caitturtle

New Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Federal Way
I accidentally left a CHE lamp on over a flat stone and one side of the stone gauged at 117 degrees. I saw him walk over it this afternoon. Once I realized how hot it was, I turned the CHE off, gave my tort a soak in 85 degree water, checked him all over... But now I am panicking that the stone was too hot for his little feet!
He doesn't seem to have visible signs of blisters or have any issues walking on them. He is very active and walking around. But I am a paranoid owner, and I know better than to have a rock under a basking or heat lamp area... but somehow it was under there today.
Are there any signs to look for if he did get hurt? Is there a temp that is too dangerous? I know they are raised in very hot temp areas and I am sure they have walked over an extremely hot rock or two... but I just don't know how hot is TOO hot!

I also saw in a Facebook group last week, a red foot owner had a heating pad under their tortoise enclosure and it ended up burning two of his feet off due to the excessive heat (huge white-ish blisters where the tortoise's toes were). So I have terrible images in my mind of what he could be going through. I am trying to tell myself that she left the heat pad under his enclosure all night and that tort didn't have anywhere to go, where mine only had a hot spot in the enclosure... but that isn't lessening the panic.

Any advise is helpful! Thank you so much in advance!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Jan 9, 2010
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53,350
Location (City and/or State)
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I accidentally left a CHE lamp on over a flat stone and one side of the stone gauged at 117 degrees. I saw him walk over it this afternoon. Once I realized how hot it was, I turned the CHE off, gave my tort a soak in 85 degree water, checked him all over... But now I am panicking that the stone was too hot for his little feet!
He doesn't seem to have visible signs of blisters or have any issues walking on them. He is very active and walking around. But I am a paranoid owner, and I know better than to have a rock under a basking or heat lamp area... but somehow it was under there today.
Are there any signs to look for if he did get hurt? Is there a temp that is too dangerous? I know they are raised in very hot temp areas and I am sure they have walked over an extremely hot rock or two... but I just don't know how hot is TOO hot!

I also saw in a Facebook group last week, a red foot owner had a heating pad under their tortoise enclosure and it ended up burning two of his feet off due to the excessive heat (huge white-ish blisters where the tortoise's toes were). So I have terrible images in my mind of what he could be going through. I am trying to tell myself that she left the heat pad under his enclosure all night and that tort didn't have anywhere to go, where mine only had a hot spot in the enclosure... but that isn't lessening the panic.

Any advise is helpful! Thank you so much in advance!
There is supposed to be a basking rock under a basking lamp, but no need for one under a CHE. CHEs are for ambient heat maintenance. Not for basking since they emit no light. 117 is not that hot. Temp the rocks or the ground in his outdoor enclosure in summer and it will be WAY hotter than that. The flat stones help to absorb the heat and dissipate it into the enclosure and when properly controlled heat sources are used, they offer safe belly heat for tortoises in the same way they'd get it from sun warmed rocks or earth in the wild.

Still, you need to find a way to control the heat. The CHE should be raised up higher and controlled with a thermostat. An even better plan would be to use a radiant heat panel instead of a CHE. These are much safer and spread the heat out over a greater area.

FB groups are full of bad info, and you should not ask for, or take advice from there. We've seen astonishingly bad info come from there. Having said that, heat mats should never be used under smaller tortoises in indoor enclosures, and that is EXACTLY why. We try to tell people this every day here. Some listen and some don't.
 

caitturtle

New Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Federal Way
There is supposed to be a basking rock under a basking lamp, but no need for one under a CHE. CHEs are for ambient heat maintenance. Not for basking since they emit no light. 117 is not that hot. Temp the rocks or the ground in his outdoor enclosure in summer and it will be WAY hotter than that. The flat stones help to absorb the heat and dissipate it into the enclosure and when properly controlled heat sources are used, they offer safe belly heat for tortoises in the same way they'd get it from sun warmed rocks or earth in the wild.

Still, you need to find a way to control the heat. The CHE should be raised up higher and controlled with a thermostat. An even better plan would be to use a radiant heat panel instead of a CHE. These are much safer and spread the heat out over a greater area.

FB groups are full of bad info, and you should not ask for, or take advice from there. We've seen astonishingly bad info come from there. Having said that, heat mats should never be used under smaller tortoises in indoor enclosures, and that is EXACTLY why. We try to tell people this every day here. Some listen and some don't.

THANK YOU! I will raise the CHE higher. It is 100 watt. I need to get a temp controller. That is next on my list! Normally the basking light (75 watt) keeps the entire enclosure warm on the right side but sometimes it needs the CHE to help out that left side (which is closer to his hide for night temps) - but I can't leave it on all day during the day, and especially not with a flat rock under it. I have checked his little feet this morning. He seems good! He is hiding more today but that is probably because I checked on him every hour last night to see if any blistering occurred.
I will look into a radiant heat panel when he outgrows this enclosure and I can have more space for it. Right now he has a plastic green house from amazon which helps with humidity, but my bulbs can quickly overpower areas with heat.
And I am now learning the downside of facebook groups! Everyone has an opinion and they differ greatly. Thanks so much for the reassuring words.
 

Lyn W

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Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,010
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi and welcome.
Forget the rest of the internet and FB there's too much incorrect and unsafe information there - this is the place for up to date information from very experienced keepers who just have the best interest of torts at heart.
If you post pics of his enclosure you'll get great advice to make sure it's as safe as possible for him.
 

Loohan

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Joined
Jan 5, 2015
Messages
799
Location (City and/or State)
North-Central Arkansas
I swear i once saw an adult 3 toed boxie diagonally crossing an asphalt road when it was 95 out and full sun. No telling how hot that road was.
 
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