Weeds that unsure off

Use this forum for identification of plants and flowers found in the UK. To allow us to help provide accurate identification we need clear pictures of the whole plant, where it is growing and close up pictures of flowers, buds or seed heads if any available. It would also be useful to see pictures showing the leaf attached to the stem.
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Norm2020
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Joined: 26 Dec 2020, 23:50

Weeds that unsure off

Post by Norm2020 » 27 Dec 2020, 17:07

Hi new to forum and to tortoise keeping in next week ill be getting my first one, decided to go for a walk today as realised that the garden had dried up of weeds that im familiar with. Here are some pics if anyone could guide me that would be great.
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Norm2020
Posts: 5
Joined: 26 Dec 2020, 23:50

Re: Weeds that unsure off

Post by Norm2020 » 27 Dec 2020, 17:11

Plus These
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Nina
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Re: Weeds that unsure off

Post by Nina » 27 Dec 2020, 18:00

Hi Norm and welcome to The Tortoise Table! That's great that you're getting your first tortoise next week -- what a lovely New Year present. What sort of set-up are you getting for it (please don't get a vivarium -- a tortoise table is what you need for tortoises, as they don't do well in the enclosed space of a vivarium). If you tell us which species you are getting we can send you a care sheet for that species.

It's great that you're looking for food growing naturally outdoors -- that is getting your tortoise off to a great start. We can identify most of the plants you posted, with the exception of one or two. I've listed your photos from top to bottom. and have given you a link to the entry for that plant on our website so that you can see how good it is to feed (or not to feed). Our colour coded symbols will tell you if it can be fed freely (green), in moderation (amber-green), sparingly (amber-red) and not to feed (red). If you have any questions, please ask.
In your first post:
First one is Chickweed: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/pla ... -jJsRanyM8
Second one is Geranium, either domesticated: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/pla ... -jJ7RanyM8 or wild https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/pla ... -jKExanyM8 and also https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/pla ... -jKVBanyM_
Third photo is Bristly Oxtongue https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/pla ... -jKnhanyM8

Nina

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Nina
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Re: Weeds that unsure off

Post by Nina » 27 Dec 2020, 18:02

In your second post, the first photo is one of the umbellifers (cow parsley family), but I'm not sure which one as they can look very similar and we would need to see a photo of a flower to make sure. Although some of the umbellifers are edible most are not and some are very toxic, so in general we advise that unless you can make a definite identification of the plant it's not wise to feed it.
The second photo os Forget-me-Not: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/pla ... -jLlRanyM8
The third photo is difficult to ID, and it might be best to wait until those flower buds open and send us another photo.

I hope that helps, and sorry about the ones we couln't pinpoint, but you do have some edible plants there which is great! Do please ask any questions at all and we'll do our best to help you (and let me know if you'd like a care sheet.

Best wishes,
Nina

Norm2020
Posts: 5
Joined: 26 Dec 2020, 23:50

Re: Weeds that unsure off

Post by Norm2020 » 27 Dec 2020, 18:59

Wow thats great thank you, is a good start to the year esp after the last one! im getting a western hermanns (care sheet would be great) , and def no viv i currently have a table with coco fibre soil in it. Heating is vi a ceramic heater on a pulse stat. lighting separate tube 12% Uvb and there is also a led standard light for brightness due to miserable winter and wanted to not hibernate this year.

Some hides via pots and wood tunnel one of which filled with moss to get a humid hide going although with this should this be near the heat source for the humidity? Other then that few low smooth rocks.

Water im trying to use rain water to keep natural and then just tap for when need warm bath few times a week

Weeds weeds weeds for food from wild and also have some growing on the windowsill just encase need a top up. odd bit of dried flowers too, supplements i was going to nutrobal twice a week and then limestone flour for calcium. With the limestone do you just lit leave a bowl in there for them to have at will?

Is there anything there that would be advised to change? Or add?

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Nina
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Re: Weeds that unsure off

Post by Nina » 27 Dec 2020, 20:23

It sounds like you've prepaed yourself really well, so that is great!

Here is a link to a care sheet for Hermanns https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf
but even better, here is a link to a great site about Hermann's tortoises, including information on the various sub-species, care sheets, etc. The chap who runs it lives in the USA, but the advice is just as relevant to the UK:
https://www.hermannihaven.com/

Regarding your set-up, it sounds fine, but I think most people prefer a soil-based substrate (ordinary sterilised topsoil soil mixed with children's playsand), because it most approximates the substrate that they live on in the wild (sandy soil). Coco fibre can work and I know people who use it, but it gets dusty (although so does the sand/soil substrate).

Your heating and lighting set-up is slightly unusual, but I think it could work. We don't often recommend a ceramic heat emitter, as they don't give off any light, but you have the LED to compensate for that. For your 12% UVB fluorescent tube, do be sure to get a reflector to clip on it, because that will direct more UVB rays down into the table and it will also protect your eyes (which can be damaged by looking directly into the tube). Whatever you use, what you are aiming for is the brightest possible environment with the right temperature (think really bright summer's day). So directly under your heat source, and at the height of your tortoise's shell, you want a temperature of around 30C, and at the cool end of the table you want it to be about 20C. And there shouldn't be any need for heat at night (they quite like a drop in temperature at night), unless the temperature drops below about 13C or 14C, especially for babies.

So it's important to be able to measure the temperature under the heat source accurately, and a thermometer mounted on a nearby wall will not give an accurate reading. The best ones to use are the digital fridge/freezerthermometers with a display unit and then a probe on the end of a long cord. like this: https://tinyurl.com/yayushmc (but there are loads if you just google them). Be sure you get one with a Max/Min facility so that you can see how hot or cold it got since you last re-set the function). You can then hang that down so that the probe is hanging under the heat source at the height of the tortoise's shell.

