Temperature Regulation for Outdoor Redfoot Enclosure

Eviekay2121

New Member
Joined
May 25, 2022
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
Solvang CA
Hi! We just acquired a five-year-old female red foot tortoise. We have her being housed in an outdoor enclosure. Her home is a small rabbit house That we wrapped the inside walls with insulation wrap. I purchased the zoomed Reptile Heater (Zoo Med Laboratories SZMRH20... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003Z0B52Y/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20) which appears to be one of the more powerful reptile heaters out there that are designed for outdoor enclosures with an automatic turn off at around 115°. The problem is, it appears to be reading the internal temperature of the heater rather than the air temperature, which is significantly cooler. I’m concerned about the tortoise being warm enough overnight when outdoor temps deep into the 40s and 50s. My question is, can tortoises regulate their heat enough through a floor heater? Or does the inside air temperature need to be in the 80s and 90s as well? Below our photos of her enclosure, which is a rabbit house we re-purpose and lined with insulation. We took out the floor of the rabbit house, and replaced it with the reptile heater. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.
 

Attachments

  • AACC2A1C-8427-420D-BE0B-7FF3F8BAB511.jpeg
    AACC2A1C-8427-420D-BE0B-7FF3F8BAB511.jpeg
    2.1 MB · Views: 5
  • 9BF80139-B807-43EB-9310-B6A35F320EAB.jpeg
    9BF80139-B807-43EB-9310-B6A35F320EAB.jpeg
    2.7 MB · Views: 4

Eviekay2121

New Member
Joined
May 25, 2022
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
Solvang CA
Hi! We just acquired a five-year-old female red foot tortoise. We have her being housed in an outdoor enclosure. Her home is a small rabbit house That we wrapped the inside walls with insulation wrap. I purchased the zoomed Reptile Heater (Zoo Med Laboratories SZMRH20... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003Z0B52Y/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20) which appears to be one of the more powerful reptile heaters out there that are designed for outdoor enclosures with an automatic turn off at around 115°. The problem is, it appears to be reading the internal temperature of the heater rather than the air temperature, which is significantly cooler. I’m concerned about the tortoise being warm enough overnight when outdoor temps deep into the 40s and 50s. My question is, can tortoises regulate their heat enough through a floor heater? Or does the inside air temperature need to be in the 80s and 90s as well? Below our photos of her enclosure, which is a rabbit house we re-purpose and lined with insulation. We took out the floor of the rabbit house, and replaced it with the reptile heater. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.
I should also say we live in Southern California, where daytime temps are warm, evening temps are cool, and it is dry overall. We have a misting sprinkler system in the enclosure to create humidity.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,270
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi! We just acquired a five-year-old female red foot tortoise. We have her being housed in an outdoor enclosure. Her home is a small rabbit house That we wrapped the inside walls with insulation wrap. I purchased the zoomed Reptile Heater (Zoo Med Laboratories SZMRH20... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003Z0B52Y/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20) which appears to be one of the more powerful reptile heaters out there that are designed for outdoor enclosures with an automatic turn off at around 115°. The problem is, it appears to be reading the internal temperature of the heater rather than the air temperature, which is significantly cooler. I’m concerned about the tortoise being warm enough overnight when outdoor temps deep into the 40s and 50s. My question is, can tortoises regulate their heat enough through a floor heater? Or does the inside air temperature need to be in the 80s and 90s as well? Below our photos of her enclosure, which is a rabbit house we re-purpose and lined with insulation. We took out the floor of the rabbit house, and replaced it with the reptile heater. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.
Dog and rabbit houses don't work. That thin bubble wrap insulation is not adequate and will be destroyed in short order. You need to build a properly insulated and sealed night house, with the correctly sized door, and then heat it safely. Airtemps should always be 82-88, day and night for this species. Unfortunately this species just does not do well in our hot dry climate, and fare much better when housed outdoors in the south east US.

The tortoise also needs to be able to get off of the heat at night when its body temp is warm enough, but still be in the heated air of the night house.

Here is an example of a night house that works:

Here is another larger one with a different but suitable heating strategy. You would not need double doors, but it shows the box construction and a different, but also safe and effective heating option.

This needs to be done ASAP. The tortoise will quickly get sick with our low night temps.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
90,793
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Add lots of plants to the outside part of the tortoise area - rose of sharon, pansy, hosta, clump grasses to hide under
 
Top