises. As the title of the thread says, Tom is not the only expert; I agree. It is a mistake to only learn from one person. Chris from GST said my tortoises look "FANTASTIC" at a year of age. But they do disagree on how to do things, most here are aware of that. In fact, most TFO recommended Testudo breeders do not advocate for closed chambers of their hatchlings.

I have Testudo graeca ibera which do not require the same conditions as the species Tom raises, and which from my understanding he has more limited experience with. I do understand it is common for many here to recommend closed chambers regardless of species, but that is the part I disagree with. I believe there is more than one way to do something. I am following closely my tortoises and researching here daily to challenge my ideas, compare my progress, and be sure I feel confident they are receiving the best care. This includes reading Tom's advice to understand why he gives it, and comparing to other sources.

I would love to put them in front of Tom and ask his opinion, but that does require thick skin. I've slowly been introducing myself to posting more and considering it though. I can understand how it is intimidating to challenge Tom's ideas, which are widely accepted here. His reputation is well-earned though.
Closed chamber do work for Testudo and DTs, and they do not need to be kept as humid as the more tropical monsoon species, but open tops can work too. This is directly from my care sheet:

The Indoor Enclosure:
There is much debate about this one. Indoors, I prefer a closed chamber, aka vivarium. Its easy to maintain whatever temperature and humidity parameters you want with a closed chamber. For temperate species, tortoise tables can also work, but it does depend on the conditions in the room where your tortoise table sits. There is nothing wrong with starting babies in glass tanks or clear plastic tubs. These enclosures are better than low sided tables and sweater boxes for all the reasons "they" say they are bad. Reduced air flow helps to maintain the correct warm and moderately humid conditions. If the room air is cold and dry, then more ventilation is not good for your tortoise. Glass does NOT stress tortoises out, and they understand what it is perfectly fine. 40 years of using them says so. If you stick a wild caught adult Russian in the typical 40 gallon tank sold by pet stores, it will definitely stress out and constantly scratch at the side. This has to do with the tortoise's mental state and the size of the enclosure, not the glass.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Closed chamber do work for Testudo and DTs, and they do not need to be kept as humid as the more tropical monsoon species, but open tops can work too. This is directly from my care sheet:

The Indoor Enclosure:
There is much debate about this one. Indoors, I prefer a closed chamber, aka vivarium. Its easy to maintain whatever temperature and humidity parameters you want with a closed chamber. For temperate species, tortoise tables can also work, but it does depend on the conditions in the room where your tortoise table sits. There is nothing wrong with starting babies in glass tanks or clear plastic tubs. These enclosures are better than low sided tables and sweater boxes for all the reasons "they" say they are bad. Reduced air flow helps to maintain the correct warm and moderately humid conditions. If the room air is cold and dry, then more ventilation is not good for your tortoise. Glass does NOT stress tortoises out, and they understand what it is perfectly fine. 40 years of using them says so. If you stick a wild caught adult Russian in the typical 40 gallon tank sold by pet stores, it will definitely stress out and constantly scratch at the side. This has to do with the tortoise's mental state and the size of the enclosure, not the glass.
My apologies! I just re-read both your Temperate species guide and your Sulcata one. At some point I got them mixed up and must have referenced the Sulcata one more recently.

I do see you have made distinctions between the two care guides in regards to open tables being a possibility for others raising temperate species depending on environment, just not one that you have found to work personally or your preference.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
43,740
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
My apologies! I just re-read both your Temperate species guide and your Sulcata one. At some point I got them mixed up and must have referenced the Sulcata one more recently.

I do see you have made distinctions between the two care guides in regards to open tables being a possibility for others raising temperate species depending on environment, just not one that you have found to work personally or your preference.
All the members we have still using open top tables, well let's just say, most are not smooth. Many end up realizing the closed chamber is probably better and end up adding some kind of cover to their tables.
 
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
All the members we have still using open top tables, well let's just say, most are not smooth. Many end up realizing the closed chamber is probably better and end up adding some kind of cover to their tables.
Well I guess that’s the real point I was making: it is not really accepted to raise in anything except close chambers.

I did somewhat incorrectly represent what Tom said though from the wrong care sheet. Although he says open top may work, he also still recommends the closed chamber.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
43,740
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Well I guess that’s the real point I was making: it is not really accepted to raise in anything except close chambers.

I did somewhat incorrectly represent what Tom said though from the wrong care sheet. Although he says open top may work, he also still recommends the closed chamber.
It's not that it's not accepted. It's that it doesn't work. You are learning that yourself. All the others I mentioned, were never forced to use a closed chamber. They used an open table and wondered why their torts are pyramiding. If you want to continue to use an open table do so. But don't wonder why they are pyramiding. You are seeing your own proof that it's not working.
Tom already proved it to himself what works and would rather use what works then what doesnt.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
26,504
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
If you look at your tool bar there is an ignore feature.
If you've decided that another members posts upset you too much, you can choose to ignore them and their posts won't be visible to you any more.
It's an option
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top