Red Foot Indoor Enclosure Tips NEEDED

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Hey fellow tort owners!
I've had my little baby red foot for about a year now, and now I'm getting a new apartment so I wanted to make him an all new bigger and better enclosure.
I currently use sphagnum moss as a substrate because of its ability to hold 10x its weight in moisture, and its also said to kill salmonella, but occasionally my baby has watery eyes, which might be caused by irritation. I'd like to experiment with another substrate, fir tree bark was recommended to me...What do you think?
Also I need a better way to keep the enclosure humid because i'll be away for longer periods during the day next semester, so I can't spray the tank as often. Recommendations? Reptile fogger maybe?
Another thing, what is everyone's enclosure made of? I wanted to stay away from glass because torts tend to get stressed and try to escape when they can see through the walls, but wood would absorb the humidity...so plastic?
I've also seen pictures of people keeping fake plants in the enclosures but I originally worried that my baby would try to eat it. Opinions? (FEEL FREE TO POST PICTURES OF YOUR RED FOOT ENCLOSURE AS EXAMPLES)
 

stojanovski92113

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I use the largest sweater plastic bin and moss as well. You can over it with plexiglass or tin foil to hold the moisture in. Mine are still babies, but my larger torts have fir bark. I've been using fir bark for many years. I've yet to use a fogger but wouldn't mind having one. Also I have fake plants and my torts don't bother with them.
 
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If plexiglass glass is covering the top where do you keep your lamps and heat? Are you familiar with CHE(ceramic heat emitters)? I've been doing research into similar options to replace my heat lamps but I'm not sure what the whole rigging system/ cover should look like
 
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I'm also really curious how he would be with mulch because he loves to attempt burrowing into clothes and grass, but to do think he's still too small to have mulch instead of moss?
 

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crimson_lotus

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I use coco coir for substrate with sphagnum moss in the corners and in her hides. The coir doesn't mold nor does it welcome any bugs, and it holds water well. I have a 4x4 wooden enclosure that I lined with pond liner and topped with plexiglass so nothing molds, and I only use real plants (although it's hard to maintain because she likes to eat them, and it was difficult for me to find plants that would work in her environment) because she has tried to eat plastic plants before.

For humidity I have a Mistking and have a constant 80-90%, but it's rather costly and you can still get the humidity up with a regular humidifier. What some people on here do is buy a humidifier and connect it to their enclosure with a plastic tube you can find at a hardware store. Set it on a timer and there you go. Keep in mind you will need high temperatures at 80 degrees for high humidity environments, otherwise your tortoise will get sick.

I also have a thermostat for my CHE's and a timer for the UVB to turn off every 12 hours.

Watery eyes for Reds are often due to low humidity so I would fix that, I don't think it has anything to do with your substrate.

The picture attached shows half of the enclosure...I had a hard time getting the whole thing :p
 

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I use coco coir for substrate with sphagnum moss in the corners and in her hides. The coir doesn't mold nor does it welcome any bugs, and it holds water well. I have a 4x4 wooden enclosure that I lined with pond liner and topped with plexiglass so nothing molds, and I only use real plants (although it's hard to maintain because she likes to eat them, and it was difficult for me to find plants that would work in her environment) because she has tried to eat plastic plants before.

For humidity I have a Mistking and have a constant 80-90%, but it's rather costly and you can still get the humidity up with a regular humidifier. What some people on here do is buy a humidifier and connect it to their enclosure with a plastic tube you can find at a hardware store. Set it on a timer and there you go. Keep in mind you will need high temperatures at 80 degrees for high humidity environments, otherwise your tortoise will get sick.

I also have a thermostat for my CHE's and a timer for the UVB to turn off every 12 hours.

Watery eyes for Reds are often due to low humidity so I would fix that, I don't think it has anything to do with your substrate.

The picture attached shows half of the enclosure...I had a hard time getting the whole thing :p
What interval do you have your must king set on? I was thinking about getting the beginner set.
I was also looking into radiant heat panels because they are said to feel more natural then CHEs, what do you think?
 

crimson_lotus

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What interval do you have your must king set on? I was thinking about getting the beginner set.
I was also looking into radiant heat panels because they are said to feel more natural then CHEs, what do you think?

I don't really know anything about the radiant heat panels, maybe someone else that's used them can comment. My tortoise does like to sit under the CHE after her bath or after she eats, it's a nice concentrated heat source like basking in the sun. Some people think Red's don't need a basking spot, others do, it's just a matter of opinion. Long as they're warm, you can do either. I have 2 CHE's and the only light she has is from the UVB.

For the MistKing I have it set to 3 hour intervals between 7am and 7pm, and it only sprays on one side of the enclosure - the side with the heat lamps. I keep the cooler side more dry but the substrate stays moist all over the enclosure - I mix it up with warm water every week or two.
 
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I don't really know anything about the radiant heat panels, maybe someone else that's used them can comment. My tortoise does like to sit under the CHE after her bath or after she eats, it's a nice concentrated heat source like basking in the sun. Some people think Red's don't need a basking spot, others do, it's just a matter of opinion. Long as they're warm, you can do either. I have 2 CHE's and the only light she has is from the UVB.

For the MistKing I have it set to 3 hour intervals between 7am and 7pm, and it only sprays on one side of the enclosure - the side with the heat lamps. I keep the cooler side more dry but the substrate stays moist all over the enclosure - I mix it up with warm water every week or two.

You have heat lamps and two CHEs??
And where do you have your uvb light placed-just on top of the plexi?
 

crimson_lotus

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You have heat lamps and two CHEs??
And where do you have your uvb light placed-just on top of the plexi?

The CHE's are my heat lamps, they emit no light and only heat, so I do have two of those since I live in MA. It's cold here most of the year and our house thermostat is set to 60 in the winter. I have two openings on the top of the enclosure for the lamps, and my UVB strip fixture is inside the enclosure, I have two metal pieces on each side to hold the light up.

Mercury vapor bulbs are pretty awesome if you're interested - they emit UVB and provide heat and light as well, so you don't have to buy two things.
 

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