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Heat Matt? Lamp?

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosure Lighting' started by janebartley, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. janebartley

    janebartley Member

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    Hello, so we just got our baby horsefield today and have set everything up, the lady in the shop said we have to have a heat mat in the enclosed part of the table, and to put it on the floor with the substrate above it, but since getting home I've been reading on a lot of sites that say they aren't needed or could be dangerous on the floor and could burn the tort!? So I'm abit confused as to what to do, there is also a funny bit of glass which we assumed is to put the heat Matt on the floor and feed the wire through to keep seperate so it can't cause any harm, I'm attatching some pictures

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    Darkjade, Kendra North and Tort dude like this.
  2. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum!
    Sadly, you have been the victim of pet store misinformation. Please give these a read and come back with questions.-
    Russian Tortoise Care Sheet
    https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Russian-Tortoise-Care-Sheet.80698/
    Beginner Mistakes
    https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/
    Your substrate has to go. It holds no humidity, and is dangerous because of the bits of limestone that encourage it to eat the substrate.
    Tortoises cannot use heat mats, because they do not have heat receptors on their bellies and are easily burnt.
    Could we see a pic of your enclosure?
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  3. janebartley

    janebartley Member

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    Oh no I feel awful now! She said to deanitely use this substrate cause of how young the tortoise is, argh I'm so annoyed cause I really left feeling like i had everything sorted! I'll post a few now, Thankyou for your reply!
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  4. janebartley

    janebartley Member

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    We are getting a custom built table but this is for now

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  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    You are not alone. Pet shops give the same terrible advice and sell the wrong products all over the world.

    Glad you found us, and your tortoise will be too.
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  6. janebartley

    janebartley Member

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    I should have joined this before hand, I'm glad I've got some good advice though. What would you reccomend to be the best substrate to use at the moment (12-16 weeks)? and should I just completely take the heat mat out? I've turned it off as soon as I read it shouldn't be used to be on the safe side.
  7. janebartley

    janebartley Member

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    I think we were both trusting in her as she said she used to have tortoises herself but just goes to show just cause you've owned them doesn't mean you know what your doing
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  8. Tort dude

    Tort dude Member

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    horsefields dont need humidity it is very bad for them in fact
  9. janebartley

    janebartley Member

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    What about coconut coir as a substrate?
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  10. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Horse fields DO need humidity as babies, and this person has a baby. And humidity is not bad for them, in fact it is beneficial, but not necessary. If you do choose to put in unnecessary humidity, you must make sure that the temps are higher. It will not harm adults, but it is not necessary.
    All tortoises need a moist substrate so that they can create their own microclimates when burrowing.
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  11. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Coconut coir makes a pretty good substrate, but fine grade orchid bark is better. You can also find it as reptibark or fir bark, and I think the biggest bag of reptile bark would be enough for your enclosure.
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  12. janebartley

    janebartley Member

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    Thankyou so much, going to get some tomorrow and swap it straight over. Am i right that the temperature under the heat lamp should be 35 degrees c?
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  13. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Yep!
  14. janebartley

    janebartley Member

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    That's good! Im not sure if I have any other questions apart from about cuttle bone? How do I go about positioning it ect? I just want to make sure I get everything right for him/her (another question is it true you won't know their sex until full maturity?)
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  15. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    I just leave my cuttle bone on the substrate, and my tort eats it when “he”pleases. And nope, can’t know their sex until maturity. How many inches is “his” shell?
  16. janebartley

    janebartley Member

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    It's about 2 inches, i think he's going to be 'Dexter' but I feel rather bad for not giving a uni-sex name!
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  17. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Don’t worry! There are plenty of tortoises here with names that don’t match their gender :)
  18. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    Humidity is not bad for Russian torts! They just don’t need as much as some other torts do
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  19. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    35-37C.
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  20. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I prefer coco coir for smaller ones, and then I switch to fine grade orchid bark (fir bark) once they reach about 3-4 inches.
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