New Russian Tortoise - Need Help with Heating

LizL

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Wisconsin
Hi all!

I adopted a Russian Tortoise from a rescue about 3 weeks ago. Tim is about 10 years old and very cute.

I am having some issues with heating his enclosure. I have the zoo me d Tortoise House, which is a wooden enclosure with a screened in open area, and a smaller closed off area for hiding. Despite my best efforts, I can't seem to get the temperature above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which I know is too cold to be optimal. I have a 100 watt mercury vapor bulb, AND I've added a 100 watt ceramic heat emitter, but still can't warm the enclosure up. Tim has been very inactive - hiding and sleeping all the time. The rescue said he was very active when they had him, so I'm guessing it's the temperature. Picture are included.

Any ideas to make his home warmer? I'd love to hear from people with a similar enclosure.

Thanks for any help,
Liz



Tim House 1.jpg Tim House 2.jpg Tim.jpg
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Those enclosures are not good for any age or size tortoise. It is MUCH too small for a 10 year old Russian. You need something much larger. Around 4x8 indoors, and even bigger outside during fair weather.

To get the temperature warmer, you'll need to go with a higher wattage bulb, or lower the fixture closer to the tortoise.

That water bowl isn't suitable for tortoises either.

Sorry to be a bummer. There is a lot of bad tortoise advice out there. Read these:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
 

LizL

New Member
Location (City and/or State)
Wisconsin
Those enclosures are not good for any age or size tortoise. It is MUCH too small for a 10 year old Russian. You need something much larger. Around 4x8 indoors, and even bigger outside during fair weather.

To get the temperature warmer, you'll need to go with a higher wattage bulb, or lower the fixture closer to the tortoise.

That water bowl isn't suitable for tortoises either.

Sorry to be a bummer. There is a lot of bad tortoise advice out there. Read these:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
Those enclosures are not good for any age or size tortoise. It is MUCH too small for a 10 year old Russian. You need something much larger. Around 4x8 indoors, and even bigger outside during fair weather.

To get the temperature warmer, you'll need to go with a higher wattage bulb, or lower the fixture closer to the tortoise.

That water bowl isn't suitable for tortoises either.

Sorry to be a bummer. There is a lot of bad tortoise advice out there. Read these:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
Hi Tom,

Do you have a type of enclosure you'd recommend? I see you recommend sizes, but nothing specific.
 

Viola B

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Welcome! This is a great forum for correct information. Everyone is wanting to be helpful to you and your tortoise.
There isn't one way to build an 8 x 4 ft enclosure, as long as you have that 32 Sq ft.
Mine is long and in an L shape, others may be more rectangle. It is up to what will fit in your home.
 

Viola B

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Hi Viola,

Thank you for the feedback! What materials did you use to construct your enclosure?
My husband made it for me and I am not sure what all he used. You can see my enclosure under, "New Add On To Enclosure".
I know it is out of wood that was sealed and painted. All safe to use for tortoise.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi Tom,

Do you have a type of enclosure you'd recommend? I see you recommend sizes, but nothing specific.
There isn't a commercially made one that you can buy. It just isn't practical because of the size and bulk. You can buy a large closed chamber from a company like Animal Plastics, https://apcages.com/collections/terrestrial-cages, but that is overkill and unnecessary for a Russian. Its very easy to get a sheet of plywood and put walls on it for a temperate species that doesn't need tropical warmth and humidity. You can frame it with 2x4s and hang the heating and lighting from overhead. Its easy to put casters or legs on it too. Or legs with casters! :)
 
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