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Help, Red Foot Tortoise

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by geckoman1234, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. geckoman1234

    geckoman1234 Member

    I have a cherry head red foot tortoise. I have had him since he was 2 weeks old he is 1 year old. I noticed that he has humps forming on his carapace. Do you think it coukd be the uvb lighting, calcium etc...
     
  2. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    That sounds like pyramiding. Can you post a photo?
     
  3. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    please give us a rundown of your set up: heating, lighting, foods etc.
     
  4. geckoman1234

    geckoman1234 Member

    He hasn't really formed it yet because he is only 1 year old, but it looks like he might.
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You just said that he did.
     
  6. geckoman1234

    geckoman1234 Member

    i misworded that. How do i prevent the pyramiding. I am not sure to feed him pinkys because i have never fed him any source of protein. My shedule was 2 days of green 1 day fruit and s day vegatables such as cucumbers.
     
  7. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    As I understand it, pyramiding is the result of too little calcium, though I could be mistaken. I've also heard that dehydration can perpetuate pyramiding. I do not know the care requirements of Red Foot tortoises, but it would be helpful for other members who are familiar for you to describe the enclosure in which you're housing yours.

    How large is the enclosure? LxWxH?
    What is it made out of?
    How are you heating it? (UTH, light bulb, panel, etc.)
    How are you verifying the basking (surface) and ambient temperatures? (infrared temp gun, digital thermometer with probes, "stick-on" analogue thermometer, etc.)
    What is the humidity?
    How are you verifying it?
    What exactly are you feeding? (romaine, spinach, kale, escarole, night crawlers, pinkies, etc.)
    What is the substrate in the enclosure?
    Are you supplementing his diet with vitamin powders? If so, what kind? (Calcium with no D, calcium plus d3, multi-vitamin, etc.)
    Does he have a source of UVB? If so, what brand and type? (Ex: Exo-terra 5.0, etc)

    I have a box turtle, and it's best to mix all ingredients of the diet together, instead of doing 2 days green, 1 day fruit, 1 day protein, etc. because the components that make up the diet you feed work in conjunction to produce a healthy turtle. An example would be the vitamin C in veggies/fruits aiding in absorption of iron from the protein. Why are you feeding your tortoise only one type of food per day instead of mixing it together?

    Also, it's important for us to know exactly what you're feeding because all components of the diet vary in vitamins and minerals. Like cucumbers really aren't a nutritionally dense food, and instead, are mostly water.

    I would opt for other types of proteins instead of pinkies, like nightcrawlers, dubia roaches, crickets, etc. because they are lower in fat and higher in protein. But again, I don't keep Red Foot tortoises :) Regardless, he absolutely NEEDS TO EAT PROTEIN. The protein derived from the veggies won't be enough to sustain him. Can you post some photos of him?
     
  8. geckoman1234

    geckoman1234 Member

    He is in a 20 gallon with Eco earth as substrate. It's gets 80 degrees in the tank with humidity around 50%. I feed him alot of romaine, escarole, endive, dandilion greens. I haven't fed him protein because I was afraid that he was gonna get sick because it'd totally new to his stomach. I use 5.o UVB 40 watt heat bulb. Iam going to buy a long light fixture and have exo terra UVB flowing through the entire tank. I don't feed the same food. I mix it up with different. Egatbles such as mushrooms, bell pepper tomatoes on occasion. I would like to know if I start to feed him protein will it get him sick.
     
  9. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I was referring to this statement:

    Doesn't this mean you feed greens for two days, then fruit for one day, then greens for two days, etc..? I was asking why you do this instead of mixing the greens and fruits and protein together during each meal, each day.

    He won't get sick because red foot tortoises are supposed to consume protein. According to this site: Redfoot Tortoise Diet, "Redfoot tortoises fed exclusively a plant based diet frequently develop hind leg paralysis."

    You should NOT feed cat and dog foods and you should opt instead for properly gut-loaded night crawlers, dubia roaches, crickets, superworms, etc. You can feed pinkies occasionally (occasionally meaning no more than once a month), but I was suggesting earlier to opt instead for sources of protein with more protein and less fat. If you do feed a pinky, you should probably pre-kill it, or use frozen/thawed because turtles/tortoises tear their food apart and that's not really ideal for the mouse.

    You should also be supplementing your tortoise's diet with a calcium and a multivitamin. And the linear fluorescent tube is ideal. You need to make sure that your tortoise is within 12 inches of the bulb, and it's best to place the bulb in a hood with reflective material to prevent the reflection of the UVB by the screen top.

    Can you put up a photo of the tortoise and enclosure? 20 gallons doesn't seem like a large enough tank...

    How are you verifying the humidity, and basking (surface) and ambient temperatures? (infrared temp gun, digital thermometer/hygrometer with probes, "stick-on" analogue thermometer, etc.)
     
  10. NudistApple

    NudistApple Well-Known Member

    For a yearling it is very unlikely that 20 gallons is sufficient. For frame of reference, I have my 8 month old Greek tortoise (who will ultimately grow up to be much smaller than your Red Foot) in a 40 gallon breeder.

    I highly suggest checking out this website: tortoiselibrary.com

    From what I know of Red Foots, 50% humidity is too low. They are a humidity loving, tropical species. You may need to add a humidifier to the room he is in to raise the ambient humidity, as you cannot (with most torts) simply add water to his substrate. Chronically damp substrate causes shell rot, which is a big issue with this particular species.

    80F is also pretty high for an ambient temperature, I believe his low end should be in the 70's, and his basking spot should be 90 or so.

    Some people feed pinkies as the protein source, but it isn't natural. They should have big fat worms, or little crawly bugs instead. Protein isn't my forte, Greek torts are vegan.

    Like I said, do check out the Tortoise Library, it's a very comprehensive Red Foot guide, and an acquaintance of mine from a tortoise-dedicated website diligently works on it all of the time. It should help you immensely.
     

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