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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi to all

i have owned my margenated tortoise for almost 5 months now and me and my girlfriend think he/she is a brilliant pet! We were orignally going to buy a turtle but we were told a tortoise would be easier to keep for first time reptile owners. We had already come up with a name (murtle the turtle!) and have kept it even though it now doesnt have the same ring to it lol.


so any way after reading a few posts we would like a bit of guidance and advice from anyone wishing to help as we want to look after murtle the best we can.

below is murtle's indoor home! after reading a few posts on here i am now worried that wood chippings may not be the best floor covering! should i be using something else??


Also i am leaving the heat lamp on over night and i dont know weather i should be doing this anymore now it has got abit warmer

After reading another post i am also thinking i may not be washing murtle enough as i was told to wash him/her once a week. to do this i am just using luke warm warter and a cotton wool pad is this correct??

any help would be much appriciated thankyou in advance


oh nearly forgot two last things
is there anyway i could tell murtles sex (9months old)

And i am about to build an out door pen and after reading through this website i think what i am planning is ok but would like to check.
i am planning to have a "rabbit run" with a mesh top on top of grass with a few plants growing in it. I am then planning to have the run next to my shed and cut a hole in the bottom corner of in which leads to a 500mm x 300mm wooden lidless box which would have a heat lamp mounted on it.

thanks again sorry its abit long
 

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Hi and :welcome: to RFUK. Love the name Murtle... Murtle the marginated sounds cool.

Your set up looks great :2thumb: Are you having any problems with the substrate? It's such a debated subject at the moment that I'd tend to say stick with it if you and Murtle are happy with it... others may have a different opinion of course.

At 9 months old she needs to be having a bath every day for about 10 to 15 minutes. Lukewarm water just up to the bottom of her shell... not too deep as tortoises like to be able to put their heads down to drink.

No heat is needed at night. Leaving a lamp on all night will confuse her as well as she won't know when it's night or day. In winter if it gets really cold in your house (below 10 degs C) then you could use a ceramic on a thermostat.

I know some people use rabbit type runs for their torts with no problems. I prefer solid sides for mine so they're not tempted to try and work their way through. Definitely a good idea to attach the enclosure to a heated shed that she can get in and out.

Lovely tort by the way :D
 

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Hi firstly :welcome: to the forum

Murtle is gorgeous, I have a Marginated tortoise as well.

Okay to answer your questions.

Your enclosure is GREAT : victory: no problem with using woodchip, I use that myself.

The heat lamp you dont need to leave on all night, I turn my lights off at about 9pm and they go back on at about 7 - 7.30am

Your method of bathing is fine but you need to do it everyday.

Sexing Murtle..You wont get a definate answer until he/she is about 2/3 yrs old. People may guess an say yes she is a he or viceversa but its not 100% until they are older.

Your outside pen plans sound fine but they will need solid sides otherwise he/she will try climbing and could get caught in the wire.

Hope that answers everything, feel free to ask more if anything isnt clear.

You will get lots more of advice from others as well.
 

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Just a quick question... looking at your enclosure pic... do you have a uvb tube in there?
 

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Just a quick question... looking at your enclosure pic... do you have a uvb tube in there?
Is that the two white wires hanging over one side?

One other thing. Your water dish looks as if its just sitting ontop of the substrate, as your tort is only ikkle I would submerge it slightly in the substrate so that its easier for Murtle to get into.
 

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lovely tort

i htink your set up is great to, some say soil/sand substrate but i find the chips easier to clean - daily poo picking :whistling2:

you dont need the light on at night and more regular bathing would be great.


i love your tort table where did yuou get it??
 

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Everything Tina and Vicky have said is bang on, i can see 2 plugs Tina so they may be some form of uv :lol2:

Just like to point out though that sexing a margie at 2-3 years is near impossible im affraid, margies are buggers to sex until a good size, and going by the vents with margies is a no go too, its a bugger.

