New tortoise mama

Meraa12

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Phelan
Hello everyone my name is Esmeralda and I recently just bought my first tortoise. He is a Sulcata Tortoise and his name is Winston. I am having a bit of trouble trying to get everything set up for him. I have his enclosure in a Fishtank about 10 gallons and his substrate is organic potting mix and I also have some repti-bark in there mixed in with the potting mix. I have A rock in there that I just found outside a regular flat rock so that he can go on to get more heat from the light bulb. I’m not sure if the bulb that I’m using is good enough for the heat. The place that I got him at recommended me the reptisun 5.0 UVB 13 watt tropical mini compact fluorescent light by zoo med. can anyone tell me if that is a good light to be using for him right now he’s just a baby about 10 months old. Also gave me a night UVB light. I’m not sure what it’s for can someone explain? I just want to make sure that I’m doing everything right for him to be healthy. are there any recommendations of any temperature guns that I can purchase to make sure that his enclosure is in the right temperature that it’s supposed to be in? if anyone can tell me what the temperature is supposed to be that would be greatly appreciated. I look online for temperatures and so many things tell me so many different things so I’m not sure what to go off of. I Also have his little hut in there I got one from Amazon but it came big so I’m waiting to get a smaller one and I was also wondering if anyone can recommend me any sphagnum moss. I heard it was good to keep some in his hut so it can be a moist place for him to go and that’s about it that I have for him. I was also told to soak him in water every week once a week for 10 minutes but I heard that some people soak their guys every day for 10 minutes so if anyone can tell me about that too. I feed him orchard hay but he doesn’t seem to want to eat the hay at times. he’ll eat a little bit but then will go for the store produce instead. I don’t know if it’s because they got him iused to eating lettuce or?? and I don’t know if I should mix in some other things in there and I don’t know if I should feed him every day or every other day. the person told me to feed him Romain lettuce every day but I looked it up and it said the Romain lettuce every day wasn’t ideal because it didn’t have the nutrients that he needed. So I bought a bag of orchid hair from my nearest pet store and I ordered some wheat grass so I can grow in my room for him to snack on whenever he wanted. Are there any recommendations or anything you guys feed your tortoises that they like and very nutritional for them please let me know I’m in desperate need to know haha. I am new at this and I really just want to give my baby sulcata a really good and healthy life. Thank you !! In the pictures I don’t have the water plate in there because the hut took up most room. But once I get my new hut I will put it in. Any suggestions on which side to put the water? I keep the rock under the lit for basking and food on the cool side but not sure. Anyways, here’s some pictures of his enclosure.

00679799-1313-4901-BF34-7A24E3F17267.jpeg CF74164F-55DC-484D-A78E-C62A48849CA2.jpeg 4CA9A407-2770-421F-80A1-DBB989763DEA.jpeg
 

NorCal tortoise guy

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Nov 16, 2017
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Sounds like most if not all of the care info you have been given is old wrong info I’ll link our care sheet here give it a read and ask questions
 

Yossarian

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Those lights are not good for Torts unfortunately. You should be using a standard variety incandescent flood light as a basking lamp, the wattage is determined by how much heat you need, something like 65watts is a good place to start and you can go higher if needed. They are cheap. For UVB you will want T5 Flouro fixture. Something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B084ZMW697/?tag= . For additional heat, particularly at night you can get a ceramic heat emitter, they produce heat but no visible light.

Soaks should be daily for half an hour. Your tort really needs a larger space, and something enclosed to hold in humidity.

There is lots more to learn, just keep reading the sulcata threads and you will quickly be up to speed.
 

Yvonne G

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A 10 gallon tank is way too small for that baby. You can set him up in a large plastic bin a lot cheaper than a bigger aquarium.
 

Meraa12

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Phelan
Those lights are not good for Torts unfortunately. You should be using a standard variety incandescent flood light as a basking lamp, the wattage is determined by how much heat you need, something like 65watts is a good place to start and you can go higher if needed. They are cheap. For UVB you will want T5 Flouro fixture. Something like this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B084ZMW697/?tag= . For additional heat, particularly at night you can get a ceramic heat emitter, they produce heat but no visible light.

Soaks should be daily for half an hour. Your tort really needs a larger space, and something enclosed to hold in humidity.

There is lots more to learn, just keep reading the sulcata threads and you will quickly be up to speed.
great! yeah I knew something was off when they gave me 13 watt light. I'll start him off with a 65 watt heating lamp. Any recommendations?? and I have his enclosure in my room. Do you think if I put half of his enclosure in the sun for 30 minutes two times a week that would be good enough instead of getting a UVB light? Thank you!!
 

