Water Dish!

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laurat
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Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 16 Apr 2018, 19:16

So as some of you might have seen on my other post, I’ve transferred Vera to a tortoise table. But and it’s a big BUT ... how the heck (and I need your tips now) can I keep his water and water dish clean? I’ve tried sinking it down with slate and stones around it. I’ve tried standing it on top of the soil with slate and stones around it and I’ve also tried standing it on a bit of slate with the remainder packed around it. Still doesn’t work. Within half an hour the bowl is just a mud sludge (see photo). I’ve only had the table since Saturday and I’ve gone through a hell of a lot of soil as there’s that much turning to a mud sludge in his dish I’m having to throw it away. If it continues I’m going to have to switch to wood chips or something else I think as it’s going to become too expensive to keep the soil topped up!
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lin
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by lin » 16 Apr 2018, 22:11

Hi Laura
After looking at your other thread with the photos it does look like the table, although 100 times better than a vivarium, it a little small and in my opinion I think Vera would calm down faster if the sleeping area was removed and Vera given a pot or something to sleep in if he wants to. Given the correct substrate like you have given, then he will prefer to dig down than go inside. If he had the extra space then you could put the water up that end in the corner where the sleeping area was.
Also because he has only been in his new house a few days I think it might take a little longer for him to settle.
And, I still haven't finished - lol. Once you try this, if it don't work then do come back to us because we have another idea to try out.

Lin

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Nina
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by Nina » 16 Apr 2018, 22:38

Hi Laura,

Lin has given good advice, and please don't panic yet and put wood chips in. The other thing to remember about wood chips is if Vera trashes the water bowl and the wood chips get wet and stay wet then they can go mouldy, which is not a good thing. Did Vera ever trash his water bowl in the viv? I think Lin is right in that he is just testing out the new environment and having fun trashing the place.

One thing that you could think of is to have heavier stones around the water bowl and have it in a corner. I had pebbles around my bowl (like the grey pebbles that you had at first) and they got moved everywhere, but now I have heavier pieces of stone like limestone and they don't get moved. I will take a photo tomorrow and send it to you, but I have to sign off now, and I have an exercise class in the morning and won't be back until about 11.30 a.m., so don't do anything drastic until then. Also remember that in the wild there is mud and tortoises are fine.

Nina

laurat
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Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 17 Apr 2018, 01:29

Hola ladies, thank you! I’m not panicking as ‘panicking’ just yet and definitely won’t be making any changes too early.

Thank you so much for the tips. I was thinking about getting heavier bits of stone, so heavy he can’t move them ... HA but will hang fire Nina until I’ve seen your photo - I need inspiration ;)

Regarding he sleeping area, do you think for now it is worth just removing the lid and seeing how that goes so the entire table is exposed, then maybe later removing the divider? So far, he is going in and out of the bedroom area but he isn’t sleeping there, he is tending to sleep over on the side where his bulb is.

Enjoy your exercise class Nina ... I’m not jealous at all haha :)

laurat
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Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 17 Apr 2018, 05:29

PS, Nina ... he didn’t trash his water dish in the Viv as such. There would be soil in it but not a lot, but it was a shallower dish. Not sure if this makes a difference as the dish I’m using now is slightly deeper.

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Nina
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by Nina » 17 Apr 2018, 08:17

Just getting ready to go to my class, so will respond more fully later, but yes, I think taking the lid off the sleeping area to start with is a good idea. And maybe even try putting the water dish in there at one end if it will fit. Maybe that means it couldn't be moved around as much and get as much substrate tracked into it. Will take a photo of my water bowl in when I'm back.

Nina

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Nina
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by Nina » 17 Apr 2018, 11:53

OK, here are some photos of my water dish. It's just a plastic plant pot saucer. I have a bigger table than yours, so I can afford to have a larger area of stones around mine, but actually those little pebbles that are around the outer edge aren't necessary -- they just give extra texture to walk on and a larger area for substrate to come off little tortoise feet before they enter the water. I still do get some substrate tracked in, but not much. Those little pebbles get moved everywhere around the enclosure and I put them back, but the larger stones that are actually up against the dish don't move. They are a mixture of limestone and other flat rocks that are heavy -- and then I have a couple of large pieces of limestone that run right across the table, just to give them something to climb over on their way back and forth. If the stones look different in different photos it's because I took two today and two I found in my folder from last year.

