For many months of the year, their daily activities would involve roaming miles of harsh environment foraging for vegetation, basking or seeking mates. Hibernation takes place during the colder seasons, to allow the tortoise to save energy when there is a lack of food and heat. In captivity this isn't necessary as there will always be access to food and basking opportunity, though they do still seem to become sluggish around the cooler times of year. Their activity periods will also take place during daylight hours, giving plenty of opportunity to see your pet. Handling of your tortoise will become difficult as it grows as they do not enjoy being suspended, and they are quite large making it physically difficult to comfortable hold them.
The housing for a tortoise comes best in the form of a tortoise table, which will allow for the best airflow - essential for a species that are prone to respiratory infections in an enclosed vivarium. For an adult you will require a table of at least 5x3ft in size, though it is highly recommended to utilise as much space as possible due to their roaming habits, and larger individuals exceeding 12 inches would be best in a larger area. This table should incorporate a sufficient amount of hiding opportunity so your tortoise feels secure, and also a number of decor additions such as rocks, wood and vegetation - live vegetation can double as a great nutritional opportunity. Tortoises will not be able to climb, but are built to tackle rough terrain and lower obstacles which will make their enclosure more mentally stimulating and a more natural setting. Substrates such as ProRep Tortoise Life will also help make the setting more natural and provide good digging and burrowing opportunity.
An essential consideration for your table is the heating and lighting for which there are a couple of options. One of the options, and perhaps the easiest to setup, is a mercury vapour bulb (heat and UV in one bulb), though these will need to be attached to a movable bracket for temperature regulation as they cannot be thermostatically controlled. For more information about Tortoise Table Lighting, see our blog. The Marginated Tortoise will require a basking of around 32C at one end, with the cooler end displaying temperatures of round 22 - 25C. All temperatures can be measured with an accurate digital thermometer. During the night temperatures can safely drop to 15C. This drop will mimic a temperature change in the wild and help create day/night periods. UV should always be used in a 12 hour cycle and replaced regularly (it will depend on the bulb to how often). After the lifespan of the bulb is up, it will no longer be emitting UV, so needs to be kept on top of.
Should humidity drop in the enclosure, you may need to mist it, live plants will also contribute but may be eaten. It is essential to have a shallow water dish within the enclosure that ensures your tortoise can utilise it for drinking and bathing, these dishes will need regular cleaning. To keep a healthy tortoise you will need to provide a good variety of veg, weeds and live plants, on which a calcium, multivitamin and D3 should be dusted in a relevant routine - these will ensure that a healthy and nutritionally valuable diet is provided.
Swell SuperStore Marginated Tortoise:
- Current Age/Size - 3 - 3.5 inches approx (shell)
- Adult Expected Size - 12 - 14 inches
- Habitat - Arid regions of Greece, Italy and Southern Europe. Terrestrial living.
- Required Enclosure Size - 5 x 3ft table - minimum. Larger individuals may require more space.
- UV Lighting - 3 - 4 UVI
- Expected Lifespan - 80+ Years
- Temperature Gradient - 22 - 32C
- Humidity Levels - 60 - 70%
- Feeding - Herbivore - veg, weeds and live plants
- Handling - Calm by nature but physically difficult to handle the larger they get
If you like the look of these animals, and would like any further information, please call the shop directly on 0161 351 4705, or contact them for more images or information at email@example.com. The Livestock List is updated regularly, but please call ahead to ensure we still have what you want, or to reserve something you may have seen.