Help with redfoot enclosure

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Nociti

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So I just got a baby redfoot and am pretty new to the caring for it. I have set up a pretty basic enclosure with bark substrate, a little water pool, a half log for hiding, a UV lamp for vitamin D3, and a heat lamp on one side to keep the temperature at 80-90.

I have not added plants yet so it looks pretty barren. My question is, do these tortoises care whether the plants are fake or not? I'd imagine they would be happier with real plants but I really don't know. I noticed a lot of people grow plants in pots and put them in the enclosure, but I was hoping to go for a more natural look and wanted to add some soil to the enclosure and grow the plants right in there. How do I make sure my tortoise eats what's in his food dish instead of snacking on the plants? If I go with fake plants, do the tortoises tend to try and eat those?

I'm also having problems with humidity. I spray the enclosure thoroughly to get the humidity up to about 80-85, but within a few hours it is already down to about 40. How can I improve the humidity situation without having to spray multiple times per day?

Lastly, my tortoise seems overly timid. I've had him for about five days and I've never seen him come out of his hide on his own. For feeding, I have to pick him up and place him in front of his food. When I do this, he devours whatever is in front of him as if he hasn't eaten in a month. So it looks like he is always hungry when I place him in front of his food, but I have never seen him come out of his hide to eat on his own. Is this normal for baby redfoots or not?

tl;dr:

1. What is better real or fake plants?
2. How do I make sure my tortoise eats his food instead of the enclosure plants?
3. Do redfoots tend to munch on fake plastic plants? If so, how do I avoid this?
4. How do I maintain the humidity at around 80 without having to spray the enclosure multiple times per day? I am currently using a glass enclosure with moisture-holding bark substrate.
5. I've never seen my tortoise come out of his hide to eat on his own. When I place him in front of his food, he eats as if he is starving. Problem?
 

Jacqui

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Hi and welcome!

Nociti said:
1. What is better real or fake plants?

Real plants are always better. It gives them an added food source and will help keep the humidity up.

Nociti said:
2. How do I make sure my tortoise eats his food instead of the enclosure plants?

:D Well other then keeping the plants aised out of his reach there is no way. :( I know you don't want the pots showing, but you can bury them deeper. Have plants which just hang over into the enclosure. Usually if planted heavy, they seem to do less eating them to nothing and do more lighter grazing. A larger enclosure helps too.

Nociti said:
3. Do redfoots tend to munch on fake plastic plants? If so, how do I avoid this?

I would trust fakes with young redfoots, but not the larger ones myself.

Nociti said:
4. How do I maintain the humidity at around 80 without having to spray the enclosure multiple times per day? I am currently using a glass enclosure with moisture-holding bark substrate.

Can you cover part of the top of the enclosure? Real plants will help. Also you might be using a higher UVB light then a redfoot needs or have it on for a longer period then needed. The heat from those lights can really dry things up. You may also want to focus more attention on just trying to keep a small closed hide with higher humdity then the whole enclosure. Some substrates also hold the moisture more, so that is another thing to look at.

Nociti said:
5. I've never seen my tortoise come out of his hide to eat on his own. When I place him in front of his food, he eats as if he is starving. Problem?

He is new and a baby, so he will hide more. Adding lots of plants will give him more a sense of security. Plus time will help. If the light is too strong, that too could cause him to hide out more.
 

FLINTUS

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I agree with Jacqui but will add that for my red foots I use soil, leaflitter and moss as a substrate(it has plenty of earthworms and the leaves decompose after a while) as it is more of a 'natural' substrate and keeps humidity well.
 

MasterOogway

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Is leaf litter something you purchased or just leaves from outside? Thanks
 

FLINTUS

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MasterOogway said:
Is leaf litter something you purchased or just leaves from outside? Thanks
You can purchase it(in the UK at least) but I just get mine from outside usually(just be careful of poisonous leaves). Again with the moss I collect it from the woods rather than buy it and as our topoil here is good and clean I just dig that up too. It saves me a lot of money in terms of substrate! Only thing I'd say regarding the moss is if you have a powerful lamp it does dry quickly so needs to be replaced quite often, I wouldn't use the spaghum(forgotten the spelling:rolleyes: ) moss for general substrate(good for a snug hide though) but more the woodland and grass kind(don't have a clue on the name but I can post pics if you want)
 
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