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Housing help for newbie
Posted: 30/05/2010 by Bushby

HI all, wondering if someone could help me. I have been given a Hermann tortoise from a friend who needs to move and cant take him with her. Cut along story short, he is 18 months old and has been living in a vivarium for most of his short life. This vivarium has a grill all the way along the top and also 2 inchs running along the middle, the size of it is 100x45x50. I have been reading so many different sites about where to house the tortoise correctly. I want to do what is best for him, but at the same time I read on some sites that this type of vivarium is ok if there are grills at the top.

 

Please can someone tell me what is the best thing to do for him. I also place him in the sun on the grass every day so he gets some sun. I do have a U.V lamp running the whole way along the back of the tank, and he has a basking lamp. He eats well, but he does sleep alot, is the a sign that he is i'll?

any help would be great thanks, xx

Re: Housing help for newbie
Posted: 31/05/2010 by tortoise7

Click and drag me down to the editor

Hi

First stop, have a read of the care sheet for Hermans's which you can access from the left handside under "Tortoise" that will give you a better idea of what you need to do. I would look towards getting him out of the Viv as soon as possible, but your doing great already by putting him out in he sun, just make sure that he is covered or you sit with him so birds cannot swoop down and take him. Once you have read the care sheets I am sure you will still have plenty of questions, so fire away, everyone is happy to help. Good luck and great to have another torty enthusiast on board
Jane, Keya & Molly

Re: Housing help for newbie
Posted: 31/05/2010 by Bushby

Thanks, I'm off out today to make him an outdoor run so I dont need to sit next to him all the time. Does it matter what type of wood I use? I was going to make it out of a vegetable box which is 1 metre square,then just place this onto the grass. His house that I will make for him to go out side, should this have a base to it? or just leave it so he will be sitting on grass? He will also have some chicken wire to place on top so that no animals can get to him.

The outdoor enclosure is only for him to sit outdoors for a few hours. The main indoor closure will be make from wood as well, again should I use a type of wood that is safe for him?

Thanks, Louise x

Re: Housing help for newbie
Posted: 31/05/2010 by VivTPG

Hi Louise, as Jane says any glass viv isnt good for a tort, the glass tends to act as a greenhouse 24/7 not allowing him to escape the heat, plus the glass stresses them as they cannot understand the concept of not being able to walk through it!!Click and drag me down to the editor

The outdoor enclosure sounds a good idea if he is still only small the vegetable box idea sounds good, make sure there are no gaps under or lay it on bricks so he cant get out, as you say put mesh on top to stop birds taking him.  Put plenty of hides inside so that he is not constantly exposed to the sun.

Regarding the indoor enclosure, any wood is fine, such as pine, ply wood etc.  You could get a book case and put it on its back or large drawer, have a look in the gallery at members ideas!

Please let us see the enclosure when they are finished, or add them to the gallery for other member to get ideas from!

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Housing help for newbie
Posted: 31/05/2010 by Bushby

Hi Vivienne. I'm pleased to say that I have finished the out door run for him and I'm very happy with it. Only took about 5 hours to make! lol. At least my little man will now be happy, all I need now is some sun. I will post some pics tomorrow so you can see my handy work! All in it only cost me 27.

Now on to making the indoor house. I was thinking of buying the new open house that is now available from pets at home. what does everyone think? My store does not sell tortoises thank god.

http://www.petsathome.com  then search for tortoise house. Do you think this would be ok? Im also a bit confused about lighting. Louise xx

 

Re: Housing help for newbie
Posted: 31/05/2010 by VivTPG

Hi Louise, the tortoise house looks really nice, quite expensive tho, also look at large indoor rabbit cages on the net, they are also good for torts.

Your outdoor pen sound good, cant wait to see it.  If you read through the care sheet (see lefthand column, click tortoise then care sheets) it explains about lighting, any queries tho just ask away.

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Housing help for newbie
Posted: 31/05/2010 by tortoise7

Hi Louise

Wow you have done brilliant. Heat/light is confusing to us all when we first start out, but there are combination bulbs that offer vital UVB and heat basking for the torts. The most common names being Mega-ray, powersun & solarglow. If you start to get an interest in lighting you can opt for other options e.g seperate lights.
Kimbos Reptiles are very good if you browse their website.
Hope that helps for now until one of the experienced keepers who are whizzes in the lighting department will come in on the post.
Regards

Jane, Keya & Molly

Re: Housing help for newbie
Posted: 01/06/2010 by Bushby

OK, Ive ordered the open table from pets at home. I like the idea of the two in one lamps (mercury ones I think they are called) but I cant seem to find where to buy them from. Also at the moment my little man has pro rep tortoise life substrate in his viv along with wood chips (large) but I have read that this is wrong. so when he moves into his new home I need to use play sand and soil. Was wondering, as my husband went and bought 3 bags of the pro life sunstrate stuff, would this be ok to mix wth the soil? is it safe for him. He is turning into an expensive little man, but his worth it. x

Re: Housing help for newbie
Posted: 01/06/2010 by VivTPG

Hi, no I wouldnt buy the pro life substrate, just get one bag of top soil from homebase or b&q and a small bag of play sand (shouldnt cost much more than 5-6).

The megaray lamp can be ordered from Kimbo's (he is a member on here and most of us buy from him, his name is Darren and will advise you on the phone if you cant decide which one to get!!) here is the link http://www.kimbosreptileworld.co.uk/ (its in our links section).

Hope this helps, regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Housing help for newbie
Posted: 04/06/2010 by Bushby

Ok, I have my pic ready to upload on to the website, but cant seem to find the information on how to do it, any ideas?

Re: Housing help for newbie
Posted: 05/06/2010 by Bushby

Ok, the little man has now got a suitable home! yay. although he loves to be outside on the grass enclosure, when I bought him into his new indoor home he was running, yes, running! around the place, is this a good or bad sign?

now he has gone to sleep sitting on top of his house, he has got so tired from walking around the edges for ages, hope he will just get used to it as I dont know what else to do to make him happy, he has only just been in his new home for a few hours.

Louise x

 

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