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Newbie has got some questions


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#1 Guest_kronk_*

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 07:56 PM

Hi i have picked up my first hermann tortoise today shes 5 years old and really nice, but iam concerned i have not got the right lighting and heating?? I will build her a new table and i understand the bedding etc etc including her diet which is weed only but the lighting requirements are confusing??? I have a strip light at the moment but her basking bulb has broke so i need a new one i just want to know what decent strip lighting i will need, basking lamp's and when she needs these turned on and off etc etc. Other than that she is eating well and is very active and her name is dandilion

#2 Guest_MrsG_*

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 08:23 PM

nice name!! hope she settles in well smile.gif

#3 Guest_kronk_*

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 09:04 PM

QUOTE (MrsG @ Aug 16 2010, 07:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
nice name!! hope she settles in well smile.gif


she is asleep now but tomorow i will put some fresh food and water and a basic lamp untill i can get hold of a basking bulb etc she is on a very basic table at the mo but i have plans to make her a wooden table and eventually a outdoor run. I have some mixed weed seeds on the way so she will have planty to eat and i gave her e fresh cuttlefish to chew on (which she will not go near) Is it worth getting a electric thermometer and heat lamp or is a basking lamp at one end of the table ok and the other side cool????

#4 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 09:58 PM

Hi There,
Welcome to the forum and many congratulations on your new Hermann's tort. Unfortunately as I have an oldie who mostly lives outdoors I am not too familiar with the lighting arrangements for torts kept indoors. Hopefully there will be someone along soon to offer more helpful advice .Best of luck. wink.gif
Kind Regards
Freddy biggrin.gif

#5 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 10:26 PM

Hi there. Yes a digital thermometer is an essential so you can get the temp right. They can be got for about 8 or even less.

http://www.kimbosrep...meter-p-31.html


A Hermann tortoise needs UV light and this never finds its way into our homes so if you keep your tortoise inside your house you have to provide UV artifically. A UVB striplight such as the Exo Terra 10 is adequate.

http://www.kimbosrep...tubes-p-89.html

This only provides the UVB and not the heat. A Hermann tortoise needs a basking spot of at least 32C which can be provided by using a desk lamp or similar.

The other way to go is to get a combined heat and UVB bulb which costs more to begin with but can be more simple in use because you only have one thing to wire up etc.

Tortoises that spend a lot of time outside can get a lot of UVB naturally but this does take some planning and if you are new to tortoise keeping I wouldn't suggest you try and keep this tortoise outside all the time just yet.

Hope this helps a bit. Have a look around the site and also search on some reptile supplies websites to see what they are selling. Not everyhting is right for a tortoise or worth getting so ask around before spending your cash. Welcome to the wacky world of tortoise keeping!!

Ozric




QUOTE (kronk @ Aug 16 2010, 10:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
she is asleep now but tomorow i will put some fresh food and water and a basic lamp untill i can get hold of a basking bulb etc she is on a very basic table at the mo but i have plans to make her a wooden table and eventually a outdoor run. I have some mixed weed seeds on the way so she will have planty to eat and i gave her e fresh cuttlefish to chew on (which she will not go near) Is it worth getting a electric thermometer and heat lamp or is a basking lamp at one end of the table ok and the other side cool????



#6 Guest_kronk_*

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 09:23 AM

Thanks for all the info she was basking this morning under a desk lamp but i had to wake her and i got a thermometer and it was around 32 to 36 c but do i have to wake her up or just turn on the lights etc and she will naturally get up??? anyway she basked for a bit had some dandilions and basked some more. I work near some fields and have found her some lovely white clover flower and petals and i have some Hibiscus already growing so i put some down for her this morning when i get an outdoor pen built she can go outside but that will not be for a few weeks untill she settles. I have the list i found on this site for edible weeds and plants and iam in the process of growing them or trying to lol I have a paved garden so i will build her a turfed pen in the next few weeks and try and grow some plants etc in the pen for her. I have a feeling its gonna be fun watching her grow up with me wub.gif

#7 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 01:36 PM

Most tortoises are woken by bright lights sort of as dawn breaks. Then its the heat that gets them going.
So maybe you need more than one sorce of light. I use a UV/basking light, plus a ordinary tube for extra light, especially on dull dark days, for my hatchlings who are inside at the moment, as our weather is not so good at the moment.
So you could try moving your tortoise nearer to a window, as well as the dest lamp just to get him/her going:0)

#8 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 09:58 PM

Hi There,
You might also consider a mixture of substrates or surfaces for your outdoor tort. pen as entirely turf is not always ideal. The inclusion of a sandy,rocky area with some plant cover would also be great. Hope this helps. Best of luck wink.gif
Kind Regards
Freddy biggrin.gif

