Hello from the Netherlands!

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
Hi everyone!
I decided to make an account on this amazing platform (where I already learned a ton during my research, thank you for that!) because today I became the owner of 2 amazing Eastern Hermann's Tortoises (Testudo Hermanni Boettgeri)! I am beyond excited that I was able to adopt these amazing animals and it was so worth the 7 hours of driving lol😂
One of them is estimated to be 2 years old and I named him Perseus (Percy for short), as it means to destroy (quite fitting for a tortoise lol) and because I have been obsessed with Percy Jackson since I was 12...😋
The other is estimated to be almost 1 year old and I named him Pebbles (Pebble or Pebby for short), because I love the meaning behind a pebble (its made smooth by the water and I see that as a way of removing all problems to be left with all good and smooth surface☺️.
I adopted them from a guy who didn't have enough time to give them the proper care and I got everything with it (the enclosure, food, lamps, all came with it)
I had a couple questions that I hope someone might be able to answer:
  1. Pebble is way smaller than I anticipated and I am not sure if I should treat him as a baby tort (maybe a different substrate, or other things that I have to change to make it more comfortable for the little one?).
  2. Does anyone see anything I could better about the enclosers the guy held them?
  3. What are good temperatures for their heat side and their normal temperature side (celsius please lol)?
  4. What are good humidity percentages? (I am super terrified of pyramiding...)
  5. Does anyone have a good food list? (I found dandelions a lot and endive too, also variety is key)
  6. What substance can I best use to make their hides humid enough?
  7. I am an asthma patient and I'm allergic to a lot, any tips for substrate and other things related to that?
Thanks in advance and I'm looking forward to my time with my torts and on this platform!

Anniek
ps. the meter thingy inside is my own for my room, its temporary because I wanted to know how the enclosure functions and what the temperature and humidity is!
 

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Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
706
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Hi everyone!
I decided to make an account on this amazing platform (where I already learned a ton during my research, thank you for that!) because today I became the owner of 2 amazing Eastern Hermann's Tortoises (Testudo Hermanni Boettgeri)! I am beyond excited that I was able to adopt these amazing animals and it was so worth the 7 hours of driving lol😂
One of them is estimated to be 2 years old and I named him Perseus (Percy for short), as it means to destroy (quite fitting for a tortoise lol) and because I have been obsessed with Percy Jackson since I was 12...😋
The other is estimated to be almost 1 year old and I named him Pebbles (Pebble or Pebby for short), because I love the meaning behind a pebble (its made smooth by the water and I see that as a way of removing all problems to be left with all good and smooth surface☺️.
I adopted them from a guy who didn't have enough time to give them the proper care and I got everything with it (the enclosure, food, lamps, all came with it)
I had a couple questions that I hope someone might be able to answer:
  1. Pebble is way smaller than I anticipated and I am not sure if I should treat him as a baby tort (maybe a different substrate, or other things that I have to change to make it more comfortable for the little one?).
  2. Does anyone see anything I could better about the enclosers the guy held them?
  3. What are good temperatures for their heat side and their normal temperature side (celsius please lol)?
  4. What are good humidity percentages? (I am super terrified of pyramiding...)
  5. Does anyone have a good food list? (I found dandelions a lot and endive too, also variety is key)
  6. What substance can I best use to make their hides humid enough?
  7. I am an asthma patient and I'm allergic to a lot, any tips for substrate and other things related to that?
Thanks in advance and I'm looking forward to my time with my torts and on this platform!

Anniek
ps. the meter thingy inside is my own for my room, its temporary because I wanted to know how the enclosure functions and what the temperature and humidity is!
Welcome to the forum and congrats on your 2 new tortoises! You have come to the right place to get good information that will keep these little guys healthy and happy. I have an Eastern Hermann’s tortoise as well and he’s brought so much joy to my life. To start with, here is a link to the best care information for your tortoises. It was created by one of our members who has decades of experience. He’s created this so that people like you and I don’t have to learn from making our own mistakes. A lot of the questions you’ve asked are covered in this thread as well, including temperatures and humidity.


A couple things I wanted to point out is that 2 tortoises should never be housed together, and especially not in small enclosure and especially with their size difference. There will be a bully and the other tortoise is likely to end up sick or injured. They can not thrive with how they are set up today. A lot of things that might look cute, like sleeping together or following each other around are actually signs of bullying. Hermann’s are very territorial and will relentlessly guard what they feel is theirs. Your enclosure can be ok for Pebbles for a little bit of time, until he gets a little larger...maybe 6 months depending on how quickly he will grow. The larger tortoise should be in an enclosure that is more so around 4ft x 8ft.

