1 month aniversary and questions

Use this forum to discuss general questions about any aspects of tortoise care.
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Kimberley
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Joined: 03 Feb 2020, 17:53

1 month aniversary and questions

Post by Kimberley » 02 Mar 2020, 09:26

So little Timmie has been with me for little over a month now. I have to say I think it's really easy, maybe because I've prepared well and my guineapig and hamster experience. I feel the way I have to take care of him and his behaviour is a combination of the 2.
Keeping is table up is easy to spot clean and I have a routine now. He uses all the items in the table and his behavior is great, interested in me and active and sweet. The behavior he showed at the previous people he stayed with, anxious and trying to get out 12 hours a day, is gone. When I put my hand flat he comes and sits on it and I just talk to him a bit, sweet😀

He is 11 cm and weighs 382. The previous people said he weighed 346, but they didn't do it correctly so that was wrong. Today he weighed 378, but he eats well and much more varied too.
He is almost 5, do you think he will grow more? Personally I don't think he will, because of the bad care he had for more than 4 years.

Last week I was away from monday 13 pm till friday 14 pm. A good friend checked in on him everyday and I have a camera so I could see him on my phone😀 He had a home grown pansy plant, catgrassplant and lambslettuce plant. He did well and did not overeat. It went very natural.
Normally he gets up at around 7.30 and goes to bed around 17.30-19.00. His lamps are on 12 hours. When I was gone he really shortened his days, going to bed around 14.30. When I came back at 14pm he was in bed, but I called him and after 5 mins he came out and he seemed happy, he sat on my hand. Then he basked and went to bed at 19 pm. Everything is normall again now. Why did he do that, shortening his days in my absence? Did he miss me or sound etc? [attachment=0]IMG_20200302_102503.jpg[/attachment][attachment=0]IMG_20200302_102503.jpg[/attachment][attachment=1]2020y2M25d7h39m33s.jpg[/attachment]
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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: 1 month aniversary and questions

Post by Nina » 02 Mar 2020, 09:54

Hi Kimberley,

Great to hear from you, and to hear that little Timmie is doing well and is happy in his new home (your table for him does look super, so no wonder he is happy in there). I can't remember now, but what did you find to use for the substrate in the end (I remember you said you couldn't get topsoil in The Netherlands)?

Yes, I think he will continue to grow more. My two Horsfields are 9 and 15 years old and they are still growing a bit, and they are now 600g - 700g. Actually the younger one is bigger and heavier than the older one, but Doris (the older one) has always been on the small side, and Dolly (the younger one) had a mother who was slightly larger than average. I think some Horsfields reach 1kg in weight, but don't know if mine will. They are a bit like people -- some are just naturally bigger than others.

It's hard to say why he shortened his day when you were away. Is there a window in his room, and have you been having the same horrible weather that we have been having in the UK? If he senses that it is darker outdoors he might have shortened his day, or he might well have been missing the stimulation you are giving him. My two are usually in bed by about 3 or 4 p.m. on most days indoors (sometimes a bit later), but outdoors in the summer they don't take themselves off to bed until 6 p.m. or 7 p.m., or even later, so it does vary. I think he sounds like one happy little tortoise, who is very grateful that you have given him such a nice home!

Nina

Kimberley
Posts: 45
Joined: 03 Feb 2020, 17:53

Re: 1 month aniversary and questions

Post by Kimberley » 02 Mar 2020, 12:13

Hi Nina,

All his lamps are on timers and some lamps in my livingroom too. But it was rainy and nasty that week too. Maybe it was a bit of both, stimulation and weather. He is a superfriendly little dude, I hope he stays that way!

I know the males will stay smaller, but I hope he grows a bit and his shell will evenout a bit, even though I can't undo what's been done in the past.

I use cococoir mixed with 5 kilo bag of excavator sand and that works great. It gives it a little more stability. I use fluffy cocohusk in the part where his baskingspot, water and food is. That works great and the water stays very clean this way. He likes to sleep in it every now and then.

