Sulcata Tortoise Care Sheet

African Sulcata Tortoise Care

Sulcata tortoises are some of the largest and easiest to care for of all tortoise species.  Like any other reptile, they require research to ensure you are able to give them the best care and life possible.  One of the largest species of tortoise for sale in the world, the African Sulcata tortoise gets big, fast.  A baby Sulcata tortoise will grow to sizes of 10″ within just a few years and can be 24″ and 100 lbs in as little as 12-15 years.  Keep this in mind when deciding if you are building or purchasing a temporary or permanent habitat.

Our biologist has compiled a fantastic Sulcata tortoise care guide.  Please be sure to view all aspects of caring for your new Sulcata at the pages below:

African Sulcata tortoise Lifespan

African Sulcata tortoises live anywhere from 80 to 150 years old!  For this reason, consider the length of the time you will spend with your new shelled friend.  African Sulcata tortoises when cared for properly can often outlive their owners.

African Sulcata Tortoise Habitat and Housing:

Due to their large size, housing Sulcata tortoise inside can be quite impractical. Please consider this carefully prior to purchasing. Here at Turtle Store, we believe the most useful form of indoor tortoise habitat for a Sulcata tortoise hatchling is a tortoise table.
We offer a full complete tortoise habitat kit, available here. A reasonable size for a hatchling is 2 foot by 2 foot, however, hatchlings will outgrow this very quickly (at 3 years old they can exceed 12 inches). We recommend purchasing this before purchasing a baby Sulcata tortoise for sale. (baby spurred tortoise for sale)

Sulcata tortoise temperature

So you are building or purchasing or setting up your new baby Sulcata tortoise habitat, or enclosure? One this to consider is temperature.  Temperature is one of the most important variables in any type of baby or adult tortoise habitat.  Like all reptiles tortoises are cold-blooded and therefore need the environment around them to help regulate their body temperature.  Thermo-regulation as we call it in the science world means just that.

Providing a thermal gradient within your Sulcata habitat

By providing the temperatures necessary to balance their internal body parameters we create a cool and hot zone within our reptiles habitats.  Using a basking lamp on one end, we recommend a 100-150 watt mercury vapor lamp, keep a hot spot at about 95 degrees.

Lighting also can or may produce heat, but a hot spot is the main focus of this section of our care guide.  Usually the heat emitter or heat lamp in this case runs the same time as the lights.  UV lights need to be supplied for sufficient UVB and even UVA and for those we recommend T5 high output fixtures.

Sulcata tortoise humidity

Humidity is imperative for properly keeping an African Sulcata tortoise. Using a reptile fogger is recommended, and plugging it into the same timer as your lighting system seems to work best. By doing this, you’re able to run the fogger every morning and give them a humid phase, eventually drying out.

It is recommended that baby tortoises under 18 months of ageHave an ambient humidity of 65%.Other ways to maintain humidity is to spray down your substrate multiple times per day. Or as advised above, utilize a reptile fogging system.

Soaking your baby Sulcata tortoise daily

Also, be sure to soak your baby tortoise once per day for just about 10 minutes. Soaking willing sure proper hydration, coupled with keeping humidity in the 65% range you should have great success.  Also, proper humidity is responsible for properly growing smooth shells. When tortoises are kept in habitats that are to dry, not only is it not good for their overall health and well-being, it is responsible for some pyramiding that we see on the vertebral section of their shell.

Sulcata tortoise Habitat size can change with age

As the animal grows the size of its habitat needs to be increased. Also, holes can be cut into the bottom of your tortoise table to allow for the sinking of food and water dishes, making them flush with the surface for easier animal access.

Use a water dish in the Sulcata tortoise habitat should be large enough to allow the tortoise to soak in, whilst remaining shallow enough to protect from drowning. For an adult African Spurred tortoise or baby Sulcata tortoise for sale, the indoor habitat should be at least 8 foot by 8 foot! An outdoor heated shed or greenhouse is sometimes a better option for an adult African Spurred tortoise.

Sulcata tortoise substrate

Substrate is another important part of any tortoise habitat. It is also responsible for enabling them to dig in and help thermo regulate as well as maintain proper humidity percentages. We recommend using a mixture of potting mix, play sand, andCypress mulch. Spraying the substrate down each morning is one of the methods used to help control proper humidity.

Other types of substrate that may be used to include Coco core, reptile bark type substrates and soil. Just be sure that whatever you purchase is safe for reptiles meaning it is not treated with anything including fertilizers and other chemical contaminants.

Sulcata tortoise Size:

A very large tortoise, the Sulcata tortoise at full maturity can reach sizes from 24 to 30 inches in length.  Growing rapidly, a 2 inch baby Sulcata tortoise hatchling can reach sizes of over 10″ in a 18 months and 18″ in 24 months!  Sulcata tortoises reach sexual maturity at about 6 years old and stop growing at around age 15.

Sulcata tortoise Appearance:

Because female Sulcata tortoises for sale have features that are not so exaggerated and a short, blunt tail. Also, adult Sulcata tortoises’ carapace is a uniform brown. Lastly, the plastron, head, and limbs are a uniform yellowish. In contrast, juvenile Sulcata tortoises for sale have a pale yellow carapace with brown on the scutes, a yellow-white plastron and lighter areoles on the carapace plates.

Male African spurred tortoises are much larger than female Sulcata tortoises.  Adult male Sulcata tortoises have a deeply concave plastron. Also, the male African Sulcata tortoise for sale has long, thin tails tipped by a horny curving spur. Secondly, female Sulcata tortoises for sale have a more rounded appearance.

Sulcata tortoises will graze when it’s warm

During hot summer days allow your baby Sulcata tortoise to roam in a predator-free enclosed garden. Because of their large size and grazing habits, these tortoises will greatly benefit from being outdoors when the climate allows it. Ensure that there is adequate shade, hiding spots, and access to a shallow dish of water. A dry grassy area is ideal for your new baby Sulcata tortoise for sale to graze. These large tortoises need a sturdy fence that extends underground due to their tendency to burrow. Daytime temperatures can be up to 100 F and nighttime temperatures should not drop below 70 degrees F.

A shallow dish of water should be provided at all times, and a muddy wallow may be used as well. If you’re looking for other reptiles for sale, be sure to check out our sister site. Also offering baby Sulcata tortoise for sale as well as adult and juvenile Sulcata tortoises for sale.

More than just baby Sulcata tortoises for sale

We also have both the Ivory Sulcata tortoise and the Albino Sulcata tortoise in stock.  Ivory and Albinos are basically missing or have altered pigment genes.  In order to produce an Ivory Sulcata or Albino Sulcata tortoise for sale, we breed pure ivory to pure ivory, or pure Albino to pure Albino.

The turtle store is your source for the largest selection of captive bred baby tortoise for sale and adult tortoise for sale.  All of our captive bred baby tortoises come with our full live arrival and health guarantee.  Here at the turtle store, we work with over 25 species of turtles for sale including baby turtles for sale and captive bred tortoises.  The turtle store guarantees you the largest selection of healthy, captive bred turtles and tortoise for sale anywhere in the USA.

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