Jump to content


- - - - -

What Is A Good Humidity Level

humidity

  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_meimnot76_*

Guest_meimnot76_*
  • Guests

Posted 15 February 2012 - 09:08 PM

Hello,

This morning I had my tort wake up again with one of her eyes closed...I cant believe this after almost 8 weeks battling with an RI and antibiotic baths every other day!!!

Now I'm suspecting that I may have the wrong humidity level (I try to keep it at around 40-50%) and substrate. Is there a good humidity level that I should aim for? I've seen conflicting opinions but never actually found that I should go for a specific humidity level.

I'll also remove the bark and replace with coconut peat or coir (I'm not sure what its called).

Any help would be much appreciated...I won't give up on her.

Thanks!

#2 Guest_Ozric_*

Guest_Ozric_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:24 AM

My view about this is that humidity is very important at night for hatchlings and small juveniles. A humid hide is really worth doing for small hermanns and it is very easy to do. Get a plastic box such as cleaned-up plastic food tray or margarine tub, cut a hole for a door and place it upside down in the habitat. In the evening moisten the substrate under the box with water spray. The humidity inside the box overnight will be excellent. To make it even better, put sphagnum moss in the box too.
This has been shown to produce tortoises with smoother growth.

During the day a tortoise on a tortoise table will be in an area of low humidity if it is indoors and we are providing lots of heat and light. This happens regardless of the substrate because the water is gradually absorbed into the whole volume of air in the room. Of course if the tort is hiding away some of the time, such as in a humid hide, he is in more humid conditions.

Any bark might develop fungal or mold spores especially if sprayed with water. Like Kelly I prefer to use soil, and sometimes I add some playsand depending on what the soil is like. I haven't used coir and I don't feel sure if this would be good or not.

If you decide to use a humid hide it is important not to do this if it might be cold at night, as cold and damp are bad for hermanns.

#3 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

Guest_Freddy McGavin_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:07 PM

Sorry to hear about your little one's latest trials. Sounds like the infection may have spread to her eye. She may need antibiotic injections. I would contact your vet for further advice. Best of luck. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#4 Guest_meimnot76_*

Guest_meimnot76_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:39 PM

Thanks all for your helpful advice!

Living in Malta I'm faced with this big humidity problem, it normally gets up to 80% in our homes, I try to lower this down to around 40% but maybe I'm overdoing it a bit.

I'll remove all the bark and replace with top soil and play sand as you advised and will also do a humid hide for her. I always had the impression that humid is bad for my tort...but Ozric's statement that humid is bad if its cold does a lot of sense. I have a 75W ceramic heater where she sleeps and it avarages a 21C temp...so I should be able to do a nice warm humid spot for her.

Hey Freddy, I rinsed her eyes twice in sterile saline solution (the ones used for babies) yesterday and removed the bark where she sleeps and this morning it was already much better...I'll keep on with the saline solution for a couple more days and see how it goes, I'm really trying not to inject her with antibiotics if at all possible.

I'm off buying sand and soil ;)

#5 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

Guest_Freddy McGavin_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 February 2012 - 05:03 PM

Hi,
The sterile saline solution sounds like a good idea for the time being. Hopefully things improve for her. You will need to up the basking temps to between 33-35 degrees celsius. Antibiotics also tend to work better with higher temps. Best of luck.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#6 Guest_Hettie_*

Guest_Hettie_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:04 PM

Hello there,
To find out about ideal humidity you will need to find a climatic chart for the country of origin of torty. This will obviously change with time of year.
I think I had read differently to you Kelly, but have loaned out my torty books so can't reference just now. I thought humidity levels should have been higher than the 40-50% you suggested? :wacko: I could be wrong!! Not helping much here, :lol:
So my final answer is to look at the climatic charts from the country of origin!! :D

Paula x

#7 Guest_meimnot76_*

Guest_meimnot76_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 February 2012 - 07:24 PM

HI Paula,

do you know where I can get a chart like what you're saying? I have bought two books about Mediterranean tortoises but ther's no mention of exact humidity levels. I was also under the impression that 40%-50% humidity was good...but since things are not going that great I'm open to all opinions.

