Wooden habitat with black mold underneath

Vinny and Ty

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Waltham, MA
I have a Hermanns, and he is not himself. I was given the tortoise by someone who did not want him any longer. He came in a ZooMed Tortoise House. Given the humidity needs etc it did not seem like the correct habitat.

His house is on the floor in the kitchen which is above the garage so it can be cool. I placed cardboard under the house for insulation. Today I put the habitat on bricks to get him off of the floor. When I lifted the cage there was black mold everywhere-on the cardboard and on the wooden planks of his cage. I took him out and let him sit in water for awhile and tried to clean up. I put 4 inches of new substrate in last weekend and the surface is too dry. Obviously a lot of moisture is leaving through the bottom.

His eyes are not open and seem irritated. In the bath he uses his front legs to wipe his eyes. After the soak, his eyes are open and he perks up. I took him to the vet a couple of weeks ago. It was after a soak and his eyes were open and he was charming. She said he looked healthy and he was probably dehydrated.

I know my answer lies somewhere in the thousands of posts but I feel like this needs immediate attention. I have read about the hydrogen peroxide which I will do, but it seems like his substrate could have mold too, although I have never seem any, even the floor, when I clean his house.

A wooden house that is open does not seem to make sense. I feel like I should buy or make something more suitable for a tortoise that needs moisture and different temperature gradients. Again I know the answer is somewhere, but I am worried about his health. Mold, surface dry even though it is misted, moisture leaving the bottom, correct lighting ( he has a ceramic basking lamp on all the time, he has a UVB light and a heating bulb both on 14 hours - I feel that is messed up), his lethargy and his eyes.

I have had him for 2 years and he has been fine. Not doing too well now.

I have to return him to his house, but I need to make changes ASAP.

Vinny’s mom is dropping the ball and he is not himself.

Thank you. Jill
 

wellington

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I would get rid of the house as black mold is not good for anyone. He needs a minimum of 4x8 foot as an adult.
How old is he?
An adult Hermanns can do fine in a table with humidity around 50%
As for your heat and lights, what are the actual temps and humidity?
I don't know what the peroxide is about?
 

zovick

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I would get rid of the house as black mold is not good for anyone. He needs a minimum of 4x8 foot as an adult.
How old is he?
An adult Hermanns can do fine in a table with humidity around 50%
As for your heat and lights, what are the actual temps and humidity?
I don't know what the peroxide is about?
She probably wants to use the peroxide to kill the mold.
 

Tom

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I have a Hermanns, and he is not himself. I was given the tortoise by someone who did not want him any longer. He came in a ZooMed Tortoise House. Given the humidity needs etc it did not seem like the correct habitat.

His house is on the floor in the kitchen which is above the garage so it can be cool. I placed cardboard under the house for insulation. Today I put the habitat on bricks to get him off of the floor. When I lifted the cage there was black mold everywhere-on the cardboard and on the wooden planks of his cage. I took him out and let him sit in water for awhile and tried to clean up. I put 4 inches of new substrate in last weekend and the surface is too dry. Obviously a lot of moisture is leaving through the bottom.

His eyes are not open and seem irritated. In the bath he uses his front legs to wipe his eyes. After the soak, his eyes are open and he perks up. I took him to the vet a couple of weeks ago. It was after a soak and his eyes were open and he was charming. She said he looked healthy and he was probably dehydrated.

I know my answer lies somewhere in the thousands of posts but I feel like this needs immediate attention. I have read about the hydrogen peroxide which I will do, but it seems like his substrate could have mold too, although I have never seem any, even the floor, when I clean his house.

A wooden house that is open does not seem to make sense. I feel like I should buy or make something more suitable for a tortoise that needs moisture and different temperature gradients. Again I know the answer is somewhere, but I am worried about his health. Mold, surface dry even though it is misted, moisture leaving the bottom, correct lighting ( he has a ceramic basking lamp on all the time, he has a UVB light and a heating bulb both on 14 hours - I feel that is messed up), his lethargy and his eyes.

I have had him for 2 years and he has been fine. Not doing too well now.

I have to return him to his house, but I need to make changes ASAP.

Vinny’s mom is dropping the ball and he is not himself.

Thank you. Jill
Cold, mold, dry substrate, and the wrong bulbs can all cause the issues you are seeing.

Those ZooMed tortoise houses are not suitable for any species at any age. You are seeing why first hand. They can't be kept damp for babies, and they are too small for any adult that could tolerate more dryness.

Where is Waltham?

Here is all the correct care info:

A review of this info might show you your problem(s). Questions are welcome.
 

TaylorTortoise

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Can we see pictures of the enclosure, mold and your tortoise to see how he is doing?
 

Vinny and Ty

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Waltham, MA
Cold, mold, dry substrate, and the wrong bulbs can all cause the issues you are seeing.

Those ZooMed tortoise houses are not suitable for any species at any age. You are seeing why first hand. They can't be kept damp for babies, and they are too small for any adult that could tolerate more dryness.

Where is Waltham?

Here is all the correct care info:

A review of this info might show you your problem(s). Questions are welcome.
Waltham is in Massachusetts. Does anyone have pictures of a good inside habitat?
 

Vinny and Ty

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Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Waltham, MA
Cold, mold, dry substrate, and the wrong bulbs can all cause the issues you are seeing.

Those ZooMed tortoise houses are not suitable for any species at any age. You are seeing why first hand. They can't be kept damp for babies, and they are too small for any adult that could tolerate more dryness.

Where is Waltham?

Here is all the correct care info:

A review of this info might show you your problem(s). Questions are welcome.
Thank you Tom.
 

Tom

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Waltham is in Massachusetts. Does anyone have pictures of a good inside habitat?
These are set up for tropical species, but its easy to set up for temperate species too.
 

wellington

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She probably wants to use the peroxide to kill the mold.
I didn't know peroxide killed mold. Good to know, seeing I thought only straight bleach. Never had black mold but its always something I keep an eye out for.
 

Sarah2020

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I think new set up is required with cored to heat and light. I have my enclosure on a plywood base supported on on cabinets so I can see speedy and air can also circulate around. I have lined the inside with sticky back plastic to retain moisture and use orchid bark as substrate. As a suggestion have you got a local carpenter or family friend who can make a 4 x 8 box with sliding glass doors? Maybe other USA members can suggest enclosure options?
 

zovick

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I didn't know peroxide killed mold. Good to know, seeing I thought only straight bleach. Never had black mold but its always something I keep an eye out for.
Yes, peroxide will kill mold. So will vinegar. Neither the peroxide nor vinegar are harmful to the environment and do not leave a toxic residue. The same is not the case with bleach, so if/when using bleach, one must be mindful that it can have harmful effects if not used properly and cleaned up efficiently.
 

wellington

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Yes, peroxide will kill mold. So will vinegar. Neither the peroxide nor vinegar are harmful to the environment and do not leave a toxic residue. The same is not the case with bleach, so if/when using bleach, one must be mindful that it can have harmful effects if not used properly and cleaned up efficiently.
Yes, I hate bleach. I used to use it for bleaching dead coral and on whites.
 

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