Your tortoises would appreciate some plants or other features to hide in and feel more secure. If the enclosure is too open they tend to hide a lot.

Tom’s care sheet that I linked above does cover diet, but here is a list he had posted in a different thread that you might find helpful.

Good foods for tortoises are "chicories," types of lettuce that are likely to be on the far side of the more common floppy green heads of lettuce most people buy.Anything labeled as simply "chicory" is good, as are radiccio, frisee, escarole, and endive; you might even find something labeled as dandelions. You may find a bag of "Spring" or "Spicy" mix that is good, just check the label to be sure it has some of the chicories I just mentioned. The leaves (just the leaves) of turnips and radishes are also good, as are carrot tops. Collards, mustard greens, bok choy, and other dark, leafy greens are okay as well. If you have any kind of Mexican/hispanic market near you, they will sell cactus, labeled "nopales." Cactus is a great food to rotate in the diet, as it is high in calcium.

You don't need to feed all of these at one time, just make sure your tortoise is getting access to different types of food. As you get more experienced, you can find the better types of food listed on the care sheets.

Here are a whole bunch of non-grocery store suggestions.

Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Nasturtium
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:

Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard

As for substrate, that will be a challenge if you suffer from allergies. Coco coir, fir bark or cypress mulch are the most common substrates. They can all be a bit dusty, especially the coco coir, but the substrate should always be slightly damp anyhow, for humidity purposes, so this should help keep the dust at bay.

Please take time to read the care sheet and please ask any other questions you may have. I can’t tell what you’re using for a heat lamp and I don’t see a UV fixture in your pictures, so please pay extra attention to those sections in the care sheet.

I know this is a lot of information to take in, but again, you’ve come to the right place. We will help guide you to get things right and answer your questions so your tortoises can live long and healthy lives.
 

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
Tom’s care sheet that I linked above does cover diet, but here is a list he had posted in a different thread that you might find helpful.

Good foods for tortoises are "chicories," types of lettuce that are likely to be on the far side of the more common floppy green heads of lettuce most people buy.Anything labeled as simply "chicory" is good, as are radiccio, frisee, escarole, and endive; you might even find something labeled as dandelions. You may find a bag of "Spring" or "Spicy" mix that is good, just check the label to be sure it has some of the chicories I just mentioned. The leaves (just the leaves) of turnips and radishes are also good, as are carrot tops. Collards, mustard greens, bok choy, and other dark, leafy greens are okay as well. If you have any kind of Mexican/hispanic market near you, they will sell cactus, labeled "nopales." Cactus is a great food to rotate in the diet, as it is high in calcium.

You don't need to feed all of these at one time, just make sure your tortoise is getting access to different types of food. As you get more experienced, you can find the better types of food listed on the care sheets.

Here are a whole bunch of non-grocery store suggestions.

Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Nasturtium
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:

Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard

As for substrate, that will be a challenge if you suffer from allergies. Coco coir, fir bark or cypress mulch are the most common substrates. They can all be a bit dusty, especially the coco coir, but the substrate should always be slightly damp anyhow, for humidity purposes, so this should help keep the dust at bay.

Please take time to read the care sheet and please ask any other questions you may have. I can’t tell what you’re using for a heat lamp and I don’t see a UV fixture in your pictures, so please pay extra attention to those sections in the care sheet.

I know this is a lot of information to take in, but again, you’ve come to the right place. We will help guide you to get things right and answer your questions so your tortoises can live long and healthy lives.
Thank you so much for responding @Krista S and giving me great advice, it is truly appreciated as I want to give these two the best life they can possibly have! I read the whole thread you recommended to me and it was super helpful (and I took lots of notes of course!)

Your advice about not housing 2 tortoises together I totally understand. I read the threads about this before getting them, but because I adopted them from a guy who didn’t want them anymore I kind of just got the whole package deal (and I am happy he decided to give them a new home instead of not caring for them at all). I am however keeping a close eye on them and as soon as I see signs of them not “getting along” I have a plan ready to separate them (I am already on the lookout for another enclosure for this reason and because they need a bigger enclosure in the future anyway!). They have been together since the beginning, as the guy bought them together and there they were together also, so I will keep them together but will make sure they will both thrive one way or the other. When they get bigger I am planning on keeping them outdoors for a part of the year (if the weather permits it of course), so if there is bullying in that stage of life then I will for sure separate them indoors and outdoors! (This will also get easier if I live on my own, as I am now still living with my parents - they are super awesome tho and were 100% behind me when I asked them if I could adopt Percy and Pebble and my mom is even helping me with caring for them!)

