Tortoise enclosure - is this ok?

kaneki28

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We will be getting our baby Russian tortoise Tuesday. I set up this 45 gallon tote with a 80 w powersun mvb for the basking area and a Che for the humid hide. Is this setup okay? Also I have the thermometer humidity gauge. I know the humidity probe goes in the humid hide but where would I place the heat probe? Tya 61A43835-C1B7-49E0-8AA1-8B66BB8FF268.jpeg
 

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Tom

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We will be getting our baby Russian tortoise Tuesday. I set up this 45 gallon tote with a 80 w powersun mvb for the basking area and a Che for the humid hide. Is this setup okay? Also I have the thermometer humidity gauge. I know the humidity probe goes in the humid hide but where would I place the heat probe? Tya View attachment 352057
MVBs are unreliable and will cause pyramiding in a growing baby.

The humid hide should be dark and opaque.

Looks like you need another terra cotta saucer for food.

Its pretty barren in there. If you don't have some pesticide free, tortoise safe potted plants to put in there, you can clip some grape vines, mulberry branches, lavatera or hibiscus branches, and replace them every other day or so. Its important for the baby to have lots of cover so it can snuggle in and feel safe.

I'd stay away from reptile branded products for the most part. They are overpriced and usually junk. You will need to move the probe all around the enclosure at different times. Get one like this:
shopping.png



There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
More here:
 

kaneki28

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MVBs are unreliable and will cause pyramiding in a growing baby.

The humid hide should be dark and opaque.

Looks like you need another terra cotta saucer for food.

Its pretty barren in there. If you don't have some pesticide free, tortoise safe potted plants to put in there, you can clip some grape vines, mulberry branches, lavatera or hibiscus branches, and replace them every other day or so. Its important for the baby to have lots of cover so it can snuggle in and feel safe.

I'd stay away from reptile branded products for the most part. They are overpriced and usually junk. You will need to move the probe all around the enclosure at different times. Get one like this:
View attachment 352064



There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
More here:
 

kaneki28

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Thanks @Tom for your review and your advice! I live in Los Angeles and the only incandescent light bulb I could find are the food heat lamp ones which are 250W. Is there something else you would recommend?
 

Tom

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Thanks @Tom for your review and your advice! I live in Los Angeles and the only incandescent light bulb I could find are the food heat lamp ones which are 250W. Is there something else you would recommend?
Yeah, that's become a real problem. You have to have someone out of state buy them and send them in to you. You can't even order them on Amazon. They won't ship to CA. Its terrible.
 

SinLA

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What part of LA are in you? I have an extra bulb I could give you until you can get them from out of state... I'm in burbank...
 

ElizaB

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MVBs are unreliable and will cause pyramiding in a growing baby.

The humid hide should be dark and opaque.

Looks like you need another terra cotta saucer for food.

Its pretty barren in there. If you don't have some pesticide free, tortoise safe potted plants to put in there, you can clip some grape vines, mulberry branches, lavatera or hibiscus branches, and replace them every other day or so. Its important for the baby to have lots of cover so it can snuggle in and feel safe.

I'd stay away from reptile branded products for the most part. They are overpriced and usually junk. You will need to move the probe all around the enclosure at different times. Get one like this:
View attachment 352064



There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
More here:
Is MVB ok for a 2 year old hermanns tort? Just curious why it would cause pyramiding since it has UVB, UVA and regular light + heat
 

kaneki28

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What part of LA are in you? I have an extra bulb I could give you until you can get them from out of state... I'm in burbank...
Im in the San Gabriel Valley area. I just ordered a pack from Amazon. If this doesn't come through. I'll let you know. Thank you so much!
 

Tom

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Is MVB ok for a 2 year old hermanns tort? Just curious why it would cause pyramiding since it has UVB, UVA and regular light + heat
It causes pyramiding in any growing tortoise because of the desiccating wavelengths of light and heat it emits. Pyramiding is caused by growth in conditions that are too dry. Even in a humid closed chamber, conditions under an MVB are too dry.

MVB are also delicate and can be finicky about what fixture you use them in.

