Tommy03

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
48
Location (City and/or State)
England
Hello,

I'm currently trying to set up my adult Russian's new 8x3ft wooden vivarium but would really appreciate some advice on a few things please before I move him in there:

- There seems to be little black bugs all in the orchid bark, like really tiny flies. Does anyone know how I can get rid of them or if they're a concern for my tortoise or anyone else in the house?
- I have a 75W basking flood in an Arcadia dome hanging from a cup hook by some wire but I'm concerned that it'll be too close to him. It's about 34cm from the actual bulb (not the dome) to the substrate but I still need to add an extra inch of the bark. I know to adjust the height to achieve a basking temperature of 95-100F but didn't know whether there was a minimum distance?
I put a box under the heat lamp to check & my temp gun is reading around 190F but I don't know why or how to decrease it.
- I currently have 3 Inkbird ITH-20 thermometer/hygrometers placed on the substrate. Should I attach them to the walls at floor level so he can't move them? They are currently reading in the 90s for humidity and about the same temperatures across the vivarium at around 72F. I don't know why there isn't a temperature gradient when the only heat source I have currently on is the heat lamp on the left side. The glass is also really steamed from condensation.

Thank you in advance :)
 

Yelloweyed

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2015
Messages
539
Location (City and/or State)
SoCal California
Is the basking light provide UVB? Most manufacturer websites will state the optimal distance for maximum exposure - so the distance will be varied. Have you texted the meters outside of the enclosure? Never assume they are all accurate. I put the meters about an inch or two above the substrate - where the top of the carapace would be. The temperature reading is definitely odd as an enclosure of that size should have a nice temp gradient. Have you used the temp gun to double check the temps?
 

Tommy03

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
48
Location (City and/or State)
England
Is the basking light provide UVB? Most manufacturer websites will state the optimal distance for maximum exposure - so the distance will be varied. Have you texted the meters outside of the enclosure? Never assume they are all accurate. I put the meters about an inch or two above the substrate - where the top of the carapace would be. The temperature reading is definitely odd as an enclosure of that size should have a nice temp gradient. Have you used the temp gun to double check the temps?
Thanks for your response.

No, it was a basking flood without UVB as I've got a UV tube. I'm now trying a 25W incandescent but still getting a basking spot of 120F when using my temp gun on a box directly underneath the bulb. Yes, I did try the thermometers outside the enclosure before I put them in and they seemed pretty accurate - all within a degree or two of each other & the temp gun reads about the same. I have now attached them to the wall at about tortoise height.

BaskingLamp.jpg I'm currently just letting the substrate dry out a bit to lessen the humidity & trying to sort the basking temperature before I move my tortoise in there. I may have to drill a hole in the top of the enclosure so that it can be height adjusted but the photo shows how it's set up at the moment
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,899
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Thanks for your response.

No, it was a basking flood without UVB as I've got a UV tube. I'm now trying a 25W incandescent but still getting a basking spot of 120F when using my temp gun on a box directly underneath the bulb. Yes, I did try the thermometers outside the enclosure before I put them in and they seemed pretty accurate - all within a degree or two of each other & the temp gun reads about the same. I have now attached them to the wall at about tortoise height.

View attachment 320572 I'm currently just letting the substrate dry out a bit to lessen the humidity & trying to sort the basking temperature before I move my tortoise in there. I may have to drill a hole in the top of the enclosure so that it can be height adjusted but the photo shows how it's set up at the moment
Is the 25 watt. "spot" bulb"? It shouldn't be. Spots focus too much heat and light into too small of an area. Try a regular round bulb, or get a fixture with a much wider dome. If that still doesn't work, get a flush mounted socket from the hardware store, and that will buy you several more inches of height without having to cut a hole in the top.
 

Tommy03

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
48
Location (City and/or State)
England
Is the 25 watt. "spot" bulb"? It shouldn't be. Spots focus too much heat and light into too small of an area. Try a regular round bulb, or get a fixture with a much wider dome. If that still doesn't work, get a flush mounted socket from the hardware store, and that will buy you several more inches of height without having to cut a hole in the top.
Thank you for your reply.

I don't believe it is a spot bulb. It's this one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B071QXHKGL/?tag=

If I move the box away that I was using to try and replicate tortoise height, the temperature is about right at around 100F so it seems them few inches make the difference.
 

Tommy03

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
48
Location (City and/or State)
England
I have now ordered a 25W Opal Golf Ball Incandescent which should arrive tomorrow so hopefully it'll be more suitable than the GLS one linked above.

I'm still struggling to lower the humidity even though the vivarium doors are slightly open and I'm trying to mix the substrate around so it can dry out more evenly.

What is the maximum humidity my adult Russian tortoise can live in?
 

Sarah2020

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
419
Location (City and/or State)
London, UK
Humidity is great. To be encouraged. I water spray all stones and substrate daily and windows drip! You will repaid with smooth shell growth i.e not pyramiding
 

Tommy03

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
48
Location (City and/or State)
England
Humidity is great. To be encouraged. I water spray all stones and substrate daily and windows drip! You will repaid with smooth shell growth i.e not pyramiding
Okay, thanks! The thermometers/hygrometers read in the 90s for humidity though so didn't know whether this would be too high for him, especially since I was misinformed before so kept him in dry conditions so he wouldn't be used to it?
 
Last edited:

Sarah2020

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
419
Location (City and/or State)
London, UK
Agree to go nill that high is difficult but you will see the difference in shell growth smoothness so worth it. Not sure why it is constantly so high as it will evaporate and escape and needs replenishing with water spray.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,308
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Humidity is fine as long as your temps are correct.
Too cold + humidity = sick tort
correct temps + humidity = healthy tort

This is the caresheet you need which should give you advice about humidity
 

Tommy03

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
48
Location (City and/or State)
England
Agree to go nill that high is difficult but you will see the difference in shell growth smoothness so worth it. Not sure why it is constantly so high as it will evaporate and escape and needs replenishing with water spray.
Okay, thank you!
 

Tommy03

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
48
Location (City and/or State)
England
Humidity is fine as long as your temps are correct.
Too cold + humidity = sick tort
correct temps + humidity = healthy tort

This is the caresheet you need which should give you advice about humidity
Great, thank you! I've been trying to follow this caresheet as closely as possible for his new enclosure & saw it mentioned keeping an ambient humidity of 50-80% so was a bit concerned about mine being higher. I think I'm going to try and take some of the substrate out & put it back in gradually so that it can dry out a little
 

Tommy03

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2021
Messages
48
Location (City and/or State)
England
Is the 25 watt. "spot" bulb"? It shouldn't be. Spots focus too much heat and light into too small of an area. Try a regular round bulb, or get a fixture with a much wider dome. If that still doesn't work, get a flush mounted socket from the hardware store, and that will buy you several more inches of height without having to cut a hole in the top.
The new round 25W incandescent is still giving a basking temperature of around 120F so am considering a flush mounted socket. One thing I was wondering though is how I could fit a dome with it?
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top