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new owner
Posted: 05/03/2011 by acemiko

Hi all, My wife and I are first timers and have had our herman tortoise 2 weeks now.She lives in a tortoise viv which we bought from a reptile specialist, we had not seen this sort of home before. Our main question is how often should we change the substrate? she is on a mix of soil and herbifloor.

The next question is about temp.we ahve 28degrees at the hot end and 20 at the cool end.Is the heat hot enough at the hot end? we bath her daily as she doesnt appear to drink out of her dish, she drinks and poo's and the bath. we use Nutrobal on her food daily is that the right thing to do?


Re: new owner
Posted: 06/03/2011 by VivTPG

Hi, Click and drag me down to the editor to the site.

You say your tortoise lives in a viv, can you explain this set up.  As if its a glass tank or enclosed wooden box with glass doors, these are not suitable for tortoises, as they are difficult to obtain a gradient of temperatures, they tend to be the same temp throughout.  Tortoises are best in an open tabletop enclosure, or large indoor rabbit cage.  However, you do state that you have two different temperatures.  It is best to try and increase the basking temperature from 28C to around 35C, the cooler end of 20C is ok.

Bathing her is fine, and it is a natural instinct for her to wee and poo in the bath, you may even find she will deposit whiteish coloured urates in the water when she wees, again nothing to worry about.  It is wise to leave a dish of water in the enclosure as they do drink, its just perhaps when you are not looking!   You are also correct in putting Nutrobal on her food every other day and limestone flour on the other days.

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

Re: new owner
Posted: 06/03/2011 by acemiko

Thanks for your reply. The viv she is in was from Global Geckos in Windlesham surrrey.It has 3 sides of glass which have air holes in then an open top and the back solid panel has air vents in.We have not had a temp problem at all.It has never got humidity problems either.The man said it a new design just for tortoises.

Re: new owner
Posted: 07/03/2011 by VivTPG

Hi, unfortunately its common for the pet trade to recommend the vivs, as often they get as much if not more money for the viv than the tortoise! When all thats needed is an indoor rabbit cage or a table (which resembles a bookcase on its back with the shelves taken out!). 

The glass in a varium is known to stress torts out as they dont know the concept of glass and continually try to walk through it, I would recommend perhaps putting dark tape or sheets of card around the glass so she cant see through it.  Also, vivs are designed more for reptiles such as lizards that require more height than floor space, which is the opposite for torts.

One last thing, if the tort was bought from the pet shop too, it may be worth having a poo sample checked for worms/parasites which are very common in imported torts, this can be carried out by any vet.

I hope this helps, I would love to see a pic of your tort, regards Vivienne


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