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#67523 A Little Advice For A Newbie

Posted by mildredsmam on 14 May 2017 - 02:08 AM

It's fine ask as many questions as you need too, little ones do sleep a lot the weather can make a difference to them been active or not so can things like to much heat and too little heat also light levels I find my hatchlings are so much more active outside, signs to look for that are not good are your tortoise having a runny nose or breathing with it's mouth open sort of gasping these thing need checking, also you can have a sample done for worms at the vets to rule that out at a later date but I would give her more time to settle first, if you don't mind me asking where did you get her from a breeder or pet shop, she's lovely. x

#67518 A Little Advice For A Newbie

Posted by mildredsmam on 12 May 2017 - 04:35 PM

Hi Mike, welcome to the forum.

Tortoises can take some time to settle into a new enviroment they don't really like change, when you say tank im taking it you mean a vivarium if so a tortoise table would be so much better for her, what lights are you using in the set up and is there a uv bulb in there also what substrate are you using sorry for all the questions it helps us help you.

As for diet you only want to feed her a weed diet only no fruit or veg at all and shop bought things need to be kept at a minaml these are really ok through winter when weeds are low, at the minute theres loads of different weeds about you just have to go out and find them you might have some in your garden, have you thought of making her an outdoor enclosure she will benefit so much from going out side, regarding safe weeds to feed you might find this book really helpful you can take it out with you when your looking for weeds   https://www.facebook...oisePlantsBook/as for shop bought plants you need to be careful with these as they use a lot of chemicals on them if bought they need repotting and leaving for quiet some time and then only new growth is to be fed hope that helps a bit. x

#67483 Outdoor Heat

Posted by mildredsmam on 09 April 2017 - 04:06 AM

I'm planning an outdoor enclosure with an insulated hutch/shed. Can anyone recommend a heat lamp and thermostat to use? Would I need UV too for less sunny days. I'm planning on him being outside all the time he's not hibernating.
Thanks, Anna

Hi Anna,

You will just need a ceramic holder and reflector to attach to your shed/hutch if you go for a hutch you must make sure it's high enough for the bulb to hang safely and not be a fire hazard, your bulb doesn't need to have uv just a heat bulb as they get all the uv they need from the sun even on dull days, if your planning on him been out all the time apart from hibernation then you could think about also adding a greenhouse tube heater on a thermostat to help with background temps cause at the minute the days are nice and warm but the nights are still really cold we had a good frost here yesterday morning. :)

#67475 Outdoor Housing For 8 Year Old Hermann

Posted by mildredsmam on 06 April 2017 - 02:50 AM

Hi, welcome to the forum, :) 

At Rocky's age it will be loads better for him living outside 24/7 for mine I have a heated shed this has all been insulated with heat lamps added it also has a heater on a thermostat for back ground heat to use at either end of the warmer weather, Sue uses a greenhouse for hers with a heat lamp added this also works really well, which ever way you go you will need a basking lamp for cooler days or mornings to get him going, my shed has a tunnel out so my torts can come and go as they please into a large enclosure I don't have this covered, but I do cover my babies due to the birds around here, other predators like rats need to be thought about that they can't get into the enclosure.

As for hibernation I always hibernate mine every winter unless I feel their not 100% hibernation is part of their natural life and I do try to replace that the best I can, there's different ways to hibernate one using the box method and the other using the fridge method a wind down period of no food is needed before you hibernate and also the right temperature is needed, we can go into more detail about this if you would like. :) 

#67470 New Outdoor Enclosure

Posted by mildredsmam on 03 April 2017 - 02:39 AM

I've just moved house and have a garden now so I have built an outdoor enclosure for my torts ready for summer. Can someone just check it's ok and advise regarding lights/lamps that I need to get in there?? I'm only growing tortoise friendly plants around it as I figured this will make feeding them easier! attachicon.gif1491145010206725753347.jpg

Hi, how old are your torts, I agree with the above that the sides of the cage would be better covered to stop them from seeing through, you could also add some plants to the outside part to make it more natural for your torts they'll use the plants for shade when it's too warm, as for heating you would need to have a basking bulb added to the little hut it's hard to see how big it is from the picture but it would need to be high enough to hold the heat lamp safely. :) 

#67411 Advice Needed For Major Newbie!

Posted by mildredsmam on 12 March 2017 - 05:19 AM

Hi all, my very first post here and Ive got many questions :D

I haven't got a tortoise yet but have been doing extensive research into them and have decided on a hermann.
I'd like to list all the items I will eventually get, it may be as long as next summer until I actually get everything together including the hermann, however I like to prepare well in advance :)


I've done research and decided on a tortoise table due to eharing of respiratory problems caused by viv's as well as the natural basking instinct being messed with by the overall warm insulted viv.


