What weight should a baby sulcata be

Lovechell69

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i weighed Amara when I got her and she weighed 52 grams. It’s been a month and a half now and she is at 58 grams. She was at 60 before her respiratory infection and she’s almost back to where I had her. Let me get to my point. She still has the circular thing on her belly so I know she is really young. Does anyone have any ideas on how I need to guide her weight. I know they can over eat. She eats twice a day ( her choice). I’m still trying daily to get her to eat hay. I’ve got multiple different types. I’ve soaked and cut but no luck. I leave her hay in her dish overnight hoping she will try it. I know your not experts but you’ve been where I am. She is eating good but I don’t know what kind of weight growth I should be looking at. I weigh and keep a journal for her
 

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Tom

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Babies hatch at about 35 grams. If all goes well, they should be over 100 grams after about 90-100 days. If they get sick, or are started too dry, or if they are left outside all day, this slows things tremendously. No way to predict what their weight will be with any of these disadvantages.

Babies don't eat hay. You can stop trying. Hay is much too large and too coarse for babies. They usually don't start eating hay until they are 12+ inches longs. Tender, freshly sprouted grass is what is best for babies. The little wheat grass plots from the pet store are a good way to get them going on grass when they are small.
 

Lovechell69

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Thank you. Thanks to Drew and Cheryl a few weeks ago I got both temps and humidity perfect. She gets her thirty minute soak daily and looks bright and clear. Thank you about the hay info. I know they get bored with the same thing every day so I mix it up daily. I try to throw bright colored food in to catch her eye. I do have another question. In a four foot long tank with six inch high substrate and Amara being so small how often should I change her substrate. I had to go to the exotic pet store for another uva/uvb bulb and I asked the owner and he told me monthly. She doesn’t make a mess does her business while soaking and I mix the substrate to keep it moist. This is the same store Amara was bought from with a lot of poor treatment and it lot of incorrect information. I have the cleaner for sulcata’s. Does anyone know where I can get supplies other than zoo med. there lamps bulbs keep going out and they only carry loose coconut fiber that makes Amara sneeze and she hates it
 

Tom

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Thank you. Thanks to Drew and Cheryl a few weeks ago I got both temps and humidity perfect. She gets her thirty minute soak daily and looks bright and clear. Thank you about the hay info. I know they get bored with the same thing every day so I mix it up daily. I try to throw bright colored food in to catch her eye. I do have another question. In a four foot long tank with six inch high substrate and Amara being so small how often should I change her substrate. I had to go to the exotic pet store for another uva/uvb bulb and I asked the owner and he told me monthly. She doesn’t make a mess does her business while soaking and I mix the substrate to keep it moist. This is the same store Amara was bought from with a lot of poor treatment and it lot of incorrect information. I have the cleaner for sulcata’s. Does anyone know where I can get supplies other than zoo med. there lamps bulbs keep going out and they only carry loose coconut fiber that makes Amara sneeze and she hates it
If you are soaking daily and the tortoise is doing its business in the soak water, you don't ever need to change the substrate. It can go years, or until you move the tortoise outside full time.

Unfortunately, pet stores are not good places for tortoise info or tortoise products. There are a few reptile specialty items like thermostats, UV bulbs, CHEs, and food or seed mixes that I order from https://www.lllreptile.com or https://www.tortoisesupply.com, but I buy most stuff at hardware stores. I get my substrate in bulk at local garden centers:

Orchid Bark
 

Yvonne G

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I don't change my substrate. Occasionally I may add another layer of fresh over the old, but it lasts a whole season. When the tortoises are big enough to move to a bigger enclosure, I toss that substrate into the flower beds and they start the new enclosure in new substrate.
 

