5 year old doesnt want to be in the heat

JackieJax

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It's around 80-95 degrees now... but my tortiose keeps finding areas that are around 60-75 degrees in the yard or through the doggie door in the garage. He has an 8×4 box with a heater (one of Tom's blueprints) that is set to 90 degrees and the last couple of nights he chose to sleep outside where it was 65 degrees. Am I doing something wrong?
 

wellington

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I would lower the hide box to 80. Other then that not sure why he wants cooler areas
I have a leopard that used to do the same thing when he was around 5 or so. He would sleep by his ramp door of the shed/hide which was the only spot not on temp.
I do know that the hottest part of the day most tortoises in the wild are hiding out in cooler shade spots.
@Tom might know.
 

Tom

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Am I doing something wrong?
Yes. You are giving the tortoise a choice.

In the wild, anywhere they choose to park, which would usually be in a burrow underground, is the correct temperature. Here in North America with our temperate climate and colder nights, the temperature is NOT always correct. You need to put the torotise in its heated night box every night and lock it in there. Then, open the door each morning so it can come out to eat, bask, and walk around.

They usually figure this out on their own and get into the habit of going back in to the box every night after a couple of weeks. I've had particularly stubborn ones take up to two months. Until then, you need to help. Every night.

Night box should be set to 80 for most of the year when temps are warm and sunny. I lower it to 70 when summer days are 95-105 every day here. In winter, when they can't come out and bask on cold overcast days, I set the thermostat to 86. 90 is a little higher than it needs to be. Be sure you are humidifying the box and soaking the tortoise every other day or so at that temperature.
 

queen koopa

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Agree with Tom. Choice and they are stubborn. I had to put koopa away a few times in her first year and she dug a burrow (her choice) and wouldn’t come out. How long has the tort been living outside?
 

maggie3fan

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Yes. You are giving the tortoise a choice.

In the wild, anywhere they choose to park, which would usually be in a burrow underground, is the correct temperature. Here in North America with our temperate climate and colder nights, the temperature is NOT always correct. You need to put the torotise in its heated night box every night and lock it in there. Then, open the door each morning so it can come out to eat, bask, and walk around.

They usually figure this out on their own and get into the habit of going back in to the box every night after a couple of weeks. I've had particularly stubborn ones take up to two months. Until then, you need to help. Every night.

Night box should be set to 80 for most of the year when temps are warm and sunny. I lower it to 70 when summer days are 95-105 every day here. In winter, when they can't come out and bask on cold overcast days, I set the thermostat to 86. 90 is a little higher than it needs to be. Be sure you are humidifying the box and soaking the tortoise every other day or so at that temperature.
I am probably the only person on this forum that does not use your night box. 😇 So my question, ambient temp in your box is 80 degrees, is there any place in that box to get away from the ambient temp and cool down for a bit?
 

JackieJax

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Yes. You are giving the tortoise a choice.

In the wild, anywhere they choose to park, which would usually be in a burrow underground, is the correct temperature. Here in North America with our temperate climate and colder nights, the temperature is NOT always correct. You need to put the torotise in its heated night box every night and lock it in there. Then, open the door each morning so it can come out to eat, bask, and walk around.

They usually figure this out on their own and get into the habit of going back in to the box every night after a couple of weeks. I've had particularly stubborn ones take up to two months. Until then, you need to help. Every night.

Night box should be set to 80 for most of the year when temps are warm and sunny. I lower it to 70 when summer days are 95-105 every day here. In winter, when they can't come out and bask on cold overcast days, I set the thermostat to 86. 90 is a little higher than it needs to be. Be sure you are humidifying the box and soaking the tortoise every other day or so at that temperature.
Ah okay! For the last few months he's had a routine of checking around his house and going inside and covering himself up for the night around 4pm. That totally makes sense... the last couple of days have been a lot hotter than it's been, so I've just had it too hot for his liking. So I'll lower it to 80 and keep it there. I've been soaking him about once a week because it's been cold. Now it's hot, I soaked him yesterday... so I'll just go every other day now.
 

