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Do i have the right indoor enlosure?
Posted: 11/02/2013 by Wemma

Hi all,

I recently got my 4 year old Hermann's tortoise from a trusted reptile shop along with the vivarium. After further reading I'm a little unsure as to whether or not this is the correct environment for our little guy. He hasn't seemed to be uncomfortable or unwell in the month that we've had him but reading around has worried me a little that we're not giving him the right care.Any advice is greatly appreciated.


Re: Do i have the right indoor enlosure?
Posted: 11/02/2013 by TPGDarren

Hi Emma,Click and drag me down to the editor

Thank You for taking the time to contact us, it’s lovely to hear from you. Sorry I'm not a great fan of any reptile shops:-(.  Firstly they put all their reptiles in a vivarium, no matter what climate they originate from. Be it a high humidity South American rainforest, or a low humidity desert. No matter how much Retile shops protest, animals should not be sold in this short-sighted manner. They do however have to be kept in a vivariums to stop them running off and escaping their prisons. In order to provide a good environment you have to first study what climate they come from. They have evolved in this climate over millions of years and so a one for all vivarium is totally ignorant.

Tortoises are infact one of the few reptiles that we can provide a decent environment for – because we can let them roam the garden when the weather is warm enough and they won’t be running off over a fence or up a tree. You're quite right to raise the question as Hermanns tortoises shouldn't be kept in a vivarium at all. Despite what most pet shops and other dealers promote, most species of tortoises to not fair well in vivariums (including Hermanns, Spur-Thighed Tortoises & Horsfelds). It is NOT true that cold-blooded animals need to be kept constantly warm. Unlike us and other mammals, who maintain our body temperature physiologically, reptiles must be permitted to manage their body temperatures themselves to meet their needs at a given time by seeking warmer or cooler areas of the environment. Many tortoises need a range of temperatures to be able to maintain their immunity, metabolism and activity. Failure to meet the range in temperatures will at the very least result in a tortoise living a miserable existence and possibly their demise. 
A vivarium does not permit a good airflow due to lack of ventilation and so maintains a stable, almost one, temperature throughout the whole of the vivarium. Most species require a cooler area to enable it to thermoregulate (cool-down). Vivs are also far too humid for many species of tortoise that require a drier environment and can result in respiratory problems. 
Their food intake also requires monitoring; tortoises in the wild spend most of their time hiding away and do not constantly consume food. Inappropriate heating, UVB, accommodation and over-feeding will contribute to long-term ill-effects in a tortoise. Tortoise dealers (most pet shops, garden centres & internet dealers) seldom supply the correct advice or equipment. Tortoise pellets for example are far too high in protein for most species of tortoise; yet they are sold readily by most tortoise dealers as a necessity.

These vivarium set-ups often contain inferior lamps, incorrect substrates, unnecessary heat mats, tortoise pellets – to list just a few things wrong with them.

Here are a couple of links that may help:-

Care sheets:-        


Ideas for set-ups:-

Either a small rabbit/guinea pig enclosure (best to get the larger one 1.2 meters) or a commercial (or home-made) tortoise table can be used. Tortoise Tables can easily be constructed with 4 lengths of wood and a base for very little money, probably as little as £10-£15

Sorry for such a lengthy reply, but I would definitely look at getting a tortoise table and look at the equipment they have supplied to see what can be salvaged. Please do get back to us if you’re not sure, we are always happy to helpJ

Kindest Regards



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