Humid hide?!

Mislilly

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Hi I've got a young horsfield called jack. He's in a big 6ft bookcase that I have adapted as a table.
What's the best way to do a humid hide?
He's on top soil with an area of orchid bark.
He has lots of warm soaks, a plant dish with water available at all times and I spray the table too when it looks dry, but want to provide a humid hide also.
Thank you in advance.

Kirsty
 

hingeback

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Simple, you just take a normal hide and put wet sphagnum moss inside.
 

wellington

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However an open top table with just a humid hide doesn't work as well as an enclosure that is more closed off.
 

Mislilly

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What if I put plexiglass over the top? I sealed the bottom and sides with a shower curtain to protect the wood and keep moisture in. I know it sounds a silly question but just wanted to know the easiest most effective way.
 

Tom

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Use a plastic tub of some sort. Opaque ones work best. Flip it upside down and cut out a door hole just big enough for the tortoise. Keep the area under it damp. I would put this over near the warm side of the enclosure.
 

Mislilly

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Thanks tom that sounds easy. Will he use much. He buries himself at the moment under the bark. Do I just spray the area underneath or do I need to get moss like hinge back said?
 

hingeback

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Thanks tom that sounds easy. Will he use much. He buries himself at the moment under the bark. Do I just spray the area underneath or do I need to get moss like hinge back said?
The moss just holds the humidity, inside the humid hide just needs to be more humid then the enclosure.
 

Tom

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Thanks tom that sounds easy. Will he use much. He buries himself at the moment under the bark. Do I just spray the area underneath or do I need to get moss like hinge back said?

Some use it right away and often, others never go near it. I put mine in there after lights out to get them used to it. Sometimes that works and sometimes not.

Every tortoise I've ever raised tries to eat the moss, so I don't use it. You don't need it, but some people use it and like it.
 

Mislilly

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Oh ok thank you. I will see where I can get some! He's my first tortoise and I love him to pieces so want to get things as right as I can.
 

Mislilly

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I'll do exactly that thank you tom, he seems to like the bark so I'll put that in and top soil underneath and keep it moist.
Thank you again.
 

hingeback

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Some use it right away and often, others never go near it. I put mine in there after lights out to get them used to it. Sometimes that works and sometimes not.

Every tortoise I've ever raised tries to eat the moss, so I don't use it. You don't need it, but some people use it and like it.
Is it ok if they eat it? I never used it before but I see people usually use moss for the humid hides.
 

hingeback

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Some use it right away and often, others never go near it. I put mine in there after lights out to get them used to it. Sometimes that works and sometimes not.

Every tortoise I've ever raised tries to eat the moss, so I don't use it. You don't need it, but some people use it and like it.
Is it ok if they eat it? I never used it before but I see people usually use moss for the humid hides.
 

Tom

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I'll do exactly that thank you tom, he seems to like the bark so I'll put that in and top soil underneath and keep it moist.
Thank you again.

I don't use top soil either. There is no way to know what its made of, and I know what sort of stuff I put into my greens bin...
 

Mislilly

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Ohh god!! I read top soils good! Oh I'm so confused! I changed my soil sand mix as I read on here that's bad! Now he's on top soil and bark!
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Tom

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Everybody has their own opinions on these things. My opinions are based on decades of first hand experience, lots of mistakes and lots of trial and error. I share what I've learned so others can avoid all the mistakes and the whole "error" portion of trial and error.

Some peoples opinions seem to be based on things they read on the internet.

I don't know what to tell someone whose is trying to sort through all the contradictory info circulating around out there. I suppose you could either find someone you trust and blindly follow them, or ask each party of each contradiction to offer justification for their opinion and make a case by case decision.

I will be happy to explain why I think the things I think and say the things I say. I only comment on subjects that I have first hand experience with, and when I know what each course of action will deliver. For example, I've used "top soil" and I've used orchid bark. I know all about each one, and over tie, I've made the decision that I can't trust topsoil to be free of chemicals or toxic plants, and I've also learned that in all my years and all my species, I've never seen or heard of one problem with orchid bark. Topsoil is also too messy, and I've also seen too many tortoises try to eat it. I've never encountered these problems with any species of any age on orchid bark.
 

Mislilly

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Thanks Tom for your advice and knowledge. It's very frustrating when u read something to then find out it's not actually the best thing. It's happened to me loads!!! Glad I found here. I shall check with you guys before I do anything and when I'm not sure of something.
 

Hershel

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This discussion has been so helpful, for humid hides and what to floor enclosures with. Thanks to all for the great advice
 

Pearly

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Hi Mislilly, I LOVE the bookshelf you have!!!!! That makes me jealous!!!!! As for substrate, temp/humidity, you'll figure out what works best for you. Your baby will have great huge home for a good long while.

At this point I'd focus on couple of goals:

1) I think at this point I'd aim for lining entire interior with waterproof stuff or seal it to create "fish tank effect" so no moisture leaks out or into the wood.

2) As for substrate you have a big surface to cover so I'd aim for something that I don't have to change every few was (that'd be a major pain and expense). I went with bioactive substrate and haven't had to change mine in over 6 months with the goal of NEVER having to pay replace it. If your baby likes digging make it deep enough and nice for him to burrow in (not too messy, getting in his eyes etc)

3) close off the top to keep heat/moisture in

I was starting with big open top container but quickly started looking for another option. Heat/humidity loss were unmanageable with open top. Ended up with 40 gal nursery tank which has been working great while babies are still small. That buys me time to work on the outside enclosure for them. I know your frustrations all too well. Just take a deep breath and do the next right thing. You'll get it! You are doing the right thing, seeking knowledge trying to do the right thing for your pet. My advise is, keep your research going, but do not forget to have fun while doing it. All this is supposed to make us happy Hope you had a nice Christmas. Enjoy your tort and keep us posted
 

Mislilly

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Hi pearly,
Thank you so much for your response. It's so nice to hear. I'm learning more and more and I'm looking to learn new things all the time. This forum is brilliant and had helped me so much. Talking to people like yourself is reassuring that what I'm doing is ok and if I do make mistakes I'm quickly learning to amend them. I think when jack needs his substrate changing I'm going to go for all bark. He seems to like the bark much more then the soil and the soil has been worrying me since I've now found out it's not really ideal. It does get so frustrating at times as I'll do something thinking it's a good thing to then read it's not! But I am enjoying being a tortoise mummy and I love to learn new things especially diet as I do try really hard to provide a good varied well balanced diet. Jack now has a humid hide, and I'm pleased as he's using it. I want to get some plexiglass sheets I can lay across the top of the book case as soon as I can. Would that work well?

What sort of tort have you got?

Kirsty :)
 

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