Nervous soon-to-be shell-daddy

Cherryshell

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Hi all,

So I'm in the process of purchasing two hatchling Cherryheads from the Youtuber Kamp Kenan and am really excited (and just as nervous) and I want to be sure they have a great life once they've arrived. I live in Northern Va where it can get pretty humid in the spring and summer, but I'm concerned about where to get their in-door enclosure. I'm not handy enough to build my own and the apartment I'm in isn't super big but I have a spot right in front of a double window that I think would be a perfect spot to set up the tortoise table as it'll get a lot of sunlight. I've been doing a lot of research on these little guys so I know I'll be soaking them daily for roughly a year and will need to mist their enclosure to keep humidity levels high but the enclosures I've seen for sale on Amazon and few other sites either don't seem to handle humidity well or the wood isn't exactly top quality. It'll be several weeks before I get my little guys, they should hatch in a few weeks and then he holds onto them for a few weeks afterwards, so I have some time to get their enclosure set up before the big arrival. I really appreciate any hints, tips, and tricks yall might have!

Thanks!
 

Ink

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Are you going to keep them in the same enclosure?
 

Yvonne G

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Instead of wood, think plastic. You can get a Christmas Tree Storage bin for about $35, mfg'd by Iris. It's 4' long, so is plenty big enough for your baby for several years. And it comes with a lid that you can jury rig to accept the light/heat.
 

TeamZissou

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You will need a closed chamber to maintain high enough humidity. It will be incredibly hard keep 80% humidity with an open-topped table.


The closed chamber idea is described well here:

If you have not paid for them yet, you should only get a single tortoise. Tortoises shouldn't be kept in pairs, and as @ZEROPILOT says, 'not even redfoot'.
 

ZEROPILOT

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You will need a closed chamber to maintain high enough humidity. It will be incredibly hard keep 80% humidity with an open-topped table.


The closed chamber idea is described well here:

If you have not paid for them yet, you should only get a single tortoise. Tortoises shouldn't be kept in pairs, and as @ZEROPILOT says, 'not even redfoot'.
That's old information and it's still true.
A single Redfoot is a calm Redfoot.
Groups of several females per male...like Keenan and I both keep in Florida work.
But pairs, especially pairs kept indoors are very stressful for them.
I am also aware that Keenan suggests that keeping 2 together is fine.
I disagree. I think most keepers do.
This only has a chance of working for very long if:
A) Both tortoises are juveniles with a very large outdoor enclosure with many sight barriers.
OR
B) Both tortoises are female of any age with at least 200 s.f. (for adults)of outdoors enclosure. More is better.
Keenan and I both live in a tropical environment and I'm afraid that a lot of his information is geared towards other keepers in this same situation.
 
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ZEROPILOT

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That's old information and it's still true.
A single Redfoot is a calm Redfoot.
Groups of several females per male...like Keenan and I both keep in Florida work.
But pairs, especially pairs kept indoors are very stressful for them.
I am also aware that Keenan suggests that keeping 2 together is fine.
I disagree. I think most keepers do.
This only has a chance of working for very long if:
A) Both tortoises are juveniles with a very large outdoor enclosure with many sight barriers.
OR
B) Both tortoises are female of any age with at least 200 s.f. (for adults)of outdoors enclosure. More is better.
Keenan and I both live in a tropical environment and I'm afraid that a lot of his information is geared towards other keepers in this same situation.
A) An outdoors enclosure is not fully needed.
 

Ray--Opo

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Welcome, maybe a member can clarify, but I think @Markw84 makes some great enclosures.
The sunshine thru glass will filter out the UVB needed. It is nice for warming them up though.
 

Cherryshell

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Thank you all for the warm welcome and responses, honestly its been difficult sifting through all the information out that it seems like they all contradict each other in some way or form. @ZEROPILOT if what you're saying about Kenan is accurate then I'm slightly hesitant to purchase from him as he told me that he "always like to get more then one so they grow up together and sizes are similar" which lead me to believe that two would co-habitat fine.

Would a vivairium be another option when it comes to enclosures? The thought of stuffing a hatchling in a storage bin kind of makes me uncomfortable but at the end of the day, its what is best for the hatchling. I'm also starting to question whether a Cherry Head would be idea given the temperate region Northern Va is.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Your easiest best bet for the first year or so would be something like this:

Get the biggest plastic storage tote you can find. Iris makes an Xmas tree tote that works great 251071_1_1.jpg
Then get a radiant heat panel and screw it into the lid. 31yb42eE4oL.jpg
Then get a thermostat to plug your panel into and set to the correct temperature.
61PnpbbxRIL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
If your planning on using UVB screw it into the lid like the radiant heat panel. If you can get your tortoise outside a couple hours every once in a while UVB is not needed. You could just use LED lights.

All that would be left would be to add substrate and decorations. Gluck, hope this helps.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Thank you all for the warm welcome and responses, honestly its been difficult sifting through all the information out that it seems like they all contradict each other in some way or form. @ZEROPILOT if what you're saying about Kenan is accurate then I'm slightly hesitant to purchase from him as he told me that he "always like to get more then one so they grow up together and sizes are similar" which lead me to believe that two would co-habitat fine.

