What Am I Not Doing Right?

wellington

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Tortoise Club
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Sep 6, 2011
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Chicago, Illinois, USA
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?
No, your tortoises are not doomed. The kind of humidifiers I used back in 2011 were warm air mist ones made for humans.
However since then they are not really recommended nor needed with a closed chamber.
I wouldn't use one. Make sure all temps are correct for day and night and use warm water to wet the substrate. Use your hands to stir in the water so it gets soaked up. If you put in too much, don't worry, it will dry up. A good temp and humidity gauge is needed, the kind you can get at home depot, etc. When you get the temps bas humidity right at tort height then all is good.
If there are any gaps in the enclosure to outside of the enclosure tape them up. They dont need air holes or vents. The air exchange that happens when you open the enclosure to feed etc is enough.
 

TeamZissou

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Aug 23, 2020
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522
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Albuquerque, NM
@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?

I would only run it for 1-1.5 hours midday, and discontinue using the blue UVA bulb altogether. If your humidity is truly 80-90%, then there is no other explanation for the severe pyramiding you're seeing beyond overexposure to UV. UVA especially is used as a speed curing agent for some plastics and adhesives. The T5 HO bulb emits both UVA and UVB. Blanketing your tortoises in lots of UV all dries out the new, soft keratin at the scute boundaries, causing it to raise up.

If you want to add ambient lighting, get a 6500k color temp LED bulb.

Otherwise, I don't see a path for the pyramiding to improve.
 

JHJHJHJH

New Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
Thank you everybody for your suggestions! I will keep everything in mind moving forward. I am continuously learning more and trying to make my tortoises life better. I will change out the UVA bulb for something else. I wasn't using it for UVA but just to keep the other part of the tank warm for them. I hope to keep improving their enclosure. The new growth that is coming in seems to be smoother with the higher humidity in their tank. I know that I am not perfect but I will keep trying to get better. Also if anybody knows anything about a custom enclosure company that would be wonderful. I have had a very difficult time finding something that is a good size and a fully closed chamber. I think it is just hard to own a tortoise with so many conflicting veiws on what is right and wrong. I will probably update later in the year for more advice if nothing gets better.
 

KarenSoCal

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Jul 8, 2017
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Our own Markw84 builds a palace for baby torts. And when the baby grows, the enclosure can be expanded.
Start a conversation with him and he'll give you all the info. Oh!, and the enclosure is "smart" too! Cool!
 

Jan A

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Jan 9, 2021
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880
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
Thank you everybody for your suggestions! I will keep everything in mind moving forward. I am continuously learning more and trying to make my tortoises life better. I will change out the UVA bulb for something else. I wasn't using it for UVA but just to keep the other part of the tank warm for them. I hope to keep improving their enclosure. The new growth that is coming in seems to be smoother with the higher humidity in their tank. I know that I am not perfect but I will keep trying to get better. Also if anybody knows anything about a custom enclosure company that would be wonderful. I have had a very difficult time finding something that is a good size and a fully closed chamber. I think it is just hard to own a tortoise with so many conflicting veiws on what is right and wrong. I will probably update later in the year for more advice if nothing gets better.
This is all a lot to take in. What sounds like criticism is not really criticism. On this site you have a lot of very experienced owners who grew up with the old ways & started changing things around for new technology, new husbandry & have the torts to prove what good care can do. Some are breeders. Some are rescuers. They all bring pretty good experience to the table & a lot of the materials on the forum reflect that. I encourage you to stay off places like facebook for many reasons, but for tort information absolutely.

There's just no place like this forum. I know. I've looked. You may find what you think is contradictory info here when there are other factors like tort species (i.e., redfoots are different than sulcatas--different temps, different humidity, different food, different size). People disagree sometimes. People debate here, mostly respectfully. Some people are quick learners; some aren't. We share one thing: we love torts!
 
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