boomertort

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Hello everyone! So, as I can see domesticated tortoise care has an assortment of opinions on how it should be done via google and YouTube. This makes it very troubling for me and I was hoping I can get advice from some experienced tortoise owners about my current enclosure I have set up for my Leopard tortoise hatchling named Boomer. :)

I currently have Boomer in a 40 gallon terrarium bedded with Forest floor bedding (moist mulch like bedding). I have the standard hollowed out log for the little buddy to take cover in. A medium sized food and water dish. I have two deep dome small lamps: one has an infrared basking bulb (100 w) and one has an uvb 100 bulb (26 w).

I have been feeding him organic spring mix that is high in calcium and giving him a warm soak every other day for at least 5 mins. I also spray his bedding with a mist spray bottle daily and sometimes at night if the humidity is low. Boom seems to love his enclosure as I can see from his high activity level, eating all his greens daily and having consistent bowel movements. Recently he has been pooing in his water dish lol.

Now getting to what I’m questioning. During the day, I see that his enclosure is usually around 82 degrees F during the day with a 70% or so humidity and during the night the lights go off (I have a timer switch that keeps his lights on from 8:30 am to 8:30 pm) and his enclosure gets to be around 72 degrees with a similar humidity when I get home from work around 2 am. I’m wondering if I need bigger lamps or if these temps are good to keep Boomer healthy? He seems to be healthy but I’m not an expert by any means.

For more background on his behavior, he usually wakes up a hour or so after his lights turn on, goes to eat, naps, soaks in his water, naps, eats a little more, and sleeps. He also likes to nest which I find to be cute. He uses the bedding as a pillow lol. Just trying to see what you guys think. Sorry for the long post but thanks for reading!

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Golden Greek Tortoise 567

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Welcome! Youtube and google have old and outdated info. You need to soak every day for at least 30-45 minutes and the humidity needs to be as high as possible. At least 80% and 90 and above in humid hide to prevent pyramiding. Spring mix does not have enough nutrients for your buddy. What are you using for your water bowl? Get rid of that red bulb, they are horrible for tortoises. What are you using for uvb? Read this care sheet carefully...
 

boomertort

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Welcome! Youtube and google have old and outdated info. You need to soak every day for at least 30-45 minutes and the humidity needs to be as high as possible. At least 80% and 90 and above in humid hide to prevent pyramiding. Spring mix does not have enough nutrients for your buddy. What are you using for your water bowl? Get rid of that red bulb, they are horrible for tortoises. What are you using for uvb? Read this care sheet carefully...
Yikes. What do you suggest to keep the humidity that high? What should I use to replace the red bulb with? I’m using a reptile uvb bulb. I’m kind of upset with the pet store guy for giving me this advice then.
 

Golden Greek Tortoise 567

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I would replace the red bulb with a T5 fluorescent tube for uvb, and a CHE bulb for heat. Can you take a pic of your uvb? Poor a gallon of water in the substrate, create a closed chamber as explained in the care sheet. Lots of people get the wrong advice from the pet store, sorry that you have to too.
 

boomertort

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I would replace the red bulb with a T5 fluorescent tube for uvb, and a CHE bulb for heat. Can you take a pic of your uvb? Poor a gallon of water in the substrate, create a closed chamber as explained in the care sheet. Lots of people get the wrong advice from the pet store, sorry that you have to too.
I resembles a coiled light bulb. I plan on going back to the store to exchange these bulbs. The water dish is one of those ramped ones that the care sheet says to stay away from. I was nervous about him using it so I pushed substrate around it to make a safe ramp for him to get in and out of it. He seems to do fine but I’ll get a shallower one.
 

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Golden Greek Tortoise 567

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I resembles a coiled light bulb. I plan on going back to the store to exchange these bulbs. The water dish is one of those ramped ones that the care sheet says to stay away from. I was nervous about him using it so I pushed substrate around it to make a safe ramp for him to get in and out of it. He seems to do fine but I’ll get a shallower one.
For the new water dish I would recommend a terra cotta saucer, those seem to be the cheapest and best ones.
 

boomertort

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For the new water dish I would recommend a terra cotta saucer, those seem to be the cheapest and best ones.
Noted with the UVB. I just don’t understand why they’d sell me it if that’s the case. Geez. Luckily it’s bed time for him now. I’ll get a shallower dish. The wife and I are going to resolve this tomorrow morning. Thanks for the advice!
 

Lokkje

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I have a leopard that was started wrong. When I first got my leopard he was in a terrarium very similar to your set up and he was pyramiding and doing poorly. He looked like a failure to thrive. I invested the time and money to get an enclosure that is closed so that the humidity and temperature is regulated and I followed the advice to the letter for everything people are saying here. My leopard is doing fantastic and I’m very pleased. I bought my enclosure from Mark but there’s plenty of people who build their own. It was worth the investment and I will get an extension soon. Here’s the enclosure after I set it up and here’s Mr Snarky today. Looking good. He doesn’t really have a name yet I just call him different names and right now it’s Mr. snarky because he went stomping off when I tried to take his picture.

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Yvonne G

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I keep my baby leopards in a covered enclosure with tube type T-5 fluorescent bulb for UVB and radiant heat panel for heat. I keep the enclosure 80-85F degrees day and night.
 

boomertort

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So, my solution to my enclosure after reviewing the awesome thread @Golden Greek Tortoise 567 shared (thank you!) is to replace the UVB bulb I have with a ceramic bulb and then buying a fluorescent UVB bulb with its fixture to evenly distribute the UV rays. The red bulb seems to do very well as a basking lamp since the temp is around 94 degrees with the current setup. I’m going to get a piece of plexiglass to cover half of the screen top of the tank to capture more humidity. We’re going to get the shallow dishes that are recommended and plant some grass from Home Depot in the enclosure. That will also bring up humidity. We also added a couple inches of substrate and dumped water into it. Humidity is staying high at low 70’s after setting it up a hr ago. I really appreciate all your guidance everyone!
 

Golden Greek Tortoise 567

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So, my solution to my enclosure after reviewing the awesome thread @Golden Greek Tortoise 567 shared (thank you!) is to replace the UVB bulb I have with a ceramic bulb and then buying a fluorescent UVB bulb with its fixture to evenly distribute the UV rays. The red bulb seems to do very well as a basking lamp since the temp is around 94 degrees with the current setup. I’m going to get a piece of plexiglass to cover half of the screen top of the tank to capture more humidity. We’re going to get the shallow dishes that are recommended and plant some grass from Home Depot in the enclosure. That will also bring up humidity. We also added a couple inches of substrate and dumped water into it. Humidity is staying high at low 70’s after setting it up a hr ago. I really appreciate all your guidance everyone!
I wouldn’t keep the red bulb, they are terrible for torts. It’s like being in a room full of red light for the rest of your life.
 
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