hyj1752

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Tortellini (Eastern Hermann) is about 4-6 months old and is 76g. I keep him in a vivarium because it is terribly dry in the winter (like my own body is cracking because it’s so dry). It’s around 70%~80% at all times. Cool zone 28c, hot zone 33c, central 30c. He had sun soak time until early november, and then UVB was off for three weeks. I turned UVB on this Monday, 11-12hrs. I did this because I learned midway coil bulbs are bad, and ordered the proper uvb which took three weeks to arrive because Christmas.

The past two days he’s started not eating, or at least eating way less. The first day he finished half, the second day he finished 1/3, today he ate three bites or something. I think he knows it’s dead winter, because of the food + I woke up late this week and turned on the lights 2-4 hrs later than usual.

I feed him: mallow leaves, kale leaves, endives, pansies, boston fern leaves, wheat grass. Usually there’s way more variety (which maybe he’s gotten used to?), but it’s winter and my garden is pretty closed. Also, it’s pretty much the first time I’ve fed him stuff outside of my garden, as well.

His tongue is pink, he’s pooping regularly (1-2times a day), he swims and soaks, drinks regularly. His eye is bright and he is still being his cheeky self! Just lessy monchy. I will say he’s grown immensely in the three months I’ve had him, and he did overeat last week (my sister fed him without my knowledge and trust me she’s heard enough about why she shouldn’t).

Is he trying to hibernate? Could it be vitamin A deficiency? How do I get him to eat again.. I haven’t wormed him because he’s so little, and I don’t have the know how to hibernate a tortoise younger than a year. Help!

I’m still a new owner, and am trying my best to be educated. Please be gentle!
 

JoesMum

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Most tortoises slow down in the depths of winter. They detect the lack of light and their bodies tell them the cold is coming even if it can’t come indoors.

Make sure your tortoise isn’t getting too cold at night.

Start every morning with a good long soak (30-40 minutes) in warm water while your tort is less active. Offer food immediately afterwards. This will keep him hydrated while activity is low and he’s more likely to eat straight after the soak.

Make sure the lights are on good and bright. An additional LED lamp will help increase the brightness without affecting the temperature.

Use a temperature gun like this to measure temperature for most accuracy
258B2AEA F8CC 471A 81C2 182B1B92FF20

Photos of your enclosure and lighting will help us spot if there are any changes that might help. :)
 

hyj1752

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Sep 17, 2020
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Seoul
Most tortoises slow down in the depths of winter. They detect the lack of light and their bodies tell them the cold is coming even if it can’t come indoors.

Make sure your tortoise isn’t getting too cold at night.

Start every morning with a good long soak (30-40 minutes) in warm water while your tort is less active. Offer food immediately afterwards. This will keep him hydrated while activity is low and he’s more likely to eat straight after the soak.

Make sure the lights are on good and bright. An additional LED lamp will help increase the brightness without affecting the temperature.

Use a temperature gun like this to measure temperature for most accuracy
View attachment 313931

Photos of your enclosure and lighting will help us spot if there are any changes that might help. :)

Hi thanks for replying so quickly and with detail! I’ve attached some photos below! I have not installed the UVB bar yet, so I’m using a bulb at the moment. That’ll change before the new year.

I do give him a soak in the middle of the day, but I’ll do it in the morning from tomorrow. Thanks for the tip.
 

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JoesMum

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Get the new UVB in as soon as possible.

That thermometer isn’t accurate. You do need to replace it with the infrared gun type I mentioned before. You can get them from Amazon.

Your enclosure looks small for a tortoise that size. You need to plan for a bigger one very soon

Give this a read for optimum care for your tortoise
 

hyj1752

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Seoul
Get the new UVB in as soon as possible.

That thermometer isn’t accurate. You do need to replace it with the infrared gun type I mentioned before. You can get them from Amazon.

Your enclosure looks small for a tortoise that size. You need to plan for a bigger one very soon

Give this a read for optimum care for your tortoise

It’s 90x60x45. That’s 3ft long and I have to make it would be enough for now (until he grows to 130-150g, according to this forum). It’s bigger than it looks because of camera angles and perception. Also, I have 3 different thermometers in there, as well as a gun. You can’t really assume from photos, I suppose.

I am trying my best, but I cannot move him until I move out which is soon.

If you could advise on what I can do help him eat again, that’d be really appreciated.
 
Last edited:

KarenSoCal

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I suggest that you turn off the UVB bulb you are using. He will be fine until you get the new tube installed. I agree his slowdown in eating is probably season related, but just in case the bulb is bothering him, just turn it off. When you start using the new tube, it only needs to be on for 2 hours daily in midday, like 11-1:00, or 12 noon - 2PM.

Also, consider putting his lights on a timer. Set the basking and ambient light for 14 hours on every day, and off at night. The UVB can be set for 2 hours daily. Then you can sleep in and not be concerned with his lighting.

Torts really can't overeat. They should eat all they want every day of foods that are good for them. There is no reason to limit him to a certain amount.

In early winter my 2.5 year old star tortoise reduced his eating to about 25% of usual. This continued for around 5-6 weeks, when he suddenly started eating everything in sight. And stars don't brumate. So for a tort that brumates, not eating much isn't a problem for a few weeks. As long as he eats something, and has no symptoms of an RI or any other illness, you don't need to be overly worried. There isn't any way to 'make' him eat more.

Many times they stop eating because they are too cold, so they can't digest food, so they don't eat. I know night heat is usually not needed for Hermann's, but since he's still so young it probably shouldn't drop below 20-21°C.
 

hyj1752

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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Seoul
I suggest that you turn off the UVB bulb you are using. He will be fine until you get the new tube installed. I agree his slowdown in eating is probably season related, but just in case the bulb is bothering him, just turn it off. When you start using the new tube, it only needs to be on for 2 hours daily in midday, like 11-1:00, or 12 noon - 2PM.

Also, consider putting his lights on a timer. Set the basking and ambient light for 14 hours on every day, and off at night. The UVB can be set for 2 hours daily. Then you can sleep in and not be concerned with his lighting.

Torts really can't overeat. They should eat all they want every day of foods that are good for them. There is no reason to limit him to a certain amount.

In early winter my 2.5 year old star tortoise reduced his eating to about 25% of usual. This continued for around 5-6 weeks, when he suddenly started eating everything in sight. And stars don't brumate. So for a tort that brumates, not eating much isn't a problem for a few weeks. As long as he eats something, and has no symptoms of an RI or any other illness, you don't need to be overly worried. There isn't any way to 'make' him eat more.

Many times they stop eating because they are too cold, so they can't digest food, so they don't eat. I know night heat is usually not needed for Hermann's, but since he's still so young it probably shouldn't drop below 20-21°C.

Thank you so much for your insight. The temp at night drops to 25c. I’ll definitely keep what you said in mind and move accordingly!
 

JoesMum

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A tortoise’s day starts with warmimg up to a temperature where it can be active and eat. After basking, the routine is eat, bask/snooze and digest food repeatedly in turn with the snooze getting longer and the eating less as the day progresses.

Offering food early is really important. They don’t understand lie ins. So if you’re planning a lie, leave some food out before you go to bed. Your tortoise won’t care if it’s gone a bit limp by the morning.

A morning soak helps to stimukate both appetite and activity, so it is better if you can get that in early ideally just after the lights come on (use a timer)
 
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