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Member Since 15 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:41 PM

#68618 Harry's Gone In

Posted by Graham on 31 October 2018 - 07:48 PM

Well, Harry went in the fridge this evening, marking the end to another tort year. It was a great one, too, what with the glorious weather we had.

Wishing everyone's tortoise a successful hibernation; and that we can all rejoice next Spring on their re-emergence.


All the best, everyone       :thumbup:  :hugs:

#68604 Hollyhock Seeds

Posted by Graham on 03 October 2018 - 10:19 AM

The hollyhocks I grew this year yielded flowers of a beautiful shade of scarlet. I harvested hundreds of seeds from them, so if anyone would like a packet to grow next spring, just PM me, and I'll be only to glad to send you some.




#68587 I Can't Fiind Namaste Who Is My 3 Years Old Hermann Baby

Posted by Graham on 16 September 2018 - 06:12 PM

Great news, Sabina, you must have been out of your mind with worry. So glad the panic’s over.

#68563 Harry's Summer

Posted by Graham on 09 September 2018 - 08:22 AM

With this year's glorious summer coming to a close, here's few pics of Harry enjoying the season.


Catching the morning sun's rays:







Taking a siesta in the jungle area of his enclosure:





A trot around the garden via the path:






Taking shade under the carex grass:




Time for dinner:




And a hollyhock flower for afters:



#68214 New Roof

Posted by Graham on 10 February 2018 - 05:00 PM

I made a new roof for Harry's house today; it was only supposed to take an hour or two, but took me about seven hours from beginning to end.

The original lasted five years, so I hope this one proves just as durable.

I'm now numb, wet and freezing  :sob:




Hope Harry likes it.

#68208 Laboratory Fridge

Posted by Graham on 09 February 2018 - 05:01 PM

Hi, Sabina,

I bought one for Harry a couple of years ago, it's excellent; keeps the temps exactly right. 

Here's a pic of it:




This is the smallest one they do, and is suitable for one tortoise only, or two babies.

The make is Lec, and they do a wide range in sizes and prices. 


Here's link to their website; click on the ones you are interested in, and it will give you all the specifications, and a list of distributors.






Hope this helps.


#68067 Happy Christmas

Posted by Graham on 23 December 2017 - 10:59 PM

Merry Christmas everyone! 😁🎄
Enjoy the festivities xxx

#67543 Harry In The Sun

Posted by Graham on 22 May 2017 - 06:23 PM

Harry's now taken to using the carex grass as a sun-lounger:







#67462 Heater, Thermostat And Cables Adivce

Posted by Graham on 25 March 2017 - 07:56 AM

Hi, Sabina,

For the cables and attachments, you need the type designed for outdoor use so that they can withstand the rain. Pond cable is ideal, and if you thread this through conduit, it will be doubly safe.

Have a read through this thread that myself and Sue commented in some time ago:





Just ask if you have any further queries; we will help.

#67403 Is It Spring?

Posted by Graham on 10 March 2017 - 01:19 PM

What a lovely photo; beautiful little torts!
Harry's due up tomorrow, can't wait to have him back

#67355 Plants In Outdoor Enclosure

Posted by Graham on 20 February 2017 - 07:27 PM

Hi, Sabina,

I'm not qualified enough to answer your first question fully as i don't keep babies, but as growth has to be slow and controlled, I would imagine that you would need to limit the amount of food available. What you could do is purchase or grow some edible bedding plants, and plant a couple in the enclosure occasionally so that they don't get eaten all at once. One good plant I'd recommend is Lamb's Lettuce, as it's very good for tortoises, and can be grown throughout the summer season. If you plant a few seeds every couple of days, you'll get a continuous supply in whatever quantity you require.

As I say, this isn't really my department; one of the other members with experience with youngsters will be able to advise you better.

As for shrubs, from my own experience with Harry, there are several which are decorative and functional, but he doesn't eat them:







Bushy Coreopsis


If you did find your torts were nibbling on them, you could prune the lower branches. I'm sure other members will list some more shrubs that tend to go uneaten.


As for cleaning the enclosure, I do change the water and keep the pool clean, and remove any poo left either by the torts or marauding cats. However, cleaning too much can result in a too-sterile environment, for like us, torts need a share of bugs to keep their immune systems efficient.


Sorry I can't be of that much help, but I hope you find some of this info useful.

#67325 Thanks To Everyone!

Posted by Graham on 29 January 2017 - 10:10 AM

That's great news; well done on your successful hibernation.

#67036 Netcam And Remote Control Switch

Posted by Graham on 07 November 2016 - 09:11 AM

They're available on Amazon, Terry, I've just looked.

#66941 Feeling Nervous About Hibernation

Posted by Graham on 24 October 2016 - 12:32 PM

Hi, Janna,

It's completely normal to feel apprehensive and jittery when it comes to hibernating out torts, especially for the first time. 

First of all, it's the wind-down that's really important; as long as you get that right, the hibernation should be completely fine. For an adult tortoise, this period lasts four weeks, so Ben is due to go in around November 10th. 

My Harry is in fifty next year, so I'm in the same boat as you. Do remember that Ben has hibernated over forty times in his life already, so he's well-used to the experience. 

I've found that a large plastic tub (similar to an ice cream container) is ideal; I half-fill it with sterilised top-soil, as this gives moisture, and a substrate to burrow down in, a more natural environment for them.

The preparation of the fridge is important; set it up a couple of weeks before Ben goes in, and add some bottles water to help keep the temps stable. I've always found it's best to buy bottled water from the shops as the caps are sealed and therefore wont leak if laid on their sides in the fridge. 

Keep an eye on the fridge temps, adjusting when necessary to attain a constant temperature of around 4°-5°C.

When Ben goes in, remember it can take a couple of weeks for torts to settle down, so don't be surprised if he's still awake when you check on him.

Each day, open and close the fridge door a couple of times to let fresh air in.

Make sure you weigh him before you put him in, and keep a record for reference. During hibernation, you can take him out once a fortnight or so and do a quick check to make sure he hasn't weed or lost too much weight; this procedure only takes a minute or so and wont disturb him at all.

I give Harry eighteen weeks in the fridge, and this seems to suit him for his size and age.


There are a couple of pinned links at the top of this topic page offering more details than I've given you here. Have a look at them, and if you have any questions or queries, just post them here, and we will help you.

#66821 Hank Is A Bit Off?

Posted by Graham on 12 September 2016 - 05:12 PM

This is a good general guide, Jen:




Please feel free to ask for any help you may need, we're only too happy to help.