substrate humidity

RecklessCyanide

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my RF is about 9 months old, i use coco coir as main substrate and on top of that i spread some moss. I use a glass tank with open top. The temperature is from 82 to 98F.(cold to hot) right now there are 2 problems

1. the substrate is wet and it sticks to his face and eyes, so that may cause some health issues like shell rot or mold growth?
2. if i don't wet the substrate, the humidity will just be as low as 35-40%

Any good suggestions for this ??
 

Merrick

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It is hard with a glass tank if you used a rubermaid tub it would be as simple as drilling a hole but with glass it is different. My suggestion is to make a custom closed chamber or use a rubermaid container
 

wellington

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i was thinking make it a closed enclosure, but then how do you solve the ventilation problem?
You need to keep the top layer dry for a RF they are more prone to shell rot and shell fungus. Pour the water into the corners so it wets the lower layers keeping the top dry. A cover will help hold humidity so you won't have to wet it so much. They get enough air from the daily opening it to feed, add water to their bowl and clean the enclosure.
 

RecklessCyanide

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You need to keep the top layer dry for a RF they are more prone to shell rot and shell fungus. Pour the water into the corners so it wets the lower layers keeping the top dry. A cover will help hold humidity so you won't have to wet it so much. They get enough air from the daily opening it to feed, add water to their bowl and clean the enclosure.
how wet should the lower layer be?
i used to wet all the substrate, and the top layer gets dry quickly within a day or two because of the direct contact with heat emission. but the lower layer is really wet and much cooler than the top layer. I'd say the humidity of the floor is about 70-80%, but the air moisture percentage never gets high enough
 

RecklessCyanide

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It is hard with a glass tank if you used a rubermaid tub it would be as simple as drilling a hole but with glass it is different. My suggestion is to make a custom closed chamber or use a rubermaid container
i have a metal screen cover for the tank, i may just use aluminum foil to cover the screen and leave a bit space for air exchange
 

pfara

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When you say "wet" do you mean swampy? I keep my substrate moist at all times. To me, if the top is glistening, then it's wet. If it's a dark color that lightens up by the end of the day then it's moist and fine. I haven't had any shell issues by spraying the enclosure down liberally on daily basis. The plants and beneficial bugs thrive on it and so do my torts, I think.
 

RecklessCyanide

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When you say "wet" do you mean swampy? I keep my substrate moist at all times. To me, if the top is glistening, then it's wet. If it's a dark color that lightens up by the end of the day then it's moist and fine. I haven't had any shell issues by spraying the enclosure down liberally on daily basis. The plants and beneficial bugs thrive on it and so do my torts, I think.
not swampy, like you can feel it's wet....but you can't squeeze any water from it, it's like the threshold of it. and it's gonna be cold anyway. the lower layer can't get much heat as the top layer does, also when water vapor evaporate, heat will be released into the air so the soil itself cools down. idk if that's ok for a tort sits on a wet and cool substrate. i use laser gun to measure the substrate temp. it shows 80F at night.
 

pfara

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It's not wet and cool if you say that you can't squeeze any water from it and that you're measuring 80F at night for ground temps.

Just monitor activity levels and look the shell over after every daily soak so you can quickly fix a potential problem. You'll get used to a routine and what your tortoise needs over time. Good luck!
 

Anyfoot

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not swampy, like you can feel it's wet....but you can't squeeze any water from it, it's like the threshold of it. and it's gonna be cold anyway. the lower layer can't get much heat as the top layer does, also when water vapor evaporate, heat will be released into the air so the soil itself cools down. idk if that's ok for a tort sits on a wet and cool substrate. i use laser gun to measure the substrate temp. it shows 80F at night.
Hi there. The open air circulating is drying your top layer of substrate. Your humidity is escaping too fast. 2 options are either add plants to create a canopy, or make it a closed system. Something as simple as a wooden board or tinfoil will do just to prove to yourself that it works. Dont worry about air circulation. Reptiles don't need the same level of oxygen as we do. You could do a combination of the 2 and cover half and put dense plants in the other half. Best of both worlds that way. Just seen your RI thread. Looks like your humidity is not as high as you think it is. Add another water dish near the heat source. It will evaporate and help with humidity.
 

Anyfoot

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my RF is about 9 months old, i use coco coir as main substrate and on top of that i spread some moss. I use a glass tank with open top. The temperature is from 82 to 98F.(cold to hot) right now there are 2 problems

1. the substrate is wet and it sticks to his face and eyes, so that may cause some health issues like shell rot or mold growth?
2. if i don't wet the substrate, the humidity will just be as low as 35-40%

Any good suggestions for this ??
98f is way too high. Did you mean 88f.
Aim for 80 at cool end and 88 at warm end.
 

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