Cicciof

New Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2024
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Torino
Hi everyone i'm new around here but i wish to become more involved day by day.
by the end of the month ill get my little western Herman turtle, rn he/she is like 4.5cm, she's beeing soaked costantly and feed right waiting for me to pick her up. I'm trying to gather the most amount of usefull info to make her live her best life, so guys FEEL FREE TO TELL ME WATHEVER U LIKE.

In picture u see the house that i designed for her

rich text editor image

I designed it to be 1.10meters long and around 56centimeters wide, is this good/enough/bad?

U can see a rock she can climb in the bottom right i thought about putting there her uv light and heat bulb, is this right? should the bulb or uv cover the whole 'outside' area or just the rock area is ok?

I've ordered a thermometer and a humidity sensor for monitoring, i searched online but i found various info abot themps and humidity and people just debate in formus about it and i couldnt decide. So im asking to u, what temps and humidity should i maintain (i beg u to be specific about the 'outside' zone and 'inside' zone.
What about substrate i saw online that orchid bark should be the best but shouldnt i put even some 'dirt' in the bottom?

Last but not least should i soak her daily even if she has her own little pool where she can dring and soak or even once a week is fine.

thank u all
 

Ink

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
2,760
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
Welcome to the forum. An expert will be able to help you. How would you suspend the lights needed for your tortoise?
 

Cicciof

New Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2024
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Torino
Welcome to the forum. An expert will be able to help you. How would you suspend the lights needed for your tortoise?
hii thank you. Uhm honestly i think i will attach around 30 cm somewhere on top
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2023
Messages
1,466
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hello and welcome to the forum!😁
There’s lots of conflicting information out there, I promise this is the best place to be with the most up to date care information, breeders and pet stores are all too often following very outdated care any will try to sell you the wrong equipment. Hope to see if you stick around, and feel free to run by any purchases here!

I really like your design!😊but I will say this size won’t last too long, something like a 4x3 or 4x4 would last you longer if maybe you’d consider expanding the design?. As they grow they’re going to eventually need an 8x4 enclosure👍

I’m going to include some information below on the right types of equipment to use, how to maintain humidity, correct temperature&humidity levels etc, hopefully it helps🙂

Basking light should be an incandescent floodlight(example attached) on a 12 hour timer.

Basking temperature directly under the floodlight should be 95-100f. The rest of the enclosure should be ranging 75-80 during the day.

You may also wish to add ambient lighting on the same timer, providing shady areas with hides and safe plants.

Then CHE/CHE’s(ceramic heat emitters) always on a thermostat, for night heat if your house drops below 60’s at night. Set the thermostat for a night temperature place the probe in their cooler end, plug the che into it and the thermostat into the mains, it’ll be plugged in 24/7 but will only turn on when the temperature drops.

Uv should be a t5 fluorescent tube, avoid the compact and coil uv bulbs, they don’t give out enough uv and can hurt the tortoises eyes. The uv can be on a 4 hour timer from noon. I’ve attached examples of the two brands to go for and some examples of how to mount them.

With lighting always avoid anything labelled halogen or mercury vapour.

For substrates, either coco coir, dampened and packed down by hand as a base, with a layer of orchid(fir not pine) bark or forest floor on top, or just the orchid bark/forest floor. Never use anything with sand mixed in, no top soils and no kinds of moss.

You want to aim to have the bottom layer of substrate damp, to do this pour lukewarm water into the corners, not loads but enough to dampen the entire bottom layer. To stop that top layer getting a little too dry/dusty, mix the substrate now n then, which also helps boosting humidity or give the top a spray. Check your monitors and substrate to do the pours as and when needed. I don’t recommend misters or foggers, they get the air too wet and cause respiratory problems.

Humidity for young growing tortoises needs to be maintained around 80%, 24/7, you’ll find that very difficult to achieve with an open top. Once the tortoise is older a cover won’t be needed.

To maintain humidity you need a closed chamber set up, for your kind of design this can be provided with a greenhouse topper, If you can’t find an exact fit for your base then place it over like the one with the white base in the photo, I’d put lining down under the base and cover though to stop condensate getting on your floor.
When making your base, just make sure the material is safe, some use flower beds or just make their own, for both these options I’d line with cheap pond liner to protect the base, making sure the liner goes up the sides too and make sure those sides are deep enough.

Some people even hang their lighting from the greenhouse frame! Simply wrap the wire round so it’s at the height you need(check with temp gun/put thermostat in, 18-21 for uv) and secure with cable ties. I’ve also included examples of stands people make/buy.

For a water dish a shallow terracotta saucer is considered safest, they have grip in the event your tortoise flips themselves, most pet store options are a known hazard.

