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#1 JenB

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    We have two cats, Marilyn and Jimmy and now our new addition Hank the tortoise!

Posted 07 May 2016 - 03:31 PM

Hi everyone, I am a newbie to the group and newbie to tortoises.
I have just rehomed Toby who is 6 years old from a lady who couldn't keep him due to ill health. It was all a bit of a rush so haven't had any time to prepare.
He currently lives in a vivarium, which looks a bit small.
The other half is building a tortoise table for him tomorrow from some old drawers and then we can work on outdoor space after that.
He has come with a heat lamp and a heat mat. I have disposed of the heat mat because of things I have read I believe it isn't any good for him. She said she hasn't really been using UV light but I was under the impression he really needed this?

Can anyone give me any tips? I've set the basking lamp at one end to 35c and put a thermometer at the other end to make sure it stays around 21c.

Any tips will be gratefully received.
Thanks

Jenny

#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 03:55 PM

Hi Jenny, welcome to the forum. :)

Tortoises need uv as well as heat, so when indoor they do need a uv bulb, these bulbs are good there combined bulbs so do both heat and uv together  http://www.megaray.c...sted-p-145.html your basking temperature is a little high, aim for more 32c, at 6 years old he would do better living outside on a permanent basis with heat outside, some thing like a small greenhouse with a heat lamp in would work really well onto an enclosure, tortoise tables aren't any good for older torts, just some thing to think about while your getting his outside area sorted, they need to be fed on a weed and plant diet only no fruit/ veg or dried food you might find this helpful  http://www.tortsmad.com/diet.htm. :)

Any questions you have just ask there's always someone around happy to help. :)



#3 JenB

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  • Interests:I have two children, both girls (aged 12 years and 18mths)
    I am an A and E nurse in Manchester and love every minute of it.

    Love camping, cycling and anything fun and exciting.

    We have two cats, Marilyn and Jimmy and now our new addition Hank the tortoise!

Posted 07 May 2016 - 04:27 PM

Thank you - temperature now adjusted and light / heat bulb purchased!
We are just putting the tortoise table together to get him out of the vivarium. I have put some cardboard round the outside because he kept walking into the glass 😞

Does the heat / uv light stay on all the time? I have read somewhere that 8 hours a day is enough but I don't want him to get cold. How long is he allowed out of his enclosure for too (so he can socialise and explore).

Sorry for the twenty questions, I just want him to be ok.
Thanks for your help x

#4 mildredsmam

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 04:52 PM

Ask as many questions as you need to that's what were here for. :)

The lights just need to be on through the day, all lights need turning off over night as they need a drop in temperature, it's best not to let them walk around the house their better staying in their enclosure at all times as it can be quite stressful for them been outside it, tortoises really don't like change at all, also in their enclosure they have the correct substrate ( topsoil ) to walk on and the right heat and uv that they need, hope that helps. :)



#5 JenB

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    I am an A and E nurse in Manchester and love every minute of it.

    Love camping, cycling and anything fun and exciting.

    We have two cats, Marilyn and Jimmy and now our new addition Hank the tortoise!

Posted 07 May 2016 - 05:00 PM

Yep that's great thanks.
I need to go and get top soil tomorrow, she has had him on sawdust. I have read somewhere to mix it with sand. I've just used an old pla toot for a hide as he doesn't have one.
He seems ok now I've put the cardboard round, he seems to have settled a little bit.

Thank you, you have been fantastic xxx

#6 JenB

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    I am an A and E nurse in Manchester and love every minute of it.

    Love camping, cycling and anything fun and exciting.

    We have two cats, Marilyn and Jimmy and now our new addition Hank the tortoise!

Posted 07 May 2016 - 05:01 PM

Plant pot not pla toot 😃

#7 mildredsmam

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 06:10 PM

Yep that's great thanks.
I need to go and get top soil tomorrow, she has had him on sawdust. I have read somewhere to mix it with sand. I've just used an old pla toot for a hide as he doesn't have one.
He seems ok now I've put the cardboard round, he seems to have settled a little bit.

Thank you, you have been fantastic xxx

Hi, don't add sand just topsoil on it's own is best as sand can cause eye irritation and impaction if eaten, another substrate some use is coco coir but I've never used this myself. :)



#8 JenB

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    I am an A and E nurse in Manchester and love every minute of it.

    Love camping, cycling and anything fun and exciting.

    We have two cats, Marilyn and Jimmy and now our new addition Hank the tortoise!

Posted 07 May 2016 - 06:21 PM

Ahh, I didn't think of that but now you have said it, it's quite obvious really.
Do I need to sprinkle calcium on his food daily?

Honestly I can't thank you enough for this, never mind Toby (now named Hank) I feel less stressed already lol

#9 mildredsmam

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 07:24 PM

You can order Nekton MSA off Amazon the one for reptiles not birds, this is put on his food daily unless he's outside getting natural sun. :)



#10 wizzasmum

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 08:30 PM

Hi everyone, I am a newbie to the group and newbie to tortoises.
I have just rehomed Toby who is 6 years old from a lady who couldn't keep him due to ill health. It was all a bit of a rush so haven't had any time to prepare.
He currently lives in a vivarium, which looks a bit small.
The other half is building a tortoise table for him tomorrow from some old drawers and then we can work on outdoor space after that.
He has come with a heat lamp and a heat mat. I have disposed of the heat mat because of things I have read I believe it isn't any good for him. She said she hasn't really been using UV light but I was under the impression he really needed this?
Can anyone give me any tips? I've set the basking lamp at one end to 35c and put a thermometer at the other end to make sure it stays around 21c.
Any tips will be gratefully received.
Thanks
Jenny


Agree with what Karen has said and will add that you don't need to monitor the cool end as it drops to much lower temps in the wild overnight. So long as he has the choice of a hot spot of 32, then he will regulate his own temps by moving in and out of the heat. Do you have pics of him, it would be nice to see him :)

#11 JenB

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  • Interests:I have two children, both girls (aged 12 years and 18mths)
    I am an A and E nurse in Manchester and love every minute of it.

    Love camping, cycling and anything fun and exciting.

    We have two cats, Marilyn and Jimmy and now our new addition Hank the tortoise!

Posted 07 May 2016 - 08:44 PM

Hi, thanks for that. Will he be ok, overnight then if it gets a little cold (until his light / heat source warms up again in the morning to 32)?
I think I'm stressing again, this is worse than having a new born baby lol

How do I add pictures?

#12 JenB

JenB

    Tortoise Member

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  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Rochdale
  • Interests:I have two children, both girls (aged 12 years and 18mths)
    I am an A and E nurse in Manchester and love every minute of it.

    Love camping, cycling and anything fun and exciting.

    We have two cats, Marilyn and Jimmy and now our new addition Hank the tortoise!

Posted 07 May 2016 - 08:45 PM

Found it lol

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#13 wizzasmum

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:09 PM

Hi, thanks for that. Will he be ok, overnight then if it gets a little cold (until his light / heat source warms up again in the morning to 32)?
I think I'm stressing again, this is worse than having a new born baby lol
How do I add pictures?


Yes, it's actually beneficial to get cool overnight, it helps with healthy shell growth. Keeping too warm causes deformities. I'm having trouble with pics, hopefully yours will work.




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