I have a baby African Sulcata Tortoise and just want to make sure I am doing everything right. It's home is a 21"

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Customer: I have a baby African Sulcata Tortoise and just want to make sure I am doing everything right. It's home is a 21" plastic tub (Home Depot) and the bedding is Coco Bark. I have a 26W Repti Glow 5.0 UVB light at one end with temp gage showing 80 degrees and a 50 Watt UVA Basking Bulb at the other end only getting 75 degrees. I read that there should be about a 20 degree different at each end of structure but I just don't know how to pull this off without buying a huge structure, which I don't want. I use to have the all in one UVB/UVA Light but it only came in 100 watt and seemed to get the cage to hot... Any suggestions and could you tell me what each end of cage should be, it seems like the internet has different answers. Also for food feeding organic romaine, leafy greens, and once every two week baby spinach. I do not keep water in cage but put the tortoise in luke warm water up to bottom of shell every other day for 10 minutes.
Answered by Jav917 in 14 mins 11 years ago
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Jav917
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27,324 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Reptile Veterinary, Herp Veterinary, Exotic Animal Medicine, Amphibian Veterinary

Hello,

I would switch to a 10.0 reptisun tube UVB. The Sulcata needs a higher UVB to prevent Metabolic Bone disease. For your heat source you can use a household bulb that is 75-100 watts and it will work fine in a reflector dome. The UVB does not give any heat, so the household bulb will take care of that. This care sheet should also help. http://www.sulcata-station.org/basics.html . You need to get your Tortoise on a higher fiber diet which will help with the proper diet. I suggest Oxbow Salad Style which is a high fiber diet specially formulated for tortoises. http://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/products/type/detail?object=1532 This is a combination of Hay, weeds and grasses that are needed to keep things moving smoothly. You also add some uncooked Butternut squash or some canned Pumpkin into the diet which is usually readily accepted and is also a high fibet food and great as a treat for your tortoise. This link goes over Diet and will also help with some alternatives: http://sulcata-station.org/diet.html Be sure to have cuttle fish bones available at all times for a calcium supplement. This is very important for health. This link shows you how to make a tortoise table which is a good way to house your sulcata: http://www.sulcata-station.org/table1.html This is a link about outside set ups for sulcata tortoises that you may eventually need when he out grows the house: http://www.turtlestuff.com/enclosures.html

I hope this helps. Joan

Customer

Thank you Joan

Does a regular household bulb have the UVA rays?

Hello,

All bulbs give off UVA rays which is actually a heat source. I have seen full spectrum bulbs sold for UVB and they do not supply adequate UVb rays and the Pets get sick because of wrong information. The one you have to be most concened with is the UVB and that is why I suggest a Reptisun 10.0 tube type. That supplies the UVB rays which is the artificial sunlight to metabolize the Calcium into Vitamin D3 in the body. Many people in the pet supplies have no idea about the proper lighting. Here is a link to help: http://www.anapsid.org/uvtable.html or this link: http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/lighting.html Joan

Customer
I don't have the structure to do the tube lighting, I just ran up to pet store and bought Repti Glow 10.0 UVB, is that good? Also what should the temp be at each end of cage?

Hello,

The temps at the warm end can be up to 85*F and on the cool side 75*F. That is great you got the 10.0 as it really does make a difference in their health and well being. The bulb will need to be changed every 6 months as they do loose potency. The diet I suggested is very important as many people do not give enough fiber and give too many wet veggies. If you follow the above posts, you should do great with your new Sulcata. They have a great personality and will wrap you around their hearts. Joan

Customer

Thank you Joan! And yes pet stores are not the best source for information, the recommended a HEAT ROCK! Common sense told me this wasn't right! Thank goodness for this site!!

Hi,

The only good heat rock is one wher the cord has been removed. The Pet shops are about selling products rather than the animals. I hope I have been of help and your Sulcata will do well with his new home and set up. Joan

 

 

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