Questions after reading the sticky hermanns care guide

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Hi tortoise lovers, i am planning to have a new baby hermann in a couple week, but there are some questions regarding the care guides needed to keep it properly;

After reading Chris' guide, here are some questions i would like to address

1. I am planning to use a mix of cocopeat and topsoil as a substrate. But i am wondering about the overall hygiene of the setup. I am talking about pees and poops that will build up deep into the bottom of the substrate overtime. Can it pose a problem to the tort's health? Do i need to make some kind of drainage system on the bottom of the container box such as putting rubber mats with holes to let fluids go down to the bottom so the soil could stay dry and oddoorless? I guess that could lower the overall humidity in burrows, which could be bad.

2. The guide mentioned that the artificial light needs to operate 12~13 hours a day. Does it apply to both the basking light and the uvb fluorescent? Or does it apply to only the basking one?

3. I live a tropical climate in Indonesia. Does all said in the guide apply here? I really plan to follow the guide as much as possible.

4. How much do i need to take the tort outside for natural sun basking? I am planning to care this baby exclusively indoor because i already have redfooted tortoises on my outdoor yards. I dont want any contacts between them and this one. How should i get the tort to bask naturally in this situation?

5. I have a coil type uvb bulb from exoterra. I heard it is bad for the torts eyes. Can i use them?

I greatly appreciate any help and comment that u can provide for addressing the questions. I just want to make sure to do everything right.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Best regards,
Eric
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,633
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Hi tortoise lovers, i am planning to have a new baby hermann in a couple week, but there are some questions regarding the care guides needed to keep it properly;

After reading Chris' guide, here are some questions i would like to address

1. I am planning to use a mix of cocopeat and topsoil as a substrate. But i am wondering about the overall hygiene of the setup. I am talking about pees and poops that will build up deep into the bottom of the substrate overtime. Can it pose a problem to the tort's health? Do i need to make some kind of drainage system on the bottom of the container box such as putting rubber mats with holes to let fluids go down to the bottom so the soil could stay dry and oddoorless? I guess that could lower the overall humidity in burrows, which could be bad.

2. The guide mentioned that the artificial light needs to operate 12~13 hours a day. Does it apply to both the basking light and the uvb fluorescent? Or does it apply to only the basking one?

3. I live a tropical climate in Indonesia. Does all said in the guide apply here? I really plan to follow the guide as much as possible.

4. How much do i need to take the tort outside for natural sun basking? I am planning to care this baby exclusively indoor because i already have redfooted tortoises on my outdoor yards. I dont want any contacts between them and this one. How should i get the tort to bask naturally in this situation?

5. I have a coil type uvb bulb from exoterra. I heard it is bad for the torts eyes. Can i use them?

I greatly appreciate any help and comment that u can provide for addressing the questions. I just want to make sure to do everything right.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Best regards,
Eric
1. Spot cleaning should be fine. You don't need drainage holes

2. Both basking and UVB on for 12-13 hours - you're imitating the sun

3. You have high natural humidity which isn't so good for Hermann's I think, but @HermanniChris is the one to answer this

4. If your inside setup is correct you don't have to go outside at all. However, you may not be able to provide sufficient indoor space as your tort grows.

5. No. Don't use coil lamp at all. Tube UVB with a separate basking lamp is fine. Or use a Mercury Vapor Bulb that provides basking as well
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,633
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Having said you have high natural humidity, that won't be the case if your home is air conditioned. Do you have air conditioning?
 

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Thank u for the replies JoesMum. No i dont use ac in the room where the tort is. Do i still need to mist the enclosure daily as instructed in the guide? The uva light will still warm and dry up the enclosure won't it?
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,633
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Yes, definitely mist. However, misting alone is unlikely to be enough.

Don't be afraid to tip some water into the substrate and give it a good mix with your hands. Not too much, you want the substrate to be damp not wet.
 

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
I will definitely try that. Thank u JoesMum. If my box is 2 x 4 ft, what wattage of uvb tube should i choose? It has to do with the tube's length am i correct? I am planning to use exotera reptiglo 10.0 tube. Thank u
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,633
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
There's no heat from a UVB tube - it's just brightness. 10 should be plenty

You will also need a basking lamp to create a basking spot hot enough for your tort to digest his food.

You can simplify things by buying a Mercury Vapor Bulb that does both UVB and basking heat.

