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Hermanns or Ibera
Posted: 16/03/2013 by Star1

Hello, I have been researching Tortoises for quite a long time now (years), and I have decided to treat myself for my 40th Birthday and finally own a Tortoise.
I have decided on either a hermann or Ibera, but I was wondering if there is much of a size difference between the two, as I am trying to think of long term and the space I have.

Re: Hermanns or Ibera
Posted: 16/03/2013 by Tom

Both species reach an average size of about 20cms. Ibera tend to grow a bit more slowly in the 1st year or 2. Also 2 need no more space than 1. You imply that space is limited. How much outside space can you give them when they are bigger.?

Re: Hermanns or Ibera
Posted: 16/03/2013 by Star1

Thanks for replying Tom, outside space shouldn't be too much of a problem, I could build something to about 20 feet if need be.

Inside space is not as good, a five foot table would be the most I could have, although I could convert my spare room.

I just dont really want an overly large Tortoise, I do like Leopards, but couldn't have one due to the size.

Re: Hermanns or Ibera
Posted: 17/03/2013 by Tom

That's ok. Good, they need at least 20' x about 10' outside from about 5yrs of age. Inside is less critical, since they can have a 5 mth hibernation from the 4th or 5th winter.(Start with 1 or 2 mth in 1st yr) Don't waste money buying a T. Table. An old drawer is fine. Buy a mini poly- tunnel with the savings - invaluable in bad weather. Finally buy from a bona fide breeder - plenty of pretenders online!!!

Re: Hermanns or Ibera
Posted: 21/03/2013 by TPGDarren

They should really have access to the outdoors from hatchlings if the weather permits. The UVB quality from the sun is far better quality than from any lamps.

Here is some information which will hopefully help.

One rule of thumb when purchasing a tortoise set-up is that most of the Complete Tortoise set-ups sold by many dealers and pet shops often contain items that are inferior and inappropriate. - usually inferior lamps, unsuitable dried food, unsuitable bedding etc, so we would recommend all items are purchased separately. It may take a little more time….but worthwhile in the long-run.

It is worth looking at getting the below lamp. Many so-called reptile specialists sell products that are far inferior to the below lamps and only slightly cheaper. A good lamp is critical for good tortoise growth.


Equipment you will need:-


Indoor Enclosures/Tortoise Table

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

Despite what pet shops promote, vivariums aren't suitable for tortoises. Tortoises require a warm basking area - but also cooler areas in order to thermo-regulate (cool down) and to manage their well being properly. Vivariums offer an almost one temperature, which is totally unsuitable for tortoises.




A combined heat/UVB bulb is recommended. One of the best on the market, both for the long-lasting quality of the UVB and they do not blow as frequently as other lamps:-


Lamp Holder (for use with above lamp):-

Despite they are supplied with a clamp – the light should be suspended from directly above the tortoise. If it’s fitted to the side of the enclosure it can shine directly into the tortoises’ eyes and damage them………….yours too.


Lamp Stand

These actually look quite nice and are very handy.



– you can purchase a bag of this from any garden centre for a few pounds– I find the Homebase topsoil is fine. Many reptile stores, pet shops and dealers sell expensive substrate, none of which are as good as soil and many do not provide a good habitat for a tortoise at all.


Water Dish – best NOT to get an expensive dish from a reptile store – a plant pot tray will suffice as they are shallow and are easy to climb in and out of (the shallowest available is best) – these can usually be purchased for less than £1


Broken stones or slate to go under the lamp so the tortoise can right itself if it turns over


Care sheets (The three best species to keep in the UK) (Spur-Thighed Tortoise (Ibera)   (Hermanns) (Marginated)






Re: Hermanns or Ibera
Posted: 29/03/2013 by Star1

Thank you for the reply the information you have given is great.

Re: Hermanns or Ibera
Posted: 29/03/2013 by TPGDarren

You're very welcome:-)

If you are to purchase a tortoise I would strongly recommend you steer clear of petships garden centres and all tortoise suppliers that offer to post out tortoises, there have been a number of ocassions that we know of where they have arrived dead:-(

Also there is a much higher chance of there being a health problem with tortoises from suppliers, usually imported and kept with 100's of other tortoises which of course is a very good way to spread diseases and parasitic cross-infection.

We have compiled a list of genuine breeders who will offer the best advice and healthy tortoises:-




Re: Hermanns or Ibera
Posted: 29/03/2013 by TPGDarren

"petshops" even:-)


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