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Spending a lot of time in the cold end

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by andyhubbert, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hello and welcome from Kent UK

    1. That enclosure is far too dry. The substrate needs to be damp - all of it, not just the surface - to raise humidity

    2. It is impossible to raise the humidity to the level needed by a young tort in an open table. Youngsters also need to be kept at a minimum 27c/80f day and night. To do this they need to be raised in a closed chamber. A plastic tent type cloche from Amazon could be used to cover your table. You will also need a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) and thermostat to achieve this.

    3. That substrate has white bits in it. Torts need to eat calcium, but encouraging them to eat the substrate is a very bad idea. I cannot understand why leading pet suppliers do this! Buy plain coco coir or fine grade orchid bark from a garden centre, DIY store or even Amazon

    4. Those reptile bowls are not suitable for tortoises. They are a tipping hazard. Use a terracotta plant saucer for water; sink it into the substrate so your tort can walk in easily and surround it with pebbles to stop the substrate being dragged in. Use a piece of flat rock or slate, or even the rough side of a wall tile for food; this will help to keep your tort's beak in shape by abrading it while he eats.

    5. A baby like this isn't ready to spend much time outside yet. Maybe a couple of years.

    6. Those dial thermometers are at best inaccurate. Get a temperature gun type thermometer like this
  2. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  3. andyhubbert

    andyhubbert Member

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    Hi

    All been changed now!

    I have coco coir substrate with orchid bark on top to allow for burrowing. It’s kept nice and damp for humidity too.

    Temp drops to a maximum low of 20 at night much higher during the day

    Have food slate

    Changed to terracotta saucer with pebbles

    Yeh I think outside is currently too cold anyway. Going to build a more permanent enclosure for next year and ensure it has a cold frame

    Got a temp gun and also digital thermometer which is set to measure basking temp for a quick read

    Thanks
  4. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member

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    Wow, you’ve been busy. Your tort needs some time now to adjust to his new digs.
  5. andyhubbert

    andyhubbert Member

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    Yeh I think the problem has been because I keep taking him outside he’s been a bit disorientated
  6. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Torts can be very slow to accept change. You now need to establish a routine so that your tort has the time and space to learn that the enclosure and you are safe. Some are slower on the uptake than others... it could take weeks.

    My suggested routine:
    1. Have the lights on a timer so they switch on and off at the same time each day

    2. First thing, before your tort has warmed up properly, soak your tort in warm water for at least 20 minutes. Use a large flat-bottomed bowl that your tort cannot see over or through; a washing up bowl is ideal. The water should be deep enough to come just up over the join between the shell and the plastron.

    3. While your tort soaks, tidy the enclosure and place food, have your own breakfast, etc

    4. Replace your tort and walk away. Leave your tort in peace to be brave and explore. Resist the temptation to stand and watch as you are big, intimidating and scary right now. Also, resist the temptation to remove your tort to let it explore the floor or your garden. Your tort needs to know that nothing unexpected is going to happen for the time being and will soon learn that you are the bringer of yummy food.

    Never let your your tort loose on the floor of your home. You only have to be distracted for a moment and your tort will escape or, worse still, be stepped on (we see too many of both on this forum). When your tort is big enough for outside time them only do so in a properly built outdoor enclosure. Torts are surprisingly hard to find in a garden even when they are over 3kg like my Joe, the little ones frequently disappear for ever :(
    Maro2Bear likes this.
  7. andyhubbert

    andyhubbert Member

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    Thank you!! It’s getting cold and wet now anyway so we are creating a good routine indoors

    My only other trouble with the current enclosure is that if it’s gray outside the cold end tends to be a little dark... I have a MVB at the hot end but should I add additional lighting at the cold end? If so what?

    Thanks
  8. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    You can move the light to the middle of the enclosure.
  9. andyhubbert

    andyhubbert Member

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    This then wouldn’t create a hot and cold end though?
  10. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    If you have a proper sized enclosure you will end up with cooler parts at the extreme ends and warm in the centre. Nothing wrong with that
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