Confused beginner with a hermann's

Botond

New Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
Szeged
Hello Everyone!

I'm kind of new to this forum, I've been reading a dozen of threads in the last couple of months, and have learned many things, but I feel like the more I read, the more confused and overwhelmed I am with all this information out here.
(and I know, all of my following questions have already been answered, I've read a lot of them as well, but as I said, I'm just confused🙁)
I've got a hermann's tortoise 3 months ago, who was born in 2019 according to his papers, and (of course, like every nice people here) would like to give him the best life I can.

He currently lives in a cool viking-style (only for my pleasure, sadly he doesn't know how cool that is) 2 level tortoise table. The bottom floor is 30.7x20.9" (78x53 cm), and the top floor is 10.2x20.9" (26x53 cm), which I will attach picture of.
His ramp will be ribbed, so he can walk up easier.
As I read, the 2 most preferred beddings were cypress mulch and coco coir. Sadly there is literally no cypress mulch where I live. I've tried coco coir, but it molded like crazy after just 3-4 days.
As for now, he has minced cob as a bedding, with some rocks, but I believe it is really dry for him. I also didn't really like the smell of the coco coir, as the tortoise is in the same room, where I am almost 24/7.
I soak him around every 2-4 days, and recently added a little water dish, what he loves.
They gave us I think the most basic tortoise food, what honestly I don't know what exactly contains, but I will attach a picture of that too, hopefully some more experienced keepers will know if that food is ok for him. It is not fluffly, and easy to break, like basic turtle foods, it's actually pretty solid.
I feed him 2 times a day with 3 pieces of this given food mixed with a calcium powder, and some water.
He currently only has a 25W heat bulb, with no UVB. The heat bulb is on for 10 hours a day (sometimes a little longer, if I feed him later)
The temperature in the room where the tortoise table is is around 75-81 fahrenheit (24-27 Celsius).
And also, I plan to get a thermostat, so I can keep track on the degrees, and the humidity.

The question after this long intrudoction is..well..almost everything.
1. I know, it's not ideal to feed him with only this food, what other things I should feed him with?

2. Most people say that you need an UVB lamp, some people say that if you put him outside for a couple of hours every few days, it should be fine.
I live in Hungary, in a small apartment, so sadly an outdoor enclosure is not an option here, but I have a balcony, where I think it would be good for him if I put him out every now and then.
I wonder if that UVB is enough for him, or I should get a lamp.
And if that UVB is enough, what the temperature should be so I can put him outside for a couple of hours.

3. It doesn't matter that he has a water bowl, I should still soak him, right?

4. What other bedding would be suitable for him? As I read, pine mulch is not suitable, and maybe nut tree mulch is not suitable as well. I guess self mowed (not store bought) lawn is not suitable for him as well.

5. As for humidity, I've read a lot of different percentages, what should it be, if someone would clarify what it should really be I would appreciate it.

6. I'm thinking of putting some grass inside his enclosure, so he always have access to fresh grass, if that is safe.

7. What the temperature at the basking spot should be?

8. The problem is, when he gets into the water, and comes out of it wet, the cob bedding sticks to him everywhere, like to his neck, and if i don't get them off of him, they stick around in places like that, what I believe should hurt him. How can I fix that, or is that really hurting him?

9. Is that 10 hour cycle for the basking lamp is enough?

10. And I would appreciate any kind of advice about anything (like what to put in his enclosure, so it would be more interesting to him, etc.), beacuse I know I didn't cover a lot of things, and as soon as I post this, I will be "dang..how could I forgot to ask this"

Thank you for reading this thread with my silly mess of questions, but I know everyone starts here🙂
Appreciate the advices in advance.

And finally, here are a cool shot about my hermann's, Ernő, the little conqueror of The World🛡️ IMG_20210404_205809.jpg IMG_20210404_225312.jpg IMG_20210404_225340.jpg IMG_20210404_225519.jpg IMG_20210405_000758.jpg
 

S2G

Active Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
101
Location (City and/or State)
AL
They basically eat yard weeds like dandelions which you can look up to see what's safe. I keep mine 78-80F ambient. 95-100F basking. 12% Arcadia t5 ho on 4hrs a day. Humidity I like to stay around 50-70%. The basking side I use a 100w incandescent flood light that I raised until I got the temp I was looking for. The other side has a ceramic heat element on a thermostat to maintain ambient temps. The UV t5 is on a timer & runs in between the other two. I used 100% organic top soil, cypress mulch, & some sand for drainage. I use a terracotta saucer they use under flower pots sunk in the dirt as a water dish & a piece of slate I feed on. Mines roughly 3-4yrs & I soak in warm water 3x a week. I would soak more & keep humidity higher for yours.

Here's a good caresheet for you.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
55,041
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello Everyone!

I'm kind of new to this forum, I've been reading a dozen of threads in the last couple of months, and have learned many things, but I feel like the more I read, the more confused and overwhelmed I am with all this information out here.
(and I know, all of my following questions have already been answered, I've read a lot of them as well, but as I said, I'm just confused🙁)
I've got a hermann's tortoise 3 months ago, who was born in 2019 according to his papers, and (of course, like every nice people here) would like to give him the best life I can.