We had one member testing them with a UV meter and some were too high, some too low, and some stopped producing any UV at all after 90 days of use.

Many people use MVBs as their only light source and this is bad too as all the areas not directly under the bulb are too dimly lit.

UVB, UVA, regular heat, and light do not prevent pyramiding.

MVBs are not a good way to go. Refer back to post number 2 for a lighting breakdown.
 

SinLA

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Im in the San Gabriel Valley area. I just ordered a pack from Amazon. If this doesn't come through. I'll let you know. Thank you so much!
Unfortunately, you can’t buy the right kind on Amazon. They literally will not ship them to the state. You have to read the fine print. It can be a little confusing. hit me up if you need, I’m happy to come by and drop one off.
 

kaneki28

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So our baby tortoise is finally here. My daughter named it Pebbles. It was hatched on 9/20/22. Right out of the box after it's soak it roam around the enclosure and started eating. I have a CHE for it at night so the enclosure fluctuated between 65-75. I have a humid hide but it rather bury itself and sleep in the middle of the enclosure. I have a few questions because I am really confused:
1. Should I up the night temp since the humidity gets up to 80-83%

2. I have a thermostat controller for the CHE but Im not really sure how high to set it for. Because when i set it at 75 for example, it gets hotter than that temp accordling to the thermometer I have in the hide. This is the one I have https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I15S6OM/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20.

3. I plan to move the enclosure outside for the daytime for some sunlight, but do I still need to keep the basking light and CHE only? It's the high of 64 here today in so cal.

Your advice is greatly appreciated. I feel like a mom with a newborn again!

* I'm working on getting it a dark humid hide and that thermometer was my daughters when she was a baby. My Govee Wi-Fi one is arriving today.
 

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SinLA

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definitely too cold outside for her right now.

I'll leave to others to give advice but her shell looks pretty beat up to me - but maybe that's what babies look like...
 

SinLA

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So our baby tortoise is finally here. My daughter named it Pebbles. It was hatched on 9/20/22. Right out of the box after it's soak it roam around the enclosure and started eating. I have a CHE for it at night so the enclosure fluctuated between 65-75. I have a humid hide but it rather bury itself and sleep in the middle of the enclosure. I have a few questions because I am really confused:
1. Should I up the night temp since the humidity gets up to 80-83%

2. I have a thermostat controller for the CHE but Im not really sure how high to set it for. Because when i set it at 75 for example, it gets hotter than that temp accordling to the thermometer I have in the hide. This is the one I have https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I15S6OM/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20.

3. I plan to move the enclosure outside for the daytime for some sunlight, but do I still need to keep the basking light and CHE only? It's the high of 64 here today in so cal.

Your advice is greatly appreciated. I feel like a mom with a newborn again!

* I'm working on getting it a dark humid hide and that thermometer was my daughters when she was a baby. My Govee Wi-Fi one is arriving today.
Maybe @Yvonne G or @Tom can advise about the shell
 

Tom

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So our baby tortoise is finally here. My daughter named it Pebbles. It was hatched on 9/20/22. Right out of the box after it's soak it roam around the enclosure and started eating. I have a CHE for it at night so the enclosure fluctuated between 65-75. I have a humid hide but it rather bury itself and sleep in the middle of the enclosure. I have a few questions because I am really confused:
1. Should I up the night temp since the humidity gets up to 80-83%

2. I have a thermostat controller for the CHE but Im not really sure how high to set it for. Because when i set it at 75 for example, it gets hotter than that temp accordling to the thermometer I have in the hide. This is the one I have https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I15S6OM/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20.

3. I plan to move the enclosure outside for the daytime for some sunlight, but do I still need to keep the basking light and CHE only? It's the high of 64 here today in so cal.

Your advice is greatly appreciated. I feel like a mom with a newborn again!

* I'm working on getting it a dark humid hide and that thermometer was my daughters when she was a baby. My Govee Wi-Fi one is arriving today.
Congrats on the new baby! :)

First and foremost, get rid of the moss. Tortoises will eat it and it is an impaction risk. It doesn't do anything that damp substrate doesn't do.

