Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
Most breeders do not start them correctly. They keep them too dry, and it does irreversible damage. This damage doesn't kill them for weeks or months. They eat, walk around, bask and all seems fine, until the decline begins. If you bought one of these dry started babies, which is almost all of them from most of the breeders around the country, there is nothing you could have done. The lack of growth is a tell tale sign. Read this:
Thank you for sharing and I had read it from other posts. It’s sad and a shame…

But Henry is Not dead! He seems to be doing better and I’m going to continue to try and help him recover. I’m not giving up on him…or me.

I’m trying to find out if I can at least get it better by using plexiglass or getting a greenhouse. The latter is huge but I don’t care-he can share my office with me. I was ready to order last night but was hoping to find out if there’s a better and/or less expensive way.

I read through your old thread from 2010 about when you started using the closed chambers. I saw some ideas on tubs which I have handy but don’t know how to set up all the lighting/wires etc. I also saw that I think It was Yvonne @oldtimer ? said she covers the whole enclosure with aluminum foil. I wonder about the reflectivity if it could overheat or hurt their eyes but I’m desperate to get him better and getting the humidity right is the main problem this newbie can identify. I think I’m going to try it now and just watch the temp until I hear more from you guys.

The only other thing that I think I’ll try is putting his lighting on an earlier schedule. I’m a night owl with sleeping problems so he’s been on more of my schedule about 11am-10pm. I don’t know if that could affect his health but I’ll try anything.
 
Last edited:

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
I also have a 20 gallon long aquarium that I used for a Thanksgiving road trip with a screen top. Would it be better to use/cover that? I don’t think it’s tall enough to put everything inside and again with the wiring questions. I live alone, don’t have power tools, and not the handiest person. Crafts and arts but not a builder. And obviously new to torts and reptiles in general.
 

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
@Lyn W Do you or @Yvonne G have any thoughts or suggestions please?

I should have maybe started a new thread so everyone could see and comment? I’m not very familiar with how TFO works so didn’t want to create a new thread when this one seemed applicable. Thank you!
 

mastershake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
534
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
you will never be able to keep a proper temp gradient with a 20 gallon. aquariums are really not recc at all for them honestly. personally we use planter bed setups for them here with a greenhouse type cover. we have excellent luck with them and they grow out nice and smooth. you can get a decent one that is around 3x4ft which is really the smallest i recc honestly anyway. we use larger ones here. they will out grow 3x4ft fairly quickly. all you need for these is a plywood base from any home store and a shower curtain liner (one without ANY anti mold or bacterial costings just a plain old one) or a pond liner will last a lot longer but is a bit more money. they come with the frame for the top which is perfect to hold lights. you need a t5 uvb tube style light and i use a daytime heat bulb on one side and the night time che's on the other so they are always 80def f ALL the time ambient and they have a basking spot between 95-100deg. this is all very important IF you want to even think about getting them better IF they can be, like tom said and its sad but sometimes people fight a loosing battle with these guys and no matter how much you do in the end it doesnt help. and if you have the right setup and proper care then it is not your fault if the breeder where they came from did not start them right.
 

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
you will never be able to keep a proper temp gradient with a 20 gallon. aquariums are really not recc at all for them honestly. personally we use planter bed setups for them here with a greenhouse type cover. we have excellent luck with them and they grow out nice and smooth. you can get a decent one that is around 3x4ft which is really the smallest i recc honestly anyway. we use larger ones here. they will out grow 3x4ft fairly quickly. all you need for these is a plywood base from any home store and a shower curtain liner (one without ANY anti mold or bacterial costings just a plain old one) or a pond liner will last a lot longer but is a bit more money. they come with the frame for the top which is perfect to hold lights. you need a t5 uvb tube style light and i use a daytime heat bulb on one side and the night time che's on the other so they are always 80def f ALL the time ambient and they have a basking spot between 95-100deg. this is all very important IF you want to even think about getting them better IF they can be, like tom said and its sad but sometimes people fight a loosing battle with these guys and no matter how much you do in the end it doesnt help. and if you have the right setup and proper care then it is not your fault if the breeder where they came from did not start them right.
Oh this is fantastic information! I’m not sure how he was started and I hope I’m not fighting a losing battle. But I’m not going to assume we’re doomed yet and if, and I hope not, but if he should end up passing I’ll have things set up correctly from the beginning and I would turn to TFO for finding a new tort when I’m ready.

I have a T5 10.0 HO uv tube light in route for delivery, have the CHE (is that ok to use during the day too if it’s not warm enough?), and my basking gets warmer than that so need to raise a little.

