Reptile Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, i have just purchased a male hermanns tortoise. He was hatched in 2004 and i was advised to buy him a tortoise table which i have done. It has got a little hideaway for him and has got a heat bulb on one side. I have just visited my local reptile shop to buy some nutrabol for him and was given some very different advice, i was told that ideally he should be in a viv and that he needs a uv tube. I then spent 50 quid on the uv stuff and nutrabol and substrate ( i was told to get rid of the woodshavings that i had) and i was told that my table which is 2ft square is to small anyway and they definatly recommend a viv. I was also told that due to my house going cold overnight the tortoise could freeze and die if he hasnt got the protection of a viv?? I was also told to cake all his food in a nutrabol/limestone mix?? I have read a few quotes saying about pyramiding? and taking a look at my tortoises shell am a bit concerned that he could be suffering from this? He came from a bad keeper so i kind of rescued him. I need some advice as all i want is to look after my new tortoise the best i can and if it means spending more money on a viv then i do not mind. The reptile shop also said he could fall out of the table?? I am currently feeding him on kale, cucumber, butternut squash, romaine lettuce, apple, carrot peelings and cress.Any advice will be fantastic if anyone wants to help i will gladly post some pictures of Joe on this site. Ilook forward to some advice, Thankyou!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I understand you're confusion tammylouise. I am a new tort owner myself, and all the research I have done suggests that open topped tables are the best thing for a tort, but a UV light and a heat lamp are always needed. The only people I have ever heard recommend vivariums are petshop owners, I haven't read anything anywhere else that suggests they are good for torts.

Try the Tortoise Trust website, or Tortsmad for some advice.

serenstar
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello again, Why dont pet shops do the right thing then and start making and selling tort tables it just makes so much sense, even if they are in it for the money at least they are making money and doing the best for our new pets!!, Also just been on the phone to my mom and she reckons that if my tort falls over and lands on his back he will die almost instantly?!!! please someone tell me this isnt true as i just cannot believe that this could ever happen!! And to think my mom raised two kids he he!! daft ole bat!! Love ya really mom!!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,993 Posts
** i have just purchased a male hermanns tortoise. He was hatched in 2004

There is no way then that you can be sure it is a male yet unless they grew it extremely quickly or you bought it from a shop that imports wild caught tortoises and it is actually older than they said, poor thing.

** It has got a little hideaway for him and has got a heat bulb on one side.

What about uvb - he needs this to survive?

**I have just visited my local reptile shop to buy some nutrabol for him and was given some very different advice,

Of course they did - they want to make money.

** i was told that ideally he should be in a viv

Only if you want to be buying another from them in 5 years time.

**and that he needs a uv tube.

That is correct he will die without it.

** I then spent 50 quid on the uv stuff and nutrabol and substrate ( i was told to get rid of the woodshavings that i had)

Woodshavings are bad but what did they give in return? Reptiturf, chippings, bark substrate are all toxic to torts to some degree. You need hemp or a sand/soil mix as they would have in the wild

** and i was told that my table which is 2ft square is to small anyway and they definatly recommend a viv.

Ignore them they already made 50 quid out of you

**I was also told that due to my house going cold overnight the tortoise could freeze and die if he hasnt got the protection of a viv??

Does your house freeze overnight I don't think so? I spent time in the Med watching torts and it is bloody cold overnight. this temps change is essential to their wellbeing. If you keep a tortoise warm overnight it will suffer dehydration and kidney problems and will be confused as to what time of day it is ans most liekly stop eating.

** I was also told to cake all his food in a nutrabol/limestone mix?? I have read a few quotes saying about pyramiding? and taking a look at my tortoises shell am a bit concerned that he could be suffering from this?

Sprinkle lightly, not cake. Too much nutrobal will overload his kidneys with minerals.

**He came from a bad keeper so i kind of rescued him.

Where was he from originally?

**I need some advice as all i want is to look after my new tortoise the best i can and if it means spending more money on a viv then i do not mind.

NO - DO NOT BUY A VIV YOU WILL KILL HIM!

