Sufficient Space for the Animals
A minimum size of 1.50 x 0.8 m is recommended for 1-2 tortoises, with at least one rock crevice for each Pancake Tortoise.
UV HID lamps should be used for lighting. LED and mixed light lamps should only be used as an add-on. The tortoises require this to prevent rickets and to see properly.
Pure substrates like wood chips, gravel, or sand are often used. These are often ingested due to a lack of calcium, which can lead to intestinal blockages or constipation. To prevent a deficiency in calcium or roughage, tortoises can be fed fiber-rich foods like dandelion or cuttlebone. A recommended substrate is a mix of humus (e.g., forest humus or coconut humus) and sand-clay.
Insufficient Substrate Depth
Adult females kept indoors often experience egg-binding due to a lack of suitable egg-laying opportunities. In my opinion, there should be a sufficiently thick layer of substrate, at least 12 to 20 cm. For Pancake Tortoises, a mound of at least 20 cm high in the terrarium is advisable to offer an egg-laying site. Regardless, every Pancake Tortoise is more comfortable with ample substrate rather than sitting on bare glass.
Drafts occur at ground level. The tortoises receive no UV radiation, and they might ingest various items found on the floor. Please avoid this!
Outdated tortoise literature often contains incorrect dietary advice, such as feeding fruit, vegetables, or cat food. An old book I have suggests feeding tortoises bread soaked in warm milk. Protein-rich diets can lead to gout in tortoises. The Pancake Tortoise should primarily be fed fiber-rich food like dandelion or plantain. Occasionally, finely grated carrots are also allowed but should be the exception. Depending on where you live, dandelion may not be available in winter. In big cities, it is also difficult. I live near an airport where kerosene is often dumped, so I consider the meadow herbs in the vicinity to be "contaminated." For this reason, I order my meadow herbs from selected online shops. In an emergency, you can also resort to Romaine or lamb's lettuce from the supermarket. Other lettuces should be avoided, as, for example, iceberg lettuce contains hardly any nutrients.
Cosmetics and Tortoises
Outdated literature suggests occasionally creaming the tortoise shell with petroleum jelly. This clogs the pores and leads to shell diseases.
Lack of Quarantine
New arrivals should always spend a few weeks in quarantine first. A veterinarian should be consulted to determine if the animal is ill. Stool samples should be collected to ensure that no parasites are introduced.
No Parasite Control
At least once a year, the animals should be checked for parasites. In other words, collect stool samples at least once a year. If one of the animals has parasites, it is safe to assume that all other animals are also infected. All veterinarians I have visited have advised me to treat even the smallest infestation. Prophylactic deworming without evidence of parasites is advised against by the veterinarians I know.
Too Much Male Company
Generally, several males should not be kept together. There may be a few exceptions, but as a rule, the males will fight each other fiercely. In my opinion, there should be 2-3 females for every male.
No or Inadequate Shelter
One of the pictures I saw showed three Pancake Tortoises stacked on top of each other, barely able to stick their heads into some kind of shelter. It should be self-explanatory that this is not in the best interest of the animals.
- Pancake Tortoise care mistakes
- Pancake Tortoise terrarium
- UV HID lamps
- Pancake Tortoise substrate
- Pancake Tortoise feeding
- caring for Pancake Tortoises