Various questions regarding my new Redfoot! Please help!

Mark_jaa

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Nov 9, 2020
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17
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CDMX
Hello,
So, I'm a newb in tortoises, just got my Redfoot last Sunday. I've got many questions, since I've learnt a lot in this week of ownership, and each new day brings new worries for me! Would appreciate help from people here, since I've heard this forum is ideal for gathering knowledge.
1) I bought the lightning kit from zoomed (60 W bluelight and 5.0 UVB compact). And afterwards learnt that both colored bulbs and UVB compacts are terrible for tortoises.
I've been trying to offset the lack of UVB light in the enclosure by letting my tortoise wander (with constant supervision) in my yard for at least an hour a day and in its terrarium for like hour and a half beside a window (fully opened, since UVB rays don't pass through windows).
I haven't been able to find proper information on UVB light requirements, since I've read lots of different things about this topic.
Are this 2 hours of UVB light enough for its development?
2) Why are colored bulbs bad for torts? I still use the 60 W blue bulb to maintain heat in the day, and a 100 W red bulb at night to maintain at least 20 C (68F). (I try not to turn on the red bulb at night, since I've too read they aren't good for torts. (I'm saving up for a CHE, since I've read they are the ideal way to heat up enclosures).
3) How much fruit and protein should i feed my baby tort? I've been giving it fruit 2 days a week and I bought some reptile sticks to give my tort some protein. I served them today, but it didn't eat them. Question arises since I've encountered a lot of discrepancies on this topic.
4) I try to keep my humidity levels to at least 60%, since my terrarium is not sealed. Is this enough for my tort? Also, I've noticed that it doesn't like high temperatures. She likes being at 23 C (73 F), and if i raise it to like, 29-30 C (84-85) it never leaves it hide spot. Is this normal?
5)Also, after bathing my tort today I noticed its shell got some white lines. I only used a toothbrush and water. I got worried, since I don't know if that's normal. Picture follows.
WhatsApp Image 2020-11-14 at 6.33.15 PM.jpeg
6)Finally, can you provide some feedback on my terrarium? I know it's kinda small, but i plan on building a bigger, outdoor one before it grows a lot. It's 90x45 cm (35x18 in)
WhatsApp Image 2020-11-14 at 6.13.33 PM.jpeg
I'll leave a picture of Tortimer.
Thanks in advance and appreciate your help..
WhatsApp Image 2020-11-14 at 5.55.36 PM (1).jpeg
 
Last edited:

crimson_lotus

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1) perhaps someone could answer #1 other than me! I think 2 hours a day outside should be absolutely fine for UV exposure.

2) red bulbs confuse the tortoise into thinking things like substrate are food. you will also need a higher wattage to warm up the night temperature by 10ish degrees. CHE once you get it will be best.

3) I feed protein every 2 weeks. This varies from owner to owner - I have heard once a week to once a month. I also feed fruit every 5 or so days but I do give her a hefty helping. Again you will probably get some variation on how often owners feed their redfoots fruit.
For portion size, I would say size of the shell for greens, size of the head for fruit and protein.

4) high humidity and temps in the high 60's will probably result in a respiratory infection. I keep my tort's enclosure in the low to mid 80's as a constant, as redfoots are known to not particularly liking hot and cool zones. Please up your temperatures. it is basically impossible to know if tortoises "like" or "dislike" certain temperatures but what is the most important is their health.

5) I cannot see very close up on your pic but I assume the lines are from hard tap water. You can spray the shell with distilled water to alleviate this issue. rot is generally not found on the carapace of tortoises. you will also want to keep the shell moist for shell growth and to avoid pyramiding so don't go too crazy with scrubbing or drying.

6) the enclosure is not bad at all. I would suggest to up your overall temperatures and to change the water dish for something like a terracotta saucer plate. you could also upgrade the size of the enclosure by just getting a fairly cheap grow tent from home depot or something. cheap alternatives are out there.
 