Yossarian

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Tortoise Club
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Nov 21, 2015
Messages
301
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
great! yeah I knew something was off when they gave me 13 watt light. I'll start him off with a 65 watt heating lamp. Any recommendations?? and I have his enclosure in my room. Do you think if I put half of his enclosure in the sun for 30 minutes two times a week that would be good enough instead of getting a UVB light? Thank you!!
No reccomendations are necessary for the flood lamps. the ones I use are like 7.99 from the reptile store or on amazon just make sure they are flood and not spotlight and they need to be incandescent not LED or Flourescent.

Natural sunlight is the best way to go if you can accomodate it. As to your question, it depends. Glass blocks more than 85% of all UV light, seriously if you look at in the UV spectrum it is completely opaque. So you cant get natural uvb through a window. But if you have a space outside, you can make a small square pen, and get him half hour to an hour 2-3 times a week then that is enough I believe. If you cant manage that you need a UVB lamp.
 
Last edited:

Meraa12

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Phelan
okay great! thank you! so once I switch him to a tub enclosure, i can then open up my window and have the sun hit him then it would be okay correct? I have so much sunlight that comes into my room so if I could keep him but also give him the natural sunlight he needs then better for me. I appreciate the help!!
 

Yossarian

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Tortoise Club
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Nov 21, 2015
Messages
301
Location (City and/or State)
Wales
okay great! thank you! so once I switch him to a tub enclosure, i can then open up my window and have the sun hit him then it would be okay correct? I have so much sunlight that comes into my room so if I could keep him but also give him the natural sunlight he needs then better for me. I appreciate the help!!
If there is no glass in between him and the sun then its fine. A screen might effect the sunlight if you have one, but otherwise no issues.
 

Happytort27

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Apr 10, 2020
Messages
219
Location (City and/or State)
CA
You can cut holes in the plastic lid. Then, place aluminum foil around the edges of the hole to prevent the light from burning the plastic.
 

Meraa12

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2020
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Phelan
Hello everyone my name is Esmeralda and I recently just bought my first tortoise. He is a Sulcata Tortoise and his name is Winston. I am having a bit of trouble trying to get everything set up for him. I have his enclosure in a Fishtank about 10 gallons and his substrate is organic potting mix and I also have some repti-bark in there mixed in with the potting mix. I have A rock in there that I just found outside a regular flat rock so that he can go on to get more heat from the light bulb. I’m not sure if the bulb that I’m using is good enough for the heat. The place that I got him at recommended me the reptisun 5.0 UVB 13 watt tropical mini compact fluorescent light by zoo med. can anyone tell me if that is a good light to be using for him right now he’s just a baby about 10 months old. Also gave me a night UVB light. I’m not sure what it’s for can someone explain? I just want to make sure that I’m doing everything right for him to be healthy. are there any recommendations of any temperature guns that I can purchase to make sure that his enclosure is in the right temperature that it’s supposed to be in? if anyone can tell me what the temperature is supposed to be that would be greatly appreciated. I look online for temperatures and so many things tell me so many different things so I’m not sure what to go off of. I Also have his little hut in there I got one from Amazon but it came big so I’m waiting to get a smaller one and I was also wondering if anyone can recommend me any sphagnum moss. I heard it was good to keep some in his hut so it can be a moist place for him to go and that’s about it that I have for him. I was also told to soak him in water every week once a week for 10 minutes but I heard that some people soak their guys every day for 10 minutes so if anyone can tell me about that too. I feed him orchard hay but he doesn’t seem to want to eat the hay at times. he’ll eat a little bit but then will go for the store produce instead. I don’t know if it’s because they got him iused to eating lettuce or?? and I don’t know if I should mix in some other things in there and I don’t know if I should feed him every day or every other day. the person told me to feed him Romain lettuce every day but I looked it up and it said the Romain lettuce every day wasn’t ideal because it didn’t have the nutrients that he needed. So I bought a bag of orchid hair from my nearest pet store and I ordered some wheat grass so I can grow in my room for him to snack on whenever he wanted. Are there any recommendations or anything you guys feed your tortoises that they like and very nutritional for them please let me know I’m in desperate need to know haha. I am new at this and I really just want to give my baby sulcata a really good and healthy life. Thank you !! In the pictures I don’t have the water plate in there because the hut took up most room. But once I get my new hut I will put it in. Any suggestions on which side to put the water? I keep the rock under the lit for basking and food on the cool side but not sure. Anyways, here’s some pictures of his enclosure.

View attachment 311662 View attachment 311664 View attachment 311666
okay everyone update on the enclosure!

I bought a 31 gallon tub for winston. I remember Tom telling me that I do not need day heat for him only at night so I was wondering if I can put him the tub during the day and in the tank at night with the CHE so he could be warm?

My only problem with the tub is that I don't know how to trap the humidity in without closing the lid and not being able to see him just in case he tip over.

Any tips??

Also, can anyone drop any pictures of basking bulbs I can get here in California? there are flood bulbs that arent sold here.

Thank you!
 
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