**NEW RED-FOOT OWNER & NEED HELP**

Wally83

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Hutto TEXAS
Hi Everyone,

This is my second reptile I have ever owned, first one was a Bearded Dragon that I owned for 13yrs and recently passed away. I decided to get a tortoise due to the length of age and decided to get a red foot due to the personality traits compared to others. I have tried to do as much research and this is what I know so far,

* They eat all kinds of foods (veggies, fruits, and 20% diet of protein
* Humidity is preferred at 80-90%
* Basking temp 90-95


Well, my question is I just purchased a new junior (5inches in length) about two days ago, and I have noticed the following
1. He ate perfectly fine on day one(collard greens , yellow squash-he preferred the squash instantly)
2. On day one , he burrowed himself under the half log at night and remained there until the next day until 2ish pm ( I decided it was time to disturb him and take him out of the dirt to eat)
3. This morning he again was in the log buried in the half log and I took him out so he could eat in which he did just fine.

40 gallon breeder
Humidity on hot side is 50-60 %
Temp on hot side is 88 degrees with digital temp 6 inches away from Hot lamp (Powersun 100 watt uvb uva bulb_
Temp on cool side (other side of tank) is 73-75 degrees
Humidity on cool side is 70%

I mist room temp water 2-3 times a day and cover the cool side of the tank with a towel to maintain the humidity.


Final question is

1.Is it normal for young RF to burry themselves for most of the day when they are in a new environment?
2. How can I increase humidity since misting isn't working apparently
3. Do I not disturb him buried and see if he comes out on his own in a few days to eat?

Thanks in advance!
 

Wally83

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Hutto TEXAS
Here is his enclosure
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,169
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi Everyone,

This is my second reptile I have ever owned, first one was a Bearded Dragon that I owned for 13yrs and recently passed away. I decided to get a tortoise due to the length of age and decided to get a red foot due to the personality traits compared to others. I have tried to do as much research and this is what I know so far,

* They eat all kinds of foods (veggies, fruits, and 20% diet of protein
* Humidity is preferred at 80-90%
* Basking temp 90-95


Well, my question is I just purchased a new junior (5inches in length) about two days ago, and I have noticed the following
1. He ate perfectly fine on day one(collard greens , yellow squash-he preferred the squash instantly)
2. On day one , he burrowed himself under the half log at night and remained there until the next day until 2ish pm ( I decided it was time to disturb him and take him out of the dirt to eat)
3. This morning he again was in the log buried in the half log and I took him out so he could eat in which he did just fine.

40 gallon breeder
Humidity on hot side is 50-60 %
Temp on hot side is 88 degrees with digital temp 6 inches away from Hot lamp (Powersun 100 watt uvb uva bulb_
Temp on cool side (other side of tank) is 73-75 degrees
Humidity on cool side is 70%

I mist room temp water 2-3 times a day and cover the cool side of the tank with a towel to maintain the humidity.


Final question is

1.Is it normal for young RF to burry themselves for most of the day when they are in a new environment?
2. How can I increase humidity since misting isn't working apparently
3. Do I not disturb him buried and see if he comes out on his own in a few days to eat?

Thanks in advance!
Hello and welcome. You have gone down the same wrong path that almost everyone goes down. You tried to do your best and spent lots of time "researching", but what you did not know is that almost all of the info you find on the net is all wrong. Vets and some breeders have the same wrong info. Youtube and FB are even worse. I am glad you found us, and we will help you get it right.

1. A 40 is WAYYYY too small. Tortoises need huge enclosures compared to other reptiles. A 40 is okay for a tiny brand new hatchling for a few months, but at 5+ inches, your tortoise needs a large 4x8 foot closed chamber.
2. Open topped enclosures do not work. That is like trying to heat your house in winter with no roof. You will not get humidity right until you get the right type of enclosure.
3. This species does not need a basking lamp and it will make them pyramid if you use one.
4. Humidity needs to be 80+% all the time, everywhere.
5. There should not be a "cool side" for this species. Make the temperature 82-88 all the time. Use a thermostat with a radiant heat panel or ceramic heating element to accomplish this.
6. Those ramped water bowls are a flipping/drowning hazard. Remove it ASAP and replace it with a terra cotta plant saucer sunk into the substrate.
7. Coco coir is an okay substrate, but it needs to be kept damp and you must hand pack it thoroughly.

Hiding a lot is normal in a new environment, but your tortoise is at the wrong temps, wrong humidity, and in much too small of an enclosure. It is also much too open and barren for this forest species.

Questions are welcome.
 

methos75

Active Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
137
Location (City and/or State)
Lawrenceville, IL via Walker, LA
I keep my young Redfoot like this, it's a 6x3 8D791F23 A98D 42F9 A427 E2E86FC66B22 stock pond with live plants and its hard to see in the pic but it's pretty swampy, top is dry but if my redfoot digs deep enough it's pretty swampy. Temps stay at 83 degrees and humidity is between 80 and 90 dependent on time of day but it never drops below 80. The "basking light" is just a normal light bulb that puts off zero real heat, it's just there for the redfoot to get under if it chooses to which is rarely.
 