Would a vivairium be another option when it comes to enclosures? The thought of stuffing a hatchling in a storage bin kind of makes me uncomfortable but at the end of the day, its what is best for the hatchling. I'm also starting to question whether a Cherry Head would be idea given the temperate region Northern Va is.
It's a lot to consider.
So, you haven't pulled the trigger, yet?
My suggestion would be to get the Redfoot....or a more colorful and smaller Cherry Headed Redfoot and place him into some sort of closed chamber that he can grow out of. Giving you ample time to deal with the need for larger and larger enclosures.
Here on this forum we have hundreds of Redfoot keepers and I think you'll find that we are pretty much in agreement with most aspects of husbandry.
(And a shared dislike for FB TORTOISE GROUPS)
 

Cherryshell

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It's a lot to consider.
So, you haven't pulled the trigger, yet?
My suggestion would be to get the Redfoot....or a more colorful and smaller Cherry Headed Redfoot and place him into some sort of closed chamber that he can grow out of. Giving you ample time to deal with the need for larger and larger enclosures.
Here on this forum we have hundreds of Redfoot keepers and I think you'll find that we are pretty much in agreement with most aspects of husbandry.
(And a shared dislike for FB TORTOISE GROUPS)

Finger is on the trigger, with rent and phone bills coming up we may have to wait another week or two as Kenan takes payments through paypal and I think you can't hook a credit card up to that. Though I suppose it'll be slightly cheaper now since it would just be the one Cherry Head tortoise instead of two. If I were to get that tub that @Maro2Bear referenced and outfitted it with the equipment that @Toddrickfl1 mentioned, how much time do you think that could that buy me before having to upgrade again? As I mentioned initially, I'm not exactly the most capable when it comes to DIY projects lol. I did check out the AP site though and those seem like they'd be the next step though i'm not sure how easy it would be to clean.

T8 Sliding Glass (Quicker Ship)- 48L X 24W X 12H | Animal Plastics (apcages.com)
 

Maro2Bear

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Finger is on the trigger, with rent and phone bills coming up we may have to wait another week or two as Kenan takes payments through paypal and I think you can't hook a credit card up to that. Though I suppose it'll be slightly cheaper now since it would just be the one Cherry Head tortoise instead of two. If I were to get that tub that @Maro2Bear referenced and outfitted it with the equipment that @Toddrickfl1 mentioned, how much time do you think that could that buy me before having to upgrade again? As I mentioned initially, I'm not exactly the most capable when it comes to DIY projects lol. I did check out the AP site though and those seem like they'd be the next step though i'm not sure how easy it would be to clean.

T8 Sliding Glass (Quicker Ship)- 48L X 24W X 12H | Animal Plastics (apcages.com)

I have a CC tied to my PayPal account. You can set PP up to then either pay vendors from your PP balance or the CC. It’s a pretty good feature.

Ps - setting up an enclosure with a rigid plastic container really isnt very difficult. Plenty of free guidance available - a few minimal tools.
 

Yvonne G

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Thank you all for the warm welcome and responses, honestly its been difficult sifting through all the information out that it seems like they all contradict each other in some way or form. @ZEROPILOT if what you're saying about Kenan is accurate then I'm slightly hesitant to purchase from him as he told me that he "always like to get more then one so they grow up together and sizes are similar" which lead me to believe that two would co-habitat fine.

Would a vivairium be another option when it comes to enclosures? The thought of stuffing a hatchling in a storage bin kind of makes me uncomfortable but at the end of the day, its what is best for the hatchling. I'm also starting to question whether a Cherry Head would be idea given the temperate region Northern Va is.
He sells tortoses and the more you buy the better he likes it.
 

Armadillogroomer

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If I were to get that tub that @Maro2Bear referenced and outfitted it with the equipment that @Toddrickfl1 mentioned, how much time do you think that could that buy me before having to upgrade again?

My Cherryhead grew a bit on the fast side, but was ready for something bigger after a year. I upgraded to a large grow tent (laid flat), which is yet another option you can look into if you're not into carpentry. But it's so big that you'd have to crawl into it to reach the back, which might not be fun trying to fetch a baby 😄

Welcome to the family!
 

Cherryshell

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My Cherryhead grew a bit on the fast side, but was ready for something bigger after a year. I upgraded to a large grow tent (laid flat), which is yet another option you can look into if you're not into carpentry. But it's so big that you'd have to crawl into it to reach the back, which might not be fun trying to fetch a baby 😄

Welcome to the family!

Now that is an interesting idea! How well does it maintain the right humidity?
 

Armadillogroomer

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Now that is an interesting idea! How well does it maintain the right humidity?

It holds it great, but you have to be careful. I only really need to regularly spritz the basking spot. I have a fogger but don't need to run it, I just blast it for a minute when my tortoise "requests" it (by going to that corner). The biggest struggle was figuring out the heating arrangement because my normal setup wanted to get up to 100F even with the vents open. You also have to do a little bit of sewing if you want more windows.

IMG_0313.jpg
IMG_0315.jpg
 

ZEROPILOT

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Finger is on the trigger, with rent and phone bills coming up we may have to wait another week or two as Kenan takes payments through paypal and I think you can't hook a credit card up to that. Though I suppose it'll be slightly cheaper now since it would just be the one Cherry Head tortoise instead of two. If I were to get that tub that @Maro2Bear referenced and outfitted it with the equipment that @Toddrickfl1 mentioned, how much time do you think that could that buy me before having to upgrade again? As I mentioned initially, I'm not exactly the most capable when it comes to DIY projects lol. I did check out the AP site though and those seem like they'd be the next step though i'm not sure how easy it would be to clean.

T8 Sliding Glass (Quicker Ship)- 48L X 24W X 12H | Animal Plastics (apcages.com)
I like that cage and that price.
One other thing to condider would be getting a tortoise from another breeder. Including one of our members here.
 
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