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Temperature and Humidity

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by Hannah Staine, Sep 6, 2016.

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  1. Hannah Staine

    Hannah Staine Member

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    Hi! I have a 3 month old sulcata and just got a temperature and humidity gauge in the enclosure. What numbers should I be shooting for? Thanks
  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    80 degrees all over with 80% humidity and at least 95 basking spot. This should all be at tort level.
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  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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  4. Hannah Staine

    Hannah Staine Member

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    My temps and humidity are as follows:
    Basking 96 degrees and 30%
    Middle 81 degrees and 52%
    Cold side 79 degrees and 58%
    How do I make a humid hide box ?
  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Your humidity is too low. Have you got an open topped enclosure?

    I'd like to see the cool side warmer during the day, but 79 is okay for the overnight low.

    What equipment are you using for heating and lighting? UV?

    Where are you? Different advice for someone in Punxsutawney PA vs. Albuquerque NM.
  6. Hannah Staine

    Hannah Staine Member

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    Yes I have an open top enclosure. I have one heat lamp and one uv lamp and we are in Houston Texas
  7. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    If you cover it, it will help keep the humidity inside.
  8. Cowboy_Ken

    Cowboy_Ken Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    If you can provide a picture or two of your enclosure showing where and how you are taking your measurements it will help us help you to give your tortoise a long, healthy, happy life.
    Also be sure to read the species specific care sheets for your tortoise.
  9. Hannah Staine

    Hannah Staine Member

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  10. Hannah Staine

    Hannah Staine Member

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    4 feet long×2feet wide× 1 foot tall
  11. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi Hannah

    Your little Sulcata will rapidly outgrow that setup.

    You need to take care with the lamps.

    The basking lamp needs to hang vertically to be effective - you can buy a lamp hanging stand or build something yourself.

    Also those clamp lamps have a bit of a reputation for instability. The risk of the lamps falling down us high and is thus a fire risk. Again, problem solved with a hanging lamp.

    It looks like you are using a compact, coil type UVB bulb. You should know that we get a steady stream of tortoise eye problems with this type of bulb - a tube UVB bulb or a Mercury Vapour Bulb (MVB) are better. I'll post a lighting summary next.
  12. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Here's a lighting summary:

    Your tort needs:

    1. A basking lamp
    This must hang vertically, not at an angle. Basking is essential to raise your tortoise's core temperature so it can digest food.

    2. UVB light
    Read the instructions for the source to see how close to the substrate it must be. UVB is essential so your tort can process dietary calcium and have healthy bones and shell.

    Both 1 and 2 are available from the sun for those able to live outside.

    UVB does not pass through glass or perspex(plexiglass) - light must be direct to be effective not through a window. Mesh screening can also interfere with UVB.

    3. A minimum overnight temperature (see the care sheet for your species) and complete darkness at night to sleep.


    Notes

    (a) A Mercury Vapor Bulb (MVB) provides combined UVB and Basking. Alternatively you can use 2 bulbs: a tube UVB and a reflector bulb for basking (a household reflector - not low energy or halogen - from a hardware store will do the job; it's the wattage that counts)

    (b) Ignore any references to UVA you may read - it's misleading marketing speak.

    (c) Compact coil UVB harms tortoise eyes and must not be used.

    (d) Basking and UVB should be on a timer so the light(s) are on for 12 hours a day. Temperature under the basking is regulated by its height above the substrate.

    (e) Overnight, depending on your home, you may need additional heat. You get this from a CHE (Ceramic Heat Emitter) which must be on a thermostat.

    (f) Torts have outstanding colour vision and love red and purple food. Coloured heat lamps colour tank decor and torts don't always apply intelligence to what they eat, resulting them in eating tank decor. Coloured bulbs should not be used.


    Measurements

    There are 4 important temperatures that you must know for an indoor enclosure.
    - Directly under the basking lamp
    - Warm side
    - Cool side
    - Overnight Minimum

    You will need digital thermometers for accuracy.

    A temperature gun thermometer (inexpensive from Amazon) measures temperature accurately in specific places like directly under the basking lamp.

    A min/max thermometer so you know the min/max temperatures in your home by day and night.

    You should also get a good digital probe hygrometer to measure humidity.

    Thermometers and hygrometer that stick to the side of the enclosure tend to be less accurate.
  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Looks like you've got the wrong bulbs there Hannah. And those clamps always fail eventually. That is a huge fire hazard. Your fixtures need to be mounted and hung from over head.

    You also need a heat source for night, like a ceramic heating element set on a thermostat.

    I'm sorry you got the wrong info to start with, but think how fortunate it is that you've now found the right info. Please read those threads that I linked. All of this is explained in detail there. We are happy to answer lots and lots of questions, but most of what you need is already written in those care sheets.
  14. Yvonne G

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

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    Hi Hannah, and welcome to the Forum!

    That's a nice size habitat for the size your tortoise is, however, it's very boring. Can you imagine having to live in there 24/7? Spice it up a bit with some potted plants, but don't place them near the walls because he'll use them as a ladder to climb out. Also, moisten the substrate. Here's a couple examples of light stands that I made - simple and easy for a non-carpenter type like myself:

    light stand a.jpg light stand b.jpg light stand c.jpg

    (Well, I didn't make that last one, honesty prevails)

    You make some sort of foot that goes under the habitat for stability.
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  15. Calinyc

    Calinyc New Member

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    Night time 60-80 &Day time 80-100 the hundred has to be right under the spotlight that's what I do and it's working
  16. Calinyc

    Calinyc New Member

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    BTW this website is by Farr the best Answers u can get for ur Reptile lol...
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  17. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Night time should never fall below 80, and definitely shouldn’t fall all the way to 60.
    Be sure to give these a read-
    How To Raise A Healthy Sulcata Or Leopard, Version 2.0 https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php...ealthy-Sulcata-Or-Leopard,-Version-2.0.79895/

    For Those Who Have a Young Sulcata... https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/For-Those-Who-Have-a-Young-Sulcata....76744/

    Beginner Mistakes https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/
  18. Calinyc

    Calinyc New Member

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    IMG_20190115_201631.jpg IMG_20190115_201021.jpg Hey IMG_20190115_201631.jpg IMG_20190115_201021.jpg guys I can basically defend some works of mine towards my sulcata But I'm having a bit of trouble. I just seen the top of my baby's shell & I think it's Pyramiding? is there something that I'm doing wrong? I recently posted this same topic along with pictures but I'll post them again. I get a lil confused with posting pics and stuff plz help lol day time The Habitat is 90-100 right under the spotlight. And the other side is about 72-76. And at night I have a 60 watt ceramic bulb it keeps it about 82-85. And also I soak it every day for like 15mnts along with misting can someone plz tell me what am I doing wrong thank u very much.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  19. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Pyramiding is caused by lack of humidity, and your enclosure looks very dry. The humidity in your entire enclosure should never fall below 80-100, and temps shouldn’t fall below 80 with the humidity.

    You need a thick layer of substrate, and you need to actually mix pitchers of water in instead of just spraying.

    You also need a terra cotta dish water bowl.

    Be sure to read the links I linked above.
  20. Calinyc

    Calinyc New Member

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    Thank you very much
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