This forum covers all aspects of tortoise diet and nutrition, including mineral and vitamin supplementation and foods appropriate for different species.
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Joined: 29 Nov 2019, 12:49


Post by Hal » 29 Nov 2019, 12:53

We have a new one-yer-old tortoise and are in need of advice please.
Is the Tetra tortoise complete food really complete?

Do we also need to use any supplements?

Also, what should 'Zeus' have apart from her/his food, nesting materials, & dipping pool?

Warm thanks!
Hal & Mummy.

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Re: help..!

Post by Nina » 29 Nov 2019, 19:43

Hi Hal and Mummy and thanks for contacting us. Many congratulations on getting your tortoise -- they are wonderful creatures and we will do our best to give you advice to help make a great home for him.

First of all, can you tell me what species your tortoise is? If I know his species then I will send you a care sheet that should answer a lot of your questions.

Also, if you can send me a photo of Zeus's set-up (great name, by the way!), then we can advis`e on what you might do with it. I hope that
Zeus is in a tortoise table, rather than in a vivarium, but do send some photos.

What sort of heating and lighting do you have in place? Heat and light is one of the most important factors in tortoise keeping, so if you can tell me what the temperature is directly below his heat source, at the height of Zeus's shell, that would be great. You are aiming for a temperature of around 30C directly below the heat source and about 20C at the cooler end of his enclosur

Regarding Tetra Tortoise complete food, it is not one I'm familiar with, but i've looked it up and it seems average. Tortoises need a low protein and high fibre diet, and most commercial food is too high in protein, but this one isn't the worst. What I don't know is the ingredients, so I will try and find out. We really don't recommend commercial foods usually, as tortoises thrive on a diet of fresh food -- weeds, flowers, various leaves, and our website has a database with over 1,000 plants listed along with evaluations of how good (or bad) any plant is for tortoises. It's obviously not a great time of year for fresh food, but there is still a lot growing outdoors that you can feed to your tortoise -- some dandelions still around, plantain, sowthistle, and in the garden campanula, pansies, there really is a lot.

What you need with any diet is to supplement it with a good source of calcium and Vitamin D3 (which helps them absorb the calcium), and Nutrobal is probably the best. You can also get a cuttlefish bone (the sort that you see in budgie cages) and leave that in the enclosure for Zeus to nibble on or scrape some of it onto his food.

Water is important and you should bathe him two or three times a week in nice warm water that comes just up to where his top shell meets his bottom shell (or his chin), in a container he can't see out of (like an old washing up bowl) for about 15 minutes. He will very likely drink in that bath and he might also wee and poo, so there is less to clean out of his enclosure.

Sorry to go on at such length, but I look forward to hearing what species Zeus is and sending you a care sheet. And it would be lovely to see a photo of Zeus (we never get tired of looking at pictures of handsome tortoises!).


Hal & Mummy.

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