Make sure you also get a 24hr timer from a hardware store. Use it to switch the lights on and off at the same time every day and means you get a lie in occasionally!
 

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Just want to make sure, is the reptiglo 10.0 long tube a correct choice to use? Do i need a dimmer for both lightings? Thank you for staying up with my questions so far. Very eager to hear from other experts as well
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
93,377
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I don't think a dimmer works with a fluorescent tube. And for sure you can't use a dimmer with a Mercury Vapor Bulb. You want a thermostat to use with the ceramic heat emitter, though.
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,633
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Just want to make sure, is the reptiglo 10.0 long tube a correct choice to use? Do i need a dimmer for both lightings? Thank you for staying up with my questions so far. Very eager to hear from other experts as well
No dimmer. It wouldn't work anyway. Lights should be on or off, nothing in between. At night your tort needs complete darkness and the temperature to drop.
 

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Thank you for the replies, note taken here. I need an expert's opinion on point 3 at the begining of this thread asking about following Chris' guide in tropical climate.

And how often should i change the substrate completely? Considering it is 2x4 feet area, i spot clean and mist it daily, and only 1 baby herman lives there.

Thank you
 

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
I attached a pic of the enclosure just for you to judge how appropriate it looks.

I will add a uvb long tube hanging on the side. (its not in the picture yet).

Please tell me what you think. Ambience temp is at steady 76~83, and 87 at the basking spot. Probably i need to lower the placement of the uva bulb in order to bring the temp up.

Thank you for your attention
 

Attachments

  • 20160419_124030.jpg
    20160419_124030.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 39

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,633
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
You confuse me. A UVA bulb does not produce heat usually. UVA is not necessary.

A plain reflector bulb is used for basking if you are going to use separate tube UVB. It must hang straight down, not be at an angle, and you need 95F directly under it.

The alternative is a single MVB (Mercury Vapor Bulb) which produces both UVB and basking heat. You won't need the tube then. Again the MVB must hang straight down and you want 95F under it.
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,633
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Misunderstanding cleared up. :)

Get rid of those reptile bowls. They cause tipping accidents. A terracotta plant saucer is much better for your tort.
 

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
What kind of flat surface or stones would you recomend me to put in there for a place to put the tort's meal? I saw some people putting things like marbles or flat stone fragments for that purpose. I am wondering where they acquired those. Are those fish tank goodies?
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,633
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
ANything
What kind of flat surface or stones would you recommend me to put in there for a place to put the tort's meal? I saw some people putting things like marbles or flat stone fragments for that purpose. I am wondering where they acquired those. Are those fish tank goodies?
Anything that's not smooth and shiny. A piece of slate, a flat roof tile, the back of a ceramic tile... A convenient lump of whatever is local to you. Washed thoroughly of course
 

Chilapeno

New Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2016
Messages
13
Thank you for the replies. It has helped so much this far. I have one more thing to clear up about hibernation. Since i don't have any cold season here in tropical Indonesia, is it save if i never want to hibernate the tortoise? We only have 2 seasons for the year, rainy and dry. The temprature is within 70~85F all year long. I know this is a long-debated mater about to or not to hibernate. It seems that i am on the not-to-hibernate side.

Thank u once again
 

Sara G.

Active Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
Messages
526
Location (City and/or State)
Long Island, New York
From what I've read/see on the forum there's lots of people who don't hibernate their torts and have no problems. I think it comes down to a preference thing in the end.
But I have a non-hibernating tort so I haven't dealt with hibernating animals at all.
I have two red eared sliders though who could hibernate (if it's even called that for water turtles) but I never have and probably never will.
 

JoesMum

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 26, 2011
Messages
21,633
Location (City and/or State)
Kent, South East England
Thank you for the replies. It has helped so much this far. I have one more thing to clear up about hibernation. Since i don't have any cold season here in tropical Indonesia, is it save if i never want to hibernate the tortoise? We only have 2 seasons for the year, rainy and dry. The temprature is within 70~85F all year long. I know this is a long-debated mater about to or not to hibernate. It seems that i am on the not-to-hibernate side.

Thank u once again
A tortoise does not have to hibernate, so yes it is definitely safe not to do it.

Many species do not hibernate ever in the wild and it should not be attempted with these.

Temperatures for safe hibernation for those that do, eg Testudo, need to be steady around 5C/40F and not exceeding 20C/50F.
 

New Posts

Top