Baby Hermanns tortoise

Tianna002

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Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington TX
Hello! I am new to tortoise keeping and am hearing a quiet popping sound from my tortoise.

I bought a baby hermanns from a reptile expo about 3 months ago. And I was so excited I forgot to ask what his/her hatching date is. Im not sure on the gender yet but have been calling him a boy. I’m assuming he is now about 6 months old. I am debating on getting pet insurance or to start a vet visit money stash. But regardless would like to take him to the vet every so often for checkups.

He seems healthy but the popping sound is starting to worry me. I noticed it a few days after I got him. And it seems to happen at random times, I don’t notice it when he eats, just when I pick him up to give him a bath I hear it and if I get close to him I can hear it, not sure if he’s doing it more as it is pretty quiet so can’t hear it from far away.

I hope it is nothing to worry about but my dear chameleon passed away last week so I’ve been really keeping an eye on my tortoise to make sure he’s okay. I attached some photos and put my hand in one so you can see just how small this cutie is ☺

While taking these pictures I did not hear any popping.

A03233B9-D59C-4690-834E-7346856CE289.jpeg AEDF0810-EC2F-4D47-B105-81B3731DB3D9.jpeg image.jpg image.jpg
 

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TeamZissou

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Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
705
Location (City and/or State)
Albuquerque, NM
Your tortoise most likely has the early signs of an upper respiratory infection. In your case, this is likely due to your enclosure temperatures. The open topped setup you have with only a single light bulb that produces heat is likely too cold. Your tortoise needs to be kept warm, with a temperature of about 95 F under the basking lamp. The way you have it now with the clamp lamp doesn't give the tortoise a chance to get warm. Now that he probably has an upper respiratory infection, you need to keep him in the 90 F range at all times to help it go away.

Here are other things to change ASAP:
  • The lamp also needs to hang straight down and not at an angle. The wattage of the bulb and height of the lamp need to be changed to reach the 95F under the lamp. The clamp lamps are also a fire hazard. Ceramic socket lamps are needed for reptiles. The plastic base lamp that you have runs the risk of melting. You can get ceramic based lamps at Home Depot for about $13. Look for "brooder lamps".
  • The coil bulb needs to go. They burn tortoises eyes and do not produce much UV.
Your tortoise will be much better off in a 'closed chamber' that keeps heat and humidity in. Humidity is critical for preventing pyramiding of the shell and good for overall health.

This is all detailed in this care sheet:

 

Tianna002

New Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington TX
Your tortoise most likely has the early signs of an upper respiratory infection. In your case, this is likely due to your enclosure temperatures. The open topped setup you have with only a single light bulb that produces heat is likely too cold. Your tortoise needs to be kept warm, with a temperature of about 95 F under the basking lamp. The way you have it now with the clamp lamp doesn't give the tortoise a chance to get warm. Now that he probably has an upper respiratory infection, you need to keep him in the 90 F range at all times to help it go away.

Here are other things to change ASAP:
  • The lamp also needs to hang straight down and not at an angle. The wattage of the bulb and height of the lamp need to be changed to reach the 95F under the lamp. The clamp lamps are also a fire hazard.
  • The coil bulb needs to go. They burn tortoises eyes and do not produce much UV.
Your tortoise will be much better off in a 'closed chamber' that keeps heat and humidity in. Humidity is critical for preventing pyramiding of the shell and good for overall health.

This is all detailed in this care sheet:

Oh my gosh thank you! I will be sure to chance those things right away! Not sure why that coil bulb didn't come up in my research!
 

TeamZissou

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
705
Location (City and/or State)
Albuquerque, NM
A lot of the care info out there is bad. T5 HO tube-type fluorescent tubes are the best and don't cause the eye damage.

The linked thread is extensive and has what you need to know. Be sure to keep your tortoise warm. In good health, they can handle down into the 60's at night, but during the day they need to be able to warm up with a basking spot of 95F and the rest of the enclosure at about 80 F. Cool conditions lead to respiratory infections.

For basking bulbs, you can use regular incandescent flood bulbs (not spot bulbs) from Home Depot. 65W is a good place to start.
 

Tianna002

New Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington TX
A lot of the care info out there is bad. T5 HO tube-type fluorescent tubes are the best and don't cause the eye damage.

The linked thread is extensive and has what you need to know. Be sure to keep your tortoise warm. In good health, they can handle down into the 60's at night, but during the day they need to be able to warm up with a basking spot of 95F and the rest of the enclosure at about 80 F. Cool conditions lead to respiratory infections.

For basking bulbs, you can use regular incandescent flood bulbs (not spot bulbs) from Home Depot. 65W is a good place to start.
Thank you so much, I read the entire care sheet that you linked and will be making changes to my enclosure! Glad I decided to make this post today so I can fix it early on.
 

TeamZissou

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
705
Location (City and/or State)
Albuquerque, NM
Me too. I hope your little guy gets better. I would keep the heat up, around 85F for a couple weeks and hopefully he will stop making the clicking noise.

Feel free to ask any other questions you may have.
 
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