how to keep a tortoise entertained

1289Gabe

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I'm glad you posted. Don't buy from TT. They have gotten lots of bad reviews, and the breeders they buy from to re-sell don't start their babies correctly. You typing that line here may have just saved you from a horrendous experience. Buy from someone who starts their babies correctly and soaks every day. Check with @Carol S and @kanalomele
Both start their babies exceptionally well, and all of their babies thrive.

All your stuff sounds good and I only see two thing to comment on. 1. No need to mix substrates. Coco coir is safe, but its too messy unless we are talking about a baby. I use the orchid bark alone once they are 3-4 inches. It works the best. Use at least a 3-4 inch layer of it. 2. The only UV bulbs that are any good are the HO types. Don't use a cfl or an mvb.
How can you tell what kind of bulb it is?
 

Tom

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I have a reptisun bulb, but it doesn’t say.
Post a picture. Tell us the length and wattage. Both of these will be printed on the actual bulb.

Look up cfl florescent bulbs.
Look up "high output" florescent bulbs.
Look up T8 vs. T5 florescent bulbs.
 

1289Gabe

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Location (City and/or State)
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Post a picture. Tell us the length and wattage. Both of these will be printed on the actual bulb.

Look up cfl florescent bulbs.
Look up "high output" florescent bulbs.
Look up T8 vs. T5 florescent bulbs.
Here
 

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Tom

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A T5 HO bulb. Either the ZooMed 10.0, or the Arcadia 12%. Either one is good and long lasting. I run mine on a timer for about 3 hours mid day to simulate the UV spike that happens daily outside. Be sure to mount them far enough away. These are good for any species in a climate that needs indoor UV due to a long frozen winter.

In SD, you really don't need indoor UV. Your climate is warm enough and weather nice enough that you can rely on outdoor sunshine for UV.
 

1289Gabe

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Location (City and/or State)
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A T5 HO bulb. Either the ZooMed 10.0, or the Arcadia 12%. Either one is good and long lasting. I run mine on a timer for about 3 hours mid day to simulate the UV spike that happens daily outside. Be sure to mount them far enough away. These are good for any species in a climate that needs indoor UV due to a long frozen winter.

In SD, you really don't need indoor UV. Your climate is warm enough and weather nice enough that you can rely on outdoor sunshine for UV.
Yeah, but his habitat is indoors.
 

1289Gabe

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Messages
173
Location (City and/or State)
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A T5 HO bulb. Either the ZooMed 10.0, or the Arcadia 12%. Either one is good and long lasting. I run mine on a timer for about 3 hours mid day to simulate the UV spike that happens daily outside. Be sure to mount them far enough away. These are good for any species in a climate that needs indoor UV due to a long frozen winter.

In SD, you really don't need indoor UV. Your climate is warm enough and weather nice enough that you can rely on outdoor sunshine for UV.
What should I do to give him the natural uvb?
 

Tom

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Yeah, but his habitat is indoors.
You need to make a large, safe, enclosure outside. Many ways to do it. Kiddie pool from Walmart, cinder blocks with a wire top, large stock tank. Here is one way:
IMG_2515.JPG

This is just 3 2x12s screwed together, and I made a top out of 2x4s with welded wire on top. I put hinges on it to make it east to lift the top and prop it up. If you don't have a suitable yard for this, then simply add a plywood bottom and some substrate. In that case, you could also put legs and wheels on it and move it around as needed.
 

Tom

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But its to cold for him to be outside.
On cold or rainy days, you leave him inside in his nice warm enclosure. On days with nice weather, you can put him in his outdoor enclosure for a couple hours.

As long as they get an hour or two of access to sunshine per week, you don't need indoor UV. And it won't hurt a thing if you skip a few weeks in winter because of cold rainy weather like we are having right now. They store D3 in their fat to be used later, when needed. As long as the tortoise is getting sunshine most of the time, it will be fine. We had one member here from Michigan. Her tortoises were outside all summer and indoors with no UV for month over winter. No problemo.
 

1289Gabe

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Location (City and/or State)
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You need to make a large, safe, enclosure outside. Many ways to do it. Kiddie pool from Walmart, cinder blocks with a wire top, large stock tank. Here is one way:
View attachment 288337

This is just 3 2x12s screwed together, and I made a top out of 2x4s with welded wire on top. I put hinges on it to make it east to lift the top and prop it up. If you don't have a suitable yard for this, then simply add a plywood bottom and some substrate. In that case, you could also put legs and wheels on it and move it around as needed.
Ya, but outside is to cold for my tortoise. It’s like 60-75 max
 

1289Gabe

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Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
173
Location (City and/or State)
San Diego California
On cold or rainy days, you leave him inside in his nice warm enclosure. On days with nice weather, you can put him in his outdoor enclosure for a couple hours.

As long as they get an hour or two of access to sunshine per week, you don't need indoor UV. And it won't hurt a thing if you skip a few weeks in winter because of cold rainy weather like we are having right now. They store D3 in their fat to be used later, when needed. As long as the tortoise is getting sunshine most of the time, it will be fine. We had one member here from Michigan. Her tortoises were outside all summer and indoors with no UV for month over winter. No problemo.
cool. Where do you live?
 

Tom

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cool. Where do you live?
I'm 3 hours North of you in Santa Clarita.

Its too cold today, but warmer weather is coming. Your tortoise doesn't need UV every single day. They can skip weeks and be fine. We get lots of warm sunny weather here in SoCal. If you lived in North Dakota, I'd tell you to go buy the Arcadia 12% HO tube with a reflector hood.
 
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