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New Parents are worried
Posted: 27/01/2016 by

Help!   We have just adopted an 18 month old Horsefield Tortoise that came from a very well respected reptile specialist.   We purchased a vivarium and everything needed for our tortoise from the same shop.   As we are unable to maintain a steady temperature in our home it was recommended to keep him in a vivarium rather than a table.   When we got him home and set up all seemed fine and he explored his new home energetically.   However it has now been 4 days and all he seems to do is sleep under his bark.   He has eaten very little and drank even less,  and we are now beginning to worry.   Can anyone tell us if this is normal and he just needs time to adjust,  or do we potentially have something to worry about?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Re: New Parents are worried
Posted: 27/01/2016 by Tom


Which reptile specialist ?

What is the temp. range in the room where the viv. is situated ?
What is the temp. at tort level in the viv. - at the hot end? & the cool end ? 
How many hours is the heat/light on ?

What do you mean by "very little" food ?
Which foods are you offering.


Re: New Parents are worried
Posted: 28/01/2016 by

Hi  Tom

We bought him from a reptile shop in Norfolk that was recommend to us.   It  has been established for nearly 20 years.

We  have been keeping the heat light on 24 hours maintaining a constant 29/30 degrees at the warm end and about 24/25 degrees at the cooler end.   The vivarium is in our lounge away from any drafts about 2 feet off the ground.  At  present the room is about 20 degrees.   Our heating is electric storage heaters so it is very difficult to maintain a constant room temperature,  especially with the weather outside as it is.

Food wise each day he is only eating a couple of pellets of dampened T-Rex Tortoise dry formula,  or a couple of bites of fresh baby salad leafs.   He did eat a little grated carrot last night,  but again,  only a few shreads.

Hope this helps diagnose our issue.


Re: New Parents are worried
Posted: 28/01/2016 by Tom

Thanks James,

So, open for 20 years & all they can do is give you clueless advice.

It is staying under the wood because it is far too hot in the viv.. 
29/30C is fine at the basking spot, but 25C is far too hot at the cool end. For the moment open the door 7 or 8cm at the cooler end (& leave open.)
The heat / light only needs to be on for 8hrs or so daily. 

There is no reason whatsoever why you can't use a tort. 'table,' if you have storage rad's. Vivs are not suitable for torts & I would photocopy our correspondence & demand a refund from the pet dealer, on the basis of mis-selling. Use an old drawer as a 'table'.

Pellets & carrot are not good for your tort., make sure that the salad leaves are the raddichio, Lamb's lettuce & endive mix. You can still pick dandelion leaves in sheltered areas, in many areas they are still in flower [e.g.Northants.] I suggest that you go to   & order the book "Edible Plants .." on offer for 5.99 + p&p. 

Your tort may (or my not) be 18mths old. Sadly they are imported in batches of 1,000 or 1,500 [imagine !!] with no proper info re. age, etc..


Re: New Parents are worried
Posted: 29/01/2016 by Tom

Do you need lighting advice for the 'table' ?


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