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Another new Herman owner


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#1 Guest_Paulr1_*

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Posted 15 January 2006 - 11:07 PM

HI all , My kids have been saving for months and have finally got a pair of 7 month old hermans , truly amazing little things :)

Ive built them an indoor table with specs from various sites tortiose trust etc, with a 5% UVB tube , 60w reflective heat light , and a stat controlled heat pad ,plenty of ventilation they seem to like their new home ,

My main query is what substrate is best please, at present its just newspaper in the bottom , but ive hear they can get bladder stones on a hard surface, is this true ?

Also any other tips and advice you can give , would be great ,

MAny THX

PAul

;)

#2 Guest_egyptiandan64_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 12:17 AM

Hi Paul
Everything seems good, except for the heat pad. Heat pads are a no no. They need to be cool at night, no heat or light.
Not sure about the bladder stones, but newspaper is hard for the little guys to walk on as it's very slippery. A 50/50 mix of play sand and top soil, or hemp seems to be the 2 best choices for substrate.
Having your lights go on and off at the same time everyday gets them into a routine that is very beneficial. The same with feeding, pick a time, usually in the morning and try to feed at the same time everyday. Timer work great for turning the lights on and off at the same time. You should have your heat light go off a few hours before your UVB light. That will give the little guys a chance to cool down with the lights still on.
If you have any more questions please ask there are lots of good people here to help with all your questions.
Dan

#3 Guest_Paulr1_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 07:26 AM

Hi Dan ,
THX for the info ,

What type of food do you give them , Ive read some salads are a no no also , is this true , ?

PAul

#4 Guest_amy_smith33_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 07:34 AM

Bladder stones can be caused by dehydration. Your tortoises when young should be bathed in shallow tepid water at least twice a week, if not more.
They also need a substrate they can bury down in.

#5 Guest_amy_smith33_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 07:35 AM

www.thetortoisehouse.com and www.tortoises.net have excellent lists of suitable plants for tortoises.

#6 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 04:40 PM

No heat mat honey, please remove it and never let your tortoises near it again, they can burn them and do untold damage.:)

#7 Guest_Paulr1_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 06:13 PM

THX for all your replies ,I can see its gunna be fun not only watching / owning them , but looking after them too :)

Being a new TT owner its truly amazing all the different ways and practises people use in looking after their own TT

A couple more Q,s though ;)

Ive got a temp of 33 - 34deg C under the 60w basking lamp and a temp of deg 23 to 24C elsewhere , in day the day time and 45% humidity . Have not had chance to do night time temp ,

IS the above ok temps ? and what should i be looking for as a night time temp ?

Heat mats :o
Im thinking as ive already bought a heat mat i think i will move it and stick it to the side of the table well out of reach of the TT,s themselfs , so no chance of harming them , and have it on a low setting at night only , I have read this practise used before .

Heres a picture of my setup ( hopefully its here ) , I built the table myself ,its a replica of a table currently being sold in my local pet store for 100.

Im still not sure on how to introduce a substrate though , i want to use 50/50 sand & top soil , but how do you place the stuff in table ? spread all over ? or just have a dedicated area , if the latter im thinking in a cat tray , but then access is difficult for them :( any ideas on my substrate problem be great

THX again

PAul

#8 Guest_Paulr1_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 06:20 PM

thought id better introduce them to you ,

please meet

Scooby & Scappy :-)

#9 Guest_Paulr1_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 06:21 PM

and Scappy

#10 Guest_p1glet_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 06:31 PM

Table looks good except you need to lower you uvb tube to about 6inches above the tortoise,as for substrate spread it evenly across the floor about 3-4 inches in depth they can then burrow down in it a night put a few rocks or bark peaces to create a interesting enviroment and feed off a flat slate to prevent soiling there food

#11 Guest_Paulr1_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 06:46 PM

Thx p1glet, Its good to know that im providing the best possible home for them i can :)

my only worry is the tsubstrate, will it soak into the table ? as its made of MDF, and I think MDF asorbs moisture like a sponge ?

Or would 50/50 sand & top soil , stay dry ?

#12 Guest_p1glet_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 07:03 PM

is it not laminated mdf if not you can buy sticky backed waterproof covering for mdf its not expensive but your substate will dry out and you don't want it to damp just a gentle humidity 50-55% is usually enough for hermans , if your worried you can try the hemp substrate people seem to have good results from useing this i don't use it but i'm sure some one on here can help you

#13 Guest_Paulr1_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 08:30 PM

THX again Darren ,

Well ive just been down to Homebase and bought some topsoil :)


mixed 50/50 with kids sand ;) and had this tray to to put it all in .

they didnt quite know what to do with it , both went to toilet lol and then back in their little den with some shredded newspaper in ,

What you think ?

#14 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 08:33 PM

What are you feeding them on honey, looks like pellets.

#15 Guest_Paulr1_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 08:46 PM

hi omare, , unfortunatley , unlike myself the wife and kids have not read this very very helpful website , they have only seen TT,s in the local pet shop , with their housing stacked out with "FAST GROW" high protien pellets , therefore they too bought some , x(


So I now have to try and educate them all ,


When you a 11 year old and 8 year old these things take time lol


The pellets will be removed,,,,,,,,,,,,, eventually :)

what about the rest of the set up omare , does seem ok to you please ?

#16 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 08:53 PM

Set up looks great honey, don't take this as a criticism but maybe try and put the UV light over more of the table so that they get more use out of it, it just appears to be to one side. Please get rid of the pellets asap,they really are no good for torts and can make them constipated, they can get all sorts of problems.:)

#17 Guest_p1glet_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 09:10 PM

Nice little set up but you do need to lower the uvb and as omae sas try buting it across the table where they will get the best use of it

#18 Guest_Paulr1_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 09:36 PM

THX Omare & Darren for the advice :) ,

I will sort the UVB tube out asap , ;)


1 more thing , i notice they both just want to seem to bury themselves in the cardboard box with the shredded paper , is this normal ?


When the wife saw them when bought , she said they were most lively , but said their housing wasnt as big as their new home now

so is this normal behavior, all they seem to want to do is sleep ,

#19 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 09:47 PM

Yeah they are only babies, in the wild they have to hide else they would be eaten.

#20 Guest_Calamity Jane_*

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 04:14 PM

Hi,
Lovely Babies and nice names too.
I like ur set-up, It looks much better with the soil in there. Its more natural for them, I always try and mimmic what they would have in the wild as close as possible.
I stongly agree with the pellets GET RID. They wouldnt find them in the wild.
Apart from that it looks like your doing a good job.:)
Yours
Joanne
X
www.tortoises.piczo.com




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