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Hermann Tortoises Ages 4, Moved Outside.


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#1 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 12:14 AM

Hi all,

I have two hermann tortoises aged 4 years old. I have recently put them into an outdoor enclosure in my garden. They have a large run with plants and water etc. outside. Inside is a largish shed, with plenty of top soil, branches, rocks and a few tunnels/logs. I have an 80W Arcadia bulb which emits UVA and UVB light.

Following the instructions for the light, I have placed the lamp 20 cm from the ground, though with my infrared thermometer, the temperature (on the soil) only appears to be in the low 20's (degrees Celsius). In their table before, it was about 30-35 degrees at the same distance from the ground. This may be because the soil I used in the shed was from my garden as appose to bought, but nonetheless , they still
do not bask anymore.

I also have a heater for when it is too cold, but I have no idea when to turn it on.

The tortoises tend to hide in the shelters or hide in the corner and do not burrow down at night, they also don't leave the shed to go outside unless I move them myself.

Please if anybody could help me out in what to do, I apologise that I have asked for a lot, I'm sure getting worried that they're not getting treated the way the should properly :(

Thanks so much,
Danny

#2 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 12:36 AM

Also, there appears to be lots of ants in the soil, I also found a tiny worm lookig thing in there as well. I can't imagine this would be a problem, since they are exposed to ants and other wildlife in the wild, especially when burrowing down. Again, I'm just anxious in case I'm doing something wrong?

#3 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:22 AM

Your tortoises will not leave the shed if you leave lights and heat in there as they see no reason to. A clear cat flap or tunnel will encourage them to go out when lights are switched off as they will naturally go in search of the sun and warmth. As mentioned, if overnight ambient temps are higher than daytime outdoor temps, then they will show the confusion you are seeing. Also, tortoises don't like change so it might take a week or so for them to adjust, but you will have to check temps and if you are using a basking lamp to heat a large area, you might be better off with a 250 watt pig lamp and supplementing with uvb strips, if they have limited access to outdoors. Hope this helps :)



#4 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 10:28 AM

I do not put the lamp on in the day, unless it rains, though when it does rain and I put the lamp on, they stay inside and don't go near the lamp. I shall add in a tunnel or cat flap over the weekend and I'll let you know if I see any change.

#5 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 12:40 PM

A lot depends on how long they have been there. Also the rain is not a big factor, but warming up first thing is, so if they don't have the ability to warm up then they will not move around as it is temperature that helps with activity. The only other thing is if the torts are not in the best of health to begin with, but I am sure this I not the case. Don't worry, they will get the hang of it eventually and will thank you in the long term :)



#6 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 02:10 PM

So would you suggest that I get a larger watt bulb, or a timer for the lamp to ce
on? say 6:30am. Also when should I put the heater on?

#7 Hellymack

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:03 PM

Hi Danny

 

You have a lovely set up!

 

In my shed all I have is a tubular greenhouse heater set to come on for 1 hr between 7&8 am and some top soil.

 

I find that if the heater does not come on George does not come out but when the heater is on, no matter what the weather is doing he does make is way out into his conservatory - if the weather is cloudy and cool he stays in there but if the weather is sunny he spends the whole day out in his garden, sometimes eating, sometimes basking - whatever he fancies really. I dont use a UV bulb as he gets his UV from being out and about in the outside air.

 

Let me know if you want to see any pics and hope it gives you an idea of what works for my tort.

 

Thanks

 

Helen



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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:08 PM

When your shed is set up like yours with soil etc, you definitely need a basking lamp for cooler days as background heat does not warm the tortoise at all, it's just useful as background temps for prolonged bad weather and I use farm lams which are 250 watt. My own torts all get up around 8-9am the same as wild ones corresponding with natural light/heat levels, so I would aim for around that time. I've never seen any up and about by 6.30 to be honest, but you never know, anything is worth a try.



#9 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:11 PM

Thanks for that! I will set the heater to come on between 7 and 8 from now on then. As for the pictures, I would love to see some ideas, though I don't want to put you through any bother! My torts rarely go out of the shed unless I put them outside (but then they just find shelter outside anyway). I'm hoping that this changes soon when I add in a tunnel as Sue has mentioned that they look for light! :D



#10 Beermat89

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:36 PM

Hi danny,
As sue has said,check the tempts under the lamps at shell height to make sure its reaching between 30-32c,if not then maybe try a bigger wattage lamp.my lamps are on from 6.30 -10 am depending on what time of year but once they have warmed up they leave their house an forage on days like today when its been raining and a little cooler.they never do not come out to be honest only at the end of the year when they start to wind down.im sure they will get used to it soon :).
Regards matt

#11 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:48 PM

I can't measure it at shell height tbh, because the torts are never under it, but when I last checked it was in the low 20's, as oppose to when it was indoors and was in the mid 30's. I almost definitely need to get a bigger wattage, I just don't know how high to go, or where to get it from. I have a feeling the pet shop I go to will hate me for swapping for a higher watt, as I have already been in there this week to replace a broken bulb haha.



#12 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 06:49 PM

I could return my current 80 watt bulb and buy a 250 watt light sue suggested. Any idea's as to where I can get one from? I'm almost certain that my pet shop only goes up to 150 watt.



#13 Beermat89

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:29 PM

The lamps looks very high im the pics for an 80 watt,lower it down a few inches to see if that works,they sell them online the higher wattage bulbs and are cheaper too,i used to use 250w ceramic bulbs,they were great but at 25-30 quid a peice and blew for a past time i give up on them

#14 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:39 PM

Thanks for the advise Beermat, as I went in to lower the lamp, Bash was in the middle of the shed, I think turning the heater on works! :D :DThe room temperature is now at 17 degrees, is this about right? To me it's boiling in here, though I guess it won't be so hot down at the tortoises level haha

#15 Beermat89

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 07:57 PM

Thats always the same lol.well 17c is fine for the air temps during the day but not this time of night really as the heat will stimuate them when they should be settling down,at night you should be aiming to get it down low as possible at night this time of year to get them to bury down,try opening the window over night or somthing as theis might make then burry down.to be honest i wouldnt be using back ground heat this time of year ,only basking lamps anyway as they will get to comfortable to this and when it comes to putting them outside it will be a shock to their systems.

#16 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:03 PM

Oh okay I shall turn it off, though I am almost certain that they wont bury, they will just sleep in the corner. What should the temperature be at night? I am going to try turning the heater on for an hour between 8am to 9am just to get them up and about.
 



#17 Beermat89

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:12 PM

Mine are out in the chicken coop i adapted for them and have just got in from locking them up for the night,so at night mine have the same as outside air tempts.yes you could try that,as sue said its trial and error really

#18 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:18 PM

I have just turned their light and heater off and left the door wide open, as the windows do not open and close. I am thinking about going to get a new bulb tomorrow in exchange for my current 80W, I am thinking of getting a 160W as oppose to 100W, because if it is too hot I can simply just raise it up a bit higher than normal



#19 Beermat89

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:25 PM

Yes give that a go then danny with a 160w,raise and lower it until its gets to around 30-32c.yes leave the door open for a while as i fine with mine too being a wooden it holds heat very well

#20 Dannyhorsley

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Posted 23 May 2014 - 08:37 PM

Let's just hope the pet shop will let me exchange my old bulb for a new one. As guessed, the torts haven't buried down, despite leaving the door open.

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