Mark_jaa

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CDMX
Thanks for your answers!
2) red bulbs confuse the tortoise into thinking things like substrate are food. you will also need a higher wattage to warm up the night temperature by 10ish degrees. CHE once you get it will be best.

4) high humidity and temps in the high 60's will probably result in a respiratory infection. I keep my tort's enclosure in the low to mid 80's as a constant, as redfoots are known to not particularly liking hot and cool zones. Please up your temperatures. it is basically impossible to know if tortoises "like" or "dislike" certain temperatures but what is the most important is their health.
I tried leaving up both bluelight and red bulb light to heat the enclosure. It reached 30 C (86 F),maybe a little more. Also, it's main hide is at 90+ humidity. I achieved this by placing a little cloth over the entrance. Is this method okay, until I get the CHE?
3) I feed protein every 2 weeks. This varies from owner to owner - I have heard once a week to once a month. I also feed fruit every 5 or so days but I do give her a hefty helping. Again you will probably get some variation on how often owners feed their redfoots fruit.
For portion size, I would say size of the shell for greens, size of the head for fruit and protein.
Today I tried feeding protein and some leaves, but the turtle didn't eat a bite. Is it normal for them to skip food for a day?
6) the enclosure is not bad at all. I would suggest to up your overall temperatures and to change the water dish for something like a terracotta saucer plate. you could also upgrade the size of the enclosure by just getting a fairly cheap grow tent from home depot or something. cheap alternatives are out there.
Also, why is my current water dish a problem?



Thanks for your response and your help!
 

crimson_lotus

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Thanks for your answers!

I tried leaving up both bluelight and red bulb light to heat the enclosure. It reached 30 C (86 F),maybe a little more. Also, it's main hide is at 90+ humidity. I achieved this by placing a little cloth over the entrance. Is this method okay, until I get the CHE?

Today I tried feeding protein and some leaves, but the turtle didn't eat a bite. Is it normal for them to skip food for a day?

Also, why is my current water dish a problem?



Thanks for your response and your help!
low or mid 80's is perfect - any higher and it's unsuitable in my opinion. I suppose your heating method would depend on the period of time between now and getting a CHE. I wouldn't worry if it's only a week or two.

my tortoise sometimes doesn't eat her greens, but never turns down her favorites like mazuri pellets, mango, or something super smelly like tuna. if it's one days worth of food don't worry. your tortoise needs some time to adjust to their new home and they might skip a few meals.

for the water bowl: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/deadly-water-dish.187559/#post-1890862
it can potentially be a flipping hazard so its best avoided.

Here is also a redfoot care sheet posted in the forum's redfoot section: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-tortoise-caresheet.172531/
 
Last edited:

Mark_jaa

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low or mid 80's is perfect - any higher and it's unsuitable in my opinion. I suppose your heating method would depend on the period of time between now and getting a CHE. I wouldn't worry if it's only a week or two.

my tortoise sometimes doesn't eat her greens, but never turns down her favorites like mazuri pellets, mango, or something super smelly like tuna. if it's one days worth of food don't worry. your tortoise needs some time to adjust to their new home and they might skip a few meals.

for the water bowl: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/deadly-water-dish.187559/#post-1890862
it can potentially be a flipping hazard so its best avoided.

Here is also a redfoot care sheet posted in the forum's redfoot section: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-tortoise-caresheet.172531/
Okay, thanks!
My CHE is bound to arrive next weekend!
I've got what I'm guessing are mazuri pellets as protein source. (I'm from Mexico, and haven't seen the trademark Mazuri, but they're from my pet store) and my tort doesn't eat them.
Okay,I've read the thread and when I placed the dish I thought about the way it's too inconvenient, so I placed some rocks outside for my tort to climb in and out, and some others inside, in the side in which there's a way out.
Should I also worry about the sides in which there's a wall?
 

crimson_lotus

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so for the mazuri pellets they are not really high enough in protein to be considered a protein source. I feed about 2x a week. there is LS and regular - the regular seems to be more liked by tortoises. I found the LS here: https://www.petco.com.mx/petco/en/P...S-Diets-Alimento-para-Tortuga,-500-g/p/127514

if you keep the water dish, you definitely have to think about all entryways. tortoises will go up the sides even though there is a ramp. dont worry about the part up against the wall.
 

