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Which tortoise is right for me?

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by SoWrecked, Jul 7, 2019.

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  1. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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    ive been researching for a few weeks now and preparing myself for a tortoise, I have my mind set on a sulcata, one day id love an aldabra but those cost so much $. Im looking for a tortoise, I plan on handling it as often as possible so it wont be shy. id love to be able to rub their head or neck and them not duck and hide in their shell, id like for it to be smart, id like for it to have a great personality and I don't mind how big they get I live in Arkansas and will have plenty of outside space for it eventually. Does anyone disagree that the sulata has the best potential at achieving those possibilities? also since I live in Arkansas and our humidity and heat is pretty up there most of the year as a baby ill be able to sit him outside everyday or other day for several hours especially on my days off, would I need a uvb light for him still? and if not whats a good amount of natural sunlight time should I aim for every day? every other day? how many hours a week? like I know everyday would be the best but whats still considered great or good enough for them (I know during the winter yes, I would need one)
  2. kazjimmy

    kazjimmy Active Member

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    What can you provide to your tortoise?
  3. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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    would you specify on the provide part? id provide anything possible
  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Sulcatas generally have great personalities. The problem is that they get huge and can be very destructive. Most of the time they will wreck any normal backyard and landscaping. The other problem is that they need a large area to roam and tropical temperatures year round. You can keep them in a heated night box for a day or two, but not all winter long. If you can meet their space and temperature needs, and you don't mind the destruction, then they are an awesome choice.

    A half hour of access to sunshine twice a week is enough to meet their UV needs. More time outside is fine, but that much will prevent any MBD. No harm in running UV in their indoor enclosure too. They will have to move outside after a year or two anyway, due to their size.
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  5. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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    So should I even get one then? I will be able too house one outside when needed but what happens in 5-10 years when hes massive and we have winter outside? I know I could make a enclosure for him with heat but to keep it humid also may be a problem? maybe im overthinking it? what do most people make or do for their huge sulcatas that have cold winters, it really hasn't snowed in my area in over 4-5 years it just gets real cold for 2-3 months. I can keep him warm but how would I provide warmth and humidity? my grandfather is a handyman and built his own house and ive helped him build back decks and barns and buildings so I know if needed I could always provide him enclosures and places to roam.
  6. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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    forgot to click reply, I mean I know a redfoot or margianted tortoise or leopard are great choices but I like the idea of a huge big pet turtle.
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  7. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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    also I plan on housing and having only one tortoise maybe on down the road I may get another one, I would try to adopt one but Arkansas is a dead state and I don't see any anywhere that people are trying too rehome, how destructive would one tortoise alone really be in a big yard? im talking like 15 yards by 30 yards, when its big enough to be let out. Sorry for all the questions but most people ive tried too make contact with ignore me and none of my questions have been answered, but that was all on twitter or youtube or insta or emails, this site is wonderful so far and has been helpful
  8. PatC

    PatC New Member

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    Tortoises are destructive creatures. They rearrange their area to suit their own desires. With a sulcata that will include deep burrows so the enclosure must go deep enough to keep them from tunneling out. It was the first tortoise we considered but decided that, although we have a large yard, it might be beyond our scope so we got a red foot. I am in south Louisiana so our winters are normally mild but we wanted to make sure we could provide. You are doing this wisely by considering carefully and many people have sulcatas and take great care of them. I just wasn’t sure I could when he got big.
  9. counting

    counting Well-Known Member

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    I noticed you said plenty of outside space eventually- does this mean you have a very large area ready right now, or that you plan to move to a home that will have a large amount of outside space?
    I ask this, because sulcatas grow big very FAST, and in life plans sometimes go awry, change or get delayed. Therefore, I think it is always best to either wait on an animal if it is your "dream" species, or get an animal that you will be able to accommodate even if life does not go as planned, in your current situation.
    So I think that is something to consider.
    Aside from that, adult sulcatas there is not such an emphasis on humidity as there is with the babies. A heated, large enough enclosure, rigged with UVB and ready access to water, should be ok for 2 months (that said I'm not familiar with Arkansas climate so I can't comment overly.).
    Alternatives personality wise but smaller- I hear that redfoots (including cherry heads) are very friendly and a much more manageable size, but are not a particularly small animal.
    Personally, and I am biased here, greeks are also lovely. They come in a variety of subspecies- sizes, colours, patterns, etc- and are extremely personable. My hatchling already lets me rub their neck and is just a spectacular, gorgeous, friendly animal. Many subspecies can also be hibernated, which is an option for the cold months in your climate.

