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sulcata tortoise temperature

Discussion in 'Tortoise FAQs - New and need help?' started by sbgorilla23, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. sbgorilla23

    sbgorilla23 New Member

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    Hi, I just recently bought a baby sulcata tortoise and i have the jump start thermostat from hydrofarm hooked up to a heating lamp with uv light in my indoor habitat. Since i live in the bay area the weather is kind of cold for the tortoise so i have been told that monitoring the temperature is very important which causes my worry. my problem is that i have set my thermostat to 80 degrees (like i have been told to) and the sensor is on the cold side of the tank, however the temperature on the thermostat reaches to 78 degrees and yet it still does not turn on to heat the tank. So i manually adjust and set my thermostat to 82 degrees and it would heat up my tank by turning on the heat lamp, so the thermostat and the heat lamp both work since it will turn on, but i have to manually set the temperature higher just so the heat lamp would turn on to heat my tank (sometimes i have to set it to 85 degrees just to get the cool side to average around 80 degrees but doing so makes my hotside over 100). My question is have any of you guys had the same problem i did. if so how did you fix it, or am i just over thinking it and that 78 degrees is not bad for the tortoise. The thermostat does turn on automatically but it seems like it only turns on when the temperatures drop more than 5 degrees below the designated set temperature. Thanks in advance.
  2. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hello and welcome to TFO

    Could you post some pictures of your enclosure and the heating/lighting to see if we can suggest some modifications to the setup that might help?
  3. sbgorilla23

    sbgorilla23 New Member

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    oh actually im at work now. i can try to explain it. i have the uv light on my cold side as well as a thermometer on the ground and the sensor for my hydrofarm jump start thermostat. and on the hot side i have my wooden hiding spot log for my tortoise with the heating lamp directly on top as well as another thermometer on the floor. the light bulbs are inside my tank on the ceiling held on by lighting fixtures. there is also two circular vents about 3 inches. it is a very plane jane tank. the tank is like a fish tank except the tank is made of wood with sliding glass doors in the front.
  4. sbgorilla23

    sbgorilla23 New Member

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    file:///Users/kevinchen/Downloads/76473 i dont know if you guys can see this. but this shows more of the hot side. and in the far right you can kind of see my thermometer. sorry best picture i have.
  5. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Unfortunately that's on your storage not on the internet. You need to upload it using the website or mobile app
  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    You need to run your heat lamp on a timer and set the height to get a basking spot of around 100 right under the bulb.

    Use that thermostat to run a separate ceramic heating element to maintain your ambient temp around 80 day and night.

    What type of UV bulb are you running? THe coild types are not effective and sometimes burn their eyes.


    All this and more is explained here:
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
  7. sbgorilla23

    sbgorilla23 New Member

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    i am running a 10.0 uvb light. i got everything from east bay vivarium. and just went off of what they told me to buy. and i think the tanks are already set in height as far as how high the lighting is from them as well. should i get a heat mat on the cold side connected to the hydrofarm jump start thermometer and set it to 80 degrees? also for the hot side what kind of timer should i get? and how does the timer work in keeping the hot side at 100 degrees? thanks again.
  8. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    What does this bulb look like? Is it a compact bulb? Or is it a long tube?

    This is really important. The former, often recommended wrongly by stores, cause eye problems. The latter are fine
  9. sbgorilla23

    sbgorilla23 New Member

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    JoesMum likes this.
  10. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    Hi, and welcome to the forum!

    In my opinion, you don't need a hot side/cool side for baby tortoises, and especially if you're using a closed chamber. Getting your temperature up to about 80F all over the whole habitat is fine. And a closed chamber is much easier to keep humid too.
  11. sbgorilla23

    sbgorilla23 New Member

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    ok yeah i have a wooden tank as well. i heard that it keeps the heat in better. so what would you recommend me changing or is it fine as is. the thing is at night it drops below 80 and the thermometer doesnt seem to be doing its job by turning on my heating lamp. also when it is on the floor thermometer on the hot side goes over 100 degrees. any advice? or what would you recommend me doing. thanks
  12. sbgorilla23

    sbgorilla23 New Member

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    http://tinypic.com/r/nl5wyt/8 heres the picture. its kind of hard to see my set up. but its basically what i have in the tank.
  13. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    A very warm welcome to the forum!
  14. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Hello, and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum.
    Your tortoise is very beautiful, but the enclosure looks very dry.
    What is your substrate and what is the humidity?
    Tom's threads should help, but I think your temps are fine.
    Soak the tortoise for 15 to 20 mins at a time, every day or two and ensure it has a shallow terracotta saucer to soak in, buried into the substrate.
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