Lovechell69

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Thank you both. I will have to look at the site. Unfortunately I live in the country and even going to larger cities I can’t find much of anything. I go to the exotic store on a emergency basis. They carry the bulbs I need. I don’t know if it’s zoo med itself but their bulbs cost a fortune and don’t last very long. The lamps not much better so I found a company on amazon I’m happy with and they stand by their products. I do thank y’all. I could have saved myself a lot of money if I had asked in the forum first
 

Tom

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Thank you both. I will have to look at the site. Unfortunately I live in the country and even going to larger cities I can’t find much of anything. I go to the exotic store on a emergency basis. They carry the bulbs I need. I don’t know if it’s zoo med itself but their bulbs cost a fortune and don’t last very long. The lamps not much better so I found a company on amazon I’m happy with and they stand by their products. I do thank y’all. I could have saved myself a lot of money if I had asked in the forum first
Do you have a Home Depot, Lowes, OSH, or Tractor Supply near you? That is where I get most of my stuff. The few other things I order and have delivered from the two places I linked for you.
 

Lovechell69

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I have been to Home Depot Lowe’s feed co-ops. I practically lived there before I got Amara because I work on my mother in laws four Acres. Honestly this is farm country. Finding anything is impossible. The exotic store sells the loose coconut fiber and I made the mistake of buying it once. I knew as soon as I saw how powder like it was I wouldn’t be using it. I buy the reptiprime on Amazon and I like it. Down side the bags are small so a four foot long tank means buying two bags. I wrote the links you gave me and I checked them out. So cool. Thank you for doing that. My supply options were limited but not any longer. I have to ask yet again another question. I bought zoo med lamps and bulbs because that’s all the exotic store carries. I don’t like them very much. Two bulbs blew in a weeks time and the clamp lamps and mini domes the bases are very loose just from changing bulbs that should have lasted longer. Thirty five dollars a bulb I should get more than a week out of it. Are there any other makers of the lamps out there. I found a different place for the bulbs and heat emmitters. I will look on the sites further.
 

Blackdog1714

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I use Zilla and they do well. Many others love the arcadia's UVB bulbs. Also search Coconut Coir on amazon and you will get many selections for heavy blocks of it. One 5 Kg block expands a crazy amount-I used an 18 gallon rubbermaid to rehydrate and shred. Also make a list so you don't get carried down the crazy train- also you can use it to make a big order so as to not waste when you get a shipment (Check some stores will even do ship to store and that can help with shipping costs.. When I started setting up for my baby Russian I almost went waco with the awesome but neverending fount of knowledge that TFO is.
 

Lovechell69

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Lol thank you. It’s been crazy but you’re so right. I’ve learned more here than I have from stores the internet searches and a exotic vet who said a 80 gallon aquarium was too large for a aquarium. I was making a appointment because I had just got Amara as a gift and she came from a exotic pet store. I knew when I talked to her on the phone I would not be making a Apple. She had a respiratory infection a couple of weeks ago and the archives in the forum taught me about carrot soaks nasal flushes and baytril. Some members in here kept me sane when I was freaking out about giving the injections and her not using her leg. This forum amazes me
 

EllieMay

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What part of Arkansas are you in? Atwood’s has some good supplies and is usually better priced. For the uvb bulbs and extra food and treats, I stick to online ordering. I find it’s actually cheaper anyway.. I’ve not been able to locate Toms green all substrate but the cypress mulch is usually plentiful and very cheap. I don’t have any problem retaining moisture for my little ones and they still burrow in it:)
 

Tom

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I have to ask yet again another question. I bought zoo med lamps and bulbs because that’s all the exotic store carries. I don’t like them very much. Two bulbs blew in a weeks time and the clamp lamps and mini domes the bases are very loose just from changing bulbs that should have lasted longer. Thirty five dollars a bulb I should get more than a week out of it. Are there any other makers of the lamps out there. I found a different place for the bulbs and heat emmitters. I will look on the sites further.

I use bulbs and fixtures from the hardware store.


There are four elements to heating and lighting:

  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them.
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. You'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT.
  3. Light. I use florescent tubes or LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height.
 