This afternoon I tried buying topsoil and/or playsand from 5 petshops...but it seems they only stock toys for dogs and cat litter, incredible!! I'll try my luck tomorrow in a gardenshop.

#8 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

Guest_Freddy McGavin_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:36 PM

According to this care sheet for the eastern hermanns or boettgeri sub-species ,humidity is recommended at between 30-50%.http://www.austinstu...asthermanns.htm .Hope this helps.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#9 Guest_Hettie_*

Guest_Hettie_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:54 PM

Oh I hope I'm not getting things fuddled! :unsure:
These are the sorts of charts I looked at:

http://www.weatheron...=160&NOREGION=1

http://www.climate-c...s/m/MC13583.php

I just googled climatic charts and added countries of origin at the end.

Do you have children's toy shops where you are? Play sand is available form Argos over here.

Paula x

#10 Guest_Ozric_*

Guest_Ozric_*
  • Guests

Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:22 PM

The humidity levels in climatic charts are useful but to me it's more significant what the humidity is where tortoises are actually found in nature. They are animals that find micro climates down at ground level, not at the height where humans take humidity readings.

Med tortoises seek out cover for safety and to avoid the harsh heat of the sun during the hotter parts of the day. They sometimes use burrows made by other animals or hide in thickets of brambles and brush that is very difficult to penetrate into. These hiding places have leaf litter and bits of dried out plants and the tortoise will often hide under there. Those places are more humid than open ground and of course the tortoise will often make a 'scrape' in the ground so they are in contact with soil.

At night temeratures fall leading to condensation forming and slight dampness. This is why I beleive it is good for them to be in a place of raised humidity at night and this is especially the case for hatchlings who in nature often hardly come out at all even during the day.

The care sheet that Freddy posted is fine but in my opion its not helpful to generalise in that way about humidity. When basking the humidity will often be 20% or even less but this isn't any kind of problem for a limited period of time. In nature, tortoises have choices about where to go and will select the best available. I feel it makes sense to offer a humid hide especially at night - if they don't like it they won't go in it.

Andy Highfield of the Tortoise Trust has taken some readings in nature of places where he found tortoises and these are often at the 70% level around the roots of bushes under cover. But I wouldn't suggest we should try to provide that all the time because tortoises move about in the course of the day.

#11 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

Guest_Freddy McGavin_*
  • Guests

Posted 17 February 2012 - 12:02 AM

The care sheet that Freddy posted is fine but in my opinion it is not helpful to generalise in that way about humidity.


I would mostly agree with what Ozric says about tortoises and humidity in the wild. However, it can be difficult to replicate those varied levels of humidity outdoors in the U.K let alone in an indoor enclosure. That is why I feel a general level of humidity like that mentioned in the eastern hermanns or boettgeri caresheet might prove more useful and consistently more achievable.
Although again, I may be wrong......
Kind Regards
Freddy

#12 Guest_meimnot76_*

Guest_meimnot76_*
  • Guests

Posted 17 February 2012 - 10:30 AM

Hey Freddy that's probably the page that I had seen indicating humidity level...so thanks for confirming that. I will aim for around 40%-50% humidity in the pen and try the hideout as Ozric is saying...if she doesnt like it, she wont go into it :P

I finally got (almost) all I needed from a very helpful garden centre, the only problem was the playsand but he gave me horticultural sand which he said is probably the same...any views on this are welcome. Also, should I go for a 70% topsoil/30% sand mix?

I managed to get a living culture of sphagnum moss as well, so the plan is to use an inverted plant pot and put some moist moss into it and keep temp at around 21C, my only concern is fungus on this moist moss....do I have to be concerned about that?

