Help for a new owner of a red footed tortoise

Sharla

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Dec 7, 2021
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6
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Derbyshire
Hi! Nice to meet you all, I'm a new owner of a red footed tortoise, possibly a girl and around a year old.
We are looking for advice around her vivarium, heat and humidity please ?. I'll include pics aswell as description so you guys can hopefully help.
There is coco coir over the bottom of the vivarium, sphagnum moss some under the hide and on top of the hide, 2 spider plants, a Humidity and temperature reader at the cooler end and a temperature reader at the warmer end.
For some reason we couldn't get the Humidity to stay above 70% and it would drop to 60% over night.

We read about blocking of vents if there was too many so we have blocked off 2 of the 4 vents at the back, this is done at the cooler end. now before we did this the windows on the cooler end were misted up and they still are now. Should they be? This seemed to make the Humidity levels rise up to 80% for a few days but have now dropped again to around 75% and goes down to around 70% in the morning so it's better than it was before. I am finding that I am having to spray alot of water around in the morning to get the levels back up again and I'm not sure if the ground is too wet?
The heat thermostat is set to 28°c and that gives the readers at the warmer end of 30°c and at the cooler end 25°c. We turn it down by 2°c over night.
My questions are,
is this good enough Humidity & heat?
Should the windows at the cooler end be misted up?
If the Humidity is too low what else can I do to raise it.
I just want to make sure my red footed is as happy as she can be ??
 

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Cherryshell

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Welcome to the forums!

Ideally you want the ambient temp in the enclosure to be between 26-28C with your humidity at 80+. You could block off an additional vent to see if they raises your humidity as well as pouring some water over the substrate, mostly in the corners. I'd also suggest removing the sphagnum moss as it can cause impaction if the tort nibbles on it. If you haven't already, please read through the care sheet linked below:

https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-tortoise-care-sheet.175319/

I'll tag our resident RF guru to add anything else:

Oh @ZEROPILOT you've been summoned! ;)
 

ZEROPILOT

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Welcome to the forums!

Ideally you want the ambient temp in the enclosure to be between 26-28C with your humidity at 80+. You could block off an additional vent to see if they raises your humidity as well as pouring some water over the substrate, mostly in the corners. I'd also suggest removing the sphagnum moss as it can cause impaction if the tort nibbles on it. If you haven't already, please read through the care sheet linked below:

https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/redfoot-tortoise-care-sheet.175319/

I'll tag our resident RF guru to add anything else:

Oh @ZEROPILOT you've been summoned! ;)
You've just about covered it.
That setup should all but eliminate the misting.
Try to get the temperature to be an all over temp without a cool and warm side.
When I kept Redfoot indoors, my meter often read 100% humidity. Closing off or opening the vents will eventually find what works best for you.
They need warm but not hot. High humidity. UVB from a T5 Florescent strip lamp and they dislike bright lights.
What are you feeding?
Are you soaking?
It sounds like you're doing pretty well.
 
Last edited:

Sharla

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Dec 7, 2021
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Derbyshire
Brilliant thanks so much!! So the moss do I completely remove it or just place on top of hides so that she can't eat it.

She gets a soak once daily, aswell as her water in the vivarium. We don't see her in the vivarium water much and always does her business in the daily soak, she isn't doing her business In the vivarium.
We are using a arcadia Pro t5 Uvb kit forest 6% 24w, this is what came in the kit with the vivarium. Is this right?

Feeding we are giving,
Kale, rocket, coriander, Cauliflower with the leaves, lettuce romaine, Cucumber, she doesn't like carrots, mushrooms occasionally, Strawberries, tomatoes. We don't feed all at the same time, we choose each time and pick a couple of the leaves and veg. We are finding it difficult with UK supermarkets on what's available and what she can eat so any advice here is greatly received.
Honestly thanks so much for the advice. I'll try those things to raise the Humidity and up the heat on it aswell ?
 
Last edited:

ZEROPILOT

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Brilliant thanks so much!! So the moss do I completely remove it or just place on top of hides so that she can't eat it.

She gets a soak once daily, aswell as her water in the vivarium. We don't see her in the vivarium water much and always does her business in the daily soak, she isn't doing her business In the vivarium.
We are using a arcadia Pro t5 Uvb kit forest 6% 24w, this is what came in the kit with the vivarium. Is this right?

Feeding we are giving,
Kale, rocket, coriander, Cauliflower with the leaves, lettuce romaine, Cucumber, she doesn't like carrots, mushrooms occasionally, Strawberries, tomatoes. We don't feed all at the same time, we choose each time and pick a couple of the leaves and veg. We are finding it difficult with UK supermarkets on what's available and what she can eat so any advice here is greatly received.
Honestly thanks so much for the advice. I'll try those things to raise the Humidity and up the heat on it aswell ?
Get rid if that moss altogether.
That UVB light sounds ok as long as we're talking about a linear strip florescent and not the type that screws into a socket.
A Redfoot can and will just about any fresh food that your family eats. Thst might be over simplified. But its basically true.
Take advantage of that huge diet. It can be up to 60% fruit. And can be fresh and non processed animal protein, leafy greens, cut vegetables and fruits. Edible flowers. Cactus and hundreds of other items. That giant food menu is one of the great things about keeping Redfoot!
 

Sharla

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I've just realised my response never sent back. I've take the moss out, started with pouring water etc since you both suggested that. It is a light strip not the type that "plugs in'.
Thank you so much for helping, the Humidity has risen a bit after blocking off another vent and pouring water but not majorly it's sticking around 75%, if I move the coir it's just a massive puddle of water underneath. Will carry on trying for the little one ?
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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I've just realised my response never sent back. I've take the moss out, started with pouring water etc since you both suggested that. It is a light strip not the type that "plugs in'.
Thank you so much for helping, the Humidity has risen a bit after blocking off another vent and pouring water but not majorly it's sticking around 75%, if I move the coir it's just a massive puddle of water underneath. Will carry on trying for the little one ?
75% is ok.
Your issue is still substrate related. I don't think that coco coir absorbs water like Orchid bark does.
You don't want any standing water. Or puddles anywhere. And by pouring in water I mean 5 or 6 ounces per. Not a whole lot. Just enough that the bark is able to absorb entirely.
With some bark added and some tweaking, you'll find what works and then you'll be on easy street.
 
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