Armadillogroomer

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I'm kind of late, but welcome to the forum! Tortimer is adorable (and shiny!).

I wanted to mention that those lines on your tort's shell are probably growth lines, and totally normal.

The care sheets are wonderful. Redfoots do love to eat, but they can be strangely picky. Most folks here will agree not to stress too much about the pellets as long as the tort is at least nibbling appropriate fresh foods. Get a cheap digital kitchen scale to occasionally check Tortimer's weight. No weight gain is fine, you just want to be sure your tort isn't losing weight when it decides it doesn't want to eat.

I would be wary of pellets if they came from a bin and not a Mazuri bag, as they may actually just be timothy pellets (like for rabbits and horses) and not reptile pellets. They won't hurt, but they are low in calcium and protein.

Be sure you soak the pellets. Soaking organic dried rose or hibiscus with the pellets can make them more appealing. Crumbling dried shrimp used to be my sneaky trick, they love the stink.

Another reputable brand you can find at Mexico Petco is Zoo Med (Forest). I love this one because there is a lot of dandelion and fiber in it, though it takes a little longer to get mushy. Very picky torts may respond better to the smell of RepCal Tortoise (known as "fruity pebbles" around here).

Keep us updated :)
 

Herman_WA

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Nov 13, 2020
Messages
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Washington
Hello,
So, I'm a newb in tortoises, just got my Redfoot last Sunday. I've got many questions, since I've learnt a lot in this week of ownership, and each new day brings new worries for me! Would appreciate help from people here, since I've heard this forum is ideal for gathering knowledge.
1) I bought the lightning kit from zoomed (60 W bluelight and 5.0 UVB compact). And afterwards learnt that both colored bulbs and UVB compacts are terrible for tortoises.
I've been trying to offset the lack of UVB light in the enclosure by letting my tortoise wander (with constant supervision) in my yard for at least an hour a day and in its terrarium for like hour and a half beside a window (fully opened, since UVB rays don't pass through windows).
I haven't been able to find proper information on UVB light requirements, since I've read lots of different things about this topic.
Are this 2 hours of UVB light enough for its development?
2) Why are colored bulbs bad for torts? I still use the 60 W blue bulb to maintain heat in the day, and a 100 W red bulb at night to maintain at least 20 C (68F). (I try not to turn on the red bulb at night, since I've too read they aren't good for torts. (I'm saving up for a CHE, since I've read they are the ideal way to heat up enclosures).
3) How much fruit and protein should i feed my baby tort? I've been giving it fruit 2 days a week and I bought some reptile sticks to give my tort some protein. I served them today, but it didn't eat them. Question arises since I've encountered a lot of discrepancies on this topic.
4) I try to keep my humidity levels to at least 60%, since my terrarium is not sealed. Is this enough for my tort? Also, I've noticed that it doesn't like high temperatures. She likes being at 23 C (73 F), and if i raise it to like, 29-30 C (84-85) it never leaves it hide spot. Is this normal?
5)Also, after bathing my tort today I noticed its shell got some white lines. I only used a toothbrush and water. I got worried, since I don't know if that's normal. Picture follows.
View attachment 311065
6)Finally, can you provide some feedback on my terrarium? I know it's kinda small, but i plan on building a bigger, outdoor one before it grows a lot. It's 90x45 cm (35x18 in)
View attachment 311063
I'll leave a picture of Tortimer.
Thanks in advance and appreciate your help..
View attachment 311064
Welcome! Your tort is just SO cute!
 