The eye is still a little swollen when she wakes but it clears up after about 10minutes after rinsing it with the sterile solution, I should probably post a couple of photos.

#13 Guest_meimnot76_*

Guest_meimnot76_*
  • Guests

Posted 18 February 2012 - 06:18 PM

So Eileen woke up this morning to a sea of soil, I'm not sure she was impressed but she gets really pissed when I move anything in her pen. I have removed all the bark chippings, so this should be right now. She tried eating some of it as well...i hope she didnt fancy it that much. I still didnt put the moss where she sleeps cos I would rather not change everything in a single go. After putting the soil the overall humidity went up to around 60% but I'm sure it will lower itself with the heat.

Thanks for all your help!

#14 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

Guest_Freddy McGavin_*
  • Guests

Posted 19 February 2012 - 02:21 AM

Tortoises can become stressed out by changes in their environment. Be warned..... this may not help her recovery!
Freddy

#15 Guest_meimnot76_*

Guest_meimnot76_*
  • Guests

Posted 19 February 2012 - 11:50 AM

I've been thinking about that for the last 2 weeks Freddy...but since her RI looks much better now I thought that maybe bark was doing more harm to her then a setup change.

I don't want to bore everyone, but is it normal for my tort eating soil!!! She's sniffing and eating it <_< I'm sure she's ok with her calcium intake cos she uses cuttlebone regularly, she's not even looking at the cuttlebone now and going straight for the soil. Is this bad?

#16 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

Guest_Freddy McGavin_*
  • Guests

Posted 19 February 2012 - 01:37 PM

I've been thinking about that for the last 2 weeks Freddy...but since her RI looks much better now I thought that maybe bark was doing more harm to her then a setup change.

I don't want to bore everyone, but is it normal for my tort eating soil!!! She's sniffing and eating it <_< I'm sure she's ok with her calcium intake cos she uses cuttlebone regularly, she's not even looking at the cuttlebone now and going straight for the soil. Is this bad?


Hello,
Personally, I wouldn't have changed her setup until she had fully recovered from the RI. Eating soil is a common problem among
tortoises and it is not good for them. Sometimes providing more roughage foods with better texture and taste i.e weeds, can help. Apart from removing the soil there are no easy answers. Hopefully as she becomes more use to the soil she stops. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#17 Guest_Hettie_*

Guest_Hettie_*
  • Guests

Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:54 PM

Hi there,

How is she doing today? Has she stopped eating the soil?
My tort Hettie absolutley hates change too. When I change the soil in her enclosure she goes rigid and has been known to be awake later than I have been. Your soil will dry out from the heat of the lamp. Some people mist their soil to keep the dustiness from it once it has dried.

Paula x

#18 Guest_meimnot76_*

Guest_meimnot76_*
  • Guests

Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:17 PM

Well she stills digs her face in the soil sometimes, but my wife is sure that she's just smelling it. She has adapted very well to the soil, infact instead of basking all the time she's now going all offroad on it :D

Her eye is much better as well so I'm sure that the bark was not doing her any good...I feel a little guilty that I actually ever used it because I read on the internet that pine and cedar bark is actually bad for them :/ I'm misting it everyday too.

I'll try to keep more of an eye on her, but I need to go to work too :)

#19 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

Guest_Freddy McGavin_*
  • Guests

Posted 21 February 2012 - 05:51 PM

So glad to hear her eye has improved and she is doing so well. Unfortunately we can't be the guardians of our torts 24/7 as we have our own lives to live. All we can do is our best and you seem to be doing that just fine. Please keep us updated on your torts progress. It is always nice to hear how she is getting on and your questions are never boring. Besides, we are a friendly bunch here and enjoy lending a helping hand. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#20 Guest_Hettie_*

Guest_Hettie_*
  • Guests

Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:46 PM

Sounds like your little lady is on the mend! :)

Great news! :wub:

Paula x





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: humidity

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users