Can I leave the heat lamp off for the night if the substrate is damp ?

Blue_The_Tort

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I got my 10 year old Russian tort a new substrate after I read how bad sand is for them. As I am from Ukraine I couldn’t find any coco coir or orchid bark which I heard are the best options for a grown Russian tort. I got the compressed coco husk which had to be soaked in water for it to expand. I tried to get it as dry as possible after but it’s still damp. When the heat lamp is on it’s okay but I’m scared to leave it off for the night as I’ve read that cold and moist environment for them can lead to problems. What should I do before I get to order the CHE bulb ?
 

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Maggie3fan

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Russian tortoises prefer it cooler at night. But you are correct about humidity and temperature. Your CHE should be on a timer and a rheostat set for abt 75 degrees.
 

TeamZissou

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Welcome

It's ok for the substrate to be damp. This is why many people use coco coir; it holds moisture well and increases the humidity of the enclosure. To my understanding, the coco husk in your picture is the same as coir, but just in a brick form. They can compress it more to make it easier to transport.

It's fine if the temperatures drop into the 18 C range at night as long as during the day they increase to about 27 C with a warmer basking area around 35 C. Cold and damp the entire time leads to respiratory problems.

This care sheet will answer a lot of your questions on the setup and other aspects:

 

Blue_The_Tort

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Russian tortoises prefer it cooler at night. But you are correct about humidity and temperature. Your CHE should be on a timer and a rheostat set for abt 75 degrees.
Thank you! I will be sure to do that when I get the CHE.
 

Blue_The_Tort

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Welcome

It's ok for the substrate to be damp. This is why many people use coco coir; it holds moisture well and increases the humidity of the enclosure. To my understanding, the coco husk in your picture is the same as coir, but just in a brick form. They can compress it more to make it easier to transport.

It's fine if the temperatures drop into the 18 C range at night as long as during the day they increase to about 27 C with a warmer basking area around 35 C. Cold and damp the entire time leads to respiratory problems.

This care sheet will answer a lot of your questions on the setup and other aspects:

Ok got it ! The temperature in the room is 26 C and on his basking spot the temp is 30/31 C. I’m still thinking if I need to temp to be higher and if so how could I make it higher? I will try to keep the temp in the room higher for the night before I get the CHE.
 

TeamZissou

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The temperatures are pretty close to what they need to be. A CHE is the main way to increase the ambient temperature in the enclosure. They are not practical to heat a large area in an open top enclosure. If the enclosure has an open top, it's tough to keep the temperatures stable.

Don't worry about keeping the heat high during the night. They can easily handle down to 18 C as long as it warms up during the day. If anything you can increase the room temp during the day.

You could use a slightly higher wattage basking lamp to increase the basking area a few more degrees. I use everything from a 30 W to 65 W depending on the season for the basking lamp.
 
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Blue_The_Tort

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The temperatures are pretty close to what they need to be. A CHE is the main way to increase the ambient temperature in the enclosure. They are not practical to heat a large area in an open top enclosure. If the enclosure has an open top, it's tough to keep the temperatures stable.

Don't worry about keeping the heat high during the night. They can easily handle down to 18 C as long as it warms up during the day. If anything you can increase the room temp during the day.

You could use a slightly higher wattage basking lamp to increase the basking area a few more degrees. I use everything from a 30 W to 65 W depending on the season for the basking lamp.
I have 50 W right now and I think it should be fine. I might get something a little higher as it is winter now. But thank you for your help !
 

TeamZissou

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If you have some yard space you should explore building an outdoor enclosure for the warmer months. Your tortoise would enjoy an outdoor enclosure with a minimum size of 3x2 m. You can bring him in during the colder months or brumate (hibernate) during. There are several threads on this on the forum. There's also an entire Russian tortoise subforum.
 
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Blue_The_Tort

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If you have some yard space you should explore building an outdoor enclosure for the warmer months. Your tortoise would enjoy an outdoor enclosure with a minimum size of 3x2 m. You can bring him in during the colder months or brumate (hibernate) during. There are several threads on this on the forum. There's also an entire Russian tortoise subforum.
Yes that’s the plan! I have a lot of garden space now so I think I’m gonna go all out for his outdoor enclosure. It gets pretty hot here during summer so it’s going to be perfect for him.
 

Tom

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I got my 10 year old Russian tort a new substrate after I read how bad sand is for them. As I am from Ukraine I couldn’t find any coco coir or orchid bark which I heard are the best options for a grown Russian tort. I got the compressed coco husk which had to be soaked in water for it to expand. I tried to get it as dry as possible after but it’s still damp. When the heat lamp is on it’s okay but I’m scared to leave it off for the night as I’ve read that cold and moist environment for them can lead to problems. What should I do before I get to order the CHE bulb ?
I agree with Team Zissou on all counts here. No need for night heat at your temps. The damp substrate is fine.
 

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