I took your advice and placed more places for them to hide (I did pay attention that if they climb it they won’t fall and land on their back, especially Pebble), bought another little closed enclosure (for the humid hide and that they both can sleep separately if they wanted to, but I have to adjust some things before putting it in there so for now they have a flower pot.) and placed a rock in their enclosure for a little elevation, climbing and trimming their nails and beak. I also ordered a temperature controller and a humidity meter (no idea if these are the correct English words sorry!).

I took so many notes on your food advice and I now have a running list that I am going to try out and see what they like! Yesterday I gave them dandelion greens and some clover and they both loved them so much!

In the next few days, I will order the substrates you recommended and see what works for both me and my torts. I am also going to order the orchid/ spagnum moss that Kamp Kenan recommended to use to make the hide humid!

As for the lighting setup, to be honest I don’t like it either. Behind the two weird metal things, there is a heat lamp on the left side and a UV lamp on the right, but because the metal things kind of block it only affects the backside of the vivarium. My mom came with the idea to put a uv+heat lamp in both the lamp fixtures to kind of create a horizontal line with a hot and cold side, but I am not sure about that idea either. I am also thinking about maybe removing the metal things, but it is definitely a work in progress (although the temperatures on both sides are okay now, I want them to have a heat side with UV and not a heat side and a UV side, maybe putting a uv+heat lamp instead of the now only heat lamp?)

It was indeed a lot of information but I am so super happy that this forum can help me, give these amazing torts the best life they can possibly have!

Another question just popped up, how many times should I give extra vitamins and calcium (I am planning on buying cuttlefish but was wondering what to give besides that and how often)?

I also wanted to say that please don't hesitate at pointing things out I do wrong or giving me more advice, it's not about my feelings but about giving Pebble and Percy the best life ever! All advice is welcome!

On a more fun note, yesterday I discovered that little pebble loves to burrow himself all the way into the substrate, and yesterday just before I turned off the lights I couldn’t find him at all! It’s amazing how good he is in hide and seek haha. Percy however tried to do the same thing and the picture I took is just too funny and cute (he stayed like this the whole night as the darker photo was yesterday and the lighter one just now!)

They are truly the best and I already love them with my whole heart, they bring me so much joy and I am super happy that they are already showing their personalities and being super awesome!
 

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ISU

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
266
Location (City and/or State)
South Korea
Hello and welcome

Some people leave it in their enclosure, torts can eat it when they want to

My leopard doesn't like it, so I use a calcium powder twice a week and a vitamin once a week
 

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
Hello and welcome

Some people leave it in their enclosure, torts can eat it when they want to

My leopard doesn't like it, so I use a calcium powder twice a week and a vitamin once a week
Okay, thanks for answering! I'll have to figure out what mine will like then :)
 
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Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
706
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Thank you so much for responding @Krista S and giving me great advice, it is truly appreciated as I want to give these two the best life they can possibly have! I read the whole thread you recommended to me and it was super helpful (and I took lots of notes of course!)

Your advice about not housing 2 tortoises together I totally understand. I read the threads about this before getting them, but because I adopted them from a guy who didn’t want them anymore I kind of just got the whole package deal (and I am happy he decided to give them a new home instead of not caring for them at all). I am however keeping a close eye on them and as soon as I see signs of them not “getting along” I have a plan ready to separate them (I am already on the lookout for another enclosure for this reason and because they need a bigger enclosure in the future anyway!). They have been together since the beginning, as the guy bought them together and there they were together also, so I will keep them together but will make sure they will both thrive one way or the other. When they get bigger I am planning on keeping them outdoors for a part of the year (if the weather permits it of course), so if there is bullying in that stage of life then I will for sure separate them indoors and outdoors! (This will also get easier if I live on my own, as I am now still living with my parents - they are super awesome tho and were 100% behind me when I asked them if I could adopt Percy and Pebble and my mom is even helping me with caring for them!)

I took your advice and placed more places for them to hide (I did pay attention that if they climb it they won’t fall and land on their back, especially Pebble), bought another little closed enclosure (for the humid hide and that they both can sleep separately if they wanted to, but I have to adjust some things before putting it in there so for now they have a flower pot.) and placed a rock in their enclosure for a little elevation, climbing and trimming their nails and beak. I also ordered a temperature controller and a humidity meter (no idea if these are the correct English words sorry!).

