Lighting question for a red foot

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Alan RF

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Hi there! I was wondering how many hours daylight/UVB should my one year old Red Foot tortoise need? Also, in his vivarium which is 4ftx2ftx2ft he has a uvb light which I was told to buy a 12% UVB strip light due to the height of the vivarium. Apparently, the light looses it's values the further away it is??? I did tell the reptile shop that he only needs 5% but they said it's the height?? I'd be grateful for any advise! I live in the UK hence why he is in a vivarium.:) Thank you!
 

Alan RF

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Cheers Tyler! I've set it from 8am till 9pm but find he doesn't surface from his hide till about 11am so wondered if I should change the times. He came from a shop which opened 9-6 and I have a feeling his set up was set at these times so he's adjusting to our times now!? I do take him out when the British weather allows me too! But only for 10 minutes at a time.
 

Madkins007

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Day length- the day should be 12-14 hours long, but the UVB bulb does not have to be on for all of it. It will last a little longer if it is not kept on as long.

Height vs intensity- This whole topic is a pain in the neck. ALL UVB bulbs are pathetic compared to the sun- the basking spots are small, the dosages are uneven and hard to track, etc. Your best bet is to stick to a good quality bulb and follow the instructions.

Remember- red-footed tortoises prefer shade and being under cover, so even though you are offering UVB, you will not see them under it too often.
 

Alan RF

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TortoiseBoy1999 said:
Isn't this the wrong section???

Sorry tortoise boy I only realised after I'd posted! I'm a newbie sorry im in training ;)

Madkins007 said:
Day length- the day should be 12-14 hours long, but the UVB bulb does not have to be on for all of it. It will last a little longer if it is not kept on as long.

Height vs intensity- This whole topic is a pain in the neck. ALL UVB bulbs are pathetic compared to the sun- the basking spots are small, the dosages are uneven and hard to track, etc. Your best bet is to stick to a good quality bulb and follow the instructions.

Remember- red-footed tortoises prefer shade and being under cover, so even though you are offering UVB, you will not see them under it too often.

Cheers! Yeah your right about him hiding! I bought the Exo terra UVB bulb which seems to be a good make?! This is his only light though other than going out for 10 minutes a day if it's sunny! In the uk at the moment it is ....however it isn't always!
 

stenkamp

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I am struggling with how many lights I should have and heating bulbs. Currently I have one set up which is the combo zoo med powersun uv-UVB 100 watt bulb that I run 12 hours a day. Should I have another warm area? Or a full spectrum fluorescent light?
 

Mgridgaway

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stenkamp said:
I am struggling with how many lights I should have and heating bulbs. Currently I have one set up which is the combo zoo med powersun uv-UVB 100 watt bulb that I run 12 hours a day. Should I have another warm area? Or a full spectrum fluorescent light?

I think this answer mostly depends on your current temps. The only lighting in my cage is a powersun, but I back that up with a ceramic heat emitter and heating pad (soon to be heat ropes) in order to create a gradient for my torts. 75-85 is what you're looking for. If you can achieve that with just one bulb, great. If not, it may be time to add or remove heat.

Redfoots enjoy the whole dappled light effect. They like having light but it doesn't need to be like a nuclear bomb above them.
 

Alan RF

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stenkamp said:
I am struggling with how many lights I should have and heating bulbs. Currently I have one set up which is the combo zoo med powersun uv-UVB 100 watt bulb that I run 12 hours a day. Should I have another warm area? Or a full spectrum fluorescent light?

Glad someone else is in the same boat! Ours is a 12% UVB strip light (which is his day light and his uvb). I then have an Infra red 150watt bulb. I have a habitat night and day timer which measures the temperature along with two temperature gages and a humidity gage. The heat bulb is to the right of the 4ft closure which offers him 90 and the cool end is between 82 and 87 which drops by 10 on an evening/night time. I'm finding humidity is about 60% and I know it has to be 70 so I spray mist often. I need to change his reptibark to something else soon. I was thinking a mixture of coconut/sphagnum moss and maybe a little bit of reptibark.
 

Mgridgaway

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Alan RF said:
Glad someone else is in the same boat! Ours is a 12% UVB strip light (which is his day light and his uvb). I then have an Infra red 150watt bulb. I have a habitat night and day timer which measures the temperature along with two temperature gages and a humidity gage. The heat bulb is to the right of the 4ft closure which offers him 90 and the cool end is between 82 and 87 which drops by 10 on an evening/night time. I'm finding humidity is about 60% and I know it has to be 70 so I spray mist often. I need to change his reptibark to something else soon. I was thinking a mixture of coconut/sphagnum moss and maybe a little bit of reptibark.

I would say your cage may actually be a little on the warm side. Like I said in my last post, 75-85 gradient is the ideal.
 

Alan RF

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Mgridgaway said:
I would say your cage may actually be a little on the warm side. Like I said in my last post, 75-85 gradient is the ideal.

I read this after I posted! I'm looking at the temp gage now which is in the middle of the 4ft vivarium. It's reading 85? So it must be hotter under the infra red which in the 3weeks we've had him he's never been under. His water/bathing pool is set a little back from this which I place him in. Do you think him staying in his hide (in his dug out spot he's made) is because it's too hot? Sorry to ask so many questions! I just want what's best for him :)
 

Mgridgaway

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Alan RF said:
Mgridgaway said:
I would say your cage may actually be a little on the warm side. Like I said in my last post, 75-85 gradient is the ideal.