Lovechell69

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Thanks. I’m in central Arkansas. Atwoods just laughed at us when we went in looking for supplies because I didn’t see anything. When I said country I meant it lol. Cows, soybeans, rice and corn and that’s what everyone carries just for farmers. I had a hard time finding a exotic vet if I need one and it’s two hours there if you can get in because the demand for them isn’t high so a lot of people go there. At first I was buying stuff at the exotic pet store but I started using amazon. Thanks to members in here I have some websites for supplies now. I get the prickly pear from Texas. This part of Arkansas is low land and it’s raining a lot and flooding until summer. I can’t keep the solar lights working because there’s not enough sun for fall and winter. I would love to take her out but we are breaking rain records dating back to 1874. We are taking care of my 88 soon to be 89 year old mother in law. I love her and don’t want her to pass but when the time comes we are moving to another state. We sold our house in Nebraska to be here but I loved the heat of South Carolina and winters where I lived were fall like. My wife won’t move there even though she met me there lol. Anyway states with warmer weather are in Amara’s future. Sorry for the long version.
 

Lovechell69

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Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
51
Location (City and/or State)
Arkansas
What part of Arkansas are you in? Atwood’s has some good supplies and is usually better priced. For the uvb bulbs and extra food and treats, I stick to online ordering. I find it’s actually cheaper anyway.. I’ve not been able to locate Toms green all substrate but the cypress mulch is usually plentiful and very cheap. I don’t have any problem retaining moisture for my little ones and they still burrow in it:)
I have heard and read and now saw you say your babies burrow. Amara doesn’t really do that. She goes in her hide and sleeps. She has started pushing substrate away to lay half in half out of her hide. She’s active and her personality is so cute. Even when my wife try’s to touch her and Amara hisses lol. She only lets me handle her. I can pet her leg or the top of her head she doesn’t flinch. She even likes the saline swabs on her nose. The nose thing was when she was sick
 

Sue Ann

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chapin , South Carolina
Thank you. Thanks to Drew and Cheryl a few weeks ago I got both temps and humidity perfect. She gets her thirty minute soak daily and looks bright and clear. Thank you about the hay info. I know they get bored with the same thing every day so I mix it up daily. I try to throw bright colored food in to catch her eye. I do have another question. In a four foot long tank with six inch high substrate and Amara being so small how often should I change her substrate. I had to go to the exotic pet store for another uva/uvb bulb and I asked the owner and he told me monthly. She doesn’t make a mess does her business while soaking and I mix the substrate to keep it moist. This is the same store Amara was bought from with a lot of poor treatment and it lot of incorrect information. I have the cleaner for sulcata’s. Does anyone know where I can get supplies other than zoo med. there lamps bulbs keep going out and they only carry loose coconut fiber that makes Amara sneeze and she hates it

I use orchid bark , fine, or medium. And have been really happy. My sully likes to burrow.
 

Sue Ann

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Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
435
Location (City and/or State)
chapin , South Carolina
Thanks. I’m in central Arkansas. Atwoods just laughed at us when we went in looking for supplies because I didn’t see anything. When I said country I meant it lol. Cows, soybeans, rice and corn and that’s what everyone carries just for farmers. I had a hard time finding a exotic vet if I need one and it’s two hours there if you can get in because the demand for them isn’t high so a lot of people go there. At first I was buying stuff at the exotic pet store but I started using amazon. Thanks to members in here I have some websites for supplies now. I get the prickly pear from Texas. This part of Arkansas is low land and it’s raining a lot and flooding until summer. I can’t keep the solar lights working because there’s not enough sun for fall and winter. I would love to take her out but we are breaking rain records dating back to 1874. We are taking care of my 88 soon to be 89 year old mother in law. I love her and don’t want her to pass but when the time comes we are moving to another state. We sold our house in Nebraska to be here but I loved the heat of South Carolina and winters where I lived were fall like. My wife won’t move there even though she met me there lol. Anyway states with warmer weather are in Amara’s future. Sorry for the long version.

My hubby and I retired to South Carolina last September ! I love it, the weather is great and the people are so friendly.
 

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