I took so many notes on your food advice and I now have a running list that I am going to try out and see what they like! Yesterday I gave them dandelion greens and some clover and they both loved them so much!

In the next few days, I will order the substrates you recommended and see what works for both me and my torts. I am also going to order the orchid/ spagnum moss that Kamp Kenan recommended to use to make the hide humid!

As for the lighting setup, to be honest I don’t like it either. Behind the two weird metal things, there is a heat lamp on the left side and a UV lamp on the right, but because the metal things kind of block it only affects the backside of the vivarium. My mom came with the idea to put a uv+heat lamp in both the lamp fixtures to kind of create a horizontal line with a hot and cold side, but I am not sure about that idea either. I am also thinking about maybe removing the metal things, but it is definitely a work in progress (although the temperatures on both sides are okay now, I want them to have a heat side with UV and not a heat side and a UV side, maybe putting a uv+heat lamp instead of the now only heat lamp?)

It was indeed a lot of information but I am so super happy that this forum can help me, give these amazing torts the best life they can possibly have!

Another question just popped up, how many times should I give extra vitamins and calcium (I am planning on buying cuttlefish but was wondering what to give besides that and how often)?

I also wanted to say that please don't hesitate at pointing things out I do wrong or giving me more advice, it's not about my feelings but about giving Pebble and Percy the best life ever! All advice is welcome!

On a more fun note, yesterday I discovered that little pebble loves to burrow himself all the way into the substrate, and yesterday just before I turned off the lights I couldn’t find him at all! It’s amazing how good he is in hide and seek haha. Percy however tried to do the same thing and the picture I took is just too funny and cute (he stayed like this the whole night as the darker photo was yesterday and the lighter one just now!)

They are truly the best and I already love them with my whole heart, they bring me so much joy and I am super happy that they are already showing their personalities and being super awesome!
I’m glad you didn’t get scared away by the overload of information. It’s great that you want to learn and do things right. It’s practically inevitable for bullying to take place. It doesn’t matter if they’ve always been together. For the big guy, he would have had at least a year before the little one joined his environment judging by the age difference. It is in your tortoises best interest for them to be separated immediately. It is dangerous to keep them together because of the size difference and their tiny enclosure. They can’t escape each other, so eventually one or the other will get injured. As I mentioned previously, the typical signs of bullying with tortoises, are the outward signs you’d witness between humans. I know I said it before, but I have to say it again...they cannot thrive living together and with how they’re set up today. There are lots of very sad stories on this forum from people who also thought their 2 tortoises were the exception to the rule. They tried to do as you are saying, to wait until there are outward bullying/violence and they end in tragedy. It is not worth the risk.

It is great that you ordered a proper temp controller and humidity gauge. Make sure the sensors for temp and humidity are down near the tortoises level to get proper readings.

Sphagnum moss isn’t recommended on the forum as it can be an impaction risk. A lot of tortoises eat it and it causes blockages that can make the tort sick or worse. It’s best to keep the lower inches of the substrate under the hide damp. Tom’s care sheet covers this really good as well. You will need different hides to create a humid hide. Usually an upturned storage container with a hole cut out for the tortoise to get in and out of works best. The half logs can’t achieve the required humidity and they’ll mold and rot pretty quickly.

With regards to heat and UV, it is vital to follow Tom’s instruction on that. The Only type of UV that should be used is a fluorescent tube. A T5HO 10.0 or 12% is what your tortoises require for each of their enclosures. In the summer months, as long as they’re able to be outside for an hour or so a few times a week, you can skip the indoor UV for those weeks. It is still hard to see what kind of bulbs you are using in the new pics, but the UV should be shut off right away as it is not the right kind and can seriously damage your torts eyes. For heat, all you need is an incandescent flood light bulb which in Canada can be found at any hardware store. Hopefully they will be easy for you to find as well.

A little tiny pinch of calcium powder with d3 a couple times per week is enough. Cuttlebone is also good to keep in each of their enclosures. They may leave it alone for weeks and then suddenly gobble it up over the course of a couple days. They seem to know when they need it and consume it accordingly. I also use a product called Miner-all which is made by Sticky Tongue Farms.

Priority #1 needs to be separating your tortoises and getting the proper heat and UV bulbs and fixtures. These are key to their health and well-being.
 

