Hello from the Netherlands!

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
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.
Hii!
I love the website you recommended to me thank you! I also bought the digital thermometer, hygrometer, and a temp gun!
Thank you for your advice!
 

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
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.
Hello again!
I turned them off and that's when they were less lethargic but still sleeping a lot. The temperatures are too cold and I am almost a hundred percent sure that that is the reason (because when I soak them in the right temperatures they are active again). My new lamps arrived today and I can immediately see a difference in the lights, so I will update when I see a difference in my tortoises. The new enclosures are on their way (the material you recommended) so I am almost done with fixing their environment and hope they will like it!
 

Tes

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
49
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
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!
Good to hear! For orchid bark I'm using Repti Bark (https://www.dekammieshop.nl/zoo-med-repti-bark-26,4l.) I think you could also use 'Orchideeëngrond', however, I was unable to find a bio-version and therefore couldn't be sure there weren't any pesticides in the orchideeëngrond. So I decided to be 'better safe than sorry', and went for the a bit more expensive version Repti bark.

Coco coir is called 'Humus brick' (https://www.dekammieshop.nl/lucky-reptile-humus-brick-1000gr). These you first need to soak in water before they can be used.
Good luck!
 

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
Good to hear! For orchid bark I'm using Repti Bark (https://www.dekammieshop.nl/zoo-med-repti-bark-26,4l.) I think you could also use 'Orchideeëngrond', however, I was unable to find a bio-version and therefore couldn't be sure there weren't any pesticides in the orchideeëngrond. So I decided to be 'better safe than sorry', and went for the a bit more expensive version Repti bark.

Coco coir is called 'Humus brick' (https://www.dekammieshop.nl/lucky-reptile-humus-brick-1000gr). These you first need to soak in water before they can be used.
Good luck!
Thanks again and for everything else (I think dekammieshop has a new regular customer)! I ordered them both :)
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
684
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Hello again!
I turned them off and that's when they were less lethargic but still sleeping a lot. The temperatures are too cold and I am almost a hundred percent sure that that is the reason (because when I soak them in the right temperatures they are active again). My new lamps arrived today and I can immediately see a difference in the lights, so I will update when I see a difference in my tortoises. The new enclosures are on their way (the material you recommended) so I am almost done with fixing their environment and hope they will like it!
Hi @anniek_vd I hope you and your tortoises are doing well. I’m just curious to know if you’ve gotten the new enclosures set up? I’d love to see some pics to see what you came up with.
 

anniek_vd

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
13
Location (City and/or State)
The Netherlands
Hi @anniek_vd I hope you and your tortoises are doing well. I’m just curious to know if you’ve gotten the new enclosures set up? I’d love to see some pics to see what you came up with.
Hello! We are all doing wonderful thanks for asking! After replacing the right UVB, heat, and substrate I can definitely see a huge positive difference in their behavior. They are now super active, love burrowing, use their water dishes, and I love how they show their personalities! There are however a lot of problems with the material and their new enclosures, I had multiple people say that the material wasn't available due to covid but yesterday I finally had a breakthrough and in 6 to 8 weeks I can come to pick it up! It has taken me a lot of time, money, and effort but I am almost done and they are so so so worth it. I love them with all my heart and I am so excited to see how they will grow and evolve even more!
 
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