JackieJax

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Agree with Tom. Choice and they are stubborn. I had to put koopa away a few times in her first year and she dug a burrow (her choice) and wouldn’t come out. How long has the tort been living outside?
I got him last year and he was inside and outside for about a month while I was building his house. His prior owners had him outside his entire life. He never started in an aquarium from what I know.
 

JackieJax

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I am probably the only person on this forum that does not use your night box. 😇 So my question, ambient temp in your box is 80 degrees, is there any place in that box to get away from the ambient temp and cool down for a bit?
I have a thermostat that adjusts the temperature with two probes on each end of the box. Closest to the heater is 90 degrees, farthest from the heater is 87 when the door is open. Then the door is closed, it's all 90 degrees. Now I'm thinking that maybe I'll make him a "cool" room to attach to his house if he wants to escape the heat by a few more degrees. I don't know... I keep thinking of more and more expensive ideas lol
 

JackieJax

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I would lower the hide box to 80. Other then that not sure why he wants cooler areas
I have a leopard that used to do the same thing when he was around 5 or so. He would sleep by his ramp door of the shed/hide which was the only spot not on temp.
I do know that the hottest part of the day most tortoises in the wild are hiding out in cooler shade spots.
@Tom might know.
That makes a lot of sense. Because a couple of days prior to the last couple of nights that I mentioned, he was sleeping close to his door. (Though the door is insulated and once he's locked in for the night it gets all to the same temperature within 10 or so minutes
 

JackieJax

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Thank you everyone! I'll lower the temp to 80 and make sure he's inside for the night. You are all awesome!
 

Tom

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I am probably the only person on this forum that does not use your night box. 😇 So my question, ambient temp in your box is 80 degrees, is there any place in that box to get away from the ambient temp and cool down for a bit?
80 degrees is as cool as I'd want them to get. It doesn't get cooler than that where they come from in Africa. Ground temps hover between 80 and 85 all year in their burrows.
 

Chubbs the tegu

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im wondering how anyone would know what temp they are comfortable at? Yes its always 80’s and 100 in Africa but thats the extremes of wild living and they have no choice. And yes I know they need to be above 80’s to digest their food, but other than that who can say what temps they like the best? Like all creatures in the wild many dont reach adulthood do to extremes of their natural habitat.
 

JackieJax

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im wondering how anyone would know what temp they are comfortable at? Yes its always 80’s and 100 in Africa but thats the extremes of wild living and they have no choice. And yes I know they need to be above 80’s to digest their food, but other than that who can say what temps they like the best? Like all creatures in the wild many dont reach adulthood do to extremes of their natural habitat.
My habitat is around 100-110 degrees in the summer. Between 50-70 degrees during the winter. But I indeed find that I like 68-72 degrees the best. LoL
 

Chubbs the tegu

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My habitat is around 100-110 degrees in the summer. Between 50-70 degrees during the winter. But I indeed find that I like 68-72 degrees the best. LoL
Dont get me wrong.. they would still need some basking time during the day in the 90’s to digest properly. But at night for an older sully im sure they would be fine
 

Tom

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im wondering how anyone would know what temp they are comfortable at? Yes its always 80’s and 100 in Africa but thats the extremes of wild living and they have no choice. And yes I know they need to be above 80’s to digest their food, but other than that who can say what temps they like the best? Like all creatures in the wild many dont reach adulthood do to extremes of their natural habitat.
The extremes where sulcatas come from are all above ground. Daily highs are usually over 100 degrees. They go underground to the milder temps of 80-85 in their burrows to escape the extremes. This is what they are evolved to deal with. Its not a question of "like".

There are many reasons why a tortoise may choose to park in one place or another. Temperature really isn't one of them when we are talking about sleeping or hiding spots. Basking spots during the day time would certainly be temperature related, but its a different story in the shade or when the sun drops.
 
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