Sarah2020

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
505
Location (City and/or State)
London, UK
They do burrow which is what your observing. They will not enjoy looking out of the glass and eventually you will get pacing and persistent scratching. Suggest getting black tape and run 3 or 4 lengths to avoid them looking directly out. Hope that makes sense? I have added a picture if my taping to give you an idea!
 

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anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
I’m glad you didn’t get scared away by the overload of information. It’s great that you want to learn and do things right. It’s practically inevitable for bullying to take place. It doesn’t matter if they’ve always been together. For the big guy, he would have had at least a year before the little one joined his environment judging by the age difference. It is in your tortoises best interest for them to be separated immediately. It is dangerous to keep them together because of the size difference and their tiny enclosure. They can’t escape each other, so eventually one or the other will get injured. As I mentioned previously, the typical signs of bullying with tortoises, are the outward signs you’d witness between humans. I know I said it before, but I have to say it again...they cannot thrive living together and with how they’re set up today. There are lots of very sad stories on this forum from people who also thought their 2 tortoises were the exception to the rule. They tried to do as you are saying, to wait until there are outward bullying/violence and they end in tragedy. It is not worth the risk.

It is great that you ordered a proper temp controller and humidity gauge. Make sure the sensors for temp and humidity are down near the tortoises level to get proper readings.

Sphagnum moss isn’t recommended on the forum as it can be an impaction risk. A lot of tortoises eat it and it causes blockages that can make the tort sick or worse. It’s best to keep the lower inches of the substrate under the hide damp. Tom’s care sheet covers this really good as well. You will need different hides to create a humid hide. Usually an upturned storage container with a hole cut out for the tortoise to get in and out of works best. The half logs can’t achieve the required humidity and they’ll mold and rot pretty quickly.

With regards to heat and UV, it is vital to follow Tom’s instruction on that. The Only type of UV that should be used is a fluorescent tube. A T5HO 10.0 or 12% is what your tortoises require for each of their enclosures. In the summer months, as long as they’re able to be outside for an hour or so a few times a week, you can skip the indoor UV for those weeks. It is still hard to see what kind of bulbs you are using in the new pics, but the UV should be shut off right away as it is not the right kind and can seriously damage your torts eyes. For heat, all you need is an incandescent flood light bulb which in Canada can be found at any hardware store. Hopefully they will be easy for you to find as well.

A little tiny pinch of calcium powder with d3 a couple times per week is enough. Cuttlebone is also good to keep in each of their enclosures. They may leave it alone for weeks and then suddenly gobble it up over the course of a couple days. They seem to know when they need it and consume it accordingly. I also use a product called Miner-all which is made by Sticky Tongue Farms.

Priority #1 needs to be separating your tortoises and getting the proper heat and UV bulbs and fixtures. These are key to their health and well-being.
Thanks again for all the help! I am taking all your tips into account and am taking action, lights are on their way and I am planning on buying a bigger enclosure really soon (I am researching what would be best!). They have cuttlefish now and I'm going to buy the calcium powder too!
A couple more questions tho, is the one from zoo med good, or does anyone who has access to the same stores have advice over where to best buy the correct heat and UV lamps (any Dutch people with more knowledge of good places to buy tortoise stuff?)
Also, how do I insert the tube into the terrarium, does that need a special fitting (like a normal lamp you screw it in? Is fixtures the word I am looking for?), I am super sorry if this sounds stupid I just have no idea how to describe it otherwise.
I also have a question about how many times a week should I soak them, I know Pebbles probably needs more than Percy tho.
 

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
They do burrow which is what your observing. They will not enjoy looking out of the glass and eventually you will get pacing and persistent scratching. Suggest getting black tape and run 3 or 4 lengths to avoid them looking directly out. Hope that makes sense? I have added a picture if my taping to give you an idea!
I love seeing them burrow it's so cool how they can just disappear! Thanks for the tip, I taped my sides now too!
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
706
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Thanks again for all the help! I am taking all your tips into account and am taking action, lights are on their way and I am planning on buying a bigger enclosure really soon (I am researching what would be best!). They have cuttlefish now and I'm going to buy the calcium powder too!
A couple more questions tho, is the one from zoo med good, or does anyone who has access to the same stores have advice over where to best buy the correct heat and UV lamps (any Dutch people with more knowledge of good places to buy tortoise stuff?)
Also, how do I insert the tube into the terrarium, does that need a special fitting (like a normal lamp you screw it in? Is fixtures the word I am looking for?), I am super sorry if this sounds stupid I just have no idea how to describe it otherwise.
I also have a question about how many times a week should I soak them, I know Pebbles probably needs more than Percy tho.
That’s great to hear! I’m glad you’re working on things to give your beautiful tortoises a better life. Your questions aren’t dumb at all. You’re asking great questions. 🙂 The ZooMed calcium powder is definitely a good one. It’s the one I use actually. You can get it with D3 and without D3...I got the one with D3. As for hanging the fixture for the UV, you could use these ZooMed lamp stands and they’d working very well if you can find them where you live.


