Adopting my first RF tortoise today!

How's my setup?

  • Terrible

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Not great

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Good

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Fantastic

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1

erinbug

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
43
Location (City and/or State)
Tomball
Hello,

My name is Erin and I've been prowling this forum for about a month while setting up my first redfoot tortoise enclosure! Our Petco has had a RF juvenile for several years and I've finally decided to bite the bullet and rescue the little guy from his much-too-cramped tank. And today is the day!

I'm planning on building an outdoor enclosure in the near future (I live in humid hot Texas), but right now I have a 5 ft tank for him. Here's how I have it set up:

- near a window, not in direct sunlight but gets good rays
- wallpaper entirely covering back & sides, covering 6 inches high at the front (I did this because I know clear tanks are frowned upon and want him to feel safe)
- a mixture of cypress mulch & sphagnum moss
- two day bulbs, one centered and one at the hot end - I plan to pick up a small powersun UVB bulb as well today
- one 100W ceramic heating bulb closer to the hot end (testing temps currently to see if I need more heat sources)
- a cave hide bedded with moss at the cooler end
- a stone ramp water dish big enough for soaking
- a low log for climbing/basking under the heat lamp
- a few fake plants

I've been looking into humidity sources but have seen nothing but bad reviews for reptile devices and have decided instead to spray down the bedding frequently and soak the tort often. I was wondering if that was sufficient?

Is there anything glaring I'm missing in my enclosure or should have set up differently? I imagine having the tort in there will help me see what he does or doesn't like.

Thank you and I'm so excited to be here! In terms of other introductory things, I also have a 2 y.o. red-eared slider named Vincent who is a total grump and only likes me because I bear food. I love him anyway :p
 

jsheffield

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
2,411
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
Welcome to TFO and congratulations on the redfoot!

I think that covering/closing the enclosure to some extent is the best and easiest easy to increase and stabilize the humidity and temperatures.

Jamie
 

erinbug

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
43
Location (City and/or State)
Tomball
Welcome to TFO and congratulations on the redfoot!

I think that covering/closing the enclosure to some extent is the best and easiest easy to increase and stabilize the humidity and temperatures.

Jamie

Thank you! Right now half of the tank is covered by plexiglass with plants for shade, and the other half is a metal mesh cover.
 

Toddrickfl1

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
6,666
Location (City and/or State)
Ga
Two day bulbs is probably too bright. You should only need one and the CHE.
 

erinbug

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
43
Location (City and/or State)
Tomball
Two day bulbs is probably too bright. You should only need one and the CHE.

How bright is too bright? The ones I have actually seem pretty dim (especially for the 5 ft tank), and the cooler end is barely lit. That's okay?
 

jsheffield

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
2,411
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
I have two hides and a light and a dark side in my redfoot Darwin's enclosure... he can, and does, choose to wander to warm and cool himself thought the day, and to bask for an hour or two each morning to start his day.

Jamie
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,056
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hello,

My name is Erin and I've been prowling this forum for about a month while setting up my first redfoot tortoise enclosure! Our Petco has had a RF juvenile for several years and I've finally decided to bite the bullet and rescue the little guy from his much-too-cramped tank. And today is the day!

I'm planning on building an outdoor enclosure in the near future (I live in humid hot Texas), but right now I have a 5 ft tank for him. Here's how I have it set up:
- near a window, not in direct sunlight but gets good rays

Glass filters out the UVB, so the only benefit you MIGHT get from being by a window would be maybe some heat

- wallpaper entirely covering back & sides, covering 6 inches high at the front (I did this because I know clear tanks are frowned upon and want him to feel safe)

Quite a few tortoises don't really care if it's glass or not, and some even like watching their people through the glass. I've used glass tanks for years with no ill effects.


- a mixture of cypress mulch & sphagnum moss

This is probably ok, but some tortoises tend to eat the moss


- two day bulbs, one centered and one at the hot end - I plan to pick up a small powersun UVB bulb as well today
- one 100W ceramic heating bulb closer to the hot end (testing temps currently to see if I need more heat sources)

The RF tortoise quite like living in a low light situation. They really don't need the Powersun UVB bulb. They get along quite well with just the 100 watt ceramic heating element and then I use a tube type fluorescent UVB bulb along with many, many plants for diffused lighting


- a cave hide bedded with moss at the cooler end

I like my hiding places at the warm end because humidity and cool are not a good combination


- a stone ramp water dish big enough for soaking

Plant saucers are better. Those ramp dishes are really made for other reptiles, not solid body tortoises. They are a tipping hazard


-I've been looking into humidity sources but have seen nothing but bad reviews for reptile devices and have decided instead to spray down the bedding frequently and soak the tort often. I was wondering if that was sufficient?

