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White lines.

Discussion in 'Advanced Tortoise Topics' started by Anyfoot, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    I think it's becoming common knowledge that to grow a tortoise in dry conditions promotes pyramiding.
    I'm still getting some minor pyramiding in some tortoises. Ive soaked every tortoise every day for first 3 months.
    Regarding soaking my worst case was with my last clutch of 10 babies. They were soaked every day for first 3 months then every 3rd day from then on.
    My best case was a clutch of 9 that were soaked every day for first 6 months then every other day from then on.
    In every case I've had some smooth and some not so smooth. I've got a few that I would consider super smooth, I have 2 that I'm just disgusted with. Anyway my point is I've got every combination of smoothness for every pattern of soaking.
    So then comes in the question of humidity levels. My babies are in an open table within a hot humid building. Humidity is 80%+. In the depths of moss and leaf litter it's higher, more like 99%. Some tortoises hide in the ground litter and some just lay on top of it, I think because there are no predatory dangers they are sleeping in the open without fear. This is an unnatural behaviour within a captive situation. They've basically tamed up to some degree and all at different degrees. Throw in the combination of some may dig in sometimes and not on other occasions then you start to understand why I'm seeing variations within a group that at first hand looks to be all equal. I've even fed only one food type per day up until about a month ago, so diet is just simply nothing to do with the variation I'm seeing. I've now gone back to feeding anything and everything all at once.
    There are some photos below of some babies this morning before I sprayed. Bare in mind I soak and the humidity is at minimum 80% constantly.
    I've noticed even in this environment after I soak them that within 30 to 60 minutes the carapace are dry again.
    Soaking has health benefits beyond pyramiding, I get that and would never suggest to never soak. What I want to know is do you think that anything below 99% humidity is not constant enough for an entire bunch of babies to grow smooth.
    Look at the white lines on those that didn't dig in last night.
    Are white lines a visual that the carapace is not being kept moist enough?

    My tort house climate is basically a copy of the South American climate ou

    IMG_2266.JPG IMG_2267.JPG IMG_2268.JPG IMG_2269.JPG IMG_2270.JPG IMG_2274.JPG IMG_2275.JPG IMG_2276.JPG IMG_2277.JPG IMG_2278.JPG IMG_2281.JPG IMG_2282.JPG
  2. ColaCarbonaria

    ColaCarbonaria Active Member

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    Beautiful! They look great. This may be ignorance on my part but I assumed the lines are growth at the seams.
    Anyfoot likes this.
  3. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Yes. It's new keratin growth.

    What I wanted to find out is if it's a good indicator for us keepers to visually see if our torts are moist enough.
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  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I have the same problem. My humidity is ALWAYS 80 or above. The substrate is always wet, not just damp, but wet. The temp is always the same being on a thermostat and I can't grow a smooth tort. It's very disappointing. Having leopards, they don't burrow in, so they are always either sleeping out in the open or in the hide. I feed a varied diet daily and soak daily. Some will start to pyramid at 3-4 months. I had one that was raised alone that didn't start to pyramid until about a year or so old. Was raised the same as my others are being raised and daily soaks continue until 1 1/2 years old. Even though all was done the same, s/he went longer before pyramiding.
    Out of my clutch of four I have now, all are showing pyramiding. All have grown, but one has never showed any white growth lines. Because of this, I'm not sure seeing growth lines is the problem
    I want to not breed any more. However, if I end up raising more, I'm going to switch to all leaf litter, deep and wet. I would like to heat it from outside the box, box inside a heat box, with just one uvb basking bulb inside the enclosure that will be mostly blocked by lots of plants Taking away hopefully the intense heating spots right under the heat elements
    Anyfoot likes this.
  5. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    All mine are perfect up until about 6 months old.
    Maybe I'm backing off with daily soaks too early.
    Maybe humidity just needs to be at 99%.

    I have no basking spots.

    #3 was raised in a 3ft viv for first 6 months of its life. Then I moved it into the tables in my tort room. You can see where growth was super smooth in the vivarium. I had humidity at 90%+ in the viv. With mounds of moist moss.
  6. Jay Bagley

    Jay Bagley Well-Known Member

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    I am super new to this, I thought the high humidity was supposed to stop the pyramiding, does it just slow it down and make it less noticeable? Or does it vary species to species?
  7. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    High humidity along with soaking does prevent pyramiding. But how high is high. If my readings of 80% are correct then maybe 80% is not high enough.
  8. Jay Bagley

    Jay Bagley Well-Known Member

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    Thankyou Anyfoot, I was just curiouse. I find these conversations on closed chamber's and humidity very informative and I enjoy reading them. Trying to gather up as much info and educate myself the best I can so my tortoises new growth is as smooth as possible. Thank you for posting this kind of stuff, it helps a lot.
    vladimir likes this.
  9. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    It's does prevent it. However, it just doesn't work on every species. Some species pyramid easier then others. The Babcocki leopards seem to be one that is hard to keep perfectly smooth, even with very high humidities. That's not to say every one either. However, out of all the young leopards, there seems to be a lot more with some level of pyramiding then not and that's from people that do the closed chamber high humidity.
    Them, leopards, hatching in Africa during the rainy season, and hiding out under the ground litter, may be the trick. Housing them in very wet and warm conditions but where they are lost within the ground cover. Which is why I would use leaf litter next time. The heating sources we have too use may also play a big role in it too.
    Jay Bagley likes this.
  10. Jay Bagley

    Jay Bagley Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Wellington for for shedding light on this. Been looking at a lot of pictures of people's leopards, they are a very beautiful species.
  11. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Want to add. It seems it's mainly the very top 3-4 scutes that are the hardest to grow smooth.
    I haven't raised many, but this is what I'm finding to be the fight within my own.
    Jay Bagley likes this.
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