Newbie - Future Cherry head tortoise owner! Help!

Jorge Moreno

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Hello, everyone!

My name is Jorge Moreno and I am currently leave in California. I am a newbie in the tortoise world.
I'll be getting two cherry head red-footed tortoises hatchlings in a few weeks. I am currently doing research regards their habitat and I am wondering if the power sun 160W bulb by ZooMed is the right choice for UVB & UVA lighting. here is the pic of the bulb.


I am also building an indoor 3' Wx 6' Lx3' H habitat, but in the meantime, I will put the cherry heads in a 10-gallon fish tank. I am wondering if the 10-gallon fish tank is too small for their temporary habitat. I am also wondering if the habitat that I am building is too big.

Can someone help?


Thanks,
Jorge
powersun.jpg tortoise temporary habitat.jpg
 

MPRC

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I don't believe that a 10g tank is large enough for one redfoot hatchling, let alone two. You might want to wait until you have the big enclosure made and even then it might be in your best interests to start with just one baby. They don't usually do well in pairs. Either a single tortoise or a group is the way to go.
 

popeye tortoise

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Yes a 10 gallon tank is to small for just one tortoise. Tortoise do better by them selves they do not need company or a friend. I do not know much about redfoots but be patience and you will get all the help you need. Try going to the beginners threads.
 

naturalman91

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you really don't want to house 2 together it's just asking for trouble some people do it successfully but are alway's ready to separate

i read a story of 2 reds being housed together and one ate the other's foot
 

MPRC

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Tell us more about the enclosure you are wanting to build!
 

Anyfoot

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Hello, everyone!

My name is Jorge Moreno and I am currently leave in California. I am a newbie in the tortoise world.
I'll be getting two cherry head red-footed tortoises hatchlings in a few weeks. I am currently doing research regards their habitat and I am wondering if the power sun 160W bulb by ZooMed is the right choice for UVB & UVA lighting. here is the pic of the bulb.


I am also building an indoor 3' Wx 6' Lx3' H habitat, but in the meantime, I will put the cherry heads in a 10-gallon fish tank. I am wondering if the 10-gallon fish tank is too small for their temporary habitat. I am also wondering if the habitat that I am building is too big.

Can someone help?


Thanks,
Jorge
View attachment 164230 View attachment 164227
Hi there. 10 gallon is too small.

If your having an enclosure built, get it as big as possible. Make your enclosure a closed system and 24" high. This will allow you to put the heat source inside the enclosure. So it will be cheeper and easier to maintain temperatures. Forget that light. If you are going with the 3x6' enclosure I would suggest 2 x 150w CHE's (ceramic heat emitter)on seperate thermostats and a 24" long fluorescent tube for uvb on a timer. Put all your heat and light towards one end of the enclosure. Reds don't like it to bright.
I don't use any domes inside my viv for the CHE, this stops the heat being more concentrated in one area.
You need to aim from 80 to 90f across your enclosure. IMO idealy 88f at your heated end and 80f at your darker cooler end, also humidity wants to be up at 80%. This is another reason to go with a closed enclosure.

I would get 1 or 3 torts. Not a pair.

Let us know what path you are going down regarding enclosure. Also take into account that they are going to need a bigger space when they are older. I don't know what your climate is like.

Can talk substrates and diet later. Bye.
 

sibi

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Hola Jorge!!! Welcome to the forum. I don't own cheeeyheads, but there are some commonality with enclosures, lighting and heat. The 160w light would be too hot for your babies. Also, the enclosure should be as big as you can make it so that you wouldn't have to build or get another down the line. You're already heard that pairs don't work, but you haven't hears why. The reason is that most tortoises are territorial and at some point, one will dominate, bully, even bite the other. It would be extremely stressful for the tort that's being bullied. If unchecked, one could die. Don't let that happen. If you want more, than get a few like 3 or 4 cheeryheads. You'll find out soon enough which are males /females. Ideally, you'd want two females for every one male.