For the greenhouse setup you mentioned “they” come with a frame for the top that’s perfect for hanging lights. Are you referring to the pool liner having a frame? I don’t mind extra expense if it’s better and needed (I made sure to wait and get a tort when I was financially stable). The greenhouses I found on Amazon were 4’x4’ or 5’x5’ and were $150-$200. I’ll go get the plywood and liner for sure…today!! But wouldn’t the liner be huge for a pool? Do you cut it down? Thank you!
 

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
you will never be able to keep a proper temp gradient with a 20 gallon. aquariums are really not recc at all for them honestly. personally we use planter bed setups for them here with a greenhouse type cover. we have excellent luck with them and they grow out nice and smooth. you can get a decent one that is around 3x4ft which is really the smallest i recc honestly anyway. we use larger ones here. they will out grow 3x4ft fairly quickly. all you need for these is a plywood base from any home store and a shower curtain liner (one without ANY anti mold or bacterial costings just a plain old one) or a pond liner will last a lot longer but is a bit more money. they come with the frame for the top which is perfect to hold lights. you need a t5 uvb tube style light and i use a daytime heat bulb on one side and the night time che's on the other so they are always 80def f ALL the time ambient and they have a basking spot between 95-100deg. this is all very important IF you want to even think about getting them better IF they can be, like tom said and its sad but sometimes people fight a loosing battle with these guys and no matter how much you do in the end it doesnt help. and if you have the right setup and proper care then it is not your fault if the breeder where they came from did not start them right.
And do you happen to have a picture of one of those set up so I can visualize how it should look?
 

mastershake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
534
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
these are the less expensive ones with the cover (they sell these under many brands on amazon most are all the same thing just a different name brand on them some cheaper then this some more expensive) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083B935Z5/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

i use the lifetime branded ones normally but they do cost more and are a lot bigger then those. they work the same way. you get a piece of UNTREATED plywood and then put the metal frame on it then set in a liner over the wood and up the sides then add the substrate to it. here is a pic of one from here this was right after adding fresh substrate and nothing was really in place yet so ignore the hide in the middle lol. they were outside getting sun when i was cleaning this one. the middle light is the uvb 2 of the domes are daytime and 2 are nighttime. i use a small cat pan upside down for hides when they are small. the cover here was not pulled down all the way (again we were cleaning it) you want no gaps for the humidity to escape around the sides. we have also since switched to only using pond liners instead of the curtain liner in that pic due to them being black and they last a lot longer
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20181112_214609.jpg
    IMG_20181112_214609.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 9

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
these are the less expensive ones with the cover (they sell these under many brands on amazon most are all the same thing just a different name brand on them some cheaper then this some more expensive) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083B935Z5/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

i use the lifetime branded ones normally but they do cost more and are a lot bigger then those. they work the same way. you get a piece of UNTREATED plywood and then put the metal frame on it then set in a liner over the wood and up the sides then add the substrate to it. here is a pic of one from here this was right after adding fresh substrate and nothing was really in place yet so ignore the hide in the middle lol. they were outside getting sun when i was cleaning this one. the middle light is the uvb 2 of the domes are daytime and 2 are nighttime. i use a small cat pan upside down for hides when they are small. the cover here was not pulled down all the way (again we were cleaning it) you want no gaps for the humidity to escape around the sides. we have also since switched to only using pond liners instead of the curtain liner in that pic due to them being black and they last a lot longer
This is awesome!! Thank you SO much! I didn’t realize it came with both the planter and greenhouse.
I’m wondering if maybe I should return the tort table (I have 10 more days to do it) and just use this setup for the full enclosure? I currently have mine on a table (but it’s almost an exact fit w/o extra room on the sides) and I like it better than the floor but definitely not required. I see they have a similar setup with the table height beds but the frames look like they don’t have the cross bar in the center making it more challenging to hang the lights. I like that your frame makes the X for hanging but I think I can put the basking light and CHE at each end of the UV tube light. I’m guessing I’ll need some zip ties or something to attach the lights.
This is incredibly helpful! Thank you!
 

mastershake

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
534
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
This is awesome!! Thank you SO much! I didn’t realize it came with both the planter and greenhouse.
I’m wondering if maybe I should return the tort table (I have 10 more days to do it) and just use this setup for the full enclosure? I currently have mine on a table (but it’s almost an exact fit w/o extra room on the sides) and I like it better than the floor but definitely not required. I see they have a similar setup with the table height beds but the frames look like they don’t have the cross bar in the center making it more challenging to hang the lights. I like that your frame makes the X for hanging but I think I can put the basking light and CHE at each end of the UV tube light. I’m guessing I’ll need some zip ties or something to attach the lights.
This is incredibly helpful! Thank you!
i dont like tort tables. unless you buy a top for them they hardly hold any humidity. and they are not very well sealed wood and tend to get nasty over time. these can also go up on the table the liner will make it water proof either style planter bed makes hanging them super easy. the top on from amazon you hang a 24" uvb in the center and one dome on each side of it. the ones we use have the x pattern and you can do it the way we do. the ones we use do cost more but they are virtually indestructible lol. this is the one we use it comes with 2 layers and the dome https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lifetim...m7zvHNEtg74f1NwxIGwaApCzEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
 