Definitely stick with daily soaks for a hatchling, even with them self soaking. Just make sure you’re there with them when you’re soaking them🙂

Ignore whatever else is in these enclosures in the photos, they’re just to give you an idea👍

I’d also always recommend getting your hands on a temp gun, they’re SO handy when setting up a new environment or for checking your monitors are correct🙂
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1669.png
    IMG_1669.png
    149.5 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1628.png
    IMG_1628.png
    178.4 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1674.jpeg
    IMG_1674.jpeg
    60.6 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1675.jpeg
    IMG_1675.jpeg
    104.4 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1873.jpeg
    IMG_1873.jpeg
    32 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1872.jpeg
    IMG_1872.jpeg
    48.1 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1871.jpeg
    IMG_1871.jpeg
    238 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1672.jpeg
    IMG_1672.jpeg
    84.7 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1670.jpeg
    IMG_1670.jpeg
    65.1 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1679.png
    IMG_1679.png
    143.4 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1684.jpeg
    IMG_1684.jpeg
    147 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1733.jpeg
    IMG_1733.jpeg
    29.9 KB · Views: 1
  • IMG_1683.png
    IMG_1683.png
    151.5 KB · Views: 1
  • Like
Reactions: Tom

S2G

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
151
Location (City and/or State)
AL

Thats a baby. Imo you should do an enclosure with a top so you can retain the humid they need at that size. Once they get to the more juvenile stage then transition to something more like what youre wanting to do.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom

Cicciof

New Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2024
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Torino
something like a 4x3 or 4x4 would last you longer if maybe you’d consider expanding the design?. As they grow they’re going to eventually need an 8x4 enclosure👍
Hi thank u so much for being involved in responding. By 4x3 u mean feet or meters? cuz my design is 1.15meters x 1 meter. And also how much time will she get to gro considerably of size to need a bigger enclosure? Im asking this because i will leave this house to get a new rent in about 1 year so if se can last confortably in this preliminary design would be great if not i'll expand rn.
providing shady areas with hides and safe plants.
What do u mean by safe plants? can u list me some to avoid? Im sorry but im not an expert but im gathering information for this lill cute turtle1720336681853.png

Humidity for young growing tortoises needs to be maintained around 80%, 24/7,
Can i mantain the umidity just by spraying some water with a manual spray bottle on the soil when the umidity drop?
To maintain humidity you need a closed chamber set up,
I will design a closed enclosure then. But can u tell me for how much she will be still a 'little baby' and start to be considered almost grown up?
18-21 for uv)
i didnt get what those numbres are :(
for a hatchling
for how much will she be an hatching?
lways recommend getting your hands on a temp gun
already got it :)

Sorry i forgot but if somedays happens that i cant soak her is a big deal? should i soak for more next time?

Thank u for everitying really ur helping me a lot
 

Cicciof

New Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2024
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Torino

Thats a baby. Imo you should do an enclosure with a top so you can retain the humid they need at that size. Once they get to the more juvenile stage then transition to something more like what youre wanting to do.
I will definitely change my designm to a removable top enclosure. thank u
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,188
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi thank u so much for being involved in responding. By 4x3 u mean feet or meters? cuz my design is 1.15meters x 1 meter. And also how much time will she get to gro considerably of size to need a bigger enclosure? Im asking this because i will leave this house to get a new rent in about 1 year so if se can last comfortably in this preliminary design would be great if not I'll expand.
Originally you said 1.1m x 56cm. That is on the small side. 1.15 x 1m is nearly double that size and will last longer.

They all grow at different rates and for a wide variety of reasons. No one can predict the growth rate. There are too many variables. An enclosure that is 1.15 x 1 meter should last at least a year, and possibly two or three for a slow grower.

What do u mean by safe plants? can u list me some to avoid? Im sorry but im not an expert but im gathering information for this lill cute turtle.
You have to worry about the plants being toxic, and/or being grown with toxic pesticides in the soil or sprayed on them. Safe plants would include pothos, spider plants, and Boston ferns, but its best if you propagate them and grow them yourself from older mature plants, rather than buy them at a store.

Can i mantain the humidity just by spraying some water with a manual spray bottle on the soil when the humidity drop?
This is not effective. It creates a lot of evaporative cooling and it won't work to keep humidity up. This is like trying to heat your house in winter with no roof on it. Its just physics.

I will design a closed enclosure then. But can u tell me for how much she will be still a 'little baby' and start to be considered almost grown up?
Around 10cm for a western hermanni, however long that takes. With tortoises, it is best to judge things by size, not age, because they can grow at such vastly different rates.

i didnt get what those numbers are :(
Mounting heights for your bulbs, in inches.

for how much will she be an hatching?
Until the baby reaches somewhere around 10cm.

Sorry i forgot but if somedays happens that i cant soak her is a big deal? should i soak for more next time?

Thank u for everything really. You are helping me a lot.
Try to do it every day until the baby reaches 100 grams. The baby won't die if you miss one day, by try not to skip days until the baby gets larger. Having a large closed chamber with stable temperatures and higher humidity helps to prevent dehydration if you do happen to mis a soaking day here and there. Soaking for more minutes the next time won't make up for missing a day, so there isn't much point in it. Soaking for longer time periods will not hurt anything if you want to do it anyway.

