Brianna Grey

New Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Bunnlevel, NC
Hi, I'm new to the forum but a long time turtle lover. I want to purchase a hatchling or yearling sulcata tortoise in the near future and I decided to do more in depth research before I do, thank heavens for finding this forum. I've read so many threads and I've got lots of information but if any long time healthy tort owners have any information or advice I'd really appreciate it.
Also if anyone has any links/recommendations for good uvb bulbs, CHE and any thing else I need for getting and maintaining the correct temps and humidity that'd be amazing. Thank you
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
12,429
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Welcome...

Make sure you get one from a very reliable breeder, preferably someone who is a member here on TFO. Just remember, these very cute, small torts can quickly turn into monstrous bulldozers that require plenty of space, food, heating, lighting...etc.

I see you are from North Carolina...hopefully with a few acres of plush green grass and weeds.

Heres everything you need to know..

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/

Follow this info, and u are golden.

Start off with a good hatchling from a good breeder.

Happy Torting
 

Tim Carlisle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
1,559
Location (City and/or State)
Cincinnati, OH
Hi, I'm new to the forum but a long time turtle lover. I want to purchase a hatchling or yearling sulcata tortoise in the near future and I decided to do more in depth research before I do, thank heavens for finding this forum. I've read so many threads and I've got lots of information but if any long time healthy tort owners have any information or advice I'd really appreciate it.
Also if anyone has any links/recommendations for good uvb bulbs, CHE and any thing else I need for getting and maintaining the correct temps and humidity that'd be amazing. Thank you

Welcome! The biggest thing that I can impress upon you is that a tortoise is a lifetime commitment. They are not like dogs or cats where the owner will likely outlive them. That said, please check out the following for your viewing pleasure:

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/sulcata-diet-sheet.64290/

Getting started can be a bit pricey, but once you have the general "infrastructure" established, the costs get much more manageable. That is, of course, unless you are like me and want to spend gobs of money becuase you're never satisfied with the status quo and always looking to improve on things. lol
 

TortoiseRacket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
259
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Hi, I'm new to the forum but a long time turtle lover. I want to purchase a hatchling or yearling sulcata tortoise in the near future and I decided to do more in depth research before I do, thank heavens for finding this forum. I've read so many threads and I've got lots of information but if any long time healthy tort owners have any information or advice I'd really appreciate it.
Also if anyone has any links/recommendations for good uvb bulbs, CHE and any thing else I need for getting and maintaining the correct temps and humidity that'd be amazing. Thank you
Be prepared for an eco-friendly bulldozer that will plow through your yard! There are many good breeders here on the TFO. Tortoises are not like dogs. If you get tired of it, not many people will be willing to take it. They live for a very long time. They make amazing pets for the right people! I use a SOLO pump mister. You can put it on spray-until-it’s-empty or you can do it manually. If indoors, be prepared for your pet to walk through your dry-wall, it is quite common here in NY! Congratulations on your future tortoise!
-Mickey
 

LaLaP

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
948
Location (City and/or State)
Portland, OR
Hello and welcome! You asked about UVB.. Arcadia is a good brand and some members who have meters that read UVB output have reported that they give UVB longer than some other brands. There are HO (high output) and regular and which one you get will determine how high you should hang it. If you search the lighting section you'll find lots of useful details from experienced members.
Happy New Year!
 

Ray--Opo

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
5,303
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
Welcome you are at the right place. I did it the opposite way. I bought and then tried to learn. Thank God I found TFO early on.
Good luck and Happy New Year
 

DeanS

SULCATA OASIS
10 Year Member!
Joined
May 6, 2010
Messages
4,405
Location (City and/or State)
SoCal
@Brianna Grey...Welcome! The most important thig is to keep 'em hot and humid those first couple years! I don't recommend letting ambient temps below 90ºF and humidity must be kept at a minimum of 80%...higher is fine! If things go well this is what you can expect in ten years or so! This is MONSTRO! 26" and 96 lbs...and ONLY 9 years old! IMG_5049.JPG
 

Brianna Grey

New Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2018
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Bunnlevel, NC
I see that I need an infrared thermometer for checking temps around the enclosure. A timer for a 65 watt incandescent flood light. And the CHE needs to run on a thermostat? Can someone please give me recommendations for these products that work for them. Also, can anyone explain how you connect the CHE to the thermostat??
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
12,429
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Greetings..

Theres lots of info under the sulcata section
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/how-to-raise-a-healthy-sulcata-or-leopard-version-2-0.79895/

But, since you asked about CHE into a thermostat.