Mark_jaa

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Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
CDMX
so for the mazuri pellets they are not really high enough in protein to be considered a protein source. I feed about 2x a week. there is LS and regular - the regular seems to be more liked by tortoises. I found the LS here: https://www.petco.com.mx/petco/en/PRODUCTOS/Reptiles/Alimento/Tortugas/Mazuri-Tortoise-LS-Diets-Alimento-para-Tortuga,-500-g/p/127514
Thanks for finding that! It's actually sold in the store in which I acquired my tort, so I dunno why I didn't see it.
The one I bought, tho, says it has the next guaranteed analysis:
40% min Raw Protein
2.8% min Raw Fat
10% max Raw Fiber
12% max ashes (?)
10% max humidity
E.L.N.: 25.2% (couldn't find what this means, so couldn'ttranslate it).
Is this okay? Main ingredients are corn, sorghum, shredded wheat, and alfalfa flour.
Also, what's LS pellets?
if you keep the water dish, you definitely have to think about all entryways. tortoises will go up the sides even though there is a ramp. dont worry about the part up against the wall.
I placed many pebbles inside and outside the dish (it can actually be appreciated in the picture I uploaded in the first post)
Is this okay? Or does it still represent a risk?
Pebbles don't move a lot, and my tort gets in and out without much problem.
 

Mark_jaa

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Messages
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CDMX
I'm kind of late, but welcome to the forum! Tortimer is adorable (and shiny!).
Thanks!
I really fell in love with Tortimer!
I wanted to mention that those lines on your tort's shell are probably growth lines, and totally normal.
How can I recognize growth lines from other problems?

The care sheets are wonderful. Redfoots do love to eat, but they can be strangely picky. Most folks here will agree not to stress too much about the pellets as long as the tort is at least nibbling appropriate fresh foods. Get a cheap digital kitchen scale to occasionally check Tortimer's weight. No weight gain is fine, you just want to be sure your tort isn't losing weight when it decides it doesn't want to eat.
Tortimer is not that picky, till now! Only skips some meals, but at least eats his whole plate once every two days. Also, what weight should a ~1 year old redfoot be? I haven't weighted him, but I will start if it's a good way to see if Tortimer is healthy.

I would be wary of pellets if they came from a bin and not a Mazuri bag, as they may actually just be timothy pellets (like for rabbits and horses) and not reptile pellets. They won't hurt, but they are low in calcium and protein.

Be sure you soak the pellets. Soaking organic dried rose or hibiscus with the pellets can make them more appealing. Crumbling dried shrimp used to be my sneaky trick, they love the stink.

Another reputable brand you can find at Mexico Petco is Zoo Med (Forest). I love this one because there is a lot of dandelion and fiber in it, though it takes a little longer to get mushy. Very picky torts may respond better to the smell of RepCal Tortoise (known as "fruity pebbles" around here).
Pellets came in a bag similar to Mazuri, and are said to be specifically for tropical tortoises.
I posted previously the contents, so I would appreciate a response on the quality of these pellets...
I tried soaking them but they kinda disintregrated. They became very messy and my tort spread them in the whole terrarium, so I thought it was a bad idea.
The brand I bought is ABEPET, have you heard about it?

Keep us updated :)
I will, and thanks for your response!
 

