Am I doing it right?

KimmyP

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I'm a new neurotic owner. I put her light on at 8am, around half ten I give her a bath for ten minutes while I change her water and sort her food for the day. After her bath I put her next to her breakfast and she usually eats really well. If by tea time I've not noticed she's been over to her water I'll stand her in it and let her get out when she wants. I refresh her food and get her out for a play for a while and lights go out at ten pm. Is there anything else I should be doing?
 

JoesMum

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I'd increase the length of the soak. Twenty minutes is needed for it to be effective.

I'd also get yourself a timer for the lights so they come on and go off automatically. This means you can go out or have a lie in without having to worry! :)

Have we seen pictures of your enclosure to give it a once over?
 

KimmyP

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Thanks for the advice. Not the best photo but the table is 60cm square, the white bit is her cool zone home, the substrate is a top soil/play sand mix. I've got a digital thermometer to keep a check on the temp and the lamp can be moved up and down if it gets too hot or cold.

IMG_20161126_113304.jpg
 
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JoesMum

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Hi

You have a tiny baby Hermann's and for it to grow healthily humidity of 50-70% is needed. Is the roof enclosed?

Those reptile food bowls don't suit tortoises. They're hard for them to use and also a tipping hazard. Use a terracotta plant saucer (cheap from B&Q and the like) for water and a piece of flat rock or slate for food (this helps with beak maintenance too)

A piece of cuttlebone (from the bird aisle of any pet shop) will give your tort a source of calcium and help its beak too.

Because I'm out and trying to reply from my phone, can I ask you to read the following if you haven't already and compare what they say with you setup. I'll be back later :)

Beginner Mistakes
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Care of Baby Testudo (written for Russians but applies to Hermann's)
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...or-other-herbivorous-tortoise-species.107734/
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Let her out for a play ?
In the house ? if so this is not recommended, the humidity and temperatures can't be controlled and there are just too many potential hazards from small objects to dustbunnies and drafts.
You need a closed chamber to keep in your humidity and the enclosure will need to be larger.
Don't use the sand, it's an impaction risk if swallowed.
 

KimmyP

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The enclosure is going to be much larger, I got given her with only 24 hours notice so just made this one very simply, I'm struggling with a broken foot at the moment but we will get sorted properly soon. I spray the substrate with water a couple of times a day to help with humidity but don't have a sensor yet. The enclosure isn't covered at all so I'll look into that more. Thanks for the advice on the bowls, I'll sort that out today. When I say I get her out to play I mean I handle her on my lap for ten minutes or so then put her back. No wonder I'm neurotic this is scary stuff, i really want to do right by her. She was kept in a small plastic box with garden soil in it before she came to me, not sure how she made it this far. So no sand, is top soil on its own OK?
 

Tidgy's Dad

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The enclosure is going to be much larger, I got given her with only 24 hours notice so just made this one very simply, I'm struggling with a broken foot at the moment but we will get sorted properly soon. I spray the substrate with water a couple of times a day to help with humidity but don't have a sensor yet. The enclosure isn't covered at all so I'll look into that more. Thanks for the advice on the bowls, I'll sort that out today. When I say I get her out to play I mean I handle her on my lap for ten minutes or so then put her back. No wonder I'm neurotic this is scary stuff, i really want to do right by her. She was kept in a small plastic box with garden soil in it before she came to me, not sure how she made it this far. So no sand, is top soil on its own OK?
Spraying won't do it, you need to pour water directly into the substrate and mix it in by hand.
Topsoil is fine if absolutely chemical free, but recommended substrates are coco coir, orchid bark and cypress mulch.
 

Gillian M

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A very warm welcome to the forum. :)

What a gorgeous little tort you have. :D GOD bless.
 

Tom

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Adam and Joe's Mum offered good tips above. I would add that sand and soil are not good substrates. As was mentioned, sand is a big impaction risk and possible skin and eye irritant. Soil is no good because you cannot know what composted material it is made of. Is it harmless leaves and weeds, or is it oleander and azaleas? Is it made from composted grass clippings recently treated with weed n' feed? No way to know, so I just skip it. Soil is also very messy when wet. It turns to mud.

I prefer to use coco coir for baby Testudo. It can be found at any pet shop or ordered in bulk at a much cheaper price at a garden center. If that doesn't suit you, then fine grade orchid bark, aka fir bark, works well too.

Also, I prefer for my lights to go on and off closer to when the sun goes up and down. For winter, we still need at least 12 hours, so something like 7am to 8pm works well. Timers are definitely the way to go here.
 

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