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
i dont like tort tables. unless you buy a top for them they hardly hold any humidity. and they are not very well sealed wood and tend to get nasty over time. these can also go up on the table the liner will make it water proof either style planter bed makes hanging them super easy. the top on from amazon you hang a 24" uvb in the center and one dome on each side of it. the ones we use have the x pattern and you can do it the way we do. the ones we use do cost more but they are virtually indestructible lol. this is the one we use it comes with 2 layers and the dome https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lifetim...m7zvHNEtg74f1NwxIGwaApCzEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
Thank you so very much for the links and ALL of your help. I appreciate it more than you know! Henry does too. ??
 

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
i dont like tort tables. unless you buy a top for them they hardly hold any humidity. and they are not very well sealed wood and tend to get nasty over time. these can also go up on the table the liner will make it water proof either style planter bed makes hanging them super easy. the top on from amazon you hang a 24" uvb in the center and one dome on each side of it. the ones we use have the x pattern and you can do it the way we do. the ones we use do cost more but they are virtually indestructible lol. this is the one we use it comes with 2 layers and the dome https://www.homedepot.com/p/Lifetim...m7zvHNEtg74f1NwxIGwaApCzEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
I noticed you have 2 each of the basking light and CHE in your 4x4 enclosure. I ordered the one you sent me the link for that’s 4x3. In addition to the uv tube in the middle, do you think I should have 2 of each or at least 2 CHE? It’s hard for me to judge what I’ll need with one that’s closed/covered.

Also I have both more individual domes coming since I’ve seen deep domes don’t seem to be popular on here. I am wondering if a double fixture would be better for one of both ends to have CHE on both sides and the other outlets for the basking light and either a daytime ambient light or a nighttime “moonlight” that doesn’t affect their circadian rhythm (more for viewing at night I think and probably not necessary). I’m not sure if they would hang perpendicular to the bar on the frame?
 

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
Hi. Thought I’d give you an update. And a couple more questions.

The greenhouse enclosure’s coming Friday now so great, my uv tube light tomorrow (stopped using the mvb 2 weeks ago), and I have everything else that’s been recommended now. The last thing is getting the plywood bottom tomorrow.

I’ve continued doing baby food soaks 2-3 times a day. So Henry didn’t eat a couple more days, but he’s been perking up for a little while the last couple days and ate just a little bit of food-but it was lettuce/leaves mostly. A tiny bit of aloe. I got a mister two days ago and it works great! Much better than the humidifier I tried and much more like light rain. It gets to 80-95% and stays up a few hours and I repeat to keep it up.

I’m obviously still worried about him not eating. I was able to get a closer look when he opening and closing his mouth and clicking (like my bad tmj). It looks like his mouth meets and then his under jaw appears to be sliding under the top one. Almost like biting down and teeth clapping together without food in there (I know they don’t have real teeth lol). So looking at it he might be starting to get a beak but from what I read here that shouldn’t affect him eating, right? I don’t know if that’s the cause of the clicking. Maybe he’s perking up from the good humidity, the baby food soaks, or something else but I know he’s not healthy yet.

I’ve been trying to give him super soft things in case it’s easier for him to eat but that’s not helping his beak. I didn’t know that’s why I have a slate. He doesn’t touch the cuttlebone. The other weird thing is he used to be surprisingly accurate when eating and now he’s often an inch away or sometimes not even around food. Is this normal? I even wondered if he could be blind. He rubs his eyes a lot too.

Thoughts please?
 

Henry’s mom

Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2021
Messages
94
Location (City and/or State)
Tampa FL
The first two pictures are so you can see his beak and the other two I think are cute…was trying to see if he’d eat some and he did a little bit.
 

Attachments

  • 2C9AECE2-278F-471F-897C-B3B0F2D3EEA9.jpeg
    2C9AECE2-278F-471F-897C-B3B0F2D3EEA9.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 7
  • 2CE7882A-18D2-4F3B-8B0F-F1B26AC391DA.jpeg
    2CE7882A-18D2-4F3B-8B0F-F1B26AC391DA.jpeg
    1.9 MB · Views: 6
  • C6BC454F-33C5-4720-B580-2FBDCB3E830D.jpeg
    C6BC454F-33C5-4720-B580-2FBDCB3E830D.jpeg
    1.9 MB · Views: 7
  • ABEF28E5-6232-4FA7-9DD7-0C00D7F82CE6.jpeg
    ABEF28E5-6232-4FA7-9DD7-0C00D7F82CE6.jpeg
    1.2 MB · Views: 7

New Posts

Top