1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Many Thanks & A Few Questions

Discussion in 'Leopard tortoises' started by lyingcat8, Nov 21, 2019.

Help Support Tortoise Forums by donating:

  1. lyingcat8

    lyingcat8 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Indianapolis
    I just wanted to post and say thanks to the friendly people who helped me on my last post! Pepperoni is doing very well, eating like a little monster now that we've got the tank covered, the humidity up to 80% continuously, and the temps where they should be!

    75233570_10104670781957584_5568658066880069632_n.jpg 75327074_10104659107603084_2758533395435749376_n.jpg

    We went ahead and purchased a Critter Condo - it is a much bigger, practical, and long-term solution to keep them indoors for the next few years!

    I did have a few questions, as I want to try to fine-tune their environment!

    1. How deep should the substrate be? We are currently using organic orchid bark.

    2. Anyone have any tips / tricks on how to get them to eat Mazuri pellets? Winter has hit Indiana and grass / dandelion greens are not available. I did buy some seeds and will plant them this weekend to have a continuous supply going forward - but in the meantime, I'd like to make sure they're getting enough fiber.

    3. Could someone show me some examples of the heat panels they use? I've seen them mentioned a few times, but aren't sure what they look like. I bought something called a "pig blanket" which is a heat panel that can be used in outdoor chicken coops, etc.

    4. Thanks again, everyone. I really appreciate your willingness to help, and your good advise! I was pretty exhausted and at the end of my wits with false internet information and even bad vet advise. ♥ Hope you all have a happy holidays!
    Gijoux likes this.
  2. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,467
    Likes Received:
    6,387
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ga
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    I recently started using a radiant heat panel and It works great. It's the black thing at the top. IMG_20191109_184848529.jpg
    Maro2Bear, Gijoux and lyingcat8 like this.
  3. lyingcat8

    lyingcat8 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Indianapolis
    Thank you! What wattage is that one?
    Gijoux likes this.
  4. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,467
    Likes Received:
    6,387
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ga
    28 watts, I got it from @Kapidolo Farms
    Gijoux and lyingcat8 like this.
  5. lyingcat8

    lyingcat8 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Indianapolis
    Sorry, probably my last question -- does it provide a pretty constant and consistent heat? Do you use it in addition to a basking bulb?
    Gijoux likes this.
  6. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,467
    Likes Received:
    6,387
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ga
    Ya it does, keeps one half of the enclosure right at where I set the thermostat. They don't really warm the air, they warm the objects around it. Which in turn, warms the whole area.
    Gijoux, Kapidolo Farms and lyingcat8 like this.
  7. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,467
    Likes Received:
    6,387
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ga
    I also use a che on the other end of the enclosure.
    Gijoux and lyingcat8 like this.
  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    45,916
    Likes Received:
    26,153
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    What size critter condo did you get? I'm not familiar with those, but I looked I up, and they seem like they would work well for tortoise purposes.

    Your questions:
    1. 3-4 inches.
    2. Be sure you have the original and not the LS. Then slowly mix in tiny amounts of it with other favorites. Some of them just don't like it. Some do.
    3. I didn't know that Will sold these. I highly recommend them.
    4. You're welcome! :)
    lyingcat8 and Gijoux like this.
  9. Gijoux

    Gijoux Active Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    The Critter Condo looks great!! Happy Torting!
    lyingcat8 likes this.
  10. FrankiesMom

    FrankiesMom Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2019
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location (City and/or State):
    Tampa, FL
    Hello LyingCat8!
    When I looked up the Critter Condo, it said you can't use a CHE...is that why you're asking about the heat panel? I'm very interested in purchasing the critter condo. Can you please provide your input about setting it up? What kind of bulbs are you using in their pre-installed light fixtures?

    Thsnk you for any help you can provide!
    lyingcat8 and Gijoux like this.
  11. lyingcat8

    lyingcat8 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Indianapolis
    So, we got our Critter Condo all set-up. Pepperoni is a smidge stressed by the new set-up and is just walking all over the place, but it’s holding heat and humidity really well. So far the pig blanket we have is keeping the temps up nicely and the substrate is helping with humidity! We went ahead and put the humidifier in the tank and have it set to go off every 1.5 hours for 30 minutes.

    Set-up was exceedingly easy. The material is very soft, it isn’t wood — and neither myself or boyfriend could figure out what it is made of. Either way, we love it so far. It’s very light weight and reasonably priced. I’ll let y’all know if anything crops up that changes that opinion!