He currently lives in a cool viking-style (only for my pleasure, sadly he doesn't know how cool that is) 2 level tortoise table. The bottom floor is 30.7x20.9" (78x53 cm), and the top floor is 10.2x20.9" (26x53 cm), which I will attach picture of.
His ramp will be ribbed, so he can walk up easier.
As I read, the 2 most preferred beddings were cypress mulch and coco coir. Sadly there is literally no cypress mulch where I live. I've tried coco coir, but it molded like crazy after just 3-4 days.
As for now, he has minced cob as a bedding, with some rocks, but I believe it is really dry for him. I also didn't really like the smell of the coco coir, as the tortoise is in the same room, where I am almost 24/7.
I soak him around every 2-4 days, and recently added a little water dish, what he loves.
They gave us I think the most basic tortoise food, what honestly I don't know what exactly contains, but I will attach a picture of that too, hopefully some more experienced keepers will know if that food is ok for him. It is not fluffly, and easy to break, like basic turtle foods, it's actually pretty solid.
I feed him 2 times a day with 3 pieces of this given food mixed with a calcium powder, and some water.
He currently only has a 25W heat bulb, with no UVB. The heat bulb is on for 10 hours a day (sometimes a little longer, if I feed him later)
The temperature in the room where the tortoise table is is around 75-81 fahrenheit (24-27 Celsius).
And also, I plan to get a thermostat, so I can keep track on the degrees, and the humidity.

The question after this long intrudoction is..well..almost everything.
1. I know, it's not ideal to feed him with only this food, what other things I should feed him with?

2. Most people say that you need an UVB lamp, some people say that if you put him outside for a couple of hours every few days, it should be fine.
I live in Hungary, in a small apartment, so sadly an outdoor enclosure is not an option here, but I have a balcony, where I think it would be good for him if I put him out every now and then.
I wonder if that UVB is enough for him, or I should get a lamp.
And if that UVB is enough, what the temperature should be so I can put him outside for a couple of hours.

3. It doesn't matter that he has a water bowl, I should still soak him, right?

4. What other bedding would be suitable for him? As I read, pine mulch is not suitable, and maybe nut tree mulch is not suitable as well. I guess self mowed (not store bought) lawn is not suitable for him as well.

5. As for humidity, I've read a lot of different percentages, what should it be, if someone would clarify what it should really be I would appreciate it.

6. I'm thinking of putting some grass inside his enclosure, so he always have access to fresh grass, if that is safe.

7. What the temperature at the basking spot should be?

8. The problem is, when he gets into the water, and comes out of it wet, the cob bedding sticks to him everywhere, like to his neck, and if i don't get them off of him, they stick around in places like that, what I believe should hurt him. How can I fix that, or is that really hurting him?

9. Is that 10 hour cycle for the basking lamp is enough?

10. And I would appreciate any kind of advice about anything (like what to put in his enclosure, so it would be more interesting to him, etc.), beacuse I know I didn't cover a lot of things, and as soon as I post this, I will be "dang..how could I forgot to ask this"

Thank you for reading this thread with my silly mess of questions, but I know everyone starts here🙂
Appreciate the advices in advance.

And finally, here are a cool shot about my hermann's, Ernő, the little conqueror of The World🛡️ View attachment 322494 View attachment 322495 View attachment 322496 View attachment 322497 View attachment 322498
All of your questions are answered here:

I'll still answer one at a time:
1. Too much to type. Its in the care sheet. They aren't grass eaters, and be sure to not use sod. Sod can have toxic chemicals and dangerous netting in it, and grass won't live indoors anyway.
2. Out on the balcony a couple times a week in a safe enclosure is enough. No need for a bulb.
3. Yes. Soak babies every day until they pass 100 grams.
4. The corn cob stuff is likely to kill I'm through impaction. Get it out of there ASAP. Buy reptil-bark. Coco coir doesn't mold, so it sounds like you have the wrong stuff. That is best for babies. Use a thick layer and hand pack it firmly.
5. Shoot for 50-70%. Use damp substrate, a humid hide, and soak daily.
6. No. See number one.
7. 95-100F (36C).
8. Get rid of the corn cob bedding ASAP.
9. No. At least 12 hours. 13 is better. The basking lamp is supposed to simulate the sun. 10 hours day are mid winter and that will make him want to hibernate.
10. Logs, large rocks, potted plants.
 

Botond

New Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
Szeged
Thanks for both of you, these really covered everything!
I will make these changes as fast as I can.
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
I have never seen coco mold, but I would also reccomend orchid bark for your enclosure. It is going to be pretty difficult to keep humidity up with this enclosure as well, maybe impossible depending on your climate.
 

Botond

New Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
Szeged
I will put a plastic bag underneath the bedding, I hope that will help with the humidity
And of course, if I can't reach the desired %, I will make changes of his enclosure
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
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Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
If you can find it, pond liner is good for lining tables, completely waterproof and durable.

fyi, orchid bark and repti-bark are the same thing - they are basically a fine grade fir tree bark.
 

Botond

New Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
Szeged
Yes, I also have it, and tried to use it, just didn't have a glue gun in hand to the sides to stay in place, because it is old, and doesn't bend anymore.

And yes, I just realized that as well, needless to say that simple fact saved me a lots of unnecessarily spent money.
 

Yossarian

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
764
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
Yes, I also have it, and tried to use it, just didn't have a glue gun in hand to the sides to stay in place, because it is old, and doesn't bend anymore.

And yes, I just realized that as well, needless to say that simple fact saved me a lots of unnecessarily spent money.

With pond liner, if you have a blow drier heat the liner up it becomes much more pliable. I always used a staple gun with mine and make it deep so you can put several inches depth of bark.

This allows it to hold a lot of water.
 
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