New Red Foot- Need Advice

MrTurtuga

New Member
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Corvallis, OR
Hello there, this is my first post on any kind of forum so I apologize for any mistakes. I bought a Red-Footed Tortoise two weeks ago. I built a small enclosure for her where she has a water dish, a small stone I put her food on, a "box" that she can go into if she wants and, a 60w UVB light (will post pics). I noticed that her eyes have been very watery/teary lately. Plus she spends a lot of time in her "box." I am looking to see if there is anything else I can do to make her habitat more comfortable for her. Not sure how relevant this is but, I live in an apartment so an outside habitat is out of my realm of possibilities. Thank you to anyone who sees this and comments! Her name is Juniper by the way!
 

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Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
569
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Hello there, this is my first post on any kind of forum so I apologize for any mistakes. I bought a Red-Footed Tortoise two weeks ago. I built a small enclosure for her where she has a water dish, a small stone I put her food on, a "box" that she can go into if she wants and, a 60w UVB light (will post pics). I noticed that her eyes have been very watery/teary lately. Plus she spends a lot of time in her "box." I am looking to see if there is anything else I can do to make her habitat more comfortable for her. Not sure how relevant this is but, I live in an apartment so an outside habitat is out of my realm of possibilities. Thank you to anyone who sees this and comments! Her name is Juniper by the way!
Welcome to the forum! My knowledge level on Red foots isn’t my comfort spot, but from what I see in your pictures, some changes are required with your setup. You mention UV, but not heat. What are you using for a heat source? If your UV bulb is screwed into the dome fixture shown in the picture, that is the wrong kind of UV bulb and could be one of the reasons why your tortoise is hiding. The “screw in“ type UV bulbs are known to burn tortoises eyes and shouldn’t be used. It is instead recommended to use a tube style T5 HO fluorescent UV bulb. Red foots require constant heat, day and night and constant high humidity which will be challenging to maintain in an open top enclosure. Being that your tortoise looks full grown or pretty close to it, she requires a much larger enclosure. It’s hard to gauge size from your picture, but I’d say probably 4 times the size. They walk many miles in a day in the wild which aids in digesting their food.

Here is a link to the care sheet that one of our members wrote, using decades of experience. He’s put it in a nice package to help prevent tortoise owners like you and I from making critical mistakes. Please take a read and ask any questions you have. I’m sure our more experienced red foot owners will be happy to help get your setup on the right track.


Other information that will help people in providing you with more guidance is if you could provide photos or exact specs of the bulb(s) you’re using, what are your temperatures, humidity levels, what are you feeding Juniper, etc. As much detail as you can provide, the better.
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
569
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Welcome to the forum! My knowledge level on Red foots isn’t my comfort spot, but from what I see in your pictures, some changes are required with your setup. You mention UV, but not heat. What are you using for a heat source? If your UV bulb is screwed into the dome fixture shown in the picture, that is the wrong kind of UV bulb and could be one of the reasons why your tortoise is hiding. The “screw in“ type UV bulbs are known to burn tortoises eyes and shouldn’t be used. It is instead recommended to use a tube style T5 HO fluorescent UV bulb. Red foots require constant heat, day and night and constant high humidity which will be challenging to maintain in an open top enclosure. Being that your tortoise looks full grown or pretty close to it, she requires a much larger enclosure. It’s hard to gauge size from your picture, but I’d say probably 4 times the size. They walk many miles in a day in the wild which aids in digesting their food.

Here is a link to the care sheet that one of our members wrote, using decades of experience. He’s put it in a nice package to help prevent tortoise owners like you and I from making critical mistakes. Please take a read and ask any questions you have. I’m sure our more experienced red foot owners will be happy to help get your setup on the right track.


Other information that will help people in providing you with more guidance is if you could provide photos or exact specs of the bulb(s) you’re using, what are your temperatures, humidity levels, what are you feeding Juniper, etc. As much detail as you can provide, the better.
Ignore that care sheet I linked, I thought I had a different link and the wrong one pasted. It’s too late for me to edit it out. This link will take you to the red foot/yellow foot section that contains a lot of care information.

 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
23,981
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Welcome to the forum! My knowledge level on Red foots isn’t my comfort spot, but from what I see in your pictures, some changes are required with your setup. You mention UV, but not heat. What are you using for a heat source? If your UV bulb is screwed into the dome fixture shown in the picture, that is the wrong kind of UV bulb and could be one of the reasons why your tortoise is hiding. The “screw in“ type UV bulbs are known to burn tortoises eyes and shouldn’t be used. It is instead recommended to use a tube style T5 HO fluorescent UV bulb. Red foots require constant heat, day and night and constant high humidity which will be challenging to maintain in an open top enclosure. Being that your tortoise looks full grown or pretty close to it, she requires a much larger enclosure. It’s hard to gauge size from your picture, but I’d say probably 4 times the size. They walk many miles in a day in the wild which aids in digesting their food.

Here is a link to the care sheet that one of our members wrote, using decades of experience. He’s put it in a nice package to help prevent tortoise owners like you and I from making critical mistakes. Please take a read and ask any questions you have. I’m sure our more experienced red foot owners will be happy to help get your setup on the right track.


Other information that will help people in providing you with more guidance is if you could provide photos or exact specs of the bulb(s) you’re using, what are your temperatures, humidity levels, what are you feeding Juniper, etc. As much detail as you can provide, the better.
Yes.
That UVB lamp needs to be removed right away.
It's not actually doing anything beneficial anyway.
 

MrTurtuga

New Member
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Corvallis, OR
Thank you for your replies! I wish I had known all that sooner, in fact, I feel slightly mislead by the pet store I bought her from. Going forward, I think I am going to actually re-home her. Give her to someone more capable of taking care of her.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
341
Location (City and/or State)
Norwich CT
Thank you for your replies! I wish I had known all that sooner, in fact, I feel slightly mislead by the pet store I bought her from. Going forward, I think I am going to actually re-home her. Give her to someone more capable of taking care of her.
I just want to say that it takes a very humble and selfless human to realize that a creature can be better served by someone else. Too often people come to this forum looking for “advice,” only to reject the sage recommendations offered by incredibly knowledgeable keepers. It is a truly kind caretaker who knows when there are better options for an animal than they can provide. I commend you for this insight and decision. Thank you for putting the well being of this tortoise above all else.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
20,295
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Thank you for your replies! I wish I had known all that sooner, in fact, I feel slightly mislead by the pet store I bought her from. Going forward, I think I am going to actually re-home her. Give her to someone more capable of taking care of her.
Sorry you are having to do that - you're not the first and won't be the last to be given wrong or misleading advice from pet stores, they seem to only care about profit. :(

I hope you find a good home for her and be sure to tell the new keepers to join TFO for all the up to date advice and help they need to keep the tort happy and healthy.
 

maggie3fan

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Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
4,569
Location (City and/or State)
Crazy Town
Thank you for your replies! I wish I had known all that sooner, in fact, I feel slightly mislead by the pet store I bought her from. Going forward, I think I am going to actually re-home her. Give her to someone more capable of taking care of her.
I will help you...I am in Corvallis also...
 
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