#9 Guest_kronk_*

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 10:05 PM

QUOTE (cyberangel @ Aug 17 2010, 12:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Most tortoises are woken by bright lights sort of as dawn breaks. Then its the heat that gets them going.
So maybe you need more than one sorce of light. I use a UV/basking light, plus a ordinary tube for extra light, especially on dull dark days, for my hatchlings who are inside at the moment, as our weather is not so good at the moment.
So you could try moving your tortoise nearer to a window, as well as the dest lamp just to get him/her going:0)


She is next to a window so i will open the curtains up in the morning and turn a desk lamp on near her and see what she does! I now have two desk lamps and there producing a nice warm 36-38 C she eats like a horse she will get through loads of dandilion leaves i tried her on white cloves but she was not very interested, i will try her on some hosta leaves tommorow. I have ordered some Repti Sun 10 UV Tubes which i will build a stand for i understand it has to be between 30-45 cm above the table??? i have also ordered a Digital Thermometer so i am all set to go now i will keep my two desk lamp set up as basking lights untill i can get a uv/heat lamp and start on a new wooden table setup with hutch this weekend.

I just have some basic questions
1. she basks then eats over and over has a bit of a walk around then repeats is this right??
2.I have been told that normal newspaper is a good simple bedding is this right?? what bedding should i use??? I have a fine sand medium smooth stone bedding at the moment and i want to change her in the following week but i was wondering what to get???

#10 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 10:22 PM

Hi There,
I think spot temps of 36 to 38 degrees are a little on the high side. This is probably why your tort is eating so much. Temps of between 32 and 36 degrees max would be more suitable. When temps are consistently high it can lead to overeating and also to dehydration. However, provided there is water and a 'cool end' in your enclosure things should be fine. A good,safe type of bedding that many keepers use is readigrass which can be changed regularly and is available from most reptile shops. You might also wish to check out the indoor enclosure section of this forum to get some ideas from what others may be doing. Unfortunately, I have an oldie who mostly lives outdoors so I'm not as familiar with the indoor set-up. Hopefully, there will be more helpful advice along soon. Best of luck.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#11 Guest_kronk_*

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 07:31 AM

QUOTE (Freddy McGavin @ Aug 17 2010, 09:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi There,
I think spot temps of 36 to 38 degrees are a little on the high side. This is probably why your tort is eating so much. Temps of between 32 and 36 degrees max would be more suitable. When temps are consistently high it can lead to overeating and also to dehydration. However, provided there is water and a 'cool end' in your enclosure things should be fine. A good,safe type of bedding that many keepers use is readigrass which can be changed daily and is available from most reptile shops. You might also wish to check out the indoor enclosure section of this forum to get some ideas from what others may be doing. Unfortunately, I have an oldie who mostly lives outdoors so I'm not as familiar with the indoor set-up. Hopefully, there will be more helpful advice along soon. Best of luck.
Kind Regards
Freddy



The temp this morning from the basking lamps were around 32-33c she has plenty of fresh water and a cool end of the table the eating table is away from the heating so she normally goes to bask for abit lifting her shell at different angles etc. I only have a basic electronic human thermometer my new reptile one should be coming soon so i wll be able to judge the correct temp eventually and i reckon placing my basking lamps futher above her might help. Other than that she goes to bed about 7 ish 8ish when i turn the lights off and i didnt have to pick her up and place under the basking lights this morning she did it all by herself. She is busy having her breakfast at the moment but i will get her lamps moved up abit to make sure she doesnt over heat she shouldnt do as there is only one corner the lamps are in and the rest of the inclosure is cool enough for her when she wants to cool down.

#12 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 07:38 AM

Just be careful not to over feed, they can over feed quite easily.
Mine get fed once a day, and enough to cover their shell. This is a rough guide. Weighing them once a month, and a gain of 2-3grms is the guide. Any more on a regular basis and you are over feeding:0)

#13 Guest_kronk_*

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:13 AM

QUOTE (cyberangel @ Aug 18 2010, 06:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just be careful not to over feed, they can over feed quite easily.
Mine get fed once a day, and enough to cover their shell. This is a rough guide. Weighing them once a month, and a gain of 2-3grms is the guide. Any more on a regular basis and you are over feeding:0)


Oh ok sogiving her a good handfull of food is good enough thats ok the greedy mare was eating abit to much yesterday lol.

#14 Guest_kronk_*

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 09:46 AM

Whats the average healthy weight for a female 5 year old hermann tort??? I will have to weight her somehow and measure her and they should put on 2-3 grams every month? I get worried but she has only been with me two days now ! i will reduce her food raise her basking lamps and fit a new bulb soon i have ordered a reptisun 10 and iam building a stand 30 cm up to go over the table!

#15 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 11:44 AM

QUOTE (kronk @ Aug 18 2010, 10:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Whats the average healthy weight for a female 5 year old hermann tort??? I will have to weight her somehow and measure her and they should put on 2-3 grams every month? I get worried but she has only been with me two days now ! i will reduce her food raise her basking lamps and fit a new bulb soon i have ordered a reptisun 10 and iam building a stand 30 cm up to go over the table!



