Is a closed vivarium suitable for a 1 year old Hermann tortoise?

Honey001

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ED493CC0 C93D 4C0F 93D6 9E2C3D78FB48 So I want to change my Hermann tortoise enclosure from a table to a vivarium as this will allow him to have the biggest enclosure for the space I have and will also be safer as we have a dog that doesn’t like him. Though I have done a lot of research I keep getting conflicting answers as to wether this will be okay for his specific species provided I recreate his necessary terrain inside (which of course I plan on doing as well as I can). I plan on buying a professionally made one so that he is provided with the appropriate about of ventilation and the correct wood that can keep the heat in. Do you think it will be okay for him to live in a vivarium or should I try and figure out an alternative option for him to have a table instead?
I’ve attached a screenshot of the vivarium I plan on buying.

Ps. My tortoise spends a few hours out of his table every day where he roams around and I interact with him so he wouldn’t be shut in the vivarium 24hrs every day)
 

Quixx66

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Mine is almost 2 years old. Keeping his humidity up and heat stable has been a challenge in the Christmas tree storage bin. The UVB strip was also in a bad location across the top of the bin. Too close to the tort. I recently ordered a PVC closed chamber after my tort started getting a little bumpy shell. Too late for a perfectly smooth tort now 🥺. My advice is to get a closed chamber as soon as you can. I’ve seen some on here with greenhouse cover tops but I want an all-in-one box-type.
 

Karen(pebbles)

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Hi and welcome, I have a 2yr old hermanns (pebbles) s/he is kept in a 4x2x2 vivarium at the moment, obviously we’re gonna have to enlarge as the tort grows but I got mine from swell reptiles, hope thus helps
 

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Quixx66

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Here’s the one I ended up going with. I saw it on Garden State Tortoise’s (Chris Leone’s) YouTube channel, liked the looks and the availability of a 5’ L model to use up all available space in the spot. Mine is the black Dragon scale but there are lovely wood toned ones too. They didn’t fit my yellow bamboo decor. https://toadranchcages.com/collections/frontpage/products/60x24x24pvcreptileenclosure My variety of Hermann’s is supposed to stay small so hopefully he won’t need a size upgrade. This 24”H model is a little low for the UVB strip because I ordered the bioactive model to hold more soil (up to 6”) so I’ll just keep his soil lower on that end. Costs too much for me to order the 30” H model.
 
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Quixx66

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It’s me again. Decided to convert my measurements for you to metric. 188L x 61H x 61D cm, and I’m concerned that’ll ultimately be too small. It seems to be much larger than what you’re considering to buy. I’m a novice, far from an expert, so make of that what you will.
 

Honey001

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Hi and welcome, I have a 2yr old hermanns (pebbles) s/he is kept in a 4x2x2 vivarium at the moment, obviously we’re gonna have to enlarge as the tort grows but I got mine from swell reptiles, hope thus helps
Wow I love your set up so much! It’s so pretty! I might be being really dumb rn but can I ask what you do at night for warmth? Like heat mats and if so where do you put them? <3
 

Honey001

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Hi and welcome, I have a 2yr old hermanns (pebbles) s/he is kept in a 4x2x2 vivarium at the moment, obviously we’re gonna have to enlarge as the tort grows but I got mine from swell reptiles, hope thus helps
Can I also ask if you keep any edible plants in your vivarium and if so what do you keep?
 

Tom

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Wow I love your set up so much! It’s so pretty! I might be being really dumb rn but can I ask what you do at night for warmth? Like heat mats and if so where do you put them? <3
Hello and welcome!

The vivarium can make an excellent enclosure, but that one is too small. You need one at least 122x60cm for a small tortoise, and much larger as they grow.

Your species generally should not need night heat unless your house consistently gets below 15C at night.

Much of the care info given from pet shops and breeders for this species is all wrong. Here is the correct care info:


Questions are welcome.
 

Quixx66

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Can I also ask if you keep any edible plants in your vivarium and if so what do you keep?
I’m looking into that right now, lol! I looked on Tortoise Table for safe plants. I just found one on their that another site said was toxic so search several sources! I’m preparing for Matteo’s new upcoming enclosure by growing seedlings to avoid pesticides and other chemicals on nursery plants. I was hoping for plants from the Western Hermann’s native range in Sicily, but not so many are suitable. All his plants will be kept in pots away from him so he won’t eat them. (I’m growing a garden outside with testudo-specific seeds I bought from Tortoise Supply for his actual food.) For the indoor enclosure I bought organic spineless opuntia already and I’m looking for some more good tillandsia air plants. Im considering some organic herbs such as mints. I just ordered monkey flower seeds (mimulus) for a bit of color. I bought birch and oak tree seeds to see if I can do bonsai in the enclosure. Both trees are native to his native area and are good beginner bonsai. I love bromeliads and might give in although they are from South America. I’ll add some cut heat-treated organic birch branches as well.

I’m looking for a theme so it won’t look too messy. If it does, I’ll probably plant some haworthia and dracaena and something hanging and be done with it.
 

Quixx66

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Hello and welcome!

The vivarium can make an excellent enclosure, but that one is too small. You need one at least 122x60cm for a small tortoise, and much larger as they grow.

How large is enough for an adult or should I refer to your care sheet?
 

Tom

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Thanks. That’ll be one spendy vivarium unless you can make it yourself! Big enough for a tegu!
True. Tortoises need very large enclosures compared to most other reptiles. This is one reason why its best to house adults outdoors when climate and weather will allow.
 

Karen(pebbles)

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Wow I love your set up so much! It’s so pretty! I might be being really dumb rn but can I ask what you do at night for warmth? Like heat mats and if so where do you put them? <3
I have a che that you can just see in the picture, it's there 'JUST IN CASE' it's needed, i've used it probably three times when the temps have dropped during the night but it's only switched on to give the viv a quick warm up in the morning, as Tom said, it's not really needed unless your house is really cold, the che needs to run off of a thermostat also.
 

Karen(pebbles)

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Can I also ask if you keep any edible plants in your vivarium and if so what do you keep?
I have a spider plant in the viv, but my torts not interested in it at the moment, i've also tried succulents and aloe vera without any luck, maybe as pebbles grows i'll keep trying.
 

Sarah2020

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Welcome. Definitely closed enc to maintain humidity, heat and ensure smooth shell growth. I extended mine by taking back off and adding a large base, top and sides and new back you or a handy man can do this when required. Try looking at swell reptiles online as they have a selection . No heat mat required. Please read care sheet and ensure correct separate uvb light and heat. Please ask questions.
 

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