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ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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Tom hit the nail on the head with his informative and generous response.
But I'd like to ad that the bulb you are using is part of your issue. First of all, Redfoot don't like bright lights. This light is very bright and very hot in one small area. The UVB output is also only in one small area. And lights like this cause a dry carapace and also greatly diminish the overall humidity.
Use a strip florescent T5 HO UVB 5.0 tube for both UVB and daytime light. Then use one or two CHE on a thermostat for warmth. Day and night.
Temperature below 78. Above 90 and harsh lighting all make Redfoot uncomfortable. However it's also normal for a baby to hide and sleep for most of the day. If your parameters are all good, sleeping is nothing to be concerned about.

Use a different enclosure or close off yours so that it can hold in humidity. Pour a little water into the corners while using Orchid bark and the water will naturally evaporate and give off humidity as it does. The top layer of the substrate will remain pretty dry and you should not have any fungal issues once you have the correct amount dialed in
 

Wally83

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Hutto TEXAS
Hello and welcome. You have gone down the same wrong path that almost everyone goes down. You tried to do your best and spent lots of time "researching", but what you did not know is that almost all of the info you find on the net is all wrong. Vets and some breeders have the same wrong info. Youtube and FB are even worse. I am glad you found us, and we will help you get it right.

1. A 40 is WAYYYY too small. Tortoises need huge enclosures compared to other reptiles. A 40 is okay for a tiny brand new hatchling for a few months, but at 5+ inches, your tortoise needs a large 4x8 foot closed chamber.
2. Open topped enclosures do not work. That is like trying to heat your house in winter with no roof. You will not get humidity right until you get the right type of enclosure.
3. This species does not need a basking lamp and it will make them pyramid if you use one.
4. Humidity needs to be 80+% all the time, everywhere.
5. There should not be a "cool side" for this species. Make the temperature 82-88 all the time. Use a thermostat with a radiant heat panel or ceramic heating element to accomplish this.
6. Those ramped water bowls are a flipping/drowning hazard. Remove it ASAP and replace it with a terra cotta plant saucer sunk into the substrate.
7. Coco coir is an okay substrate, but it needs to be kept damp and you must hand pack it thoroughly.

Hiding a lot is normal in a new environment, but your tortoise is at the wrong temps, wrong humidity, and in much too small of an enclosure. It is also much too open and barren for this forest species.

Questions are welcome.
I have the Heat emitter on the cold side running 24rs to produce temps of 80+,Today I went out and purchased two spider plants and took out the water dish for more of a saucer dish. I added more soil to increase humidity , seems to be consistent 60-65 now.

Regarding basking, so in the wild they do not bask at all?
 

Wally83

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Hutto TEXAS
Tom hit the nail on the head with his informative and generous response.
But I'd like to ad that the bulb you are using is part of your issue. First of all, Redfoot don't like bright lights. This light is very bright and very hot in one small area. The UVB output is also only in one small area. And lights like this cause a dry carapace and also greatly diminish the overall humidity.
Use a strip florescent T5 HO UVB 5.0 tube for both UVB and daytime light. Then use one or two CHE on a thermostat for warmth. Day and night.
Temperature below 78. Above 90 and harsh lighting all make Redfoot uncomfortable. However it's also normal for a baby to hide and sleep for most of the day. If your parameters are all good, sleeping is nothing to be concerned about.

Use a different enclosure or close off yours so that it can hold in humidity. Pour a little water into the corners while using Orchid bark and the water will naturally evaporate and give off humidity as it does. The top layer of the substrate will remain pretty dry and you should not have any fungal issues once you have the correct amount dialed in
I think I had one of those florescent T5's before for my bearded dragon when I first got her and had a lot of problems with the bulb not lasting long which is why I went with a Powersun all in one. You stated the CHE would be ideal along with UVB separately and that the 125watt all in one UVA & UVB is drying out that one side of the area but theoretically wouldn't a CHE still dry out that area too since it is providing heat?
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
25,682
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I think I had one of those florescent T5's before for my bearded dragon when I first got her and had a lot of problems with the bulb not lasting long which is why I went with a Powersun all in one. You stated the CHE would be ideal along with UVB separately and that the 125watt all in one UVA & UVB is drying out that one side of the area but theoretically wouldn't a CHE still dry out that area too since it is providing heat?
Do a forum search for that MVB bulb and decide for yourself.
That Powersun does nothing well.
I have several of them in a box in my garage. I'll never use them again. But I can't bring myself to throw them away because of the cost of the damned things.
Trust me. Do not keep a Redfoot under an "all in one" MVB.
 

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