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Member Since 20 Sep 2014
Offline Last Active Apr 26 2015 07:53 AM

Topics I've Started

Thermostat Nightmare

19 April 2015 - 07:50 PM

What thermostat is the best to get for a tubular heater please? The one we've bought has useless instructions and doesn't seem to be working properly according to the garden thermometer that we keep beside it. I'd be grateful for any advice please.

Herbella's First Hibernation

07 October 2014 - 01:58 PM

As many of you will know from my other posts I have was given an 8 year old Hermann female this summer who, with her previous owner, has spent the winter in a tortoise table and the summer outside on a gravelled area.  She has never hibernated.  We were told not to let her outside if it was below 21C and bring her in at night if the temp dropped below 10C.  Our vet said if she is digging down outside that means she's too cold and needs bringing in.  I have read quite a lot of info on hibernation and preparing a tortoise when they live outside sounds OK, but what if they are currently snug and cozy indoors?


We will soon be making her a permanent out door area that will have a cold frame as her house probably with a tubular heater (thanks Karen for that bit of advice) for cooler nights.  Its all in the planning stage at the moment.


However, my main concern is hibernation as Herbella and I are new to it!  I am planning to buy a herp incubator/hibernator.  She is currently in my sons bedroom in the tortoise table with the sides built up and 4" of topsoil.  She has a UV/heat lamp during daylight hours.  The question is how do I prepare her from hibernation if she is indoors?  When the weather cools down and we want to warm the house I can turn off the central heating in Harry's bedroom, but do I also turn off the heat lamp?  When I stop feeding her do I also remove the cuttle bone?  Then she will only have topsoil and water.  Her appetite has definitely decreased in the last two weeks so I think her body knows whats happening, but how can I make sure it all runs smoothly for her.  I am sooooooo nervous about hibernating and Harry, my 11 year old son, doesn't want to do it all as he's very worried it will all go horribly wrong.  He adores her.  What do I do if I stop feeding her now, but the weather doesn't cool down sufficiently?  Sorry lots of questions and I suspect I'm doing a nervous ramble here so I better stop!  :blush:

What Plants Do You All Use?

04 October 2014 - 06:34 PM

I thought that this could be an interesting thread.  As we are planning our outside enclosure I would be very interested to know what plants people put in their outdoor enclosures.  Also do any of you have plants in the indoor part of the outdoor enclosure?

Designing A New Outdoor Enclosure. Advice Please?

03 October 2014 - 07:40 PM

Hello, We were given a Hermann tortoise in the spring and through the summer she had been living in out raspberry patch.  We now want to design a permanent outdoor area for Herbella that has all the mod cons a tortoise could possibly wish for.  We have chosen a section of garden that is covered in white clover and dandelions and we aim to add in more for her.  The plan is to cut up fence posts and then have them in a curving shape around the enclosure.


The main bit of help we need is about the indoor part of this.  I picked up an old metal cold frame today and I plan to replace the glass with perspex.  We also have a wooden cold frame and am hoping we can join the two together.  They will sit on a wood or brick frame to give some height with a closable pophole. We plan to hang a heat/UV lamp in the indoor bit, but I'm not sure how long it will need to be on for.  Obviously it will be switched off at night, but when in the day can it be turned off please?  Also do we need some sort of heat for Herbella at night?  If we do, what is the best way to do this please?  I was thinking of using topsoil for the indoor part and sinking a large seed tray in it for Herbella to soak herself in.  Will she use it?  Do we need to water the topsoil?  What is the best thing to use for her sleeping area and what should we put inside it?  At the moment she has a wooden box with a perspex roof that has a removable wooden roof bit that gets put in to insulate the warmth that has built up during the day.  Is this any good to go in the cold frame or do we need to do a rethink?


I'm sure I've got loads more questions, but I can't remember for now.  Thanks for reading.


03 October 2014 - 05:56 PM



I have been lurking in the background reading posts on this forum and I thought it was high time I introduced myself.


I have an 11 year old son who got an 8 year old Hermann tortoise, called Herbella, this spring.  The previous owner 'rescued' Herbella from her ex and nursed her back to health, but felt that she had done her bit and was ready for Herbella to go to pastures new.


We have all completely fallen in love with Herbella and love her comical antics.  She bulldozes her way around with a determined tenacity.  She comes to you when you call her and is very curious about everything.  She loves dandelion, white clover, bittercress and for a treat she gets cooked butternut squash or pakchoi.  We've taken her to a specialist vet for a check and she is in good shape.  We are hoping to hibernate her this winter, but I have a lot to learn and Herbella has never been hibernated before.  feeling nervous.


This summer she has been living in our raspberry patch and has a little house for nighttime with a perspex roof and pop hole. I planted some dandelions for her which she trashes as quickly as they can grow.  The raspberry patch isn't perfect for her so we have chosen a different bit of garden for her where she can also have an indoor area and heat/light. I haven't felt comfortable taking her outside and bringing her in depending on the weather.  I would like her to be able to decide where she wants to be instead of me choosing for her.  The project will start this weekend and will hopefully be ready for the spring.


I think that's enough for now.  Hopefully I have attached some photos and now I'm off to outdoor enclosures and hibernation sections to ask a 101 questions!


Thanks for reading.


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