    D6EA8140-5915-478A-A719-C14EB7D0CDE3.jpeg
    955C66F7-365A-45E3-BB64-D55A6B6F11A9.jpeg
    Gijoux likes this.
  12. Gijoux

    Gijoux Active Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    May 28, 2014
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    Your set up looks wonderful!! I might opt to put the Reptile Fogger outside the cage and drill a hole to poke the plastic tube through. So much easier to fill and it takes up a lot of room inside your cage. I believe the Critter Condo is made of Recycled PVC and compressed foam so it is very easy to drill through. I would recommend the 48" x 24" x 24" so it will last longer, if others are considering this cage. A radiant heat panel should be able to be mounted to the top as well as an Arcadia HO T5 UV light if you find the Mercury Vapor UVB lamp to be too desiccating to your Tortoises carapace. A 65 w Flood lamp bulb could provide you a basking spot. I bet you are so excited. Your little Tort is a Beauty!
    lyingcat8 likes this.
  13. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    1,740
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Richmond, VA
    I like the heat panel. Is it flat against the wall? Just worried for a tipping hazard if the tort can squeeze behind. Up against the wall then you could attach a couple of tabs to secure to the wall. You are doing it! Humidity and heat are so key for the babies
    lyingcat8 and Gijoux like this.
  14. lyingcat8

    lyingcat8 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Indianapolis
    It is on a little stand, and then we buried the legs of the stand in the mulch and put two heavy rocks (you can kind of see one in the photo) to weigh it down on the backside! I don't think he can moose it around, but we'll definitely consider mounting it to the top when he gets bigger and needs the additional space.
    Gijoux likes this.
  15. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,068
    Likes Received:
    1,740
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Richmond, VA
    Awesome. Do not want too burn the little tort! Mounting to the side would be smart in the future to give you some room to get a little more use out of your tank!
  16. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    45,916
    Likes Received:
    26,153
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Southern California
    You should not need a fogger in a closed chamber. I would stop using that. If humidity does not stay where you want it, use some white duct tape to cover some of those vents on the sides. I did not have to block any of the vents on my closed chambers.

    The tortoise should not be able to touch that heat source. You should mount it from the ceiling. Also, I have never seen that type. Is it marketed for reptiles? I'd keep a close eye on that. If its not intended to be used in damp conditions, it may short out, or stop working prematurely. Murphy will make sure that it stops working on a cold night, the evening before a holiday so that you won't be able to get a replacement for at least two or three days. Have a back up plan ready for if it fails.

    The wires on either side are a tangling hazard. Those should be tidied up and raised up out of tortoise reach.

    If I'm not mistaken they are made of expanded PVC plastic. This is good. Very good. It won't rot or disintegrate in damp conditions like wood products would. This material is also strong and lightweight which makes the cages easy to move when needed. It is also an excellent insulator, which help keep the electricity usage to a minimum.
    lyingcat8 likes this.
  17. lyingcat8

    lyingcat8 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Indianapolis
    Thank you for the recommendations -- maybe a question for @Kapidolo Farms as well, but do you know what size radiant heat panel I would need for an enclosure 36x24x24? Also, do you still sell them? :) Thanks!
    Kapidolo Farms likes this.
  18. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2018
    Messages:
    3,467
    Likes Received:
    6,387
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Ga
    He still has them. I just bought another from him this weekend. If your enclosure is sealed and we'll insulated you could probably get by with just one 28 watt.
    Kapidolo Farms likes this.
  19. lyingcat8

    lyingcat8 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Indianapolis
    Thank you so much! It should be good, then, it is sealed and well insulated. What I'm using as a heat source right now is probably evaporating too much of the humidity. Do you have a link to the website that you purchased it from, by chance?
  20. lyingcat8

    lyingcat8 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2019
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Indianapolis
    I just read this on a separate site -- our house is usually about 70F. So, according to this I'd need the 80 watt... if I use the thermostatically controlled plug, would it make much difference if I got the 80 watt just in case?

    With the sizes available, you might be wondering what size you need.
    • A 2’x4’ enclosure or smaller in a 75° F+ room a 40 watt RHP will do the job. If your enclosure is taller, you will want to set up basking areas that are raised to give your animal a temperature gradient. If your room is under 74° F, you’ll want to move up to an 80 watt panel.
    • For enclosures 2’x6’ you would typically use an 80 watt panel.
    • The 120 watt RHP is best for enclosures larger than 2’x6’, open air enclosures or rooms with cooler temperatures.
    • These guidelines are not hard and fast rules. Depending on your enclosure height and ambient temperature, the best heat panel for you may be different than the above recommendations.
Similar Threads: Many Thanks
Forum Title Date
Leopard tortoises I may start taking to many pics Jan 3, 2019
Leopard tortoises Leopard tortoise groups. How many? Aug 7, 2017
Leopard tortoises How many clutches per year? Dec 22, 2015
Leopard tortoises So many questions still... Oct 20, 2015
Leopard tortoises How many leopards can you find? Jan 18, 2013

Share This Page