What Am I Not Doing Right?

JHJHJHJH

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I have two seven-month-old leopard tortoise and their shells seem slightly raised, this PDF has all the info on what I'm doing and I'm worried that I'm possibly doing something wrong. Pictures of the enclosure and the tortoises themselves are in the file.

Thank you!
 

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Maro2Bear

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Wow! They are really domed. Very neat. How often do you soak? I don’t see any reference in your document about that. Your humidity @70% seems low.

———————————————-

For those not able to view the PDF....here’s the info

Tank:
- 4ft by 2 ft
- Substrate: Repti Bark
- Bedding: Coco Core (Eco Earth)
Split but the tortoise’s kind of ruined it.
- 3 hides
- Basking Rock
- 2 plates for separate feeding. Out-door enclosure:
- 3 Hides
- 2 Basking spots
- 2 Water bowls
- Grass mix from Arizona Tortoise Compound:
- Flower Mix from Arizona Tortoise Compound:
Hollyhock, Purple Coneflower, Primrose and Marigold seeds and others.
Lighting:
- T5 UVB light 24 W (11 inches above tortoises)
- 100 W light bulb on right side (Heat lamp)
- Daylight Blue Reptile Bulb on left side (keeps that side at about 80 degrees) has UVA.
- Nighttime bulb: 100 W ceramic heat emitter (probably will get switched to 60 W as it
heats up outside) Temperature:
Under Heat Lamp: About 95 – 97 degrees Cool side: About 80-87
Night Temp: 84.6-85.7
Humidity: About 70%
Food:
Alternate daily between store bought greens and hay/dry flower mix.
- Store Bought Greens (changes every 2 weeks).
• Mustard Greens
• Collard Greens
• Endive and Escarole (these two are alternated every 2 weeks)
Grasses- Rye, Bermuda, Bluegrass, Alfalfa, Tall Fescue, Red Creeping and Blue Fescue, Timothy
Weeds- Dandelions, Chicory (Dandelion Greens), Mallow, Golden Purslane, Crimson clover, White
clover, Dichondra
Other Edibles- Echinacea, Cornflowers, Daisies and Petunias.

• Dandelion Greens
• Arugula (not very often/maybe once every 2-3 months)
• Bok Choy (not very often/maybe once every 2-3 months)
• Radicchio
• Red Left lettuce
• Romain (not very often/maybe once every 2-3 months)
• Watercress (not very often/maybe once every 1-2 months)
- Hay Mixture:
• Orchard Hay (softened and blended into fine pieces)
• Timothy Hay (softened and blended into fine pieces)
• 1 Zoo med pellet
• Arizona Tortoise Compound Flower/dry foliage mix (rehydrated)
Schedule:
8:30: Lights On
8:45- 9:00: Food put on plates.
11:30- 12:00: Tortoises are placed outside to get sun and graze.
One days they get greens they eat less grass and on days they get hay they eat more grass. (left outside anywhere from 40 min – 2 hours)
1:30-2:00: Soaked and brought inside.
They are usually given a little bit of food at this point and left alone for the rest of the day.
The 'mix' consists of Raspberry leaf, blackberry leaf, Dandelion leaf, Nettle leaf, Plantain
leaf, Strawberry leaf, Sage, Rosemary leaf, Yarrow leaf, Yarrow flowers, St. John's Wort,
Bugleweed, Marshmallow leaf, Blessed Thistle, Watercress, Cilantro leaf, Basil leaf, Alfalfa
leaf (weed), Chickweed, and more. Offered in half pound packages. We do change the
ingredients twice a year, so next time you order will have different varieties for your
tortoise.


Tortoise 1:

Tortoise 2:
 

JHJHJHJH

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They are soaked once a day for ~15 minutes

The humidity is closer to 80% - 90%, must've been a typo.
 

wellington

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Might have more to do with the way they were hatched and kept before you got them.
I would do less time outside at their smalk size/age. More like 30 minutes 3/4 times a week or at the most 30 minutes daily and soaking them right after. Also be sure it's a closed chamber.
Once they start pyramiding it's really hard to stop it. Fairly easy to get new to grow in smooth but hard to get the scutes not to keep growing peaked. .
 

JHJHJHJH

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I would do less time outside at their smalk size/age. More like 30 minutes 3/4 times a week or at the most 30 minutes daily and soaking them right after. Also be sure it's a closed chamber.
Is there a specific reason why? Their outside enclosure is closed and they are checked on every 20-30 minutes.
EDIT: Their inside one is a closed chamber.
 