If your house is not dropping below 60-65 at night, you don't need night heat for a Russian. If you want to use it anyway, the temperature will vary wildly depending on where you put the thermostat's probe. With and open topped enclosure, it is entirely possibly that the probe is far enough away from the CHE that the CHE has no effect on it. In other words: The probe isn't feeling any heat from the CHE because the open top allows the heat to escape and small warmed area under the CHE is too far from the probe. In any case, either scenario can work, and the tortoise should be fine with it or without it.

The carapace looks okay to me. I think SinLA is seeing moss or substrate on it.

Your questions:
1. Its normal for humidity percentage to rise when the temp drops and after the desiccating electric heat and light is shut off for the day. Nothing to be concerned about. No changes need to be made.
2. For a Russian baby, I would set it to 70 and put the probe far from the CHE.
3. I would not move the enclosure outside, and you don't need heat lamps or CHEs outside. Better to have a separate larger secure enclosure for outside time, and only use it in favorable weather. Tortoises do not need UV every day. Your tortoise will be totally fine indoors while we get through this cold overcast rainy spell. Wait for the warmth and sunshine to return before putting the tortoise outside. Be sure there is always shade and cover available outside. Babies can cook in minutes in full sun, even on relatively cool days. Also, don't be concerned if the baby hides all the time. This is normal and natural, and you don't have to be concerned about how much time the baby is in direct sun.
 

SinLA

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AH that makes so much more sense, given her other thread photos don't have that!
 

kaneki28

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Congrats on the new baby! :)

First and foremost, get rid of the moss. Tortoises will eat it and it is an impaction risk. It doesn't do anything that damp substrate doesn't do.

If your house is not dropping below 60-65 at night, you don't need night heat for a Russian. If you want to use it anyway, the temperature will vary wildly depending on where you put the thermostat's probe. With and open topped enclosure, it is entirely possibly that the probe is far enough away from the CHE that the CHE has no effect on it. In other words: The probe isn't feeling any heat from the CHE because the open top allows the heat to escape and small warmed area under the CHE is too far from the probe. In any case, either scenario can work, and the tortoise should be fine with it or without it.

The carapace looks okay to me. I think SinLA is seeing moss or substrate on it.

Your questions:
1. Its normal for humidity percentage to rise when the temp drops and after the desiccating electric heat and light is shut off for the day. Nothing to be concerned about. No changes need to be made.
2. For a Russian baby, I would set it to 70 and put the probe far from the CHE.
3. I would not move the enclosure outside, and you don't need heat lamps or CHEs outside. Better to have a separate larger secure enclosure for outside time, and only use it in favorable weather. Tortoises do not need UV every day. Your tortoise will be totally fine indoors while we get through this cold overcast rainy spell. Wait for the warmth and sunshine to return before putting the tortoise outside. Be sure there is always shade and cover available outside. Babies can cook in minutes in full sun, even on relatively cool days. Also, don't be concerned if the baby hides all the time. This is normal and natural, and you don't have to be concerned about how much time the baby is in direct sun.
Thank you so much for the helpful information. I removed the moss. It was what the breeder told me to get. I actually went out and bought a piece of plexiglass to place on top so that the heat and humidity can be kept in. My house is old so at night it does drop to 59. Would I still set the CHE thermometer to 70 for nights also in this case?
 

ElizaB

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Thank you so much for the helpful information. I removed the moss. It was what the breeder told me to get. I actually went out and bought a piece of plexiglass to place on top so that the heat and humidity can be kept in. My house is old so at night it does drop to 59. Would I still set the CHE thermometer to 70 for nights also in this case?
I want to get plexiglass as well but I’m wondering if uv passes through it or not
 

Tom

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Would I still set the CHE thermometer to 70 for nights also in this case?
Some would argue that you don't need it. Your tortoise could certainly survive without it, but since you don't want him/her to brumate, and it is a baby, I would go ahead and use it.
 

Tom

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I want to get plexiglass as well but I’m wondering if uv passes through it or not
It does not pass thorough regular plexiglass, but they do sell a special type that does permit it to pass.
 

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