1: Tortoise table, 4 feet by 2 feet and 8 inches tall http://www.thetortoi...use-no-contents

2: Combined Mega Ray 100w, I thought this would be useful so he/she will ahve a basking spot and his/her UVB needs will be taken care of, do you recommend this? http://www.megaray.c...sted-p-145.html

3: Food and water bowl
4: I have heard, and want to do more research into, the fact that they like to burrow/dig a bit? Would Arcadia Earth Mix be alright? I get it for my Crested Gecko as she likes to burrow sometimes for eggs http://www.reptilece...tm#.WMROxKJBrIU
5: Plants, I've looked into the number of safe plants for tortoises and have heard some things about fake plants being a hazard if your tortoise decides to take a nibble. Luckily I have plenty of garden centres around me so that won't be a problem
6: The tortoise him/herself :D


I do hope that is everything I will need lsited above but please if I have forgotten anything please let me know! :) I want to be fully prepared and start to save. I am looking into building my own tortoise table, however, as it may be cheaper and maybe even a little bigger, however I know I need to check the wood I use isn't pine or cedar as it is toxic to them :)


Thanks for reading, super excited :D

Georgia :)

Hi Georgia, welcome to the forum. :) 

It sounds like you have every thing sorted and thought through, I agree with Sue and would use soil as a substrate but other than that your sound like you know where your going, for plants in tables I use Carex grass plants these work really well it's the only thing I've found lasts long enough, when you are ready to get your tortoise I would look for a breeder close to you instead of buying from a pet shop. :) 

#67381 Can 2 Hermann's Be Kept Together

Posted by mildredsmam on 03 March 2017 - 03:23 AM

I agree with Sue, keeping tortoises this way is not the best idea tortoises are best kept in their enclosures at all time for a number of reasons one been left to roam the house can be stressful for them, just some thing for your friend to think about if they did get another tortoise they would need to keep the new one quarantined for a year to make sure it's got no underlying problems some tortoises carry viruses that can kill other tortoises, this would mean no contact at all in the house or garden then the last thing to think about is if they will get on two males might not get on at all some do if they have plenty of space one male and one female wont work either so a lot for your friend to think about first. :) 

#67366 Tortoise Bedding

Posted by mildredsmam on 22 February 2017 - 04:59 PM

Yes saw the cushions, looks like they've had a dodgy diet haha

:lol:  it does I still like them though. :) 

#67357 Plants In Outdoor Enclosure

Posted by mildredsmam on 21 February 2017 - 03:36 AM

Hi Sabina,

I've tried to seed my babies enclosure before but it doesn't work as they eat what's grown straight away and then they eat new shoots before they have a chance to grow once the babies are outside nothing grows in their enclosure so I grow weeds in another part of the garden, the adults are also the same.

In my babies enclosure I have quite a few plants, there's different ornamental grasses, lavender, hebe and heather I find these plants work really well. :) 

#67339 Are Moles Predators For Small Hermann Tortoises (1Y+ Old Babies)

Posted by mildredsmam on 16 February 2017 - 03:56 AM

Not really some thing i've thought about either as i've nevr had one in my garden, i think if you get them in your garden it's best to think of them as a risk to be on the safe side. :) 

#67324 Thanks To Everyone!

Posted by mildredsmam on 29 January 2017 - 03:26 AM

Hi all, just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone who has offered their expert advice, guidance and support on here, my Darwin successfully went through his first hibernation (10 weeks) only losing 1 gram after his wind down from start at 617grams to finish at 616grams, I followed advice from you guys despite my nerves and it paid off, he was eating and drinking just 2 hours after coming out and rambling around happily after his time in the fridge, I will keep all my hibernation notes and fortnightly weights that I gathered for next year where hopefully all being well I will have to miss him for 12 weeks (planning on increasing slowly)
Thanks again x

Hi, that's brilliant news and well done, I bet your glad to have Darwin back up. :) 

#67278 Hello

Posted by mildredsmam on 02 January 2017 - 02:41 PM

Hi Bruce,

Nice to see you back on the forum. :) 

#67265 Tank Wants To Hibernate!

Posted by mildredsmam on 30 December 2016 - 04:38 AM

Good day,
Mine is doing the same, I've turned one heat lamp off, and one uv light and she keeps tucking herself in dark corner and sleeping, not eating now either. I was doing the wind down so feeding less and lower temp. What's next stage? She is steady weight of 302. What do I hibernate her in? Soil? Sreadded newspaper? Many thanks

Hi Andy,

How long have you been doing the wind down and when was she last fed, I hibernate mine in soil newspaper would be too drying for them, do you have some where in mind to hibernate her. :) 

#67264 Our First Winter Together!

Posted by mildredsmam on 30 December 2016 - 04:29 AM

Hello all!
I'm a new proud Hermanns owner and this will be our first winter with our 3 year old friend!
She is kept on a 5x3 tortoise table, which we keep in our detatched, unheated, brick built garage. This allows us to give our new family member a bigger living area than if we had it in the house.
All temperature and lighting requirements are met in the daytime, and I have a ceramic heater for night time heating.
My issue is - now that the temperatures are starting to plummet here in the UK, my ceramic heater is now struggling to keep up the ambiant temp overnight.
I have considered making a smaller, 'mobile home' complete with substrate, that I could bring into the house every night (for consistency) during the two worst winter months - but I thought I would bring that idea to this forum first for advice!
Many thanks in advance.

Hi Dan, welcome to the forum. :) 

I think you will struggle with temps at this time of year in an unheated garage, do you know how low the temps are getting in there at the minute with this cold weather, you could take her in on a night but it might be a little confusing for her with the different temps as your house over night would probably have higher ambient temps than she's having through the day, tortoises don't like change even different enclosures, it might be a better idea to make her a smaller enclosure indoors just for the next couple of months and then re-think things, or you could add an oil filled radiator on a thermostat in the garage to keep the temps up over night. :) 

#67255 Tank Wants To Hibernate!

Posted by mildredsmam on 23 December 2016 - 03:01 AM

Morning, i would still wake him up and bath him and offer him food even if he doesn't stay up long, have you checked the temps in your table lately and has the table plenty of light. :)