How dry is too dry?

Leddagger16

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
36
Location (City and/or State)
Arizona
I see people say on the forum all the time that a tortoise is "too dry". How exactly do you determine if a tortoise is too dry? When I first joined the forum, I was told my torts were too dry and I began soaking them more often. I just wanted clarification for myself and other newbies. Also, can they become too dry while hibernating (30-50% humidity).
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
93,602
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
When we say that, we usually mean, "Your tortoise is being kept in conditions that are too dry." So you need to add water to the substrate to moisten it, and maybe cover or partially cover the habitat to keep the warm, moist air inside. (And we're probably talking about tortoises that are kept in the house)

I keep my desert tortoises and russian tortoises dry during hibernation. Cardboard boxes and shredded newspaper.
 
Last edited:

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
64,196
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
If a tortoise is on dry substrate with an open top and hot basking bulbs, it is being kept "too dry".

This is subjective and depends on both species and age. What is too dry for a hatchling sulcata might be ideal for an adult russian, for example.

If you tell us your species and age, we can make specific recommendations for housing and humidity levels. Looks like young DTs in your avatar, but the pic is too small for me to tell for sure. If I'm correct, then I like to house them with moderate 50-70% humidity as babies. I accomplish this with damp coco coir substrate and a partially open top. I do provide them with a humid hide too. I do daily soaks for babies for about the first six months and then taper it off as they age and gain size.

Like Yvonne, I also hibernate all my species on dry substrate with low humidity.
 
Top