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Member Since 07 May 2015
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:18 PM

#64399 New Indoor Enclosure- Thoughts?

Posted by wizzasmum on 07 July 2015 - 10:55 PM

Hi all,
My fiance and I have been working hard on getting a new tortoise table ready for our two, large hermann torts! They quickly outgrew their old one, and after speaking to the forum members, it was agreed that it had become too small. So, our new one takes up the majority of our dining room!
Our tortoises currently measure 20cm , from top to tip of their shells. Their new home measures 165cm by 125cm, and is complete with a mini upstairs. Our one tortoise, Mildred, who is definitely the most active of the two, has made good use of this already, climbing up and down the ramp!
We also chose some specially selected enclosure plants, which we know are suitable for eating, as well as providing good hiding spots.
Just about to pick up two, much larger heat lamps, and the job will be done!
Any thoughts, or any more suggestions for our indoor enclosure?

Shoot me if you like, but I always feel pretty sad at the thought of adult tortoises being indoors. I hate to think how mine would behave if confined. This week they have dug holes, climbed shrubs, soaked in their shallow pond and generally been hoodlums in the garden, just as they should be doing :)

#64393 What Distance Is Safe?

Posted by wizzasmum on 06 July 2015 - 08:19 PM

The info they have given you is not quite correct ! Shame considering they are supposed to be the manufacturer! I would re- read the uv guide again ;) there are also uvb forums you could join which are quite helpful ;)
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#64388 What Distance Is Safe?

Posted by wizzasmum on 06 July 2015 - 07:29 AM

Sadly, this is just one reason so many little tortoises fail to thrive and why they should not be a commercial item, ever! They can't tell us how wrong things are until it is too late. It does make you wonder where these outlets get their info, or whether they make it up according to what stock they need to sell. Very sad indeed :(
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#64385 What Distance Is Safe?

Posted by wizzasmum on 05 July 2015 - 06:11 PM

Just shows how much reptile shops know, that is totally shocking advice. If your reptile shop manager had ever been to the Med and measured the Uvb levels there maybe he would Think again. Next time you go there, ask them what they think the uvb levels are on the 'other side ' of Europe lol
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#64382 What Distance Is Safe?

Posted by wizzasmum on 05 July 2015 - 10:47 AM

We always use a reflector. So if we changed to a 10,how far away must it be from the tortoises?

As low as you like really, unless the manufacturer states otherwise. Not so they can touch it obviously ;)
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#64378 What Distance Is Safe?

Posted by wizzasmum on 04 July 2015 - 05:58 PM

You can practically put a 5% one anywhere. Personally I use nothing less than 10%. You will need a good reflector with that to get enough uvb to them.
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#64376 What Distance Is Safe?

Posted by wizzasmum on 04 July 2015 - 11:09 AM


This will explain things more clearly.
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#64375 What Distance Is Safe?

Posted by wizzasmum on 04 July 2015 - 11:06 AM

The manufacturer will put this on the box. I have mine around six inches away, but it does depend on the individual lamp.
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#64370 First Time Poster Looking For Advice

Posted by wizzasmum on 02 July 2015 - 09:40 PM

Even double that area would not be enough for an adult, they really don't like being penned and are quite territorial. Moving them around to suit us doesn't work as they need to be able to choose for themselves when to go in and out. At the end of the day it will be your choice, but hopefully it won't all go wrong.

#64366 Lighting And Heating In An Outdoor Enclosure

Posted by wizzasmum on 01 July 2015 - 09:59 PM

Tortoises are cold blooded so in effect dont feel the cold like we do,they rely upon the sun to heat them up,their shells act like a solar panal in effect so even on a cold day to us its warm enough for them aslong as theres sunshine so really abient tempts dont really come into it,14c is more than plenty!if you have a long spell of dull days or wet weather then a heat lamp will benefit them to get up to tempts to get going.at lot of info on the internet is over the top,a mommy coddled tort will be a pain if gets used to silly warm tempts constanly
Regards matt

I have a pic somewhere of a tort in the snow. She was overwintering as she was a rehomer with a few problems. Anyway she spied her chance and popped out for a few mins, she remained quite warm as the sun was out. I still keep seeing people on some forums saying that you can take them out if it's warm enough for a t-shirt, or if it is a certain temp. Thing is they can never explain why, or where the particular temp came from when asked ;)

#64337 Hello

Posted by wizzasmum on 29 June 2015 - 09:46 PM

Spot on Karen ;)

#64298 Hello

Posted by wizzasmum on 26 June 2015 - 09:49 PM

You don't say, but I would guess your little one came via the pet trade. Red foots are not an easy tortoise to start with as humidity requirements are far more tricky than a Mediterranean species, which are hard to maintain in a normal house environment. Gb Sorry you lost him, but it was almost certainly nothing you did. When torts are imported, dealers will order different species which come from different areas of the world and therefore cross contamination from foreign pathogens occurs. Tortoises immune systems are generally stronger than many species due to the fact that they hatch in soil, are not tended by parents and are therefore open to the elements from day one. It's worth noting too that many of the ones seen in vets surgeries are those not allowed to be tortoises as nature intended, but coddled very much like a pup or kitten. You will see people stating that sterilised top soil or other substrates should be used, whereas they are far better being exposed to natural substrates. So long as humidity, a choice of temperatures and access to water are first and foremost in the care regime, there's not a lot to go wrong with a UK bred tortoise ;) obviously if you are able to get hold of an older one legitimately, then this might be better if you are happier doing this. Make sure if so though that papers are provided if money changes hands ;)

#64262 Wimbles Oudoor Enclosure - Opinions Please.....

Posted by wizzasmum on 24 June 2015 - 08:18 PM

All day and night but only in bad weather. Don't cover on sunny days.

#64226 Hibernating Baby

Posted by wizzasmum on 21 June 2015 - 09:08 PM

Sorry if it sounds pedantic, but I think this can be quite scary advice for a newcomer, who might think its ok to wind down a tort for hibernation and allow some feeding. Eventually this would inevitably lead to a dead tortoise as has happened in some cases. UK wind down is very different to natural habitat wind down. In over thirty years I've not lost one of my torts in hibernation with controlled wind down and I have a fair few, but do know of several deaths others have suffered. This is not to say that some leeway 'might' be ok, but I personally wouldn't risk it with my precious babies.

#64194 Newbie - Hamm Hermanns

Posted by wizzasmum on 18 June 2015 - 09:04 AM

The travel for the baby, assuming it was done in cold dark conditions and deep solid substrate to cushion noise, road roll etc is not the biggest issue here, that would be the danger of cross contamination. If transported in warm conditions in light substrate though, this would be far more stressful to it. This is just one reason that I hate couriers, they rarely have the knowledge to transport tortoises. I think we can safely say the difference between people who buy from Hammand those who insist on UK bred is that one is a collector and one is a genuine carer. As you say, most people who have these 'dedicated' reptile rooms, use substandard conditions and convince themselves this is ok, purely by their knowledge of the species in general. It's a bit like most zoos, which will tell you that they are conserving the species, when in fact they are breeding in inadequate conditions and running into continual problems on the way. To my mind is better for a species to become extinct than suffer to preserve it, just look at the case of Lonesome George the Galapagos tortoise :( 2cm of leaf for a 5cm tortoise is fine, it's like a 20 cm bottle of milk to a 50cm human baby, so we would not expect it to eat more ;) hydration is far more important and giving it lots of places to roam to find the correct food. It's also a good idea to have a faecal pellet examined by a vet for parasites.