Temperatures

SarahChelonoidis

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Day and night, highs and lows, what temperatures are you keeping your Indotestudos in?

The Tortoise Trust says for elongata:

"Daytime environmental temperature should be maintained in the 26 - 30°C region during summer (78 - 86 °F). In winter, daytime temperatures can be reduced to 24 °C (75 °F) . At night, temperatures can be reduced to around 18 °C (65 °F)." - http://www.tortoisetrust.org/care/celongata.html

But that strikes me as too cold in the winter. I provide a 'warm up' spot of 85F in the day and a warm hide of 80F at night (which is sometimes used). Perhaps this is not beneficial.

Given the wide range distribution of elongata, I can't really get a sense of what their natural temperature variation should be (and there is no locale information known for Canadian captives like mine anyway). The little literature on their habits in the wild I've been able to find doesn't address temperature. Given that they are known to occupy the burrows of other animals for significant portions of time, ambient temperatures will be somewhat mitigated - but what should those burrow temperatures even be?

So, experienced keepers: what temperatures do you use if using indoor enclosures? Do you really have a big cool down in the winter? What temperatures do your outdoor enclosures experience without added heat? When do you use heated night boxes (or do your climates not require them at all)?
 

Yvonne G

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My Manouria aren't Indotestudo, but they are asian. They are pretty cold tolerant. In fact they seem to prefer a cooler habitat. Some of them stay out in less than 50F degrees, sit in the water, wander, eat, etc. I keep their shed 75F with pig blankets mounted on the walls they can sit by if they want warmer, but they don't sit by them very much.
 

mrscruffy

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It is 'winter' in mainland south east asia at the moment (albeit an unsually warm winter). Sometimes in their range the temperature can drop to around 5 degrees at night. My Elongated and Manouria seem to become less active as it gets colder, but they don't seem botthered. I find they just are less active and seem to eat less frequently ( a few times a week, instead of daily).

Cheers
Scruff
 

SarahChelonoidis

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It is 'winter' in mainland south east asia at the moment (albeit an unsually warm winter). Sometimes in their range the temperature can drop to around 5 degrees at night. My Elongated and Manouria seem to become less active as it gets colder, but they don't seem botthered. I find they just are less active and seem to eat less frequently ( a few times a week, instead of daily).

Cheers
Scruff


When you get down to those cold air temperatures, do you find them taking shelter anywhere? What humidity do you have right now?
 

mrscruffy

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When you get down to those cold air temperatures, do you find them taking shelter anywhere? What humidity do you have right now?

They do seek out shelter, but its not different from the normal places they like to hide. The humidity is low generally until April, although parts of my garden are still reasonable humid because of watering. They don't seem to have a preference of choosing a humid area or a dry area. My young male has been in his favourite hiding place which is dry around the back of the house (not humid) for more than a week.

I still sometimes delibrately simulate rain on them when I am watering the garden. I don't see them drinking or soaking very often.
 

SarahChelonoidis

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Thanks, mrscruffy, this is really interesting and helpful to me. How high do your highs end up getting this time of year during the day?
 

Tom

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I saw a presentation on Cuora species in the jungles of Vietnam. Standing up at normal human height the air was near 100 degrees and the humidity so thick that it was "hard to breathe". By simply crouching down and putting the temp probe in the undergrowth, temps as low as 65-68 were recorded.

The first American captive breeding of another tropical Cuora species happened when they were unintentionally left outside during a freak Texas storm that brought temps as low as 22F. The turtle were dug into the undergrowth and cover with leaf litter. They stayed outside all winter and were presumed dead. In spring they awoke, bred, laid eggs and the first captive offspring of this species were hatched.

I share this in the hopes that attention will be paid to what actually works in captivity, vs. what temperatures are reported for the areas where some of our species are known to occur. Reported temperatures come from weather stations and probes that are 2 meters off the ground and out in the open. The microclimates where our tortoise actually occur might be drastically different.
 

mrscruffy

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Thanks, mrscruffy, this is really interesting and helpful to me. How high do your highs end up getting this time of year during the day?

It can be more than 30 degrees C during the day time and has consistently been around that temp in the afternoon this 'winter'.

Also, the temp spikes in the hotter time of year can be more than 40 degrees. The torts can handle it, so long as they have shade and access to water.
 

Benjamin

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I saw a presentation on Cuora species in the jungles of Vietnam. Standing up at normal human height the air was near 100 degrees and the humidity so thick that it was "hard to breathe". By simply crouching down and putting the temp probe in the undergrowth, temps as low as 65-68 were recorded.

The first American captive breeding of another tropical Cuora species happened when they were unintentionally left outside during a freak Texas storm that brought temps as low as 22F. The turtle were dug into the undergrowth and cover with leaf litter. They stayed outside all winter and were presumed dead. In spring they awoke, bred, laid eggs and the first captive offspring of this species were hatched.

I share this in the hopes that attention will be paid to what actually works in captivity, vs. what temperatures are reported for the areas where some of our species are known to occur. Reported temperatures come from weather stations and probes that are 2 meters off the ground and out in the open. The microclimates where our tortoise actually occur might be drastically different.
Very interesting story, what species of cuora was this?
I heard a similar story regarding the breeding of Australian pythons. The heat went out during a winter storm and the temperature drop stimulated breeding.
 

Tom

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Very interesting story, what species of cuora was this?
I heard a similar story regarding the breeding of Australian pythons. The heat went out during a winter storm and the temperature drop stimulated breeding.

I can't remember. It was at the TTPG. Dr. McCord gave the presentation. It will be in my old TTPG program if I can find it. I will try to find it for you.
 

mrscruffy

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There has been a big cold wave across East Asia, it has been snowing in the mountains of tropical Laos and Vietnam! I fear for the turtles/tortoises in the country side. Where I live night time temps have been less than ten degrees celsius.

My elongated male had already chosen to hibernate in his hide a few weeks ago when it was unusually warm (for winter) but my females remained active, including laying. However, in response to the cold temperatures my elongated females have dug into the ground under foliage in the yard.
My Impressa on other hand are still active, albeit less so that normally.
 

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