Hi There,
I'm not too sure what the average weight of a 5 year old female Hermann's tortoise is but if you click on Jackson Ratio at the top of the forum page you should get a good indication. Suffice to say torts come in all shapes and sizes. What's important is that you weigh her now, use it as a reference point and make sure her average monthly weight gain doesn't exceed more than 2-3 grammes.Hope this helps. Best of luck wink.gif
Kind Regards
Freddy biggrin.gif

#16 Guest_terrypin_*

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE (kronk @ Aug 18 2010, 10:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Whats the average healthy weight for a female 5 year old hermann tort??? I will have to weight her somehow and measure her and they should put on 2-3 grams every month? I get worried but she has only been with me two days now ! i will reduce her food raise her basking lamps and fit a new bulb soon i have ordered a reptisun 10 and iam building a stand 30 cm up to go over the table!


hi there is no ideal weight for a tortoise by age it really can only be judged on the weight to length ratio with the Jacksons ratio giving a good indication.if you would like to measure your tortoise and weigh it in grams i will check the graph for you.i have 2 of 5 year old females here myself that are slightly different in length.i can also see how yours compares to them .they were both hibernated last winter for about 4 month's.

terry

#17 Guest_kronk_*

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:22 PM

QUOTE (terrypin @ Aug 18 2010, 12:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
hi there is no ideal weight for a tortoise by age it really can only be judged on the weight to length ratio with the Jacksons ratio giving a good indication.if you would like to measure your tortoise and weigh it in grams i will check the graph for you.i have 2 of 5 year old females here myself that are slightly different in length.i can also see how yours compares to them .they were both hibernated last winter for about 4 month's.

terry


Hi she ways anout 200 grams and is about 4 inches or 10 cm or 101 mm long length of shell, she has been strange today, she must have finished her food about midday and has been trying to get dried bits of food up off the floor! I gave her about her own shells worth in food so about a handful she also came very close to her water bowl today but did not drink. Her temp under the basking lamp was a lovely 32.6c to about 33c i got it lower by taking away the second lamp and positioning it somewhere else she has also basked quite a lot this evening but will put her to bed soon! How much basking /heat/uva-b should she get in a day before i put her to bed? I get her up at 7.00 am and i get in from work at 5.30 pm (someone watches her in the day) and i tend to turn everything off at about 7-8ish at night

And i also have concerns on hibernating i am obviously a newbie to the tortoise world and i am unsure on doing it right....

#18 Guest_kronk_*

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:24 PM

I have taken some pics and a video



This bottom one is a video


#19 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 06:56 PM

Hi There,
I have checked your tort. against the Jackson Ratio and she is indeed the correct weight for her size. Congratulations. With regard to the length of time you should keep her heat and light on I would go by the natural cycle of things. For example the sun in her natural habitat would rise early in the morning and set in the evening with peak daytime temps, so I would follow suit with her indoor set-up. Personally I would lower her heat a little in the evening rather than have it on full blast. Generally speaking torts. don't need additional heat or light at night. With regard to hibernation as long as her weight is fine and she is healthy there should be no problem. Advice on the different methods of hibernation is available by clicking on Hibernation at the top of this forum. It's important that you choose a method then follow the instructions to the letter. I understand you're a newbie but It's not as daunting as it might seem and after you've hibernated her once believe you me it gets easier. I hope this information is helpful. Others may be along soon to offer you more additional advice. Best of luck. wink.gif
Kind Regards
Freddy biggrin.gif

#20 Guest_kronk_*

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Posted 18 August 2010 - 07:25 PM

QUOTE (Freddy McGavin @ Aug 18 2010, 05:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi There,
I have checked your tort. against the Jackson Ratio and she is indeed the correct weight for her size. Congratulations. With regard to the length of time you should keep her heat and light on I would go by the natural cycle of things. For example the sun in her natural habitat would rise early in the morning and set in the evening with peak daytime temps, so I would follow suit with her indoor set-up. Personally I would lower her heat a little in the evening rather than have it on full blast. Generally speaking torts. don't need additional heat or light at night. With regard to hibernation as long as her weight is fine and she is healthy there should be no problem. Advice on the different methods of hibernation is available by clicking on Hibernation at the top of this forum. It's important that you choose a method then follow the instructions to the letter. I understand your a newbie but It's not as daunting as it might seem and after you've hibernated her once believe you me it gets easier. I hope this information is helpful. Others may be along soon to offer you more additional advice. Best of luck. wink.gif
Kind Regards
Freddy biggrin.gif


Thanks she looks wonderful and her shell is so smooth i am very excited about this weekend as i start building her new indoor table. I will deffo hibernate her this year i have a heated shed with fridges so i can hibernate her i just need to get my confidence up. I have really fell for dandelion she is so interesting to watch and is super cute i just want to let her get out in the garden but the bloody weather is so hit and miss here in lovely derby, i am very pleased about her weight i was worried before and have been ringing home up everyday asking my parents if she is ok etc etc they say iam like a father with a new child lol rolleyes.gif




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