I used 2 of these stands to hang my UV fixture when I had an enclosure similar to the one you’re using. You could also build some sort of stand to affix the fixture to. The thing I like about those ZooMed stands is that they’re height adjustable, so you can get things as accurate as possible. They’re not the cheapest thing to buy, but they’re well worth the investment. I have 3 of them that I use in my enclosure now and I find them to be very good quality, so they should last forever. Most of the UV fixtures come with a couple different options to hang them. Usually there’s a couple of clips that can be screwed/mounted into a piece of wood or similar material and the fixture is held securely by the clips. The other option with the one I got, was 2 clips that had an opening for the fixture to be hung. I’m sorry I’m not familiar with where you’d be best to buy these things where you live. As for fixtures, you can look for the brand Arcadia. You’d be looking for a T5 HO fixture with a reflector and the bulb you need should be 12% desert. Here’s a link to the general website for you to see what it is I’m talking about. There should be an option to buy the fixture and bulb together as a set, or to but them individually. You usually get a better price to buy it as a set. There’s a lot of great information on this link.


The 24 watt bulb is for a 24 inch fixture which is what I think you’d want to go with. You have to make sure you have lots of good hiding places for the tortoises to escape the UV when they want to. ZooMed also makes a decent UV bulb. With ZooMed you’d be looking for a T5HO 10.0. Here’s a link to what this bulb looks like.


Do you have Amazon in the Netherlands to order from? That could be a good resource for finding some of this stuff.

As for soaking, my Hermann’s tortoise is almost 2 years old and I still soak him everyday. I have heard on this forum that after they surpass 1 year or 100 grams that it’s not necessary to soak everyday, but I still do anyhow. I suppose even every 2nd day would be adequate while they’re still young. I usually soak my guy for 25 to 30 minutes. Make sure you don’t soak your 2 torts in the same container. That would be an accident waiting to happen.

Again, you’re asking great questions, so please don’t hesitate to ask anything else that comes up.

@Yvonne G do you happen to know if there are any other members in the Netherlands that could help give some advice on where to get proper UV fixtures, bulbs, etc?
 

Tes

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
Hi! Welcome to the forum.
I'm also living in the Netherlands and most often buy my stuff online from dekammieshop.nl. Be aware that they sell both the good stuff as also the so to say "bad stuff". So if you have questions regarding products, preferably ask them here on this forum instead of asking it to the Kammieshop :).
Via this link you can find the UV tubes (including fixtures): https://www.dekammieshop.nl/reptielen/verlichting/tl-buizen, also the Arcadia brand!
Good luck!
 

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
That’s great to hear! I’m glad you’re working on things to give your beautiful tortoises a better life. Your questions aren’t dumb at all. You’re asking great questions. 🙂 The ZooMed calcium powder is definitely a good one. It’s the one I use actually. You can get it with D3 and without D3...I got the one with D3. As for hanging the fixture for the UV, you could use these ZooMed lamp stands and they’d working very well if you can find them where you live.


I used 2 of these stands to hang my UV fixture when I had an enclosure similar to the one you’re using. You could also build some sort of stand to affix the fixture to. The thing I like about those ZooMed stands is that they’re height adjustable, so you can get things as accurate as possible. They’re not the cheapest thing to buy, but they’re well worth the investment. I have 3 of them that I use in my enclosure now and I find them to be very good quality, so they should last forever. Most of the UV fixtures come with a couple different options to hang them. Usually there’s a couple of clips that can be screwed/mounted into a piece of wood or similar material and the fixture is held securely by the clips. The other option with the one I got, was 2 clips that had an opening for the fixture to be hung. I’m sorry I’m not familiar with where you’d be best to buy these things where you live. As for fixtures, you can look for the brand Arcadia. You’d be looking for a T5 HO fixture with a reflector and the bulb you need should be 12% desert. Here’s a link to the general website for you to see what it is I’m talking about. There should be an option to buy the fixture and bulb together as a set, or to but them individually. You usually get a better price to buy it as a set. There’s a lot of great information on this link.


