Any help please

nichola_johnson

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Hi all this is going to be a long post but bare with me please.

We had a RF called Sheldon about 5/6 months ago from a local shop in the UK. The vivarium was all set up and we were given a few instructions of what to feed and how to care for. We were told to leave the vivarium as was set up. Sheldon was always light and soft in the middle on bottom and drank lots of water which we now have read they shouldnt. We researched and fed fresh food with calcium on, bathed every few days, spritzed the vivarium. We thought we were doing everything we could but he didn't eat well, wouldn't open his eyes so we used to bath them open, unfortunately he died the other week and we had 2 very upset boys.

Since we have realised that the vivarium might not have been set up correctly and may have not been a well RF. It was set up with a habitat mat stat, ceramic bulb, and uvb compact bulb.

We have done more research and found this page.

We today have had a new RF (name still undecided) and brought new setup, cleaned vivarium and are starting again. We want to do everything right and we're so sad that we might not have been.

See picture regards to new set up, we have a uvb strip light, red basking bulb and heat mat. The new RF came with a set up guide and care sheet.

We have seen it says its best to run basking bulb with dimmer thermostat, so I have ordered one which is coming tomorrow, we have ordered timers for each plug and a new digital humidifier cage.

We want to make sure it is all set up correctly this time and we are doing everything right and to the best of our ability.

Does this look right? Is there anything we need to know?

We do use the tortoise table to help with food.

Thank u for reading and any help you can give. IMG_20211104_192224.jpg
 

Cherryshell

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Ink

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I don't think the red light is good for tortoise. I am not an expert so read the care sheet and experts will help you soon.
 

Maro2Bear

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A few quick things.

“Basking Lights” usually don’t work well when dimmed, they quickly burn out. It’s best to get the right wattage bulb & not dim it down.

Make sure to add lots of cover plants (like Pothos or Spider plants) so the tort can seek some shelter. Redfoots especially like to hide among the plants, not be out & exposed

Tortoises don’t do well with red spot bulbs, it apparently makes everything look like food & they eat substrate & other non-food items.

Both your food & water dish should be sunk down into the substrate so your tort doesnt have to climb up & over the edge to eat or drink. Terracotta saucers from the garden center make perfect food & water containers.

What kind of substrate are you using?

How are you heating & maintaining ambient temps?

There are some great care guides under the RF section. Give a shout if you can’t locate them.

Good luck & Happy Torting
 

nichola_johnson

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Hi and welcome to the forums!

You'll need to add a fair amount of cover as RFs come from an area with little direct sunlight.

What are the temps and humidity levels of the setup?

How often are you soaking and at what temp?

Read over the caresheet here for additional info: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-tortoise-care-sheet.175319/
Hi and welcome to the forums!

You'll need to add a fair amount of cover as RFs come from an area with little direct sunlight.

What are the temps and humidity levels of the setup?

How often are you soaking and at what temp?

Read over the caresheet here for additional info: https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-tortoise-care-sheet.175319/
The new RF only arrived tonight so this is just what we have done to get him in the vivarium from transport box.

We don't trust old humidity gauge so have order a digital one which comes tomorrow.

The dimmer thermostat comes tomorrow to regulate temperature better as the mat stat we were sold shouldn't be used with ceramic bulb.

We have been told to keep temperature between 85-90 degrees. I'm not sure what high humidity is I need to research once gauge arrives.

For cover would u use real plants or something else?

Thank you for the link I will read now.
 

nichola_johnson

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A few quick things.

“Basking Lights” usually don’t work well when dimmed, they quickly burn out. It’s best to get the right wattage bulb & not dim it down.

Make sure to add lots of cover plants (like Pothos or Spider plants) so the tort can seek some shelter. Redfoots especially like to hide among the plants, not be out & exposed

Tortoises don’t do well with red spot bulbs, it apparently makes everything look like food & they eat substrate & other non-food items.

Both your food & water dish should be sunk down into the substrate so your tort doesnt have to climb up & over the edge to eat or drink. Terracotta saucers from the garden center make perfect food & water containers.

What kind of substrate are you using?

How are you heating & maintaining ambient temps?

There are some great care guides under the RF section. Give a shout if you can’t locate them.

Good luck & Happy Torting
Thank you we have taken the red basking light out and put the ceramic one back in, that's great with the plant names I will get some this weekend.

I will sink the dishes now.

We have been told to use natural bark chips fine grade.

We will use the ceramic bulb to heat and tomorrow the dimmer stay by habitat arrives to control the temp.

I will have a good look through the guides now.

Does this sound OK and thank you for all your help and advice
 

ZEROPILOT

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I'm sorry.
I found your initial post to be somewhat confusing.
As for drinking. Redfoot DO drink a lot. They also like to soak in water pools and mud.
They're tropical tortoises.
Those screw-in UVB bulbs are garbage at best at providing useable UVB.And they've been known to be harmful to the eyes. You need a strip florescent UVB lamp. A Repisun T5 5.0 HO is what I use.
Without correct UVB exposure, (AND DIET) your tortoise will suffer from MBD. The fate that I'm theorizing might have killed your last RF.
You don't want a basking area. You want an ambient. (All over) temperature of 80 to 86f. With 82 to 84f being petfect.
No extra lighting is required. Redfoot find harsh lighting to be uncomfortable for them.
Your CHE are good for providing that warmth. Especially on a thermostat.
The humidity needs to be over 75% 24/7. The best way to accomplish this is by closing the enclosure top to make a "closed chamber". And using a substrate such as Orchid bark that will absorb water when you pour it in. Give off humidity as it evaporates and leaves the bark relatively dry to the touch. Not soggy.
The diet can and must be varied.
Redfoot have the largest menu of any species. So mix it up. Use it to your advantage.
Feed fruit, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, flowers, eggs and raw meat, cactus, etc.
Please explain to us in better detail your past husbandry. Hopefully we can provide your next tortoise a better life.
 