Having said that, if you create a closed chamber enclosure, you'll be providing your babies a great, humid, insulated enclosure in which to thrive. A member here, Tom, has threads showing how the chamber is made and works. Check him out. You'll love what he has done. Do a search for closed chambers. Tom raises baby sulcatas in them. This will work for you too. So, remember, no 160w mercury vapor bulb. Instead, you'd want a long florescent tube which will provide UV to your babies. For heat at night, you want to get a ceramic heat emitter (CHE). For basking, get a light bulb not greater than 75w. Invest in a heat gun cause you'll need it to measure temps throughout the chamber. Finally, you want to use something like a ZooMed fogger to provide high humidity. Keep us posted with the arrival of your babies and their enclosure.:)
 

Anyfoot

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Hello, everyone!

My name is Jorge Moreno and I am currently leave in California. I am a newbie in the tortoise world.
I'll be getting two cherry head red-footed tortoises hatchlings in a few weeks. I am currently doing research regards their habitat and I am wondering if the power sun 160W bulb by ZooMed is the right choice for UVB & UVA lighting. here is the pic of the bulb.


I am also building an indoor 3' Wx 6' Lx3' H habitat, but in the meantime, I will put the cherry heads in a 10-gallon fish tank. I am wondering if the 10-gallon fish tank is too small for their temporary habitat. I am also wondering if the habitat that I am building is too big.

Can someone help?


Thanks,
Jorge
View attachment 164230 View attachment 164227
Forgot to mention. Look at @Pearly for decor inspiration.
 

Pearly

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Forgot to mention. Look at @Pearly for decor inspiration.
Hello and welcome to TFO. Definitely use this time to study about your species, diet, enclosures, heat/lighting, 1st aid in common health problems. DO NOT put the babies in 10 gal tank! Especially not with this strong if a bulb. It will cook them. If your mind is set on a nursery tank for the baby stages of your pet(s) get at least 40-50 gal tank which is not deep. What you want is lots of "walking" room rather than vertical space. Get your enclosure ready before getting your animal(s). I highly recommend starting babies in closed system. It has worked very well for me and my torts. Btw I too was misguided in buying a pair of redfoots (one of them cherryhead) but preparing for either separating them and getting couple of girls to keep peace in my tortoise garden
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Jorge, and welcome to the Forum!

I have always used 100 watt bulbs. Never had any problems heating my indoor enclosures with a 100 watt.

As to the aquarium - you can buy much cheaper and larger plastic totes to house your two babies. And if you get bigger, you can add more plants and sight barriers, which helps the babies get out of each others' sight and saves the bullying or fighting. I raised three yellowfooted babies together and I didn't know it at the time, but they each bit off each others' tails. Once you've built them a nice, large outdoor habitat, RF tortoises seem to do ok in a group situation, but having only two together in a small indoor habitat is asking for trouble.
 

Jorge Moreno

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Thank you, everyone for the replies!!! Plenty of helpful information.

I am still trying to decide if I get 1 or 3 cherry heads tortoises. Regards to the habitat I would like to build a close enclusore. I know the size of the enclosure that I would like to build 3ft x 6ft but I am still looking at pictures to get ideas to come up specific design or look that I would like.

As soon as I start building it I'll upload some pics to show you guys my progress.
 

Anyfoot

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Thank you, everyone for the replies!!! Plenty of helpful information.

I am still trying to decide if I get 1 or 3 cherry heads tortoises. Regards to the habitat I would like to build a close enclusore. I know the size of the enclosure that I would like to build 3ft x 6ft but I am still looking at pictures to get ideas to come up specific design or look that I would like.

As soon as I start building it I'll upload some pics to show you guys my progress.
There is a thread on here from Tom on how he builds closed chambers somewhere. I'll try and find it in a bit.
 

kathyth

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image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg

The two top pictures are closed chambers, that are our least complicated. We bought a stock tank from a farm or riding store. My husband made the tops. The heating is controlled. Notice the weaker lighting. Redfoots are not keen on bright lighting.
The lower enclosure is made from a bookcase. Shelves removed and built up.
This is just to give you an idea of baby enclosures.
 

Jorge Moreno

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Thanks for all the suggestions and information!!!!!!

You guys provide me with plenty of ideas and sources to get me excited to build my close enclosure. When it becomes to humidity Sibi recommended a ZooMed fogger to provide high humidity, but I am wondering if the EXo Terra Monssoon RS 400 will work to provide high humidity? The reason I am asking is because I do have an EXo Terra Monsoon that I haven't used in awhile.

Thanks, guys!!!!!!
 

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