TammyJ

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Jun 21, 2016
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Jamaica
Hello,
So, I'm a newb in tortoises, just got my Redfoot last Sunday. I've got many questions, since I've learnt a lot in this week of ownership, and each new day brings new worries for me! Would appreciate help from people here, since I've heard this forum is ideal for gathering knowledge.
1) I bought the lightning kit from zoomed (60 W bluelight and 5.0 UVB compact). And afterwards learnt that both colored bulbs and UVB compacts are terrible for tortoises.
I've been trying to offset the lack of UVB light in the enclosure by letting my tortoise wander (with constant supervision) in my yard for at least an hour a day and in its terrarium for like hour and a half beside a window (fully opened, since UVB rays don't pass through windows).
I haven't been able to find proper information on UVB light requirements, since I've read lots of different things about this topic.
Are this 2 hours of UVB light enough for its development?
2) Why are colored bulbs bad for torts? I still use the 60 W blue bulb to maintain heat in the day, and a 100 W red bulb at night to maintain at least 20 C (68F). (I try not to turn on the red bulb at night, since I've too read they aren't good for torts. (I'm saving up for a CHE, since I've read they are the ideal way to heat up enclosures).
3) How much fruit and protein should i feed my baby tort? I've been giving it fruit 2 days a week and I bought some reptile sticks to give my tort some protein. I served them today, but it didn't eat them. Question arises since I've encountered a lot of discrepancies on this topic.
4) I try to keep my humidity levels to at least 60%, since my terrarium is not sealed. Is this enough for my tort? Also, I've noticed that it doesn't like high temperatures. She likes being at 23 C (73 F), and if i raise it to like, 29-30 C (84-85) it never leaves it hide spot. Is this normal?
5)Also, after bathing my tort today I noticed its shell got some white lines. I only used a toothbrush and water. I got worried, since I don't know if that's normal. Picture follows.
View attachment 311065
6)Finally, can you provide some feedback on my terrarium? I know it's kinda small, but i plan on building a bigger, outdoor one before it grows a lot. It's 90x45 cm (35x18 in)
View attachment 311063
I'll leave a picture of Tortimer.
Thanks in advance and appreciate your help..
View attachment 311064
Maybe I am not seeing right, but it seems that the tortoise is pyramiding and perhaps needs to be kept in a sealed enclosure to increase the humidity. Make sure the temperatures are not dropping below 80 too often, and soak daily for at least half an hour with warm water level half way up the shell.
 

Armadillogroomer

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@TammyJ You're right! They said they just got the tort, so the pyramids aren't their fault. It looks like they've posted a few threads about their enclosure elsewhere.

@Mark_jaa :

How can I recognize growth lines from other problems?
There aren't a lot of problems that I know of that happens between the scutes, besides fungus. But after you look at a few threads here, you'll be able to recognize fungus. Growth lines come and go, they sometimes look a little chalky and then they fade.

Also, what weight should a ~1 year old redfoot be? I haven't weighted him, but I will start if it's a good way to see if Tortimer is healthy.
There isn't any real good rule of thumb, they grow at different rates. Mine was a little under 600 grams at a year old and about the size of a box turtle, but I've seen other yearlings that still fit in the hand. That's why weighing is important with torts. It doesn't matter how slow, just as long as they gain something.

The brand I bought is ABEPET, have you heard about it?
I haven't seen ABEPET in years! Is this the right one? If it is this food, it is definitely a good source of protein! It is okay for the occasional protein source or treat. But it's more formulated for young aquatic turtles, so don't overdo it or your tortoise will get fat 😄 If you want to feed pellets regularly, the ingredients in ABEPET iguana food would be closer to what a redfoot should have (high fiber). But you don't need regular pellets if your tortoise is eating their veggies :)
 

Mark_jaa

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CDMX
Maybe I am not seeing right, but it seems that the tortoise is pyramiding and perhaps needs to be kept in a sealed enclosure to increase the humidity. Make sure the temperatures are not dropping below 80 too often, and soak daily for at least half an hour with warm water level half way up the shell.
Yeah, as @Armadillogroomer has said, I just recently (2 weeks ago) acquired my tort, so it's not my fault.
Will this pyramiding be reverted in time, or this degree of pyramiding will remain throughout my tort's whole life?
Also, I set the temperature in the day to be 82-86 F, and 72-75 F in the night. Are these temperatures okay?
 

Mark_jaa

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There aren't a lot of problems that I know of that happens between the scutes, besides fungus. But after you look at a few threads here, you'll be able to recognize fungus. Growth lines come and go, they sometimes look a little chalky and then they fade.
Understood, thanks!