Great setup and welcome to RF : victory:
 

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Oops Tina we must have been typing at the same time :lol2:

Did I get it all right though :no1:
I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that there is no right really when it comes to tort keeping but we did seem to agree didn't we. : victory:


Is that the two white wires hanging over one side?

One other thing. Your water dish looks as if its just sitting ontop of the substrate, as your tort is only ikkle I would submerge it slightly in the substrate so that its easier for Murtle to get into.
Cheers hun... you're more observant than me.

One more thing you might want to add Dougy is a piece of slate for feeding on as it helps keep their beaks trim. Just looked again and that is a really lovely table.
 

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That's a really nice setup.

Everyone else covered what I was going to say. My only stress is the water bowl. I'd suggest burrying it so the edge is just a little above the substrate.

What are you feeding him?

Ed

Hi to all

i have owned my margenated tortoise for almost 5 months now and me and my girlfriend think he/she is a brilliant pet! We were orignally going to buy a turtle but we were told a tortoise would be easier to keep for first time reptile owners. We had already come up with a name (murtle the turtle!) and have kept it even though it now doesnt have the same ring to it lol.


so any way after reading a few posts we would like a bit of guidance and advice from anyone wishing to help as we want to look after murtle the best we can.

below is murtle's indoor home! after reading a few posts on here i am now worried that wood chippings may not be the best floor covering! should i be using something else??


Also i am leaving the heat lamp on over night and i dont know weather i should be doing this anymore now it has got abit warmer

After reading another post i am also thinking i may not be washing murtle enough as i was told to wash him/her once a week. to do this i am just using luke warm warter and a cotton wool pad is this correct??

any help would be much appriciated thankyou in advance


oh nearly forgot two last things
is there anyway i could tell murtles sex (9months old)

And i am about to build an out door pen and after reading through this website i think what i am planning is ok but would like to check.
i am planning to have a "rabbit run" with a mesh top on top of grass with a few plants growing in it. I am then planning to have the run next to my shed and cut a hole in the bottom corner of in which leads to a 500mm x 300mm wooden lidless box which would have a heat lamp mounted on it.

thanks again sorry its abit long
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
wow now i didnt expect a response tonight never mind 6 lol.
thank you all

Yeh murtle has a uvb strip light on the side of the tortiose table.

so beside the bathing daily we are doing ok then!! glad to know.

when i do bath murtle do i just leave him/her in the water to walk around for 10mins or should i actually be washing murtle for 10-15mins???

ill get the light turned off now and drop the water bowl down abit when i change the water in the morning!!

oh and the table!! i got it from a place called leaping lizards in York were we got the tortoise from!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
just feeding with various salad bags from the supermarket at the moment. he/she seems to like rocket!!! We have just recently put a cuttle fish in there as well after been advised to! we have tried strawberrys as a treat but murtle didnt seem to enjoy them.

On another subject my girlfriend is wanting to get a little friend for murtle but we are scared about them fighting as we have been told you cant put two males together and if you cant sex them then how can you go about this or is it not advisable to keep two in the same enclosure?
 

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I just sprinkle a little water over mines shells when they first go in the bath.

Try adding some edible plants/weeds to your torts diet, much healthier for them. Here's a couple of plant lists:

Untitled Document

Diet and healthy growth

If you really need to supplement with supermarket salad then the Florette mixed leaves bag are a good choice as is watercress and chicory.

If you were to get another tortoise you'd need to quarantine it totally separately from Murtle for at least 6 months to ensure the new tort was totally healthy and not likely to pass on anything to Murtle... or vice versa. As there would be no guarantee on the sex of either of them then you would just need to be prepared to separate if they were male and female and there was a problem with the male pestering the female all the time in the future. A good mix is at least 3 females to 1 male ideally.
 

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You might want to look into the T-rex tortoise diet as a supplement... that would do the little guy good.

Be careful with allowing the tortoise to eat what it 'likes'. That is why I recommend the T-rex diet... if you feed that you don't have to worry about imbalance.

