Does my hatchling hermann's enclosure look good?

PlutoTestudo

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Jul 18, 2016
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Hi all! I am expecting to receive a hermann's baby very soon, so I wanted to check over the enclosure I've constructed for him with this forum to see if there are any last minute changes or upgrades I should make.

It is a two foot by three foot wooden box insulated with liquid silicon rubber on the inside acting as a barrier between the humidity & the wood as well as to keep the heat in. On top there is also a sliding plastic top with two holes for the basking light and the ceramic heat emitter. The ceramic heat emitter is hooked up to a thermostat that is programmed to keep the inside of the hide warm. There is also a two foot long UV bulb inside the enclosure for obvious reasons.

I hooked up a humidifier regulated by a hygrostat to keep the interior nice and humid. Combining this with some sphagnum moss and regular misting, I think this should maintain humidity pretty well. I've heard of problems maintaining heat and humidity in tortoise tables before, so I am very interested in what anyone has to think on this setup.

As for the interior, I have half the stuff, but I am setting it up finally this weekend. I plan on using repti-bark mixed with organic top soil as a substrate (thoughts?) and will be adding some slate for his feeding area.

Here are some pics I took just now (not final):
IMG_4637.JPG IMG_4638.JPG

IMG_4640.JPG
Lmk what you guys think :)
 

Lyn W

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Hi,
This is the most up to date caresheet for Med Torts that will help you get things right,

Vivs are mostly recommended for hatchlings as it's easier to control heat and humidity but as your enclosure is covered it's better than an open table.
I think you have to be careful with the Sphagnum moss as torts will eat it which can cause problems and humidifiers aren't generally recommended because I believe torts can aspirate the steam which can cause RI.
The caresheet will recommended the best substrate that you can keep moist and will give you advice on lamps and temps etc.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Hi all! I am expecting to receive a hermann's baby very soon, so I wanted to check over the enclosure I've constructed for him with this forum to see if there are any last minute changes or upgrades I should make.

It is a two foot by three foot wooden box insulated with liquid silicon rubber on the inside acting as a barrier between the humidity & the wood as well as to keep the heat in. On top there is also a sliding plastic top with two holes for the basking light and the ceramic heat emitter. The ceramic heat emitter is hooked up to a thermostat that is programmed to keep the inside of the hide warm. There is also a two foot long UV bulb inside the enclosure for obvious reasons.

I hooked up a humidifier regulated by a hygrostat to keep the interior nice and humid. Combining this with some sphagnum moss and regular misting, I think this should maintain humidity pretty well. I've heard of problems maintaining heat and humidity in tortoise tables before, so I am very interested in what anyone has to think on this setup.

As for the interior, I have half the stuff, but I am setting it up finally this weekend. I plan on using repti-bark mixed with organic top soil as a substrate (thoughts?) and will be adding some slate for his feeding area.

Here are some pics I took just now (not final):
View attachment 325476 View attachment 325478

View attachment 325479
Lmk what you guys think :)
Over all a great effort. I'll point out the problems/suggestions I see.
  1. 2x3 is okay for a tiny hatchling, but your baby will outgrow that in 6-8 months. Start planning for something much bigger now. I takes months in some case to get a large closed chamber.
  2. Your semi-closed design is better than an shallow sided open topped bin, but having the lights outside is going to create a chimney effect that will draw your heat and humidity up and out. You'll bee heating the room more than the enclosure.
  3. The ceramic heat emitter on a thermostat should be sed for warming the entire enclosure to the set point during the day, not just the hide area. Your baby shouldn't need heat at night at normal room temps of 65-70, so you can run the CHE on a timer and the thermostat at the same time.
  4. No humidifiers for tortoises. Lyn explained why. Humidity should be maintained with damp substrate, a large shallow water bowl, and reduced ventilation, as needed.
  5. No soil. Its made from composted yard waste and there is no way to know what is in it. Could be toxic.
  6. No moss. It does nothing, they eat it, and it can cause impaction.
  7. I prefer hand packed coco coir for babies, and move them to fine grade orchid bark once they grow to around 3-4 inches.
  8. Better to use terra cotta plant saucers sunk into the substrate for both food and water. Food placed on a slate will be dragged into and covered with substrate. Use the slate under the basking lamp instead.
Questions welcome. Happy to explain any of this further.
 

PlutoTestudo

New Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
20
Location (City and/or State)
Illinois
Hi,
This is the most up to date caresheet for Med Torts that will help you get things right,

Vivs are mostly recommended for hatchlings as it's easier to control heat and humidity but as your enclosure is covered it's better than an open table.
I think you have to be careful with the Sphagnum moss as torts will eat it which can cause problems and humidifiers aren't generally recommended because I believe torts can aspirate the steam which can cause RI.
The caresheet will recommended the best substrate that you can keep moist and will give you advice on lamps and temps etc.
Over all a great effort. I'll point out the problems/suggestions I see.
  1. 2x3 is okay for a tiny hatchling, but your baby will outgrow that in 6-8 months. Start planning for something much bigger now. I takes months in some case to get a large closed chamber.
  2. Your semi-closed design is better than an shallow sided open topped bin, but having the lights outside is going to create a chimney effect that will draw your heat and humidity up and out. You'll bee heating the room more than the enclosure.
  3. The ceramic heat emitter on a thermostat should be sed for warming the entire enclosure to the set point during the day, not just the hide area. Your baby shouldn't need heat at night at normal room temps of 65-70, so you can run the CHE on a timer and the thermostat at the same time.
  4. No humidifiers for tortoises. Lyn explained why. Humidity should be maintained with damp substrate, a large shallow water bowl, and reduced ventilation, as needed.
  5. No soil. Its made from composted yard waste and there is no way to know what is in it. Could be toxic.
  6. No moss. It does nothing, they eat it, and it can cause impaction.
  7. I prefer hand packed coco coir for babies, and move them to fine grade orchid bark once they grow to around 3-4 inches.
  8. Better to use terra cotta plant saucers sunk into the substrate for both food and water. Food placed on a slate will be dragged into and covered with substrate. Use the slate under the basking lamp instead.
Questions welcome. Happy to explain any of this further.

Such great replies, thank you both! The lamps are adjustable and I am able to lower them. If I lower them to fit snugly inside the plastic cutouts, will it perform more adequately? I am just worried about giving them enough airflow. As for the other critiques, I will make the corresponding changes.
 
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