Water dish and feeding

Raphthetort

New Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2022
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Cape Coral, Fl
We live in SWFL have recently welcomed an 8” redfooted cherry head tortoise to our menagerie, of cats, kids and Guinea pigs, and we are still trying to learn the ins and outs of his behaviors and feeding etc. We have a 40 gallon feeder tank where he sleeps basically, with an xl ramp water dish. He climbs in it and sits in it, but I never see him drink. It is cleaned and changed every morning. I don’t know if they are sneaky drinkers or he doesn’t like it to drink from. Also, he is fed every day, a mix of Romaine or dark leafy greens, sometimes mangos, recently we found he likes watermelon but that is a sparing treat. He also likes red peppers, and over the moon for bananas. Mixed in with a pellet food all with added calcium spray or powder. He doesn’t eat every day, and I have researched and of course get conflicting info. He is very active, especially now that it is warmer he hangs on the lanai with the cats. I set a water dish out. But again never actually see him go and take a drink. I have a screened lanai that runs the whole length of the house and is about 20’ wide. He loves walking around the edge of the pool. Finding hiding spots under tables and chairs. He is very active when out. I currently have a shallow ceramic dinner plate for his water.
Anyways, now that it is summer, I want to set up an area for him to drink and eat and have his own shade space when he’s out here.
I was hoping from some of the members if they had any thoughts.

Do they eat every day?
What do you use for your tortoises’ water dish.
Should I put a separate drinking bowl in the tank in addition to the dish with the ramp?
Any other advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We absolutely love our little Raph, and I want to make sure he has everything he needs. Kids and cats are so much easier because they are more vocal 😂 although Raph does make these cute squeak and noises when we rub his shell or he’s sitting with my son. When my son picks him up he holds him to his chest he immediately climbs up puts his head out and touches his cheek. Such a great personality.
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,286
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
We live in SWFL have recently welcomed an 8” redfooted cherry head tortoise to our menagerie, of cats, kids and Guinea pigs, and we are still trying to learn the ins and outs of his behaviors and feeding etc. We have a 40 gallon feeder tank where he sleeps basically, with an xl ramp water dish. He climbs in it and sits in it, but I never see him drink. It is cleaned and changed every morning. I don’t know if they are sneaky drinkers or he doesn’t like it to drink from. Also, he is fed every day, a mix of Romaine or dark leafy greens, sometimes mangos, recently we found he likes watermelon but that is a sparing treat. He also likes red peppers, and over the moon for bananas. Mixed in with a pellet food all with added calcium spray or powder. He doesn’t eat every day, and I have researched and of course get conflicting info. He is very active, especially now that it is warmer he hangs on the lanai with the cats. I set a water dish out. But again never actually see him go and take a drink. I have a screened lanai that runs the whole length of the house and is about 20’ wide. He loves walking around the edge of the pool. Finding hiding spots under tables and chairs. He is very active when out. I currently have a shallow ceramic dinner plate for his water.
Anyways, now that it is summer, I want to set up an area for him to drink and eat and have his own shade space when he’s out here.
I was hoping from some of the members if they had any thoughts.

Do they eat every day?
What do you use for your tortoises’ water dish.
Should I put a separate drinking bowl in the tank in addition to the dish with the ramp?
Any other advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. We absolutely love our little Raph, and I want to make sure he has everything he needs. Kids and cats are so much easier because they are more vocal 😂 although Raph does make these cute squeak and noises when we rub his shell or he’s sitting with my son. When my son picks him up he holds him to his chest he immediately climbs up puts his head out and touches his cheek. Such a great personality.
Hello and welcome. Here is some info for you:
-The 40 gallon tank is WAY too small. At 8 inches, this guy can live outside full time with a heated house. Like this:
Lock him in every night to keep him safe from rodents and predators, open the door every morning.
-Ramped water bowls a a flipping/drowning hazard. Use terra cotta saucers sunk into the substrate for food and water.
-Walking around on the Lanai is dangerous in many ways and is likely to result in death, injury or sickness. Make the tortoise a large dedicated enclosure where people and other peoples don't go.
-The hard pavers are too abrasive for their feet. Eventually it will wear down and the feet will bleed. They need to be on some sort of earth or substrate.
-Many tortoises drown in pools. He should not have access to the pool edge. Everyone thinks it will be okay and they will watch carefully, and then one day it happens. Prevent this tragedy. No pool access.
-When kept at the correct temperatures, well hydrated, and in a large enclosure where they can walk around, they usually eat every day.

Here is a good care sheet:
 

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