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Herman tortoise indoor home ideas.


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#1 Guest_AliasOmega_*

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 02:16 PM

We purchased the tortoise last year from buyatortoise and it came with a vivarium. It was one of them medicine cabinet thingy's. The tortoise has grew, so therefore space has become limited.

I built an extension for the vivarium so it has double the floor space now to run about it, tho im stuck for ideas of what to put in it. I was looking at the table top ideas with the plants etc.

I was thinking of putting in some trays of plants, a tray of stones with the water dish in, our youngest has gave his noddy garage up for its home. Im stick for ideas of what to line the floor with, its currently got paper, tho if i built the floor up for the trays, id ideally like the soil option with the sand as a base for the tortoise.

We were in the pet shop and we seen that the tortoise can have hay in its bed place thingy, is that right.?

At the moment the tortoise drags the garage out the way and hides behind it....

I read that the toirtoise is ment to be kept at 60 degrees at night, 85-90 during the day. With the small home it was not a problem, tho were unsure on keeping this thing warm. It normally sat next to the fireplace so the heat would come from that, and it was happy.

Is it 60 degrees C or 60 degrees F....

No one every says...


Regards,

Alias

#2 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 05:23 PM

Firstly don't worry too much about the night time temperatures if the tortoise is kept indoors, it won't ever get too cold for it, it's only a problem if it's kept outdoors. Next, I personally wouldn't use hay at all, it can get nasty if it gets toileted on. Stick to the substrate. I always go by F not Cs when it comes to temperatures, I find it easier. As for posh housing, a tortoise will always do what it wants and even if you build it the ritz of houses to go at night it will often go where it pleases, we use small cardboard boxes for them to go in at night and they love it, it works for us and you can change them easily when they get messy, and they cost nothing from the grocery stores. Don't let your tortoise get too hot at night as it really needs to cool down otherwise it will be constantly active. :)

#3 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 09:07 PM

My reds have a huge cold frame to go to bed in, my smaller tortoises have cardboard boxs and bins on there sides and they never go in them. They love finding a corner fall asleep in. I did try hay but It did get messy and very smelly like omare said. I would use soil and sand or hemp.

#4 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 25 November 2005 - 10:49 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 25-11-05 AT 10:51 PM (GMT)]Hello Wayne
First thing's first, 60 celcius would kill us, never mind a tortoise
Best thing is like some one else suggested we'll stick with farenheit for you, so you need a temperature of about 80/85 degree's in the hot spot, that is where the heat hits the floor of your set up.
Try Aubiose (horse hemp) it's safe and torts love it, or 50/50 sand and soil for a substrate,
By now you'll realise a vivarium is not good for tortoises, especially it it's a med tortoise, you need a table top, others have suggested a cardboard box, I don't know how big your tortoise is, but for juveniles and little ones I use shoe boxes, with a doorway cut out, not in the middle but to one side, so the tortoise can get out of the light when it wants too, this wants placing as far from the heat as possible, so the tortoise has somewhere cool to go to during the day as well as night time
Arnie

#5 Guest_AliasOmega_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 11:59 AM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 26-11-05 AT 12:14 PM (GMT)]It lives in a Vivarium at the moment, and prob will remain in its vivarium. The original vivarium was not that large, it had a floor space of about 1/2 sqmtr. Tho ive now doubled that so id guess it has about 1sqmtr to run about with.

Last night i lined the floor with a bin bag to seal it off, then made up some soil / sand to the texture of 50/50. We used the soil from a new growbag for the soil. We used childs playsand.

At the moment its sat on the soil / sand until we can locate some heap for its home. We found that it likes to climb over its water dish and always puts it foot into the dish therefore putting the soil into the water. We planned to put some small stones around the water dish giving it something to climb onto removing the soil. We put the house back into the vivarium, and the thing slept next to it. It dug into the soil and sat there, so have to re-assess that one later. We put a rock into the vivarium for it to climb onto, also was thinking of maybe a rock corner. The beach is just down the hill, so we have the added bonus from that..

Ill try post a picture later if i can, but i think you shall laugh at our contraption. We are in need of ideas for the home.

I did think about removing sections of the roof from the vivarium to make it a table top thing, have to re assess that aswell. Prefer something enclosed as we have 3 children, and many others that come into the house. There has been a few tortoise thefts around this area.

The tortoise is a 4yr old Herman. We think its 4 anyway, could be younger...

Ive enclosed 3 pictures, 1 is of the vivarium in the original form (not very well kitted out), the other 2 are of the tortoise..

#6 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 12:23 PM

Hello Wayne
The tortoises health must come first, so as long as it's in the vivarium you are risking lung problems, removing the lid would be a major help, I cannot make you put him into a table top, but you obviously care for the tortoise, which I may add is a lovely animal,
So it's health is in your hands.
I'm not having a go at you, I promise, but your resting the tort on your knee, one thing that terrifies tortoioses, is the fear of falling, so on doing this you are causing him/her a lot of stress
What sex is it by the way, if your unsure post a photo of the underneath rear for us to see
Arnie

#7 Guest_AliasOmega_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 12:52 PM

Its female...has a pointy tail (or as the gf said, its her's not mine)

Would love a table top, tho with security issues with the thing here, always people coming in and out, and its at a size where it can be put into a pocket.