I read this after I posted! I'm looking at the temp gage now which is in the middle of the 4ft vivarium. It's reading 85? So it must be hotter under the infra red which in the 3weeks we've had him he's never been under. His water/bathing pool is set a little back from this which I place him in. Do you think him staying in his hide (in his dug out spot he's made) is because it's too hot? Sorry to ask so many questions! I just want what's best for him :)

Babies spend a lot of time hidden/dug in so this is not uncharacteristic. Do you have a hide that he can go in? A log or pot?

If you pay attention to your redfoots they'll usually show you where they like to be. Unless I come around, mine are almost always in the nice warm humid section that sits around 80. Try to get some cooler sections for your redfoot; he'll love you for it!
 

Alan RF

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Mgridgaway said:
Babies spend a lot of time hidden/dug in so this is not uncharacteristic. Do you have a hide that he can go in? A log or pot?

If you pay attention to your redfoots they'll usually show you where they like to be. Unless I come around, mine are almost always in the nice warm humid section that sits around 80. Try to get some cooler sections for your redfoot; he'll love you for it!

Yeah he has a rather large log tunnel which he stays under .....all day mostly! After the 2nd week I noticed him go to the food plate all by himself! (so brave...proud moment!). Somedays I see the food has been touched and others there's been some nibbles! But around 5 I take him for a bath/soak let him have a walk around the living room then put him in his vivarium where he'll then walk round to his food.
I do think where he's chosen is 85. My husband has just reduced the heat for him. I'm always checking on him and getting to know him. I've been weighing him every other day. He was 78g when I bought him which he has maintained but one day it was 71g! That day he hadn't eaten and I was out all day the day before so he was out of routine. I felt awful! But gave him some romaine lettuce and the next day he was 76g.Yesterday he was 81g but this was the day I gave him some chicken which he loved! How often would you give them protein at his age? Once a week or fortnight? I keep reading various things. The reptile shop I got him from said not to bother! Lol. I think the chicken I gave him was the first he'd ever had!
 

Mgridgaway

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I usually do one or twice a month for mine. Usually chicken or a nice juicy worm. They chomp them both up.

You mentioned romaine, which is usually low on the list for choice foods. May I ask what his typical diet consists of?
 

Alan RF

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Mgridgaway said:
I usually do one or twice a month for mine. Usually chicken or a nice juicy worm. They chomp them both up.

You mentioned romaine, which is usually low on the list for choice foods. May I ask what his typical diet consists of?

I feed him every morning a plate which a typical week is as follows:

Monday-romaine lettuce and grated carrot
Tuesday-kale and dandelion leaves
Wednesday-mango and cress with some clover
Thursday-romaine lettuce and cucumber
Friday-kale and a grape
Saturday-parsley and dandelion leaves
Sunday-clover and cress and boiled sweet potato

I'm finding he loves romaine lettuce, mango,melon,strawberries. I've read about collard greens? That's kale? What about cauliflower leaves or sweetheart cabbage? I've been trying to feed him 70% greens,29% fruit and 1% protein. Protein he's had 2 teaspoons 2 times in 4weeks?
 

Madkins007

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The foods you list are OK, but only a few are really great- dandelion leaves, cress, and clover. Try adding more dark greens- collard or turnip greens, the less common lettuces (like you often find in something like Spring Mix), etc. Cabbage and cauliflower leaves are OK for variety but not real great.

Instead of the sweet fruits (grape, mango) and the root veggies (carrot, sweet potato), try instead things like squash or pumpkin, bell pepper, etc. You can also try things like plums, cherries, apple, and so on for the fruits.

You might find some more helpful info in the Tortoise Library, linked below.
 

Alan RF

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Madkins007 said:
The foods you list are OK, but only a few are really great- dandelion leaves, cress, and clover. Try adding more dark greens- collard or turnip greens, the less common lettuces (like you often find in something like Spring Mix), etc. Cabbage and cauliflower leaves are OK for variety but not real great.

Instead of the sweet fruits (grape, mango) and the root veggies (carrot, sweet potato), try instead things like squash or pumpkin, bell pepper, etc. You can also try things like plums, cherries, apple, and so on for the fruits.

You might find some more helpful info in the Tortoise Library, linked below.

Thanks! Collard greens I can't see in the supermarket in the uk? Turnip greens? I've seen spring greens before as my friend used to buy them for her rabbit. I will have a search tomorrow when I food shop! Thank you again!
 

Alan RF

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Madkins007 said:
Ah- the UK. Rocket is a good option as well.

Dam! I just saw rocket in the supermarket and thought is that ok! Ha ha couldn't see a spring mix? But bought the spring greens as they are collard greens as I found out with by the power of the Internet! Lol also, bell peppers I got and blueberries??? Can they have blueberries?



Image 1036442085

He loves pepper!
 

Watsonpartyof4

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My Tyrone loves Kale! I also give him spring mix and dandelion leaves. His favorite fruit is strawberries which I give every few days. I use a lot of bell pepper when I cook so he gets that too. And cooked chicken about every three weeks. I give carrots about once a week or so. Apples about every two weeks. Variety is the key! Don't feed the the same old thing day after day. I do give him Kale everyday but I mix it with other food and he seems to enjoy it.
 
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