    Good luck- hope you find the perfect tort for you!
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  10. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    They can be outside the day they hatch. Its best to keep babies indoors most of the time though. My general rule of thumb is one hour of outside time per inch of tortoise. By the time they are 5-6", I leave them outside all day, weather permitting. By the time they are 8-10", I move them outside full time with a heated night box.

    When they are smaller, say under 12", they are all that destructive. But as they grow, it continually gets worse as their appetite, reach and strength continually increase. One tortoise in your climate probably won't be able to eat everything in the warmer months. I'm in Georgia right now and you can practically watch the grass grow in spring and summer here. Your issue will be what to do with a giant tropical reptile that need arm temps and a huge area to room in winter. I don't have a solution for that issue, and I'm not comfortable with the compromises I've seen.

    If you do get a second tortoise, be sure to house it separately. They should never be in pairs.
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  11. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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    we own a backyard that's wood fenced in that's like a L shape going around the house, id say in total the I is 30 yards by 10 yard and the _ is about 25 yards by 5 yrds, he would have tons of room, and beyond that fence is another fenced in area that's about 1 full acre in size that can be used if needed. That's what I love about the sulcata is its size, my dream would be a aldabra but those just cost to much money. I think Im over thinking it all id have a full year before I moved my baby outside and by then I would have whatever needed built and ready for him. The only semi worry would be when hes full time outside. Would be keeping him humid during the winter, I can easily keep him warm with water and a decent place to roam that's inside a building, with uvb but to keep it humid for him idk, maybe id have to build something or do more research.
  12. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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    which greek subspecies do you have?
  13. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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    I think redfoot would be my other pick if I weren't to get a sulcata but from what ive read and seen it would end up outside aswell and everything he needs a sulcata would need just made bigger haha, correct me if im wrong on this statement. @Tom @counting
  14. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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  15. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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    I tried searching on the forum but maybe im still too new to find everything, will you guys be wiling too send me links to great temp/humidity gauges I can buy? ive looked on amazon but ive seen a lot with terrible reviews..on all the ones ive found.
  16. T Smart

    T Smart Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    In regards to temperature, your best bet is to get a gun similar to this.

    IMG_5704.jpg
  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Adult sulcatas don't need as much humidity. Your area will suit them well once they get big enough to live outside, and you won't need to intentionally add humidity at that point. When they are small, living in an indoor closed chamber, and still growing a lot is when you need all the humidity.

    Glass tanks are fine for starting baby tortoises. It is a persistent myth that they keep trying to get out because they don't understand the invisible barrier. Me and many others here have been using glass tanks for babes for decades without issue. I think that myth was started by people buying adult wild caught Russians from a pet store and putting them into a tiny 40 gallon size tank. Well of course they are going to climb the walls. They are not used to captivity and they need a MUCH larger enclosure than that. When people cover the walls or switch enclosures, they still do the same thing.

    When you order your AP cage, get it with the 6" litter dam. This will keep the substrate and the tortoise in when the door is open for maintenance.
    counting likes this.
  18. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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  19. counting

    counting Well-Known Member

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    My greek is an intergrade. Current guess is ibera/terrestris, possible soussensis.

    It honestly sounds like you have your heart set on a sulcata! I would put all my efforts into preparing for one if your heart is set and you have what it takes to keep one well.

    Tom is really who you want to listen to about sulcata.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  20. SoWrecked

    SoWrecked New Member

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    https://www.boamaster.com/product-category/cages/ @Tom thoughts on some of these? they look nice and take a couple weeks to ship and are sorta cheap? is the material theyre made of good? https://www.boamaster.com/product/4ft-high-mel-4-x-24-x-19/ etc? for some reason it freaks out while looking but this exact ones description is
    ALL 3/4 THICK STRONG INTERLOCKING CONSTRUCTION
    5/8 PLYWOOD FRONT W DROP DOORS W ACRYLIC GLASS
    BOLT LOCKS & STACKING TABS INCLUDED
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    ASSEMBLES IN MINUTES!-SHIPS BROKE DOWN FLAT
    2 WEEKS TO SHIP

    OPTIONS INCLUDE :
    HEAT LAMP SCREEN CUTOUTS
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