Nina
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laurat
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 17 Apr 2018, 12:24

Hi Nina! VOILA I say ... I need to try this!! Your table looks awesome by the way! Where did you get the stones from, found or bought? This is definitely what I need to do. If the stones can’t be moved then it’s half the battle as I think with the pieces of slate moving, this is causing some of the issues. I will also try removing the lid and moving his water dish into the bedroom section - I’m hoping it will fit in, then I can wedge the stones up against it - as a result of that I’m hoping it’ll all stick like glue, can’t be moved at all and Vera will be mad as I’ve won haha!

laurat
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Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 17 Apr 2018, 12:25

Lin, I’m intrigued to hear your other idea!

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Nina
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by Nina » 17 Apr 2018, 14:36

Hi Laura,

I think they were almost all found, including a bit of an amonite that you can see at the back, but I might have bought some of the smaller pebbles at one point because they were pretty (but they just get tossed around and end up everywhere (still it gives them something to play with). I think that just any flat rock would be fine -- the heavier the better -- and it's also good for keeping their nails in trim, as well as just general exercise climbing up and down. The wedging in the corner idea sounds good -- let me know how you get on.

Nina

laurat
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 17 Apr 2018, 15:20

That’s great Nina ... right I’m on a mission to find rocks!

laurat
Posts: 80
Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 17 Apr 2018, 16:25

I’m on the way to the beach ... stones and pebbles ahoy here I come!

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Nina
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by Nina » 17 Apr 2018, 17:08

People will wonder who that crazy beachcomber is, filling bags with pebbles! How lucky you are to live by the seaside -- which beach are you near?

Nina

laurat
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 17 Apr 2018, 18:08

... and I got nothing; the tide was fully in.

I am next to Tynemouth Nina so have Tynemouth, Cullercoats, Whitley Bay and the Fish Quay at North Shields, it’s all beautiful!

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Nina
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by Nina » 17 Apr 2018, 18:12

Oh you are so lucky! What a beautiful part of the country. I live in Oxford, which is about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK (well, not sure -- Birmingham might be a tiny bit further). :(

Nina

laurat
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Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 17 Apr 2018, 18:43

OooooO but isn’t Oxford posh?

Ok, so I’ve tidied up a bit. I’ve told him he’s been naughty, his ‘slate’ privileges have gone and he’s grounded and back to basics with a shallower dish!
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Nina
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by Nina » 17 Apr 2018, 21:04

Well, that looks excellent! I like the dish -- and I assume that even though it is not as deep as the other dish, the water is still deep enough for him to put his head in and have a nice drink. I shall wait with baited breath for tomorrow's report on how successful this is (but I do think you've cracked it!).

Nina

laurat
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 17 Apr 2018, 21:27

This is the dish he had in his vivarium Nina. I don’t know if the new one was maybe just a little bit too deep for him climbing in and out of. That I think as well as a million and one bits of loose slate.

Yes, this one is shallow but still deep enough for a soak and a drink. He can sit for ages in this one then when he gets up and tottles off he’s left a wee and a poo ... ‘scruff’ doesn’t cut it I tell you!

When he went to bed tonight, there was soil in it but not as much to clean up, especially now I’ve confiscated the slate pieces - that’ll teach him!

I’ve just got to wait for that tide to go out and I’ll be off to collect stones and pebbles (I might wait until the weekend for the caravan as it’s right on the river and there’s some marvellous ones there), and yes, I’ll be getting funny looks no doubt and frowned faces, just like I do when I hunt down wild flowers and weeds. It makes me laugh. You’ve got to be a tortoise parent to understand!

:lol:

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Nina
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Re: Water Dish!

Post by Nina » 17 Apr 2018, 22:21

Ha, ha -- I was thinking that the tortoise pebble collector would be in the same class as the crazy tortoise bag ladies who are to be seen walking up and down verges around the country and stuffing their carrier bags with weeds -- and now I find out that you fit both stereotypes! It sounds like the new dish is going to work -- but dont you feel a bit guilty that you've spoiled all of Vera's fun with all the vandalism? What is he going to do for pleasure now that he can't trash the place. I'll bet that if he could he would spray very creative graffiti all over the walls of his new palace (Vera woz 'ere)!

Nina

laurat
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Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Water Dish!

Post by laurat » 18 Apr 2018, 05:34

That’s made me chuckle; I definitely fit both stereotypes!

Graffiti?? Oh there’s graffiti alright! There’s no ‘Vera woz ‘ere’’ but there’s dried caked mud all around the inner walls.

I tell you Nina, that tortoise thinks of EVERYTHING!

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