The 24 watt bulb is for a 24 inch fixture which is what I think you’d want to go with. You have to make sure you have lots of good hiding places for the tortoises to escape the UV when they want to. ZooMed also makes a decent UV bulb. With ZooMed you’d be looking for a T5HO 10.0. Here’s a link to what this bulb looks like.


Do you have Amazon in the Netherlands to order from? That could be a good resource for finding some of this stuff.

As for soaking, my Hermann’s tortoise is almost 2 years old and I still soak him everyday. I have heard on this forum that after they surpass 1 year or 100 grams that it’s not necessary to soak everyday, but I still do anyhow. I suppose even every 2nd day would be adequate while they’re still young. I usually soak my guy for 25 to 30 minutes. Make sure you don’t soak your 2 torts in the same container. That would be an accident waiting to happen.

Again, you’re asking great questions, so please don’t hesitate to ask anything else that comes up.

@Yvonne G do you happen to know if there are any other members in the Netherlands that could help give some advice on where to get proper UV fixtures, bulbs, etc?
Again thank you so much! I wrote everything down and am going to buy the right things for my tortoises! Would you happen to know if a terrarium with three sides of concrete plywood and the front of glass would be a good terrarium to buy? I've found these while doing my research and am thinking of purchasing a big one (150cmx50cmx50cm, maybe even bigger)! The photo I inserted is not the one I am buying, a friend of my dad is going to build it exactly how I would like it to be!
The temperatures and humidity and the overall set-up I have now, doesn't work (my tortoises are really lethargic and lazy so I am gonna start all over and figure out what is best for my tortoises! (I am talking lights, hides, substrate etc.) So thank you for answering all my questions, it really helps me and I am super thankful!
1619433770232.png
 

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
Hi! Welcome to the forum.
I'm also living in the Netherlands and most often buy my stuff online from dekammieshop.nl. Be aware that they sell both the good stuff as also the so to say "bad stuff". So if you have questions regarding products, preferably ask them here on this forum instead of asking it to the Kammieshop :).
Via this link you can find the UV tubes (including fixtures): https://www.dekammieshop.nl/reptielen/verlichting/tl-buizen, also the Arcadia brand!
Good luck!
Hello! Thank you so much for the help, I'll definitely check it out! Do you also have tips on what heat lamp to buy?
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
706
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Again thank you so much! I wrote everything down and am going to buy the right things for my tortoises! Would you happen to know if a terrarium with three sides of concrete plywood and the front of glass would be a good terrarium to buy? I've found these while doing my research and am thinking of purchasing a big one (150cmx50cmx50cm, maybe even bigger)! The photo I inserted is not the one I am buying, a friend of my dad is going to build it exactly how I would like it to be!
The temperatures and humidity and the overall set-up I have now, doesn't work (my tortoises are really lethargic and lazy so I am gonna start all over and figure out what is best for my tortoises! (I am talking lights, hides, substrate etc.) So thank you for answering all my questions, it really helps me and I am super thankful!
View attachment 323901
It’s good to hear from you again. That style of enclosure can work for your tortoises, just remember that they need to be separated, so you need 2 enclosures. They each also require much larger than the dimensions you listed. You need to aim for closer to 120cm x 240cm. The walls should be somewhere between 45 to 60cm tall. Plywood is ok, but you’ll need to use some kind of waterproofing or sealant on it. Even with waterproofing, they’re still prone to mold and rotting over time. It is recommended that whatever you use to seal the wood, that you re-do it each year, especially if you go with the closed chamber style of enclosure. Once the waterproofing/sealant has been applied, make sure you let it fully cure before moving the tortoise in. A much better material option (if it’s available where you live) is a material called expanded pvc. It is heat and water resistant, so it won’t ever mold or rot and doesn’t need to be treated with chemicals. That is what most enclosures are made of now, like the one in the picture you posted.

It is concerning that the tortoises are really lethargic. There is something wrong if they’re both acting this way day after day. Have you separated them into their own space yet? It’s very important this gets sorted out sooner than later. Just a reminder too, if you’re still using the screw in UV bulb, to turn it off. That could definitely be part of the issue as well. I recommend re-reading the care sheet that I linked previously. It’s really important that you get their environment fixed up as soon as possible.
 

Tes

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
Hello! Thank you so much for the help, I'll definitely check it out! Do you also have tips on what heat lamp to buy?