I think I can find the topsoil btw. They just call it differently and I was a little too critical ha ha. You have organic ones that do have a bit of natural fertilizer in them but not like pottingsoil with perlite and bad stuff like that. But the mix I make now works great. I was wondering when I should take everything out? It still looks and smells great. I spot clean poops and even pee when I see him do it. He pees alot in the same spot, that helps.

The camera is superhandy btw. I just took this pic and I'm at work😊
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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: 1 month aniversary and questions

Post by Nina » 02 Mar 2020, 19:12

It's looking really great -- so much interest that table for a tortoise -- no wonder he is a happy little dude!

I think your coco coir and sand look fine. Do you need to spray it to keep it from getting dusty?
Regarding doing a complete change of the substrate -- I'm probably not the best person to ask as I don't always practice what I preach! I do regular spot cleaning of both poos and wee all the time, and really only do a complete change once a year (but many people recommend doing it more often than that), but so far it has worked OK. After I have spot cleaned a lot and removed quite a bit of the substrate (I usually take a whole clump of soil out with the wee, as it is damp and sticks together, so easily removed), then I just mix up some more to replace it, but I don't even do that too often.

That camera is great! How nice to be able to keep an eye on him when you're not at home!

Nina

Kimberley
Posts: 45
Joined: 03 Feb 2020, 17:53

Re: 1 month aniversary and questions

Post by Kimberley » 03 Mar 2020, 07:40

Hi Nina,

I think I'll do the same with taking everything out. I mean, I spot clean the way you do and I can't imagine it getting dirty this way especially when he will be outside for months too. We've had excellent summers where I live and if this summer will be the same, he can be outside for 6 months.
I do mix in water 2 a week. I just pour in a few glasses of water and mix it in with my hands and pat. I do this when he's soaking. The cocohusk side I keep dry.

The camera is a good one with a safe login system and wasn't expensive, 49 euros on sale, and I just feel better this way. I can see if his lamps are still ok and he's doing wel.

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: 1 month aniversary and questions

Post by Nina » 03 Mar 2020, 19:51

I think that should work well. I do the same with pouring water in and mixing it up with the substrate, but it's really important that the result is just the teeny tiniest bit damp, and not at all wet. It should be that a clump of substrate in your hand just about holds together if you make a fist. Most species of tortoise are OK with wet if it is warm, but they don't do at all well with cold and wet (and of course temperatures even indoors at this time of year do drop).

That sounds like a very good price for the camera, and it must give you great peace of mind to be able to check on Timmie when you're not home.

Nina

Kimberley
Posts: 45
Joined: 03 Feb 2020, 17:53

Re: 1 month aniversary and questions

Post by Kimberley » 04 Mar 2020, 10:37

Hi Nina,

No it's not wet at all, it's only 2 or 3 glasses of water on 80 liters of cococoir and 5 kilo of sand mix, so that's nothing. Just enough to keep it together.

Kimberley

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: 1 month aniversary and questions

Post by Nina » 04 Mar 2020, 17:20

Ha, ha -- I hope your apartment has strong floor boards, or that you live on the ground floor -- that sounds like a very heavy table. Having said that, my table with the substrate in it is very heavy too, and when I first filled it up I did worry about the strength of my floor (it's in an upstairs bedroom), but so far so good!

Nina

Kimberley
Posts: 45
Joined: 03 Feb 2020, 17:53

Re: 1 month aniversary and questions

Post by Kimberley » 08 Mar 2020, 19:40

Hi Nina,

No it's all concrete here ha ha and the table is actually built on the breakfastbar, it devides the kitchen and livingroom. It's very strong and a nice spot for him. It's quiet but not too quiet so he can see me when I'm in the kitchen. He likes that😊 The table is 2,5 ft by 6,7 ft so alot of substrate.

Kimberley

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Nina
Posts: 1147
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: 1 month aniversary and questions

Post by Nina » 08 Mar 2020, 20:02

That breakfast bar sounds like a lovely, central location -- and a good size too. My table is 7 ft. by 2 ft, with an upper level in it, so they sound pretty similar. So glad that he is doing well!

Nina

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