Frequently Asked Questions
**For questions on care please refer to my care page and then email me if you have additional questions**
Q: How do I order?
A: You can place an order through our Online Checkout page or you can email me with what you'd like and I can send you an electronic invoice to pay. I accept Credit, Debit, PayPal, Checks, and Cash for local pickups in Mesa, AZ.
Q: How do I care for a tortoise?
A: This is a very broad question that can quite literally take weeks to answer. There are many ways to care for a tortoise, some certainly better than others and with a vast majority of incorrect information out there simply "googling" for answers won't help you any. To start read over the care section on my website. This will help you gain a basic knowledge of how to care for your tortoise without overwhelming you. I am more than happy to provide a lifetime of answers to all my customers, simply email me your questions any time and I would be happy to assist you!
Q: How much is shipping?
A: We ship our tortoises priority overnight which the flat rate for is $55. This price can fluctuate depending on your zip code, how many tortoises you order, and the weather. Feel free to email me if you would like to get a shipping quote. It's important to note that I don't make any money on shipping, in fact I generally lose money. If you don't like the quote you're given and think you can get a better rate then by all means you are more than welcome to book the shipment yourself and email me the label. In order to do so it needs to be sent priority overnight through FedEx, be insured, and require a signature.
Q: Is shipping tortoises safe?
A: There are risks in shipping anything but in my experience it is VERY safe! Being on the west coast I have a time zone advantage. They don't get sent out until 6 PM AZ time and are generally delivered before 10:30 AM in their delivery time zone. That means the tortoise is only in the box for 12-16 hours on average. In doing this for over a decade now I've yet to have a tortoise harmed during shipping. It's so safe I offer a no questions asked live arrival guarantee in ALL weather conditions. All you have to do is be there to sign for the package upon delivery.
Q: How are the tortoises shipped?
A: We ship our tortoises priority overnight through FedEx delivered right to your door. All live animal shipments will require a signature upon delivery so make sure someone is available to receive the tortoise(s). We will never ship a tortoise without the consent of the buyer. Upon receiving an order we will contact you to schedule a day that works best for you to receive it.
Q: Where do you ship to?
A: I ship to all the lower 48 states in the US.
Q: My tortoise sleeps all the time! What is wrong with him/her?
A: In most cases nothing is wrong with your tortoise. Tortoises (especially hatchlings) spend most of their time sleeping and staying in their hides. If your temps are too low it can be a problem but if your temps are where they should be it is perfectly normal.
Q: When do you ship?
A: I ship Monday-Wednesday. I will ship whenever is most convenient for the buyer. Once a tortoises has been purchased I will be in touch with you on when you'd like me to ship. I do not usually ship Thursdays (unless buyer insists) because if any problems occur with the shipping company then they are not able to get to it until the following Monday as they do not operate on the weekends.
Q: Can you sex a hatchling?
A: No. If anyone says otherwise they either are misinformed or are just trying to make a quick sale. Some claim their tortoise was temped to be female or vice versa. Temp sexing increases the odds of male or female but its not reliable or accurate. There is no way to tell the sex of a hatchling unfortunately. It takes on average 3-5 years until you can start to accurately sex your tortoise.
Q: How fast will my tortoise grow?
A: All tortoises grow at very different rates. This depends on a wide variety of factors such as how they are cared for, their enclosure size, personality, lighting, heating, diet, and genetics.
Q: Can I pick out my tortoise?
A: In some cases yes but usually for Sulcatas no. I usually have a large number of Sulcatas available and it would be impossible to pick one tortoise out of many that are nearly identical. You can certainly request big, small, light, dark, etc. For local pick-ups I do bring a few to choose from.
Q: Is a Sulcata a Desert Tortoise?
A: NO! Unfortunately there are many out there on places like Craigslist claiming their tortoise is a Sulcata Desert Tortoise. This is not the case. Desert Tortoises are a native species to the Southern United States and are illegal to sell (not own). Sulcatas come from Africa, often in tropical regions.
Q: Can my baby tortoise live outside?
A: Yes but I don't recommend it for a tortoise under 4" however it can certainly be done successfully. It just requires more attention to temps and humidity. An enclosure like an aquarium is a much easier enviroment to control the different variables such as temperature and humidity.
Q: Can different species of tortoises live together?
A: They can but it is certainly not recommended for several reasons. Different species have different personalities and major size differences. Not only that but certain species carry diseases that others do not and they can get each other sick. There are certain species with the same temperments and sizes that can live together successfully but it is not recommended.
Q: What is pyramiding?
A: Pyramidding is when the scutes of the tortoise raise up causing them to take on a "pyramid" shape. This is not good and is most often caused from a mixture of a poor diet and a lack of hydration. Once the pyramidding has occurred it is there to stay. It can be corrected with the proper care though.
Q: Are aquariums bad for tortoises?
A: Somewhere along the way aquariums got a bad reputation for tortoises. This was due to people being concerned with them being able to see outside the glass and having it stress them out. There is some truth to this however it's very easily fixed by taping the bottom or adding a wallpaper background. Aquariums are excellent at maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels, two majorly important factors when raising a healthy tortoise. So people took a small problem and created much bigger problems by switching to tortoise table type enclosures which are next to impossible to maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. Aquariums for the win! I recommend starting off with a minimum of a 40 gal tank or any other form of closed chamber type enclosure.
Q: What is soaking and how often should I do it?
A: I address this on my care page but it's a good question! Soakings should be done daily with young tortoises under 5". Once over 5" you can back off to biweekly soakings. Soakings should last for a minimum of 20+ minutes. The water should be shallow, just enough for them to be able to dunk their head to drink. Visit out photos page to get a better idea. Regular soakings are THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR in raising a healthy Sulcata tortoise. Soakings allow the tortoise to hydrate through it's skin and by drinking.