You're welcome! Yes I'm using this one: https://www.dekammieshop.nl/arcadia-solar-basking-floodlight-100w, as the ones they're recommending here on this forum aren't allowed to be sold in the EU anymore (gloeilampen). For this heat lamp you will need a proper fitting, it depends a bit on where you will place the heat lamp, but a ceramic fitting is preferred.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,465
Location (City and/or State)
UK
HI and welcome.

www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is a good guide to tort safe foods.
Amazon sells the tort lamps and tubes etc. If you don't already have one you will also need a reliable digital thermometer/hygrometer to keep an eye on their temps and humidity.

Please follow the advice you have been given about keeping 2 torts together it is very stressful for them both to be sharing a space. Even if they have up until now they will both be pretty miserable about it, and it will eventually end up with illness from a reduced immune system because of the stress, serious injury and even death.

They need to be separated asap with their own sets of lamps, gauges etc., then they will be much happier, healthier and active. They will eventually need a minimum 4 x 8 feet enclosure each. If that isn't possible it would be in their best interests to rehome one.

This is just one of many stories where keepers have ignored the advice and ended up with sick and injured torts and expensive vet bills.
 

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
You're welcome! Yes I'm using this one: https://www.dekammieshop.nl/arcadia-solar-basking-floodlight-100w, as the ones they're recommending here on this forum aren't allowed to be sold in the EU anymore (gloeilampen). For this heat lamp you will need a proper fitting, it depends a bit on where you will place the heat lamp, but a ceramic fitting is preferred.
The UV and heat lamp you recommended just arrived, so I have that covered! Thanks so much, because the website worked great and they delivered so quickly! I have one more question though, where do you buy your substrate and how is it called in Dutch? I would really love to buy the one that is recommended in the care sheet that @Krista S recommended and want to try and mix coco coir and orchid bark, but can't really find what that is called here!
 

TaylorTortoise

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
808
Location (City and/or State)
Abington
Hi everyone!
I decided to make an account on this amazing platform (where I already learned a ton during my research, thank you for that!) because today I became the owner of 2 amazing Eastern Hermann's Tortoises (Testudo Hermanni Boettgeri)! I am beyond excited that I was able to adopt these amazing animals and it was so worth the 7 hours of driving lol😂
One of them is estimated to be 2 years old and I named him Perseus (Percy for short), as it means to destroy (quite fitting for a tortoise lol) and because I have been obsessed with Percy Jackson since I was 12...😋
The other is estimated to be almost 1 year old and I named him Pebbles (Pebble or Pebby for short), because I love the meaning behind a pebble (its made smooth by the water and I see that as a way of removing all problems to be left with all good and smooth surface☺️.
I adopted them from a guy who didn't have enough time to give them the proper care and I got everything with it (the enclosure, food, lamps, all came with it)
I had a couple questions that I hope someone might be able to answer:
  1. Pebble is way smaller than I anticipated and I am not sure if I should treat him as a baby tort (maybe a different substrate, or other things that I have to change to make it more comfortable for the little one?).
  2. Does anyone see anything I could better about the enclosers the guy held them?
  3. What are good temperatures for their heat side and their normal temperature side (celsius please lol)?
  4. What are good humidity percentages? (I am super terrified of pyramiding...)
  5. Does anyone have a good food list? (I found dandelions a lot and endive too, also variety is key)
  6. What substance can I best use to make their hides humid enough?
  7. I am an asthma patient and I'm allergic to a lot, any tips for substrate and other things related to that?
Thanks in advance and I'm looking forward to my time with my torts and on this platform!

Anniek
ps. the meter thingy inside is my own for my room, its temporary because I wanted to know how the enclosure functions and what the temperature and humidity is!
Hello! What is around those bulbs? I like that it doesn't blind you the caregiver for the tortoises.
Also, I am not sure if you want to keep them together. Two tortoises together (in pairs) do not do well.
They however, can do well if there is more than 2, specifically two females one male. NEVER two males together ever. They are completely solitary animals.
 

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
Hello! What is around those bulbs? I like that it doesn't blind you the caregiver for the tortoises.
Also, I am not sure if you want to keep them together. Two tortoises together (in pairs) do not do well.
They however, can do well if there is more than 2, specifically two females one male. NEVER two males together ever. They are completely solitary animals.
Hii!
I have no idea, but my dad told me it's made of aluminum. This is how I got the enclosure from the guy I adopted my torts from but it is indeed really handy :)
Thanks for the advice!
 
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