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viv and heat mats warmers


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#1 Guest_gillyoneil_*

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Posted 07 March 2007 - 11:04 PM

Hi

We live in Scotland ( Glasgow) and it can be really cold somedays, Dude is so smal and little I am worried he will freeze if I take away the heat mats and the viv.

Help.. What should I do. He is nearly 3 and only 89 grammes.


Gillyoneil

#2 Guest_mila 1_*

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:04 AM

Hi,
with regards to the viv they are not recommended for torts, there are several good refernces on here about them, it's too hard to keep the temp right as well as they promote to much humdidity. A tortoise table is the best thing to have, you can make one easily and there are lots of good pictures on here. Or you can use an old bookcase or an underbed drawer. As for the heat mat, they are a no no but unfortunately most pet stores recommend them. I live in Indiana, USA and it can get very cold here at night right now, so I use a ceramic heat emitter turned to 60-65' which I think is 15-20'C for you. This works well at night, for the day I have a combination UVB/basking bulb. Keep looking on this sight though as there are lots of optioons for you to choose from. My Mila is only a little over a year. You didn't say what species of tortoise you have? :-)

#3 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 10:52 AM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 08-03-07 AT 10:53 AM (GMT)]Hi Gilly,

April is spot on with her advice. I know that it seems you won't be able to get good temperatures in an open tortoise table, but it is easily done. Take a thermometer and put it on a table and train a desk lamp with a 60W or 100W ordinary household spotlight (the kind of bulb with silver on the back of it) onto it, and you'll see how hot it gets. This is what you want at one end of your enclosure (you want about 90F at one end and 70 at the other end, and you can't get that temperature variation in an enclosed vivarium. You just raise or lower your bulb to get the right temperature. Here's a link to an article that tells you why vivariums are not good for tortoises.
http://www.tortoiset...es/vivarium.htm
(see the bullet points in the In Addition section)

Heat mats are not good for tortoises because they can easily burn themselves on them if they sit on them for too long, plus tortoises are designed to get their heat from above, not below.


Nina
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#4 Guest_george_hermann_*

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 04:46 PM

Yeah I agree with Nina and April. The UV light source is essential for an animal that is being housed indoors during the Winter months. Heat mats may be fine for other species of reptile (eg. geckos and snakes) but completely unsuitable for tortoises.

Also, i'm a little concerned about the weight of your tortoise.
A three year old tortoise weighing just 89 grams sounds very underweight. Below is the Jacksons chart for measuring and weighing Hermanns tortoises.

#5 Guest_l1277702_*

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 08:13 PM

George, you know as well as I do that age isn't half as important as size! :D

Have you measured dude? That should give you a better idea of whether he is underweight, although at 89g, it may be difficult to get an accurate reading from the graph.

Beth x

#6 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:49 PM

There is a Jackson Ratio for hatchlings which covers the smaller torts. I'll try and attach it here (but I've never tried attaching something like this, so forgive me if it doesn't work).

Nina
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#7 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 11:55 PM

LOL. I was so pleased that I was able to attach the image that I forgot to ask if you know how to measure his length. Put a piece of paper on the floor with the end up against the skirting board. Put your tortoise on the paper and gently shove him up against the skirting board until his head goes all the way into his shell. Take a pen and put a mark on the paper at his other end (tail end), and then measure the distance from your mark to the end of the paper that was against the skirting board. That is the measurement to use with the graph.

Nina
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#8 Guest_gillyoneil_*

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 01:50 PM

Thanks

i am now exploring building DUDE a new home.

DUDE is a herman he is a wee honey!!

Gilly

#9 Guest_kimm_*

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 08:37 AM

Ive recently had a table built for tony, and after seeing on here about heat mats decided to get a ceramic heat bulb instead.when i went into a local reptile shop and asked for one they started asking me what cage i had for him,i told them and they looked like they didnt have a clue what i was talking about.they told me i should have kept the heat mat,so i told her i didnt want my tort geting burnt on it.she refused to sell me a heat bulb and told me to put the heat mat on the side of his table.
Ive since baught one off the internet anyway, but i couldnt understand why she wouldnt sell me one.

#10 Guest_lepinsky_*

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 11:21 AM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 12-03-07 AT 11:22 AM (GMT)]

Ive recently had a table built for tony, and after seeing on here about heat mats decided to get a ceramic heat bulb instead.when i went into a local reptile shop and asked for one they started asking me what cage i had for him,i told them and they looked like they didnt have a clue what i was talking about.they told me i should have kept the heat mat,so i told her i didnt want my tort geting burnt on it.she refused to sell me a heat bulb and told me to put the heat mat on the side of his table.
Ive since baught one off the internet anyway, but i couldnt understand why she wouldnt sell me one.


That's bizarre she wouldn't sell it to you! I have a ceramic heat bulb on a thermostat, set to go on if the temperature drops below about 14C at night, but with background heat in the house it hardly went on at all this year (having said that, my tortoise was in hibernation in the coldest months). The great thing about CHEs is that they last forever (I have one in my corn snake's cage that has been in there for 18 years, and it's still going strong!).

Nina
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#11 Guest_Gwen_*

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 03:29 PM

Hi, I live in Glasgow as well!! I keep my tort indoors in an open topped box with a spotlight. I always make sure the room he is in is warm and cosy.




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