My Red Foot tortoises are getting bigggg!!! please help! :)

Carlos-NL

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
47
Location (City and/or State)
Netherlands
Hi all,

I have had my 5 RF tortoises for some years. Now it's time to build them a bigger enclosure. My plan is to build an open 3x2 meters enclosure in the attic under 2 big windows where the light can come through. In the summer I can take them out in the garden during the day. I need your advice for several matters.

1. Although the enclosure will be under the window, there is hardly any sun in the winter here in the Netherlands. Which uvb light do you recommend for that enclosure, should it be tube or bulb? how wide should be the area with uvb light?
2. Should I use another uvb light on the other side of the enclosure or can I just use the Natural Light Ion from Exo Terra?
3. The normal room temperature will be 22 degrees, do I need to use more than on ceramic heating bulb in different areas in the enclosure?
4. Do you recommend to do the setup with closed sides and top to trap humidity in or will it be enough for them to spray water twice a day?

Thanks a lot in advance!!!

Carlos
 

jeannettep

Active Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2019
Messages
111
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
I know more experienced keepers will have better ideas, but I keep a tray with water for them to soak in when they choose. If I think they need more, I will soak them in water using a concrete mixing tub. Supervising them in there. I use a humidifier, but I know the experienced keepers have other thoughts on that. If I understand them correctly. The ground needs moisture. So I let the humidifier drop droplets of water in an area to help keep the ground damp in a section. I do spray the ground with water. Moist, not overdone. Use a tube uvb or mercury vapor bulb. My experience is the mercury vapor bulb seemed to overdue the heat. I've had better control with uvb tube light & che for heat. Red foots are tropical species, so they don't need as much uvb as my leopard, & I keep my leopard inside part time. My red foots are outside. I would try adding more areas for warmth. I strive for 80f or 26c. 22 is fine for night in my opinion. You might find it easier & less expensive to have it covered. I have my leopard indoor house partially covered to help control heat & humidity & I like to watch her so it is not completely covered. Probably the more experienced keepers will say they need individual area, I had to separate my red foots when they got older. Hope this helps til more of the experienced indoor red foot keepers help answer.
 

crimson_lotus

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2013
Messages
1,323
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
Hi all,

I have had my 5 RF tortoises for some years. Now it's time to build them a bigger enclosure. My plan is to build an open 3x2 meters enclosure in the attic under 2 big windows where the light can come through. In the summer I can take them out in the garden during the day. I need your advice for several matters.

1. Although the enclosure will be under the window, there is hardly any sun in the winter here in the Netherlands. Which uvb light do you recommend for that enclosure, should it be tube or bulb? how wide should be the area with uvb light?
2. Should I use another uvb light on the other side of the enclosure or can I just use the Natural Light Ion from Exo Terra?
3. The normal room temperature will be 22 degrees, do I need to use more than on ceramic heating bulb in different areas in the enclosure?
4. Do you recommend to do the setup with closed sides and top to trap humidity in or will it be enough for them to spray water twice a day?

Thanks a lot in advance!!!

Carlos

1. definitely recommend a tube. I currently have 2 tubes in my 4x8 enclosure, each 36 inches wide. If I could re-do, I would probably only have 1 UVB strip because my tortoise definitely avoids the harsh light. I buy from lightyourreptiles.com and have discussed my needs with the owner, who helped me pick out the correct bulb. you can also check out this site here: https://www.arcadiareptile.com/lighting/guide/

enter "redfoot tortoise" and the recommended bulb will pop up. https://www.arcadiareptile.com/lighting/medium-uv-species/

suggest arcadia brand because they seem to last significantly longer than others.

2. I would go with just 1 uv strip personally. like i said, redfoots dont really like harsh light

3. you are going to have to test out the heat yourself. make sure the entire enclosure is 80ish degrees by testing CHE placement and using thermostats. I personally have 2 CHE's 100w in the middle of my 4x8 enclosure which keeps the temp at 80-86 degrees. room temp also plays a role here so my experience may be different from yours when you try it. I would recommend spreading out the CHE's because I have 2 in the same spot, and it just dries that one area out.

4. yes! closed chamber is so much easier to maintain. I moisten the substrate every few days even with the closed chamber as the heat lamps do dry things out.
 

Carlos-NL

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
47
Location (City and/or State)
Netherlands
1. definitely recommend a tube. I currently have 2 tubes in my 4x8 enclosure, each 36 inches wide. If I could re-do, I would probably only have 1 UVB strip because my tortoise definitely avoids the harsh light. I buy from lightyourreptiles.com and have discussed my needs with the owner, who helped me pick out the correct bulb. you can also check out this site here: https://www.arcadiareptile.com/lighting/guide/

enter "redfoot tortoise" and the recommended bulb will pop up. https://www.arcadiareptile.com/lighting/medium-uv-species/

suggest arcadia brand because they seem to last significantly longer than others.

2. I would go with just 1 uv strip personally. like i said, redfoots dont really like harsh light

3. you are going to have to test out the heat yourself. make sure the entire enclosure is 80ish degrees by testing CHE placement and using thermostats. I personally have 2 CHE's 100w in the middle of my 4x8 enclosure which keeps the temp at 80-86 degrees. room temp also plays a role here so my experience may be different from yours when you try it. I would recommend spreading out the CHE's because I have 2 in the same spot, and it just dries that one area out.

4. yes! closed chamber is so much easier to maintain. I moisten the substrate every few days even with the closed chamber as the heat lamps do dry things out.
Thanks a lot. I am going to build the enclosure soon and it's exciting :)
 
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