Worried my Hermann Tortoise is pyramiding

BlueBlu

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Mar 22, 2022
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England
My Western Hermann, Pablo, is less than a year old and I've had him for nearly six months now. I'm worried that I initially made a mistake with his enclosure. I kept hearing that vivariums were bad for Mediterranean tortoises and could cause respiratory issues (though now I believe I must have made a stupid misunderstanding and lobbed my idea of vivarium in with aquarium which is so dumb). So I ended up going for a tortoise table, I specifically got this package and also got my tortoise from the same seller (though I use this substrate)
I'm worried I've made a mistake with this as I've been finding it difficult to keep humidity high enough, it's usually around 50% which is too low I think. I mist the enclosure daily and he has a soak a few times a week. Should I change to a vivarium? Or are there other options? I've heard partially covering the tortoise table with plexiglass or something else to trap moisture is a good idea, and I'm going to see about a humid hide and humidifier.
 

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zolasmum

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My Western Hermann, Pablo, is less than a year old and I've had him for nearly six months now. I'm worried that I initially made a mistake with his enclosure. I kept hearing that vivariums were bad for Mediterranean tortoises and could cause respiratory issues (though now I believe I must have made a stupid misunderstanding and lobbed my idea of vivarium in with aquarium which is so dumb). So I ended up going for a tortoise table, I specifically got this package and also got my tortoise from the same seller (though I use this substrate)
I'm worried I've made a mistake with this as I've been finding it difficult to keep humidity high enough, it's usually around 50% which is too low I think. I mist the enclosure daily and he has a soak a few times a week. Should I change to a vivarium? Or are there other options? I've heard partially covering the tortoise table with plexiglass or something else to trap moisture is a good idea, and I'm going to see about a humid hide and humidifier.
Welcome, BlueBlu - Pablo looks lovely. I am not an expert on enclosures, etc, but I just wanted to say hello - I live in Devon, and our Hermanns is nearly 22.
I am sure people who can help you will be along shortly (of course, a lot are on USA time,)
I am so glad you have found this forum - I wish it had been around when Zola was little.
Best wishes from Angie
 

JoFisch

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Dec 26, 2020
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Hi,
My eastern Hermann’s tortoise is about 9 mos old now. I know that all of the experts on here recommend closed chambers for growing babies in order to maintain consistent heat and humidity. If you do a search for closed chambers/enclosures you should find some good ideas.
Sometimes you can alter your existing enclosure with green house covers or plexiglass but you need to make sure your heat source, basking light and UV tube are inside, under the cover. If your current enclosure is wood, there is also the concern that it will rot. You can find lots of threads discussing how to line wood boxes to protect them from moisture also. There are a couple of good care sheets that describe the parameters that are needed. Look under mediterranean and Hermanns forums.
It is also generally recommended that you soak these guys every day for a minimum of 30 minutes while they are growing. When they are grown, you can reduce to 3 times weekly.
 

Sarah2020

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Vivarium is better but with correct light, heat and substrate. Forget humidifier waste if money, I just pour remains of water dish on tge orchid bark or spritz with a plant water sprayer each morning and it soon mists up and gets humid. I use a tortoise table when he goes on holiday to my parents and the difference is obvious.
I did some carpentry and added an extension to my viv so speedy has lots if space with a variety of temperature. I lined the inside with fablon plastic which is brilliant for wipe clean.
Swell reptile sometimes have offers for vivs so check them out.
 

Tom

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I'm worried that I initially made a mistake with his enclosure. I kept hearing that vivariums were bad for Mediterranean tortoises and could cause respiratory issues (though now I believe I must have made a stupid misunderstanding and lobbed my idea of vivarium in with aquarium which is so dumb).
Hello and welcome. You did not have a stupid misunderstanding. Like almost everyone, you were just given poor advice from people who don't know better. You then did your very best to follow the advice and give your tortoise the best life possible. You didn't know.

Your tortoise is pyramiding. A large viv with high humidity, daily soaks, and frequent shell spraying can stop it before it gets any worse. Just know that stopping pyramiding in progress is much pre difficult that preventing it in the first place. Normally 50-70% humidity is oaky for a hermanni if you also have damp substrate and a humid hide, but you will need to go higher than that to stop the pyramiding that is already underway.

Pyramiding can also be made worse by the wrong lights, or even the right lights set incorrectly. Spot bulbs, halogens, and mercury vapor bulbs (all-in-one), will cause pyramiding even in good growing conditions.

Here is the current and correct care info. Follow this and the situation should improve:

Don't beat yourself up over this. If all else is good, the pyramiding is only some minor cosmetic damage, and you tried to do the right thing.

Questions are welcome.
 
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