** The reptile shop also said he could fall out of the table??

If the sides are twice the height of his length he will be fine so long as you do not put objects at the side that he can climb on

**I am currently feeding him on kale, cucumber, butternut squash, romaine lettuce, apple, carrot peelings and cress.

Stop right there - go outdoors and pick him weeds. Kale will inhibit the uptake of calcium, cucumber has no food value, butternut squash will give him runny poop and encourage gut flora, apple is not good for him being a fruit, carrot is not good for his digestion and will come through undigested. Romain lettuce is OK if given as an extra but definately not as a staple diet.

Your Mum is partially right about him . If he tips up under the lamp and is there for any length of time, he will dehydrate and die. If he tips up normally he will tip back again so long as he has correct substrate and a few footholds. Make the basking area on a slope so that if he tips up he will roll away from the heat.
Hope this helps
I would go back to the pet shop/so called reptile specialist and give them this http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/vivarium.htm If they argue with that then they are more or less saying 'give us your money' LOL
Sue


Any advice will be fantastic if anyone wants to help i will gladly post some pictures of Joe on this site. Ilook forward to some advice, Thankyou!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello sue, thankyou so much for all that advice it was fantastic, i hope you own a petshop as at least you advice made sense!!. I cannot moan then about the 50 pound i spent at the petshop as a good 30 of that was on the uvb tube and the transformer for it, which my husband secured to the side of the tort table last night about 4 inches from the floor. Also it will be a hell of alot cheaper to go pick weeds out of my garden so no complaints at all their!! Maybe my only problem is the height of the sides of the table as they are only approx 5 inches high so i will have to get my other half to get out his tool kit and do a bit of modifying. Also i will have to kind of say sorry to my lovely mom as i thought all that about landing on there backs was untrue. The substrate i got is heat treated wheat straw substrate. I have just got my tortoises cert out and its all in german so the only thing i know is his date of birth. The lady i purchased him off also purchased another tort with my one and when she got them both was told that mine was the male as it was slightly bigger and that they were a breeding pair, however after getting so much advice i realise now that like you said it is impossible to tell if it is male or female. At least his name is Joe so it can be changed to Joane!!. Once again thankyou so much advice any more in the future will also be gladly received, Bye for now Tammy xx
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,993 Posts
** i hope you own a petshop as at least you advice made sense!!.

LOL - heaven forbid, no. I am a breeder and so fed up of picking up the pieces after pet shops give out their rubbish advice. Steer clear of them Tammy they will rob you blind ;)

** I cannot moan then about the 50 pound i spent at the petshop as a good 30 of that was on the uvb tube and the transformer for it, which my husband secured to the side of the tort table last night about 4 inches from the floor.

That is good positioning. What strength did they sell you - it needs to be 5% or higher. !0% is best but would then need to be a bit higher up - also get a refelctor for it if you can. Try here for good prices www.aquatics-online.co.uk Go to retiles and then lighting.

**Also it will be a hell of alot cheaper to go pick weeds out of my garden so no complaints at all their!!

And so much better for him . Dandelions have a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 2:1 which is perfect.

**Also i will have to kind of say sorry to my lovely mom as i thought all that about landing on there backs was untrue.

LOL - we Mum's sometimes give reasonable advice.

** The substrate i got is heat treated wheat straw substrate.

Throw it or take it back it is totally usnuitable

**I have just got my tortoises cert out and its all in german so the only thing i know is his date of birth.

Germany is one of the most popular gateways for the Slovenian torts to come in which is what awe are trying so hard to stop - he is most likely wild caught :(

**The lady i purchased him off also purchased another tort with my one and when she got them both was told that mine was the male as it was slightly bigger and that they were a breeding pair,

So presumably they knew they were both the same age - not very likely and anyway the females are much bigger at maturity - some daft people out there!!

** however after getting so much advice i realise now that like you said it is impossible to tell if it is male or female.

It depends on teh age and as I said if wild caught they invent the age anyway. What does he weigh and do you have pics of him from underneath?