Also, you need to be able to raise and lower your heat source. The ambient temperature in a room has a big effect on the temperature in a table, so on a cold day, you will want to lower that heat source so that it is closer to the tortoise, and on a hot summer's day you will need to raise it so that it isn't too hot in the table.

With Nutrobal and limestone flour, it's best to wet the leaves you are feeding and sprinkle the powder on them so that it will stick. If you leave a bowl of limestone flour out your tortoise will just track through it and it will be gone and spread all over the substrate before you know it. What you can do is to leave a cuttlefish bone in the table for him to nibble at will. Some tortoises won't eat cuttlefish bone until it's been sitting outside in all the elements for a month or so, and beginning to look horrible -- lol, then they devour it.

It is great that you are going to grow your own weeds. Several sites sell seed mixtures especially for tortoises, and I can give you a link if you are interested. I also think the 'furniture' etc. that you plan to put in the table sounds really good. Tortoises get bored if they can see from one end of hte table to the other without interruption, and then they get lethargic, so lots of things to walk around, under and over are great.

Sorry to have gone on at such length! I'm sure you're going to be a great tortoise keeper. Do ask any more questions, ad please post photos of your little one when it arrives (we never get tired of looking at photos of tortoises!).

Nina

Norm2020
Posts: 5
Joined: 26 Dec 2020, 23:50

Re: Weeds that unsure off

Post by Norm2020 » 27 Dec 2020, 21:34

Reflector ordered :), i have also ordered some thermometers as mentioned.

Thanks for going into depth its always nice to know where to improve or whats right and wrong/different. My house goes down to 15 degrees at night in winter so did wonder if that was too low, i may still up a degree though for this year. And dont worry the led makes it like a bright summers day lol.

I got the seeds from shelled warriors site, but if there are others im always interested in looking, and ill def put pic up once arrives ill just look for best topic as not used too many forums yet lol.

One other aspect i was going to look into was Females and egg laying is there any info i need to look at as im not aware what age they produce eggs (assuming i wont need to worry for a while) or if they need the right environment etc. Just heard about being egg bound and wondered what i need to to know for the future. So if there is anywhere good to read up on that issue that you know off? (If indeed it would be an uissue)

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Weeds that unsure off

Post by Nina » 28 Dec 2020, 10:11

Hi Norm,

Aha, Shelled Warriors was the site that I was going to recommend to you :) . One way you can grow the seeds is to sow them in succession (say every two weeks) in small trays (think the size you would buy a chicken breast or two in). When the plants are big enough to feed, you can sit the tray in the tortoise table and let him eat to his heart's content, and when that tray is finished the next one will be ready.

Regarding females and egg laying, in the wild they tend to not be sexually mature until maybe 10 or 15 years old, but in captivity that can happen as early as five or six years, and I think that this is because it depends almost as much on size as age, and tortoises in captivity often grow too quickly because they are fed too much (and this also results in deformed shells), so it is impossible to say. I have a female that has laid eggs every year since she was about ten years old (they aren't fertile because she hasn't been with a male). When they do reach egg-laying age you need to provide them with a nesting box or nesting area that has very deep soil (as deep as she would be tall if she was standing up on her hind legs), but that is a long way off for you. Egg-binding often occurs because there isn't a suitable place for them to dig a nest and lay the eggs, so they retain them and that causes problems. They can be very choosy about where to lay, so if she does come of age and wants to produce eggs (I can tell you the signs) then you need to provide a good nesting box for her (again, when that day comes we can give you lots of advice). In the meantime here are some egg FAQs from The Tortoise Trust. https://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/eggfaq.html

Are you asking about egg laying because you think you are getting a female? You can't really sex most tortoises until they are five or six years old. I'm sure you know that sex in tortoises is determined by the temperaturre at which the eggs are incubated, and many breeders incubate for male or female, but it isn't 100% accurate. Are you getting your tortoise from a breeder or from a pet shop?

Have attached a photo of my Doris and a clutch of eggs she laid a couple of years ago, and also one of her laying an egg into the nest she has dug, just for info.

Did you find the link to that care sheet and the Hermanni Haven site any use?

Nina
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Norm2020
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Joined: 26 Dec 2020, 23:50

Re: Weeds that unsure off

Post by Norm2020 » 28 Dec 2020, 19:43

Hadn't thought of actually placing the tray in the table good tip, im assuming once eaten they may regenerate too i know they never die in my garden!

Thanks for the link be good to know a bit about it even if its years away lol. Im getting it from a breeder, and they haved incubated for female but like you have said its not a guarantee. In fact when i originally posted i got the dates totally mixed up and i went today! Good job the reflector is being delivered tomorrow! Ill post some pics tomorrow when all settled in and then you can see the set up i have too.

I have started to look through Hermanni haven lots on there to read, the care sheet i have looked at and wondered the following

1. says to have the Uvb tube as close as possible without touching, mine is just under 40cm away and according to the manufacture this will give a rate of 2.1 at the shell in fact it says dangerous levels if too close. Is how i have it giving my tort enough output of Uvb?

2. Humidity, the coco soil is quite damp at the moment and does stick to the shell slightly should i dry this out? Is it just a light soaking of the substrate with it being slightly damp all the way through?

3. Outside enclosures, is it advisable to have a set up outside that is used during the day during the summer including nights when they are warm? Apart from that i was thinking of having a table inside (As she grows so will the table) so when the days are warm shell go outside but if nights are cold shell come in. The enclosure would have the right set up but no heating hence why only used when practical.

4. Digging in, ive just noticed shes done this, possibly for the night? however the substrate to me doesnt feel damp but cool worried that its not warn enough were dug in but assuming as night falls so does the temp so not to worry?

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