Am I doing it right?

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,899
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I tried making few adjustments and some fidgeting but the UVB bulb never worked. So I finally decided that I would set up an outdoor screen enclosure for him. The mesh will be just big enough to prevent rodents and cats from getting through. Along with that plan comes more questions.

1. How long can I let my tortoise outside? Aiming for 3 to 5 times a week.
2. Is it ok that the humidity outside just ranges from 50 to 60?
3. I should aim for the same temp of 80 to 90F, right?
4. Does he have to be under direct sunlight?
5. Is it ok to soak him while being under the sun?
You don't need indoor UV if your torotise is getting sunshine several times a week.

Your questions:
1. My general rule is one hour of access to sunshine per inch of tortoise. You can do this daily if you want, or twice a week is fine too.
2. That won't hurt anything as long as you soak after sunning, and keep the indoor housing humid. Humidity is often single digit here. Less than 16% most of the time.
3. Outside temps of high 70s to low 90s are good. They won't bask much when temps are higher, but that is okay.
4. No. There should always be shade available and places to hide. Don't worry about how much time the tortoise chooses to actually be in direct sun.
5. Yes, BUT do it very carefully. Monitor the water temp closely, and do it in such a way that as the sun moves, more and more shade overtakes the soaking tub. You should have to keep moving the tub more into the sun every few minutes. This way, if something happens to take your attention away from the tortoise, it won't end up in full sun and cook. It will instead end up in full shade and be fine.
 

Beibitoi

New Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Manila
You don't need indoor UV if your torotise is getting sunshine several times a week.

Your questions:
1. My general rule is one hour of access to sunshine per inch of tortoise. You can do this daily if you want, or twice a week is fine too.
2. That won't hurt anything as long as you soak after sunning, and keep the indoor housing humid. Humidity is often single digit here. Less than 16% most of the time.
3. Outside temps of high 70s to low 90s are good. They won't bask much when temps are higher, but that is okay.
4. No. There should always be shade available and places to hide. Don't worry about how much time the tortoise chooses to actually be in direct sun.
5. Yes, BUT do it very carefully. Monitor the water temp closely, and do it in such a way that as the sun moves, more and more shade overtakes the soaking tub. You should have to keep moving the tub more into the sun every few minutes. This way, if something happens to take your attention away from the tortoise, it won't end up in full sun and cook. It will instead end up in full shade and be fine.
That's a lot of good advice you gave here Tom! Thank you. I'll make sure to follow all these tips.

Will post photos here once the outdoor enclosure is done. Thanks again!
 

Beibitoi

New Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Manila
So this is where I set up his outside pen. I made sure that the soil was damp before placing him there. We have no other animals that could snatch the tortoise from the top. In that aspect, I think he's pretty safe. I'm currently observing him for almost 30 mins now and noticed that he would go back and forth from the shaded area. As of now, the only thing that provides a shade is the trunk, But Im also planning to add hostas and hibiscus inside the pen. Is this setup enough for him? I only intend to put him here for 1 to 2 hrs a day. Thank you.
 

Attachments

  • A81DE6AE-352D-4D68-A117-5723E5808DB2.jpeg
    A81DE6AE-352D-4D68-A117-5723E5808DB2.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 18
  • 30B30C80-8C2E-487A-8866-016A5C38BEF7.jpeg
    30B30C80-8C2E-487A-8866-016A5C38BEF7.jpeg
    1.5 MB · Views: 18

Jan A

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
925
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
So this is where I set up his outside pen. I made sure that the soil was damp before placing him there. We have no other animals that could snatch the tortoise from the top. In that aspect, I think he's pretty safe. I'm currently observing him for almost 30 mins now and noticed that he would go back and forth from the shaded area. As of now, the only thing that provides a shade is the trunk, But Im also planning to add hostas and hibiscus inside the pen. Is this setup enough for him? I only intend to put him here for 1 to 2 hrs a day. Thank you.
Maybe it's just me, but it looks like your tort could figure out how to get thru that fence or caught up in it in about 20 seconds if it wants. You should have boards inside the perimeter so he can't see the rest of the world & can't get himself into trouble with the fence & tall enough so he can't climb the board.
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
doesnt look very secure to me, potential for a tort to wedge itself under it.
 

Beibitoi

New Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
Manila
Thank you! I'll put something at the bottom then to prevent that from happening. I'm thinking of securing the fence with pegs or stakes, and adding big rocks or soil mounds around to obstruct outside view.

On a different note, here is the situation in the inside enclosure. It being summer here, Ambient Temperature ranges from 85 to 105 everyday. I would have to turn off all lights (ambient and basking) just so I could reduce the temp to more or less 90. Would it be OK to do away with basking light? The truth is I never see him stay under the basking light anyway. Although I already reduced it's intensity to maintain 100F basking spot, I think it contributes a lot to that high ambient temp.
 

jwr0201

Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2021
Messages
43
Location (City and/or State)
Sarasota, FL
I will disagree with @Yossarian in that your baby is growing much better than the one in the post that was linked. Most of what you are doing is working very well. The growth of your baby is quite good and no real pyramiding is starting as opposed to that other baby in the linked post.

I do agree strongly with the suggestion for adding plants for natural cover. I believe a tortoise in a barren enclosure is under constant low grade stress as there is no place it can feel secure. You will find your tortoise will do much better with nice plant fronds to hide beneath.

Here's an example of how I set up an enclosure. As your tortoise grows it will start to eat more of the plant, but the first 4-6 months it will thrive in the cover the plant offers. Additionally, the plant cover also will mitigate much of the IR from the halogen light.
Is that Pothos in your enclosure? Obviously tortoise safe! If that's correct - great choice, grows well. Do they eat it or use for shade & cover?
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
4,286
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
Is that Pothos in your enclosure? Obviously tortoise safe! If that's correct - great choice, grows well. Do they eat it or use for shade & cover?
Yes, it is pothos. It is tortoise safe. It grows extremely well in our warm, humid enclosures without a special grow light. I love it for babies as they use it extensively for cover. As you can see I let it grow and take over the enclosure. As most tortoises get a bit larger, they start eating the pothos as well. With a 4" tortoise, the pothos will probably be trimmed to what is within reach soon. So a great balance - perfect for the babies their first year when cover is so important. They will have a forest in which to live. I even find babies 3"-4" off the ground up in the branches of the pothos. Others like to push under best they can.
 
Top