At least his name is Joe so it can be changed to Joane!!. Once again thankyou so much advice any more in the future will also be gladly received,

No probs, any more questions, just fire away
Sue




_________________
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Sue I have just trudged up my garden in my pjs and got him some dandelion leaves and grass and as we speak he is happily munching away on them. My son just asked me an interesting question, What if the grass and weeds we pick have been wee'ed on by our dog? will this harm Joe in any way?. Also i do not know how to post pics on this site so i cannot send any pics for you to see. I am dissapointed that you say he could have been captured from the wild, however now i am his owner all i can do is the best thing for him. The uvb bulb i purchased is an exo terra repti glow 10.0 uvb and what do i need the reflector for?? Also what do you recommend as substrate?. He weighs a tiny bit under 200g. Many thanks once again for all your help my email address is [email protected] and i could possibly send you pics of him direct to your email. Regards Tammy.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,993 Posts
Hi Tammy
Obviously it is best to wash them under the tap first but in the wild they must eat stuff that wild animals etc have pooped and peed on.
As your little one weighs nearly 200 grams it may be possible to sex him. This is the weight of an average 5 year old. Is the tail short and stumpy or tapered and long and curved to one side as he walks. Male tails almost reach the back legs as they walk and sometimes even further.
The light is fine but raise it slghtly so it is not so near to hi,. A reflector fits directly onto the tube and concentrates the amount of uvb going into the enclsoure. Light is a great stimulant for them. If you send pics to [email protected] I will check his sex for you.
Take care
Sue
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi, the photos have been sent to your email address. Also i have just ordered the reflector off that website you gave only 7 pound, not bad at all!! Cheers Tammy xx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
I just love a happy ending! so glad you got sorted Tammy if you need anymore help just give us a shout!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for that Kerry!! i have raised the light now about 7 inches off the floor hope thats ok?? Also to Sue, did you get my photo's i emailed to you?? Thanks Again!!!!
As i posted that question i received your reply Sue thanks for your help i am going now to check my emails!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Sue i have just read your email and i am quite upset, i had a feeling that he was pyramiding but its sad to find out that i was correct and all that due to the previous owner not caring for him properly, it makes my blood boil!!. I will follow your advice and get some limestone 1st thing in the morning, also is there any way of reversing the effects and is this something that he could actually die from?? Anything i can do i will do to make his life happier than he was with whoever owned him before me, is there any medication or specialist food he can eat to rectify his problem?? I once again thank you for helping me with all your advice lots o love Tammy xx
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,993 Posts
Hi Tammy
The effects of pyramiding cannot be reversed as this is deformed bone srtucture and the thickened keratin layer laid down on top of this is not reversible either. However with careful feeding and supplements any new growth will hopefully be more even. In heavily pyramided torts the spine is depressed, meaning that they will never be a highly domed tort as nature intended.
Some torts with MBD (metabolic bone disease) can be quite long lived and others die very suddenly without warning. If you care for him well though and give him as much outdoors access as possible in the summer months he could well live to a ripe old age. Have a look here at torts which have been affected by poor diet and you will see that there are many far worse than yours http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/webdiet.html
When you get your limestone flour, don't get the stuff from garden centres as this often contains impurities, always get the food grade stuff from horse supplies
Don't try to over supplement with nutrobal etc as this can be just as harmful as not giving it in the first place.
Hope this helps
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Sue, i have just taken a look at that website and some of the pictures brought tears to my eyes, all that from a poor diet and poor ownership. Where can i get the limestone that you are talking about for horses? as i would of headed straight to the garden centre in the morning as you said not to do!! If i have problems getting it could i purchase some from you? i can email you my address although i would rather get it tommorrow, sooner the better really. I feel better knowing that i can at least help my tortoise from now on even though i cannot reverse the effects of his previous home. Thankyou Sue xx
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hello Sue, i have got the limestone four you was on about. I went up to some local stables and asked there and a very nice lady gave me a tub of the stuff after i told them about my little tort needing some!! i put it in a bowl and he started licking it almost immediatley, getting it all round his face bless him!! thanks for the advice and i just hope any future shell growth will be better!! Cheers Tammy
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top