First timer advice!

RedFootTortAz

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Hello everyone! I just wanted to start by thanking you for taking the time to read this.
Recently my family and I built a 3x5 tortoise table and adopted a baby red footed tortoise. We are using most sphagnum peat moss, mixed with some reptibark for a different texture in some areas. For water we are using 3 of the shallow water catchers used with potted plants. As well as a bigger planter half buried on its side for a hideout. We have a 100w UVB light that is approximately 2-2.5 feet away from one half of the table and on the other side a 100w ceramic heating light that is approximately two feet high. We are determined to take the best care we can of our newest family member.
All feedback is welcome. I wanted any tips or advice to help us give our tortoise the best life we can. Thank you!
 

Magz

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I don't keep Redfoots, but it is my belief that they live on the forest floor, so 100 watt UVB bulb might not be necessary and might be too much for a baby. If your tort can get 3 or 4 hours of sunlight a week, you wouldn't need a UVB light. They like dim light. Considering the state you live in, direct sun with a shady spot is way hot, so be careful. You'll get advice from Redfoot experts soon...welcome
 

ArmadilloPup

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Welcome!

If you can switch out the heat lamp for a CHE, less lighting will be more comfortable. I recommend popping in on the South American tortoises section and posting a picture of your setup and your temp/humidity. "Table" is kind of a dirty word for some of us, since baby redfoots need very high humidity, so you may get mixed responses. Don't be discouraged :)

When I started, I used moss as well. I never had an issue with them ingesting it, but if food or poo sticks to it, it does start to mold and get mucky. Consider removing it at least from the food area, and remove it a little bit more over time as the constant humidity causes it to degrade. If you can add several inches of organic soil (no perlite) under the bark, your baby will burrow down and be cozy during those long naps!
 

RedFootTortAz

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Welcome!

If you can switch out the heat lamp for a CHE, less lighting will be more comfortable. I recommend popping in on the South American tortoises section and posting a picture of your setup and your temp/humidity. "Table" is kind of a dirty word for some of us, since baby redfoots need very high humidity, so you may get mixed responses. Don't be discouraged :)

When I started, I used moss as well. I never had an issue with them ingesting it, but if food or poo sticks to it, it does start to mold and get mucky. Consider removing it at least from the food area, and remove it a little bit more over time as the constant humidity causes it to degrade. If you can add several inches of organic soil (no perlite) under the bark, your baby will burrow down and be cozy during those long naps!

Thank you for the help! I will post there as well. I also have a CHE and should have been more clear on the setup!
 

ZEROPILOT

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For UVB, get yourself a T5 5.0 ho fixture like this.
Redfoot do not do well in harsh lights and that 100 watt is harsh.
 

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I would also ditch the heat lamp. Again. Too much light.
Use one or two CHE instead
 

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Lastly, you will forever fight to get and keep the humidity your Redfoot needs with an open topped enclosure.
Closing off most of it, creating a "closed chamber" enclosure is what you're going to need.
1) 80 to 88 degrees
2) uvb light only. No other lights.
3) over 70% humidity
Water always available and places to hide.
Varied diet including fruit, flowers, mushrooms, greens, protein, etc.
 

RedFootTortAz

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Lastly, you will forever fight to get and keep the humidity your Redfoot needs with an open topped enclosure.
Closing off most of it, creating a "closed chamber" enclosure is what you're going to need.
1) 80 to 88 degrees
2) uvb light only. No other lights.
3) over 70% humidity
Water always available and places to hide.
Varied diet including fruit, flowers, mushrooms, greens, protein, etc.

thank you so much for the help! We currently have one CHE but plan on getting a second to help with warmth. For UVB our tortoises home is directly in front of a window that gets indirect light all day. I posted in South American tortoises as well and someone said the indirect light from the window mixed with a few hours of sunshine outside would be enough for our baby Redfoot. Do you think this is accurate? Thank you again.
 

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Magz

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thank you so much for the help! We currently have one CHE but plan on getting a second to help with warmth. For UVB our tortoises home is directly in front of a window that gets indirect light all day. I posted in South American tortoises as well and someone said the indirect light from the window mixed with a few hours of sunshine outside would be enough for our baby Redfoot. Do you think this is accurate? Thank you again.
No UVB passes thru glass...
 

Toddrickfl1

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thank you so much for the help! We currently have one CHE but plan on getting a second to help with warmth. For UVB our tortoises home is directly in front of a window that gets indirect light all day. I posted in South American tortoises as well and someone said the indirect light from the window mixed with a few hours of sunshine outside would be enough for our baby Redfoot. Do you think this is accurate? Thank you again.
Yes, as long as your tort gets outside a few hours occasionally. Uvb doesn't pass thru glass.
 

Pastel Tortie

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You can save yourself some headaches, worry, and guesswork if you go ahead and put the CHE(s) on a thermostat.

Zilla makes temperature controllers that are super easy to use. Shop around for best prices, and make note of the wattage and number of outlets. Go with the 1000W if you can find it.
 

ZEROPILOT

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thank you so much for the help! We currently have one CHE but plan on getting a second to help with warmth. For UVB our tortoises home is directly in front of a window that gets indirect light all day. I posted in South American tortoises as well and someone said the indirect light from the window mixed with a few hours of sunshine outside would be enough for our baby Redfoot. Do you think this is accurate? Thank you again.
Like has already been said.
No useable UVB gets through glass or plastic.
A few hours a week outside is adequate.
Your life just got easier! You don't need a UVB Lamp. Probably just the light already in the room is good enough visible light.
Being near that window will provide heat to some extent. Depending on the window type. And level of sunlight outside.
 
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