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Heating and lighting for tort


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#1 Guest_neilos1177_*

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 10:54 AM

I am investigating purchasing a horsfields tortoise and planning to house it in a tortoise table as I have heard the dangers of keeping them in glass aquaria. I would be very greatful if any one out there could advise me on the heating and lighting requirements. Will I need to provide a heat mat for the tort or will the basking light do the trick? Do horsfields need UV light? Does the basking lamp need to be attached to a dimming stat? I understand that horsfields are very hardy creatures but I want to provide it with the best conditions before I buy.

Any pictures of anyones tortoise table would be greatly appreciated so that I can get ideas for an imaginative set up.

Cheers

Neil


#2 Guest_Lowe_*

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:59 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 23-02-06 AT 01:00 PM (GMT)]Firstly - no heat mats. Heat mats can be a killer, they really don't do any good at all. The heat light will be more than enough.

A Horsfield will require UV light as well as a heat light of some sort. You can go about this in a couple of ways. My advice is the use of a combined UV/Heat light. The T-Rex flood bulbs seem to be the best of the bunch at the moment, providing a huge amount of UV, and plenty of warmth too along with a long life - about 3 years.

They do cost a lot more initially, but work out cheaper than other methods. A T-Rex UV/Heat bulb is about 55 and you also need a ceramic lamp holder which is about 15. However, compare that to a UV strip light (25ish) the starter (another 15-20) a clip light (few quid) and a household 60w spot light (another couple of quid). It's not that much different... However the real difference shows when 6-8 months down the line you need to replace the strip light since it doesn't give off enough UV light any longer. Compare 6-8 months to 3 years, and you can see in the long run they are cheaper to buy. :)

One thing that's important to remember is that the UV/Heat lights can't be used in conjunction with a thermostat. If they're turned off they need to cool down before being switched back on. To regulate the temperature you lower/raise the height of the bulb until the desired temp is achived underneath (about 30c) and you need to position the bulb so that it's at one end of the table - this gives the Tortoise a choice between warming off, and having an area to cool down at. :)

The light should be on 12 hours a day, the switched off at night. Unless your room/house gets cold at night (way below 15c) you shouldn't need to worry about heating at night - the house's central heating/insulation should be up to the job. :)

Regarding your table, make sure you make it so that there's plenty of depth - Horsfields love to dig! :)


#3 Guest_Calamity Jane_*

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 03:18 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 23-02-06 AT 03:19 PM (GMT)]Hello,

Lots of good advice above.
Here is a few pictures of my table top enclosure it might give you a few ideas!!



Yours
Calamity Jane
www.tortoises.piczo.com
www.thetorthouse.piczo.com
My Tortoises:
1.4.2 Hermanns


#4 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 04:45 PM

well my other half (lowe) has said it all. Our horsfield loves to dig and we hardly see her, we have to dig her out sometimes to make sure she is ok.


#5 Guest_neilos1177_*

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 09:55 AM

Cheers for advice. Pictures are fantastic. Is that the same table set up 2 different ways or two tables. Given me plenty of ideas. Just need to find the right tort now.

Cheers

Neil


#6 Guest_Calamity Jane_*

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 12:33 PM

Its the same table, Just set-up 2 different ways.
I aways like to change it all around when I clean them out as it gives the torts more to explore and adventure. They seem to like it everytime I change it, and its fun to watch them exploring all over again.lol:)

Yours
Calamity Jane
www.tortoises.piczo.com
www.thetorthouse.piczo.com
My Tortoises:
1.4.2 Hermanns





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