Humbug & Maz

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Welcome from the UK (not too far from you!) and I am so glad you asked advice on here as (I learned) no point asking reptile and pet shops, they give the wrong advice including substrate and lights and just how much room tortoises need! The experts on here will help you though and I wish you well with you little one :<3:
 

nichola_johnson

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Welcome from the UK (not too far from you!) and I am so glad you asked advice on here as (I learned) no point asking reptile and pet shops, they give the wrong advice including substrate and lights and just how much room tortoises need! The experts on here will help you though and I wish you well with you little one :<3:
Thank you yes the local shops have given us terrible advise and equipment and it sounds like some of the things that have come with the new one are still wrong.

We so want to do it right as we were so sad we had done it wrong without realising it. I'm so happy with any information that can help us to do it right this time ❤️
 

nichola_johnson

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I'm sorry.
I found your initial post to be somewhat confusing.
As for drinking. Redfoot DO drink a lot. They also like to soak in water pools and mud.
They're tropical tortoises.
Those screw-in UVB bulbs are garbage at best at providing useable UVB.And they've been known to be harmful to the eyes. You need a strip florescent UVB lamp. A Repisun T5 5.0 HO is what I use.
Without correct UVB exposure, (AND DIET) your tortoise will suffer from MBD. The fate that I'm theorizing might have killed your last RF.
You don't want a basking area. You want an ambient. (All over) temperature of 80 to 86f. With 82 to 84f being petfect.
No extra lighting is required. Redfoot find harsh lighting to be uncomfortable for them.
Your CHE are good for providing that warmth. Especially on a thermostat.
The humidity needs to be over 75% 24/7. The best way to accomplish this is by closing the enclosure top to make a "closed chamber". And using a substrate such as Orchid bark that will absorb water when you pour it in. Give off humidity as it evaporates and leaves the bark relatively dry to the touch. Not soggy.
The diet can and must be varied.
Redfoot have the largest menu of any species. So mix it up. Use it to your advantage.
Feed fruit, green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, flowers, eggs and raw meat, cactus, etc.
Please explain to us in better detail your past husbandry. Hopefully we can provide your next tortoise a better life.
The drinking little water was on the care sheet that came today so just goes to show the very varied information we keep being given. I so wish I had found this forum before.

The coil uvb is out and a strip one is in now which is a arcadia 5% 25w forest uvb strip now.

I don't know what mbd means sorry.

Once comes tomorrow we will be using the following
Habistat dimmer thermostat with a ceramic bulb to give heat, the above mentioned uvb bulb.

Do we still need the heat mat for at night or not?

We have a digital humidity guage coming tomorrow to install and monitor this.

We are using fine grade orchid bark as the substrate, spritzing each day. If we pour in water in the corners as per the car guide I read on here earlier, how often should we do this?

With regards to food we were mixing it up with different things, I will list so you can see. Is this what you mean by husbandry?

Kale, lambs lettuce, gem lettuce, watermelon, banana, apple, strawberry, blue berries, cucumber, courgette, mushrooms, raw chicken but only a few times with calcium

Thank you so much for the help
 

ZEROPILOT

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The drinking little water was on the care sheet that came today so just goes to show the very varied information we keep being given. I so wish I had found this forum before.

The coil uvb is out and a strip one is in now which is a arcadia 5% 25w forest uvb strip now.

I don't know what mbd means sorry.

Once comes tomorrow we will be using the following
Habistat dimmer thermostat with a ceramic bulb to give heat, the above mentioned uvb bulb.

Do we still need the heat mat for at night or not?

We have a digital humidity guage coming tomorrow to install and monitor this.

We are using fine grade orchid bark as the substrate, spritzing each day. If we pour in water in the corners as per the car guide I read on here earlier, how often should we do this?

With regards to food we were mixing it up with different things, I will list so you can see. Is this what you mean by husbandry?

Kale, lambs lettuce, gem lettuce, watermelon, banana, apple, strawberry, blue berries, cucumber, courgette, mushrooms, raw chicken but only a few times with calcium

Thank you so much for the help
Everything seems pretty spot on.
MBD is metabolic bone disease.
You can use a CHE day and night if required as it reliably gives off warmth with no light.
And no. No heat mat needed. These are primarily for very large surface areas and mostly used in outdoors night pens.
 

Humbug & Maz

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You found this forum and there are so many experts on here. I feel for you but honestly now you have asked advice on here then you can get things going in the right way. The very fact you have ASKED on here shows how much you want to get things right for you tort and I truly appreciate the value of the advice on the experts on this forum ?
 

ZEROPILOT

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You found this forum and there are so many experts on here. I feel for you but honestly now you have asked advice on here then you can get things going in the right way. The very fact you have ASKED on here shows how much you want to get things right for you tort and I truly appreciate the value of the advice on the experts on this forum ?
I'm no expert. Just a guy that tries to keep people from having to learn the hard way from my own experience.
 
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