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Hey guys, critique my set up ?

Discussion in 'Redfoot and yellowfoot tortoises' started by brenden, Apr 18, 2019.

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  1. brenden

    brenden New Member

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    keep a few things in mind.
    -i just finished setting it up, so it looks a little dry, but hopefully in a little bit it will be in the 70-80% range.
    -The light i am using is from RONA and it is low watt and has all the light spectrum as i'm trying to grow real plants in there. when the plants are more mature it should provide more shaded areas outside his huts. Tomorrow i am going to grab some window screen and use that under the light so its not so bright. The plants that i am trying out are sweet potato vines.
    -I have gotten rid a few clutter items in there so the substate is a little laking, i have another bag of cyprus mulch on order.
    -The che light is 250 W and i am playing around with its distance from the floor to make sure its not to hot not to cold, might just get a sensor if its an issue but for now i think ill try without. i have a temperature gun and am actively monitoring the temperatures all around the enclosure to make sure they are good.
    So yeah, any criticism are welcome or ideas for the future. i have had him for a few years and have been constantly trying to get his living arrangement as close to perfect as i can. so any and all advice is appreciated :)
    Also, should i add something to the inside of his huts, like moss or anything, so he can burrow himself more? hes always scratching at the backs of them like he is trying to dig it sounds like.

    MVIMG_20190418_163842.jpg MVIMG_20190418_163855.jpg IMG_20190418_163846.jpg MVIMG_20190418_163839.jpg MVIMG_20190418_163859.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  2. MysticCaribou

    MysticCaribou Active Member

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    I wish I had more time to give more detail - but right off the bat you need about 4 inches of substrate because they like to dig. At least mine does. You'll get some excellent advice in this forum.
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  3. brenden

    brenden New Member

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    okay thank you! First time ive heard exactly how deep the substrate needs to be. Guess ill order a couple more bags of the mulch :)
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  4. aqualungs

    aqualungs Well-Known Member

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    I would say at least 4-6”. Also the fluorescent light, is that UVB? If so it might have to be lowered. Looks like a nice spacious setup. Can’t wait to see more
  5. brenden

    brenden New Member

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    how often would i need to completely change the substrate? To cover this space with 4-6 inches would probably cost in the ball park of $150-$200. I dont mind spending the money, but i dont think i can replace it monthly like i have been doing. Would you think it would be good for 3-4 months at least before changing completely?
    Also posted a picture of the light. It is for growing plants indoors. Says daylight spectrum. Its more for the plants and not so much for Ned. i have read here that he doesnt even need uvb and he can get it all from a good diet. is that true?

    Attached Files:

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  6. aqualungs

    aqualungs Well-Known Member

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    Substrate will easily last 3-4 months as long as you spot clean. They mostly poop in their bath so that helps. Yea your good on the plant bulb and from what I know too, a good diet is key.
  7. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin

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    I agree you need more substrate. You won't be able to keep up the humidity with that little bit you have in there. Also, in order for the tortoise to receive the good UVB from the light it needs to be about 12" from the top of the tortoise's shell. The light you want for the tortoise is different from the light you want for the plants. Plants don't need UVB, tortoises definitely DO need UVB. The screen will effectively filter out the UVB rays and would be detrimental to the tortoise's health. Having said all that, RF tortoises do get some of their vitamin d from the animal protein they eat, so it's not that important to make sure they have good UVB.

    Change out your waterer for a clay plant saucer a little bigger than the tortoise. Then when you add more substrate, sink the plant saucer down into the substrate so the lip is level with the substrate.

    I don't change my substrate. It lasts the whole season that the tortoises are indoors. I spot clean daily and mix it up occasionally, then pat it down with my hand.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  8. Okapizebra

    Okapizebra Member

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    Where are you buying your cypress mulch? I can get mine at home depot. A huge bag for only 3 bucks. I can't imagine it would cost you that much to replace it. Plus, if you spot clean every day you don't really ever need to completely replace it.
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  9. aqualungs

    aqualungs Well-Known Member

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    What brand mulch is it?
  10. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    I use this from home Depot, $3 a bag. Screenshot_20190419-103137~2.png
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  11. aqualungs

    aqualungs Well-Known Member

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    Perfect. I have to take a trip to the Depot tomato
  12. brenden

    brenden New Member

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  13. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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  14. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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  15. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin

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  16. brenden

    brenden New Member

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    I tried everywhere in town. I live in Medicine hat AB. Nobody carries it. They have cedar mulch brown and black mulch but that probably has dyes in it. Im gonna see if i can just order it online from a gardening store as opposed to a reptile provider. Do you think i could have a section of soil and grow some grass? is it even worth it tho or do you think Ned will just stomp it all out lol?
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  17. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    I don’t change my substrate, mine has been going for about 10 months, I spot clean it daily and every few days I pour a jug of water over it and mix it all up with my hands so it’s all evenly damp. I add some substrate from time to time to keep it deep enough
  18. brenden

    brenden New Member

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  19. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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  20. brenden

    brenden New Member

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    yeah for sure i could get topsoil. would you recommend using a bit of both?
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