Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
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Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
They have seen more sunshine in the last few days. Give them some cactus, clover from the yard, Mazuri (though a couple of them aren't crazy about it). Can you recommend other feeding options?

Can you recommend a UV meter which is affordable? I see several listed but not sure if I need to buy the $100+ model to get an accurate measurement. thank you!
I just spoke with Tort Stork on the phone. He says you are welcome to call him and gave me permission to post his number here (215)840-5240.

After talking with him, I'm certain he sold you top notch healthy babies that were started very well and thriving. This brings me back to what I can nit pick about your set up. Here is what I see:
1. The coir is too wet. We want damp, not wet.
2. The coir needs to be firmly hand packed. Its hard to walk on when its fluffy.
3. There is no humid hide, plants, open hides, etc... in your enclosure. Babies need places to hide to feel hidden and secure. As @Markw84 explains it, lack of cover causes long term low-grade stress which affect appetite, immune systems, and over all well-being. I've been experimenting with what he's been saying with good results. I can be a stubborn old bast**d, but when someone is right, they are right. And he's right. I have trouble keeping live plants alive, but my hatchings have large dark humid hides, potted plants, and I throw clipped branches from grape vines, lavatera bushes, and mulberry trees in with them for the first month or two. Since I can't seem to grow the plants very well indoors, I just clip section of my outdoor plants to use for food and cover, and replace them as needed, usually daily.
4. Are you running the UV tube all day every day? If yes, and with little to no cover, it might just be too much. Babies in the wild hide form the sun all day and seldom expose themselves. One of the things Randy and I just talked about was using UV, like your high quality bulb, for only one hour mid day. I started doing this about a year ago, and I like the results. Babies just don't need as much UV as we've been led to believe. Giving them D3 in the diet (Mazuri, and calcium supplements with D3) makes UVB even less necessary/important. No UV ever for years on end for an indoor only torotise can certainly cause MBD and other problems, but too much UV too much of the time, can also cause problems. Your new meter will help you determine just how much UV is reaching the babies, but either way, they should have lots of hiding places and leaves to hide amongst. There are mulberry trees in MO. Grab a big bag of leaves and throw them in the enclosure. Replace them every two or three days as needed. Or just clip whole branches and leave the leaves attached. Make it a jungle in there. As Mark has said, it should be tough to find your babies when its time for their daily soak.
5. No humidifiers. Its not good for tortoises to be breathing water droplets in the air. Humid air is fine because the water is in a gaseous form. Humidifiers make tiny little droplets. That is the "fog" we see. We don't want that.
6. In your first post you said it gets 90-100 under the heat. What temp is the rest of the enclosure? It should stay higher than 80 day and night, and the over all ambient should climb into the high 80s or low 90s for babies of this species. These temps are in addition to the 100 degree basking area. They like it hot.
 
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