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Sulcata's Digs

Booker's Sue

New Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
SF East Bay
My 20ish year old Sulcata winters in a tack room of my barn in the SF East Bay. He's a healthy guy, and the room has a window for some natural light, but I'm wondering if I should be setting up some specialized light bulb? If so, what do you recommend?
Also, I want to build a drainable soaking pond in his warm weather pasture. I envision a slight ramp up with guardrails up to an above-ground shallow pond so he can soak and exit as he pleases. Has anyone tried building something like this?
 

NorCal tortoise guy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
704
Location (City and/or State)
Northern California
As long as he can go outside then all you need to have is heat . A shallow pond is a grate idea your plan sounds like it will work. Keep in mind he will poop in there so you want a big drain for clean outs or you will be clearing the drain all the time. I didn’t build a pond in my sulcata yard. Decided it would be better for me to make a low spot in there yard and just run the hose in there to make a mad bath. They love it! Good luck building!
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
83,182
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Even though S.F.'s weather is mild, it can't compare with the weather this tortoise has evolved to live in, so YES!! you definitely need to set up a basking light. Because he's a big guy be sure to hang the light no closer than about 15" from the top of his shell so it doesn't burn the new growth, but like Norcal said, he doesn't need a UVB light.
 

Booker's Sue

New Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
SF East Bay
Thank you both for your responses.
I should have mentioned that Booker has a pig blanket for heat. I've thought that heat from below was best because he can get on and off the pig blanket at will. With just window light over the cold months and a full browsing yard for the rest of the time, I'm unclear whether I also need the basking lite for winter. ?
 

NorCal tortoise guy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
704
Location (City and/or State)
Northern California
Can he go in and out in winter? What is the room temp with the pig blanket?
Mine go in and out on there own all year. It works out very well. I heat there shed to 80f.
If he doesn’t get to go out I would use a basking bulb as well
 

Booker's Sue

New Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Messages
12
Location (City and/or State)
SF East Bay
I'm afraid he can't go out in winter, and the temp is definitely below 80. I purchased a 10.0 UVB bulb a while back. Sounds like I'd best figure out how to set it up! I better read up on the differences between bulbs and how to mount them too.
 

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