If you cover the enclosure and keep the substrate SLIGHTLY moist it's easy to keep the enclosure humid. But, too wet of substrate causes shell rot.
 
Last edited:

erinbug

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
43
Location (City and/or State)
Tomball
Thank you for all the tips! I imagine the tort will push himself up to look over the front wallpaper anyway so I'll probably end up taking it off.

As for the hide - I was intending to keep the CHE on 24/7 and I thought RFs liked retreating to cooler spots at night?

The water dish is very large, flat, and heavy and I have it nestled down into the bedding so I don't see it tipping but I will keep an eye on it!

You said you use plants to diffuse lighting - do you use fake ones
 
Last edited by a moderator:

erinbug

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
43
Location (City and/or State)
Tomball
I have two hides and a light and a dark side in my redfoot Darwin's enclosure... he can, and does, choose to wander to warm and cool himself thought the day, and to bask for an hour or two each morning to start his day.

Jamie
Good to know about the light and dark side, I was wondering if that was okay! Also, I adore the name Darwin :D
 

jsheffield

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
2,411
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
Good to know about the light and dark side, I was wondering if that was okay! Also, I adore the name Darwin :D

Don't take my experience as gospel... I've heard people say that redfoots don't need/want that level of differential in light and temperature.

It seems to work for mine is as much as I can say.

Jamie
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,056
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Thank you for all the tips! I imagine the tort will push himself up to look over the front wallpaper anyway so I'll probably end up taking it off.

As for the hide - I was intending to keep the CHE on 24/7 and I thought RFs liked retreating to cooler spots at night?

The water dish is very large, flat, and heavy and I have it nestled down into the bedding so I don't see it tipping but I will keep an eye on it!

You said you use plants to diffuse lighting - do you use fake ones
No, I meant the tortoise tips when trying to enter the water. They sometimes end up on their back in the water.

I use both, fake and real.
 

erinbug

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
43
Location (City and/or State)
Tomball
No, I meant the tortoise tips when trying to enter the water. They sometimes end up on their back in the water.

I use both, fake and real.
My bad, sorry! I'm still a little confused, though - how would a different dish make a difference?
 

MPappagallo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
369
Location (City and/or State)
Myrtle Beach, SC
Congrats on your new RF! I am sure you will both have a blast getting to know each other. And I bet he is thrilled that you have rescued him from his pet shop prison! :)
 

erinbug

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
43
Location (City and/or State)
Tomball
IMG_4315.jpg

Meet Tortellini!! Since bringing him home he has pooped (a lot), had a snack, paced for a bit, made half an attempt at burrowing, then retreated to his hide. I’m in love!

Still need some more big leafy fake plants - any suggestions on where to get those for not too much money?
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Welcome
Keep in mind that the suns UV Ray's can NOT pass through glass. So your little friend likely isn't getting any rays at all.
Also a glass tank can get extra hot near a window. Especially with added lights on top. Redfoot can die of heat exposure.
Your Redfoot needs humidity. Lots of it. More than 80%.
But he requires little heat. Between 80 and 85 is petfect.
And they shy away from bright lights. Preferring to hide away during the brightest, hottest part of the day.
Fortunately your outside, well planted, shaded enclosure should rectify most of these issues.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
24,227
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
View attachment 274480

Meet Tortellini!! Since bringing him home he has pooped (a lot), had a snack, paced for a bit, made half an attempt at burrowing, then retreated to his hide. I’m in love!

Still need some more big leafy fake plants - any suggestions on where to get those for not too much money?
Fake plants sometimes get chewed on.
Get real Spider plants or small, cheap Pathos.
Also, those pellets...... feed those as a rare treat only.
They should not make up the meal.
Youll6find your new Redfoot can eat dozens of items that you can pick, grow or find easily and cheaply.
Check out our Redfoot care sheet.
 

erinbug

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
43
Location (City and/or State)
Tomball
Fake plants sometimes get chewed on.
Get real Spider plants or small, cheap Pathos.
Also, those pellets...... feed those as a rare treat only.
They should not make up the meal.
Youll6find your new Redfoot can eat dozens of items that you can pick, grow or find easily and cheaply.
Check out our Redfoot care sheet.

The pellets were just to make him comfortable on his first day, I will be moving him to veggies and fruits and such!
 

erinbug

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
43
Location (City and/or State)
Tomball
He looks pretty good considering. The Pyramiding is minor and actually looks like it stopped and smoothed out at some point. Congrats on your new Redfoot!

Thank you! He does keep making a sort of huffing snuffling sound through his nose, is that normal? I think he’s just nervous.
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top