I was thinking of using a fan from maplin or something on the vivarium to supply fresh air from outside as the ventilation is not that good..

Now, need things for the inside of the vivarium for the thing to do.

#8 Guest_AliasOmega_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 01:27 PM

Anyone know of any retailers that sell hemp.? Were in the north east..

#9 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 05:33 PM

I agree with Arnie about resting tortoises on your knee, they can get stressed through fear of falling, best use both knees or put them on the floor honey.:)

#10 Guest_AliasOmega_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 08:00 PM

Well, i went shopping for some Horse Hemp, could not find any locally so went to a few pets shops, then to a reptile shop. We decided to bin he soil / sand idea and go with some wood chips (the wood is beech). We came back from going out and the vivarium has condensed up, and stank so good idea we have binned it.

We've cleaned it out and gone with the beech idea, just boiling the stone and the water dish before we put them into the vivarium. We spoke to a few people in the reptile shop, one guy went on about how the animal could eat roses, dandelion, grass, hay, etc tho he said to get onto the tortoise trust for a complex detail of what the thing can eat.

Its just been in the washingup bowl to have a bath to get its sand off it, the poor thing. It now wandering around the bath until we get things sorted. We purchased a heat mat for the vivarium, just need to get a thermostat for the heat light. The idea was to leave the heat mat on, and monitor the heat. If it gets to hot we could add this to the thermostat aswell. The mat should only heat up to about 80 degrees, tho we have about 3/4" of wood chippings on top of it.. so guess it wont be coming through at that amount of heat.

Ill try take a picture later when its complete, just think it needs a few more things and were done. The top of the vivarim can be removed easily as the inital piece was just push fit, tho ive screwed it down so not that hard....

Any ideas on what else we can put in the space to make it more happy. Were still stuck on ideas for a home for the thing. It dont like the kids garage thing, so guess were gonna have to maybe get a box with a hole in or something.

Alias

#11 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 08:15 PM

You don't need a heat mat, a heat light is fine plus a uv light, you don't want to cook the poor thing lol. Seriously though, we took on a tortoise two years ago that had been cooked to perfection, so to speak, heat mat, heat light, vivarium, no ventilation. The poor thing wouldn't eat or do anything, it's taken this long to adjust it's routine to eat let alone anything else. It will be alot happier without a heat mat. :)

#12 Guest_Jo_Lo_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 08:24 PM

Hi

Try to put something made of stone i.e a piece of brick or paving slab or some cobbles, your tort will enjoy climbing them and it will keep his beak and claws from getting too long. How about a half buried flower pot turned a way from the lamp as a hide ?

Jo

#13 Guest_AliasOmega_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 08:38 PM

Thanks for the ideas guys, unsure on the heat mat thing overall. Maybe we could do away with the heat lamp then, its not really a heat lamp, just a R80 spot light aka basking light....

Here is a few pictures that we have took. Were unsure on the temp inside the vivarium at the moment as no thermometer to measure inside it. We have had the heat mat on for 20mins now and we cant feel the heat through the base, suspect its to deep to feel anything.

We have a brick, just some more ideas, no sarky comments on me building techniques, its poor i know....tho the space is huge for a new male totty....

#14 Guest_omare_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 08:41 PM

[updated:LAST EDITED ON 26-11-05 AT 08:43 PM (GMT)]KEEP the heat lamp but LOSE the heat mat, yeah. :)
An R60 is all you need, thats all I use for mine and it's enough. Tortoises only need to bask not cook honey, nice set up although the heat mat lets it down.:)

#15 Guest_AliasOmega_*

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Posted 26 November 2005 - 08:55 PM

How should the lamp be used then, we use it during the hours of daylight with the uv lamp. Usually on for about 10hrs or so...

We were thinking of losing the lamp as then we could have an open top with the mat, does that sound reasonable.?

#16 Guest_Jo_Lo_*

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 08:56 AM

I would ditch the heat mat, lower the lamp to about 10" or 12" from the surface and put an old ceramic tile, piece of slate or brick under it as a basking area (think sundrenched patio ), this will also create shadowy areas for your tort to get out of the heat.

Hope this helps

Jo

#17 Guest_arnhib_*

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 09:51 AM

If you type AUBIOSE into Google it will come up with retail places you can buy it on the net, but it is cheaper if you can get it yourself from an horse outlet, Phone around riding stables in your area and ask them where they buy all their stuff from
Arnie

#18 Guest_mattgriffin1_*

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 11:10 AM

You absolutely must not ditch the basking lamp. Tortoises naturally obtain heat from above and basking is essential to their health and well being. If you ditch the lamp your tortoise will suffer.
You should get rid of the heat mat though, no good to you whatsoever.

Matt.

#19 Guest_blondesarah_*

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 11:37 AM

Yep i agree heat mats burn tortoises, when i had my first tortoise 8 years ago i was sold a heat mat and it burnt my tortoise :)

#20 Guest_Jo_Lo_*

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Posted 27 November 2005 - 12:57 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong

but the ambient heat of the room with central heating on (at human comfortable) & the bulb should be plenty warm enough

Bfn Jo




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