Adding a guy/gal... total gamble but the problem does not usually arise until after they mature.

Ed

just feeding with various salad bags from the supermarket at the moment. he/she seems to like rocket!!! We have just recently put a cuttle fish in there as well after been advised to! we have tried strawberrys as a treat but murtle didnt seem to enjoy them.

On another subject my girlfriend is wanting to get a little friend for murtle but we are scared about them fighting as we have been told you cant put two males together and if you cant sex them then how can you go about this or is it not advisable to keep two in the same enclosure?
 

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Two of the best links you could have posted. I was surprised at the first one... I'm glad it's being kept alive.

Ed


I just sprinkle a little water over mines shells when they first go in the bath.

Try adding some edible plants/weeds to your torts diet, much healthier for them. Here's a couple of plant lists:

Untitled Document

Diet and healthy growth

If you really need to supplement with supermarket salad then the Florette mixed leaves bag are a good choice as is watercress and chicory.

If you were to get another tortoise you'd need to quarantine it totally separately from Murtle for at least 6 months to ensure the new tort was totally healthy and not likely to pass on anything to Murtle... or vice versa. As there would be no guarantee on the sex of either of them then you would just need to be prepared to separate if they were male and female and there was a problem with the male pestering the female all the time in the future. A good mix is at least 3 females to 1 male ideally.
 

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Two of the best links you could have posted. I was surprised at the first one... I'm glad it's being kept alive.

Ed
The first one is my little feeding bible... I met Martin Dann yesterday and he and his wife are lovely and extremely knowledgeable, there's no-one I'd trust more on tortoise weed/plant nutrition.

Well worth you having a good look at these links Dougy. : victory: Much cheaper option than supermarket food too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks again all this advice is much appreciated and murtle will be better for it!!

on the getting another tortoise front! it seems that lots of people have more than one, so we are confused to how this is possible without housing them all seperatly. Also for the people that do have more than one do the tortoises enjoy the interaction with having a friend around?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
yeh thanks tina i have printed them out and my girlfriend (emma ) is going to see if she can buy some seeds or plants from the list.

do you have these plants growing in your outside enclosure or do you have them in a green house which you then pick leaves from?
 

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thanks again all this advice is much appreciated and murtle will be better for it!!

on the getting another tortoise front! it seems that lots of people have more than one, so we are confused to how this is possible without housing them all seperatly. Also for the people that do have more than one do the tortoises enjoy the interaction with having a friend around?
My solution on getting more than one was to have three from the same breeder which were all incubated at a temp for females... no guarantees on that of course. I had just one then added her two sisters (just yesterday!) and although my original one had a bit of a nibble at the other two initially they do seem happy together and mine is much more active today with the other two with her than I've ever seen her before... and they've all piled up together to sleep.

Other people buy them when they're older and know their sex. Of course quarantine comes into play then.


yeh thanks tina i have printed them out and my girlfriend (emma ) is going to see if she can buy some seeds or plants from the list.

do you have these plants growing in your outside enclosure or do you have them in a green house which you then pick leaves from?
Luckily I have lots of the plants on that list growing in my garden... and lots of weeds too. Dandelions are a good addition to their diet and not hard to find, though be sure to pick them from places where there's no risk of them having been sprayed with pesticides. If you buy plants from the garden centre they will have been treated with pesticides too so you need to totally shake off all the soil and replant them in topsoil, then wait for new growth before you feed... keep picking off the old original growth as they grow. I have plants in seed trays for my outdoor enclosure and rotate the seed trays as they're eaten. I also have small hebes and lavenders for them to burrow under.
 

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Martin is a nice guy but Jane holds my fondest memory.

Ed

The first one is my little feeding bible... I met Martin Dann yesterday and he and his wife are lovely and extremely knowledgeable, there's no-one I'd trust more on tortoise weed/plant nutrition.

Well worth you having a good look at these links Dougy. : victory: Much cheaper option than supermarket food too.
 
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