Maro2Bear

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Is there a specific reason why? Their outside enclosure is closed and they are checked on every 20-30 minutes.
EDIT: Their inside one is a closed chamber.

What does the outside enclosure look like? Upload a few pix if you can. Pix always help, saves many questions back n forth.
 

JHJHJHJH

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1619136920404.png
This is it. There is a lid that's made of wood and chicken wire. You can kinda see it in the back left corner of the image.
 

wellington

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Is there a specific reason why? Their outside enclosure is closed and they are checked on every 20-30 minutes.
EDIT: Their inside one is a closed chamber.
Just to help with the pyramiding. Being in AZ it's very dry. At this young age/size is when pyramiding starts or not. Yours has already started. The less time in the dry AZ weather the more time in a nice closed humid environment the faster hopefully you can get it to stop.
If you want them outside more, soak the outdoor enclosure and cover most of it to keep humidity in, but you will have to be careful they don't over heat.
 

JHJHJHJH

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Thank you for responding! I have another question, should I be turning on their humidifier during the night too?
 

wellington

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If you have a closed chamber and wet substrate and not using a mvb you shouldn't need a humidifier. Specially if it's not a warm air humidifier. A cool air humidifier is not good to use.
So to answer your question, no not at night either.
 

JHJHJHJH

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What kind of warm air humidifier are you talking about? Do you have a possible specific one? I can't seem to find one online when looking.
 

TeamZissou

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There's no need for supplemental UVA via the blue bulb. Excessive UVA can contribute to pyramiding.

Is the T5 UVB lamp a 10.0 or a 5.0? If it's a 10.0 then being only 11" above the substrate is providing too much UVB which can also contribute to pyramiding. A solarmeter 6.5 is the only way to tell the UV level that the torts are exposed to. You also only need to run it for about an hour or two midday, rather than all day to further limit excessive UV exposure.
 

TeamZissou

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What kind of warm air humidifier are you talking about? Do you have a possible specific one? I can't seem to find one online when looking.

You generally don't need a humidifier with coir and fir bark. You can dump lots of water straight into the substrate and it will soak it up and provide the high humidity needed. It's not great for the torts to be breathing in water droplets as well.
 

JHJHJHJH

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I thought they weren't supposed to be in wet substrate constantly? We tried this at first but the humidity would not stay up, even if it was sprayed often.
 

TeamZissou

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It depends on the depth of the substrate. The coir can absorb a lot of water so it shouldn't be sopping wet. Humidity may also be lost through the tent setup, as it's not a true 'closed chamber.' Are you using a decent humidity gage such as an Accurite?

Do you have two enclosures? It looks like it from the pics, but just wanted to be sure. Tortoises should not be housed in pairs.

Have you read this:

 

JHJHJHJH

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Yes I have read that. Their substrate is about 3 or 4 inches deep. I looked a lot for a true "closed chamber" set up that was a decent size but really found nothing. I made an enclosure that I thought worked best. The heat doesn't seem to escape it and neither does the humidity. The humidifier wasn't added until I felt there was no other option. The humidifier makes it so the top layer of their substrate is moist and the lower it is more wet. I tried really hard to keep the moisture up from making the substrate damp, spraying around during the day, etc. It is a constant battle with the Arizona dry weather. Before keeping tortoises I had done research as to which species seem to be acceptable to house together. I found that most people feel leopard tortoises are a more agreeable species. I am at home all day long and they are in an enclosure right next to my desk where I work. They go about their separate business and don't bother each other. If I noticed bullying they would not be in the same enclosure. In addition, once they are older I do not plan to keep them together but they are young at this point and really don't care about one another.
 

JHJHJHJH

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Are my tortoises doomed? I am trying my best to get better and I am a first time tortoise owner. I have done a large amount of research on humidity, diet, and everything. I have seen 3 vets one of which works for the phoenix zoo's reptiles for advice. Do you think they could smooth out as they get older?
 

KT1

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There's no need for supplemental UVA via the blue bulb. Excessive UVA can contribute to pyramiding.

Is the T5 UVB lamp a 10.0 or a 5.0? If it's a 10.0 then being only 11" above the substrate is providing too much UVB which can also contribute to pyramiding. A solarmeter 6.5 is the only way to tell the UV level that the torts are exposed to. You also only need to run it for about an hour or two midday, rather than all day to further limit excessive UV exposure.
@TeamZissou & anyone else.. Huh? I'm confused about the UVB times...
I have a 8 month old leopard tortoise. I have my HO 5.0 UVB bulb on a timer for the entire day.
Is that too long?
 
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