You are welcome! :)
 

Cicciof

New Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2024
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Torino
riginally you said 1.1m x 56cm. That is on the small side. 1.15 x 1m is nearly double that size and will last longer.
yes after ur comment i measured where i will build it and made adjustment and i can come up easly to 1.15m x 1m. When i will get the new house i will definitely get even a larger one.
what about the night zone, should i make specific adjustment or just keep it the same as the rest?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,188
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
yes after ur comment i measured where i will build it and made adjustment and i can come up easly to 1.15m x 1m. When i will get the new house i will definitely get even a larger one.
what about the night zone, should i make specific adjustment or just keep it the same as the rest?
As long as your house stays above around 15C, there is no need for night heat with this species. All your heating and lighting should be on timers and should be off at night. If you need night heat, use a thermostat to control the temperature.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2023
Messages
1,466
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi thank u so much for being involved in responding. By 4x3 u mean feet or meters? cuz my design is 1.15meters x 1 meter. And also how much time will she get to gro considerably of size to need a bigger enclosure? Im asking this because i will leave this house to get a new rent in about 1 year so if se can last confortably in this preliminary design would be great if not i'll expand rn.

What do u mean by safe plants? can u list me some to avoid? Im sorry but im not an expert but im gathering information for this lill cute turtleView attachment 373582


Can i mantain the umidity just by spraying some water with a manual spray bottle on the soil when the umidity drop?

I will design a closed enclosure then. But can u tell me for how much she will be still a 'little baby' and start to be considered almost grown up?

i didnt get what those numbres are :(

for how much will she be an hatching?

already got it :)

Sorry i forgot but if somedays happens that i cant soak her is a big deal? should i soak for more next time?

Thank u for everitying really ur helping me a lot
Tom already beat me to it with a good reply haha, but yeah just to go over your points again, by 4x3 I meant feet, if you’re making your design a bit bigger it should last you a year or so🙂

With safe plants it’s definitely better to grow your own, toms suggestions are a good start😊

You’ll definitely need some sort of greenhouse topper or make your own top out of something like plexiglass to create a closed chamber, an open top with spraying just won’t be effective unfortunately.

As Tom said they have different growth rates so it’s difficult to say exactly when they’ll be considered grown, I personally think it can take up to 3 years, some say less.

Yes those numbers were mounting height in inches for the uv I suggested👍

They’re classed as a hatchling up to a year, then they’re a yearling, past that up to the age of three, a young juvenile, least that’s my opinion🙂

Do try to aim for daily soaks, don’t worry if you miss one day here n there, but daily is definitely what you want to aim for until they reach Toms suggested weight👍

Also for your night heat, don’t worry about ceramics if your house stays in the 60’s at night, I included those incase your place does go below that, you could always check with your temp gun at night once you set your enclosure before you get the tort🙂
 

Cicciof

New Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2024
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Torino
As long as your house stays above around 15C, there is no need for night heat with this species. All your heating and lighting should be on timers and should be off at night. If you need night heat, use a thermostat to control the temperature.
Tom already beat me to it with a good reply haha, but yeah just to go over your points again, by 4x3 I meant feet, if you’re making your design a bit bigger it should last you a year or so🙂

With safe plants it’s definitely better to grow your own, toms suggestions are a good start😊

You’ll definitely need some sort of greenhouse topper or make your own top out of something like plexiglass to create a closed chamber, an open top with spraying just won’t be effective unfortunately.

As Tom said they have different growth rates so it’s difficult to say exactly when they’ll be considered grown, I personally think it can take up to 3 years, some say less.

Yes those numbers were mounting height in inches for the uv I suggested👍

They’re classed as a hatchling up to a year, then they’re a yearling, past that up to the age of three, a young juvenile, least that’s my opinion🙂

Do try to aim for daily soaks, don’t worry if you miss one day here n there, but daily is definitely what you want to aim for until they reach Toms suggested weight👍

Also for your night heat, don’t worry about ceramics if your house stays in the 60’s at night, I included those incase your place does go below that, you could always check with your temp gun at night once you set your enclosure before you get the tort🙂
So guys what to say im glad i met u. Thanks for the support. i will deinitely keep u posted when i build it and more importat when the lil turtle arrives (around 27 of july) Should i post final restults or other questions to reach for u here or just open another post?
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2023
Messages
1,466
Location (City and/or State)
UK
So guys what to say im glad i met u. Thanks for the support. i will deinitely keep u posted when i build it and more importat when the lil turtle arrives (around 27 of july) Should i post final restults or other questions to reach for u here or just open another post?
Can’t wait to follow your progress! I love seeing new members start their journey right with a new baby! I’m so glad you made your way here to help get set up properly🥰

You can either post here or a new thread, I’ll definitely be checking your updates either way😁very excited for you! Best of luck building the enclosure, can’t wait to see some photos!
 

Cicciof

New Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2024
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Torino
Can’t wait to follow your progress! I love seeing new members start their journey right with a new baby! I’m so glad you made your way here to help get set up properly🥰

You can either post here or a new thread, I’ll definitely be checking your updates either way😁very excited for you! Best of luck building the enclosure, can’t wait to see some photos!
i cant wai too. I'll reach for u in about 20 days. wish u the best
 
Top