There isn't any real good rule of thumb, they grow at different rates. Mine was a little under 600 grams at a year old and about the size of a box turtle, but I've seen other yearlings that still fit in the hand. That's why weighing is important with torts. It doesn't matter how slow, just as long as they gain something.
My tort still (barely) fits in my hand.
How oftenly should I weight my tort to verify gains?

I haven't seen ABEPET in years! Is this the right one? If it is this food, it is definitely a good source of protein! It is okay for the occasional protein source or treat. But it's more formulated for young aquatic turtles, so don't overdo it or your tortoise will get fat 😄 If you want to feed pellets regularly, the ingredients in ABEPET iguana food would be closer to what a redfoot should have (high fiber). But you don't need regular pellets if your tortoise is eating their veggies :)
No, it's not the same presentation.
I have this one:
WhatsApp Image 2020-11-20 at 4.06.17 PM.jpeg
So, is this enough as a protein source? I fed my tort cooked egg white the other day, since it wouldn't eat this pellets.
I give veggies and leaves to my tort, so I guess there's not a thing to worry about there..
Also, how do I know if my tort is getting fat? 😯
 

Armadillogroomer

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You can weigh every week if you want. Since your redfoot is still young, you're likely to see a bigger difference every two or three weeks.

I looked up the ingredients for their regular tortoise formula and it does look similar to Mazuri. Keep providing a different protein every once in a while. Eggs are good! Mushrooms have a little bit of protein too.

It's hard to see if a tortoise or turtle is fat, usually the damage happens on the inside. As long as you feed the type of stuff that's on the care sheets, they are pretty good at regulating themselves and going back to bed when they are full. It gets more tricky or dangerous when you start to give them treats from the store or dinner scraps.

You can always post in the Nutrition section for more opinions or questions about feeding if you are concerned. I am not an expert, but you seem to be doing a good job so far :)
 

crimson_lotus

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I would give higher protein items for protein days - like egg (shell, egg yolk, and white!), boiled chicken, sardines, cooked white fish, shrimp, tuna, earth worms...list goes on!

I have never heard of abepet. you will know if your tort is fat if they cannot fit in their shell

the good news is you have more access to redfoot foods than I would! you can probably find optunia cactus pads and fruit a lot more easily than I can :) the pads are a good source of fiber
 

Mark_jaa

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You can weigh every week if you want. Since your redfoot is still young, you're likely to see a bigger difference every two or three weeks.

I looked up the ingredients for their regular tortoise formula and it does look similar to Mazuri. Keep providing a different protein every once in a while. Eggs are good! Mushrooms have a little bit of protein too.

It's hard to see if a tortoise or turtle is fat, usually the damage happens on the inside. As long as you feed the type of stuff that's on the care sheets, they are pretty good at regulating themselves and going back to bed when they are full. It gets more tricky or dangerous when you start to give them treats from the store or dinner scraps.

You can always post in the Nutrition section for more opinions or questions about feeding if you are concerned. I am not an expert, but you seem to be doing a good job so far :)
Thanks for all your help!
 

Mark_jaa

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I would give higher protein items for protein days - like egg (shell, egg yolk, and white!), boiled chicken, sardines, cooked white fish, shrimp, tuna, earth worms...list goes on!

I have never heard of abepet. you will know if your tort is fat if they cannot fit in their shell

the good news is you have more access to redfoot foods than I would! you can probably find optunia cactus pads and fruit a lot more easily than I can :) the pads are a good source of fiber
They really eat the egg shell? Amazing!
How can I know if it no longer fits the shell?
Yeah, I plan on givingsome cactus padsnext weekto see how it likes it!
Thanks!
 

crimson_lotus

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They really eat the egg shell? Amazing!
How can I know if it no longer fits the shell?
Yeah, I plan on givingsome cactus padsnext weekto see how it likes it!
Thanks!
I wouldnt worry, I can tell your tort is not fat. but when it tries to retreat into its shell it wont be able to
 
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