Is this setup okay for sulcata hatchlings?

Turningstar

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Jun 20, 2018
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Florida
Zoo med tortoise house with forest floor bedding and some sphagnum moss. (Accidentally bought organic potting MIX instead of soil, so no dirt right now)
Covered side-84°, 88% humidity
Basking spot is a brick paver-97° , 47% humidity
Cool side of wire top enclosure away from basking spot is 86°, 82% humidity.

Just set it up this afternoon, so no night temps yet, but temps here are usually in the 70s at night(central Fl)

The temp today was 90° and they are on our screened porch. I plan on putting them out in the sun most days, and just keeping the ceramic heat bulb on at night in their house. For rainy or dark days, thwy have the reptisun 5.0 uvb bulb.

The 18 week old babies are coming tomorrow and I want to make sure they have the optimum set up before they arrive.


Torzilla and Shelldon thank you for your help!
 

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Briannesmith1

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The enclosure needs to be closed! It needs to be around 90% humidity all around the cage for them to grow smoothly with no pyramiding. Also, I’m not sure anyone else’s views on the blue water bowl you have in there but my tort flipped himself on it so I got rid of it. The safer the better!
 

Melis

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Welcome!

How many babies are you getting? And are they hatchlings?
 

Turningstar

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I turned off the basking light and rechecked the temp and humidity.
Basking spot temp is staying at 91°.
Covered side is staying in the hight 80s with 99% humidity with the gauge sitting directly on substrate. It started pouring rain outside and temps changed a bit.

The humidity measurements were taken hours after I set it up and I only misted it a little. I suppose i could spray it a bit more and check the readings....

Are humidity readings on a digital gauge to be done with the sensor on top of the substrate or under it?
 

Briannesmith1

Active Member
Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Tucson
I turned off the basking light and rechecked the temp and humidity.
Basking spot temp is staying at 91°.
Covered side is staying in the hight 80s with 99% humidity with the gauge sitting directly on substrate. It started pouring rain outside and temps changed a bit.

The humidity measurements were taken hours after I set it up and I only misted it a little. I suppose i could spray it a bit more and check the readings....

Are humidity readings on a digital gauge to be done with the sensor on top of the substrate or under it?
I just set mine on the substrate
 

TechnoCheese

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2 well started hatchlings.
Tortoises should not be kept in pairs. They are solitary animals, do not make friends, and it is very stressful for them to be together. I would get just one, but since you already bought them, you need another enclosure, or another baby to form a group. Keep in mind that with a group, it won’t always work, and you will need to have two other enclosures just in case.

Zoo med tortoise houses definitely aren’t the best. They mold very easily, and don’t hold humidity well.

If you see your tort eating the moss, take it out. That is a very common problem.

Please give these a read and come back with questions :)

How To Raise A Healthy Sulcata Or Leopard, Version 2.0 https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php...ealthy-Sulcata-Or-Leopard,-Version-2.0.79895/

For Those Who Have a Young Sulcata... https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/For-Those-Who-Have-a-Young-Sulcata....76744/

Beginner Mistakes https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/
 

samsmom

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Congrats and you’re on the right path by being here. Read the care sheets they are fabulous and oh so very accurate!
 

Tom

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Southern California
Zoo med tortoise house with forest floor bedding and some sphagnum moss. (Accidentally bought organic potting MIX instead of soil, so no dirt right now)
Covered side-84°, 88% humidity
Basking spot is a brick paver-97° , 47% humidity
Cool side of wire top enclosure away from basking spot is 86°, 82% humidity.

Just set it up this afternoon, so no night temps yet, but temps here are usually in the 70s at night(central Fl)

The temp today was 90° and they are on our screened porch. I plan on putting them out in the sun most days, and just keeping the ceramic heat bulb on at night in their house. For rainy or dark days, thwy have the reptisun 5.0 uvb bulb.

The 18 week old babies are coming tomorrow and I want to make sure they have the optimum set up before they arrive.


Torzilla and Shelldon thank you for your help!
I'm sorry to tell you that you are doing almost everything wrong that can be done wrong for hatchlings. I don't want to upset you, but you need to know. I want your tortoises to be healthy and thrive, and I want t you to have a positive tortoise keeping experience. If you continue that way you've described here it is not likely to end well. I'll hit the high points:
  1. The zoomed houses are terrible for tortoises. Rhey are not well designed and don't work well for any species, any size or any situation for a variety of reasons. Large closed chambers work best for baby sulcatas.
  2. No soil. You can't know what composted material it is made of. Might be something toxic. "Forest Floor" is cypress mulch, right? If yes, that is okay, but orchid bark works better.
  3. No moss. They eat it and it can cause an impaction. You don't need it. It serves no purpose.
  4. They should not be outside on the screened porch. Babies don't do well outside full time, regardless of climate. They do best indoors in large closed chambers.
  5. A 5.0 bulb produces almost no UV. It will do nothing but light up the area. What type of 5.0? CFL type or a long tube type? CFL types can damage tortoise eyes and should not be used. Tube types are fine.
  6. They should not be housed as a pair. Groups are sometimes okay, but not pairs. You need to just get one, or make two indoor and two outdoor enclosures. Or get one more so you have a trio, but then you'll have to worry about what sexes you end up with as they mature. One male and you have a baby making factory on your hands. More than one male and you'll have to separate all three into separate enclosures. Three females, and things will probably be peaceful and fine.

There is much more explained in the threads that TechnoCheese linked for you, but feel free to ask more questions here. We are all here to talk torts.
 
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