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Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by Danny1991, Dec 4, 2019.

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  1. Danny1991

    Danny1991 New Member

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    Hey Guys, I've recently acquired a tortoise. Not really a pet I've ever thought of having but tbh he/she is growing on me quite quickly. So basically, my father in law was given the tortoise by a woman who he knows who didn't know much about it or how to look after it. He then in turn gave it to us for our daughters. Originally he was ina very small, very badly built tank, about 2ft long 18 inch deep and with a small uvb bulb in the centre of the tank. I dont know the wattage but it didn't get very warm for him. So I ordered a new bulb and fittings, some fresh substrate, new plants and a thermometer for him and have built him a table from some offcuts 18mm ply I had in work. Hes now a lot happier in himself, hes eating more, and is alot more active. My biggest problem is I wasnt given any information about him at all, and at the minute I'm not even sure what species he is, let alone his age, or eventual size.

    I've uploaded a few pics, would anybody be able to I'd him/her for me to give me a better idea of his true care requirements and proper husbandry.

    Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.

    20191204_201729.jpg 20191204_201802.jpg 20191204_201816.jpg
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  2. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    That's a Sulcata tortoise. They can get in excess of 150lbs.
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  3. Danny1991

    Danny1991 New Member

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    So in other words, when he outgrows his tank hes going to need a bedroom.

    Joking aside, is there anybody on here that owns 1, are they difficult to care for, other than there eventual size. Most of the.research I've done is thinking he was something along the lines of a hermanns. But I.wasnt convinced, he just didn't look.right, which is why I ended up here. Guess I've got some more research to do. Probably not the tortoise I'd have chosen out of choice but I'd.rather not get rid of him if it can be helped.
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  4. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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  5. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  6. Danny1991

    Danny1991 New Member

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    Yeah I've just been looking at some good posts, growth data and care sheets. I just measured mine out of interest as I literally have no info about when he hatched or anything like that, hes currently around 5 inches long and 4 inches wide (measuring his shell only)

    Going to weigh him in a min I think, and then get myself to bed, I'm in work in 5 and a half hours but, didn't realise the time with reading up about sulfates.

    Thanks for the help mate.
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  7. Danny1991

    Danny1991 New Member

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    I have a few more questions.
    I've been squeezing in as much research as I can about Sullys, and torts in general. I would usually do this before getting any animal like this as I like to have everything set up and running right beforehand. But am trying my best at the min.

    I've seen mixed advice and opinions on calcium supplementation, I've ordered some cuttlefish bone, but as for dusting his greens, is it necessary and advisable, should he be ok with the cuttlefish or if he is better having his greens dusted while he is young( I read once to twice a week) do I get with or without vitamin D3.

    Secondly, I read a little about pyramiding and especially with young torts, I'm presuming hes probably only hatched sometime this year, is he showing signs of pyramiding or should his shell be shaped like that.

    At the minute he is in a tortoise table, as I was first under the impression he was something along the lines of a hermanns tort, and at his size was probably a few years old. Now I'm realising hes actually a young sully, is the open top style table no good with needing more humidity? He has a hot spot of around 37c with the lower end measuring around 27c, this drops to an even 20-22 of a night when his light is switched off, would I be best incorporating a ceramic bulb as well to keep.night time heat up.

    His table.is open top, am I.best making alterations to close it in to help.keep.the humidity higher? I dont have a hygrometer at the min but he gets regular mistings and soaks in the sink (until he outgrows it).

    He is also currently on some type of straw bedding that my other half purchased as it was advertised as tort bedding, he was originally on some sort of saw dust with what looked like cat litter underneath when we were given him, But I have ordered coco coir.

    I think that's everything, sorry for the overload of questions. Just trying to do what's best for him.
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  8. Danny1991

    Danny1991 New Member

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    I also weighed him the other night, he is 402grams, so I will be keeping an eye on his weight every month or so to make sure he is gaining weight ok
  9. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum! I'll comment on a few of your questions:
    • it looks like there may be some slight pyramidding, but it doesn't look too bad. Soak him regularly to keep him hydrated.
    • Open enclosures are difficult to keep humid enough.
    • Yes, night time heat is critical. Ideal minimum temperature is around 80F / 27C.
  10. Danny1991

    Danny1991 New Member

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    Thanks for your input Vlad, I'll upload some pics of what he is living in at the moment, it was only ever temporary, I built it from 18mm ply wood we had in work, but at the minute I'd rather avoid having to completely redo his full set up if I can get away with making alterations for now.

    He gets regular mistings and a decent soak once a day, would I maybe get away with adding in a humid hide for him?
    On the aspect of night time temp, would I maybe be ok fabricating a lid, with a heat mat glued to it to up his ambient temperature and help keep it up through the night.
  11. vladimir

    vladimir Well-Known Member

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    I would say that a humid hide would definitely be beneficial. For overhead heating, radiant heat panels are usually recommended: https://www.reptilebasics.com/rbi-radiant-heat-panels

    They're designed to be mounted from above and project heat down without being a burn risk to the tortoise
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