Look at this one - https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller

My diagram isnt very good...but...you plug the Thermostat into your main power source.
Then you plug your CHE and/or Radiant Heat Panel or Kane Mat into the Thermostat.
The thermostat has a long wire with probe/sensor

It’s really all plug n play.

D5CC2575-B2C5-4D57-8832-BF42AAB7311E.jpeg
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,064
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
In other words, Brianna, the thermostat has receptacles that you plug the appliances into.
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
4,432
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
Since you asked for more detail, I thought I would add what I use to raise my tortoises. I am very pleased with this setup and it does produce extremely healthy, smooth tortoises when set to maintain temps never lower than 80° and humidity always above 80%

Lighting 3X8.jpg

For the round fixtures pictured for both 65 watt floods and CHEs I use these. I get them from the local hardware or feed store, or online on Amazon. "Brooder Lamp"


Brooder Lamp.jpg


For the 65 watt floods I again use the local Lowes or Home depot. Keep in mind it is illegal to sell incadescents of 100 watts or higher in the US anymore unless it is a specialty bulb. The 65 watt floods are still available but be sure you are not getting LED equivalents. You need the heat from the incandescent type. I also order from Amazon as well.

65 watt flood.jpg

I use two CHE's in my enclosure. 100 watts is plenty if you have a well insulated enclosure or your enclosure is kept in a heated room. From Amazon.

CHE.jpg

Both CHE's are simply plugged into the same thermostat. I use an inkbird brand that has to be wired. The easiest for you would be this one. Again on Amazon. There are several brands, I have had good luck with this and it is a bit less expensive.

thermostat.jpg


For timers, I use ones I can control from my iPhone. Very easy to set and use. I can see which ones are on from anywhere in the world I have an internet connection. We had a power outage just 2 days ago. I was able to see which ones did not come back on and turn them on even though I was not home! It only requires a free app download to control. I really recommend these for ease of use and complete control.

smart plugs.jpg

For ambient light, I like good full spectrum and a good grow light is great for this. Plus it helps keep live plants I like to use in the enclosure much more healthy. This is the one I use and it is plugged into its own timer. (The timers above are shown in a 4 pack and I use 3 in this configuration if you look back at the diagram.) This fixture and bulbs is pricy, but I feel is worth it. With fluorescents you need good bulbs matched with good ballasts and wiring to get the proper output. A cheap fixture can look fine, but will put out a different range of colors and the bulbs will not last as long. I do not go cheap on my ambient lighting.

T5 Agrobrite hood.jpg




Finally, the UVB light is also plugged into it's own timer. (see diagram). Again, quality is extremely important for both bulb and fixture. I get this from lightyourreptiles.com I trust this source for my UVB needs.

T5 Arcadia Fixt & bulb.jpg

So it's not inexpensive to do it right, but it is worth it in both tortoise health and having things set up to run properly. The total for all the items above is about $360. But it is everything you need to set up your tortoise correctly for heat and light.

Hope this helps...
 

Markw84

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
4,432
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento, CA (Central Valley)
I need to add that I do use a second thermostat I forgot to mention, but do show in the diagram. The thermostat attached to the CHEs is simply set to 82° with the probe in the coolest part of the enclosure. The T% bulbs do run hot, and a well insulated enclosure can overheat with the 3 t5s and the flood bulbs all going. So I have a second themostat on the flood bulbs. From the diagram - the two floods are plugged into the thermostat set for 95°. The probe is in the back middle of the enclosure so it is the "warmer ambient". The thermostat is then plugged into the timer. This way the timer still has the floods on the correct time. But If the temp goes above 95° the floods will go off until the temp drops back down.

The way I set my timers for actively growing babies and juveniles:

6:00 AM the flood lights go on. This gives a "dawn" type light of the more red and softer colors.
7:00 AM the ambient grow lights come on. = daylight.
11:00 AM the UVB light comes on. Peak midday with UVB.
3:00 PM the UVB light goes off.
8:00 PM the ambient grow lights go off. = dusk
9:00 PM the flood lights go off.
 

Cheryl Hills

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2016
Messages
2,343
Location (City and/or State)
Youngstown, Ohio
I need to add that I do use a second thermostat I forgot to mention, but do show in the diagram. The thermostat attached to the CHEs is simply set to 82° with the probe in the coolest part of the enclosure. The T% bulbs do run hot, and a well insulated enclosure can overheat with the 3 t5s and the flood bulbs all going. So I have a second themostat on the flood bulbs. From the diagram - the two floods are plugged into the thermostat set for 95°. The probe is in the back middle of the enclosure so it is the "warmer ambient". The thermostat is then plugged into the timer. This way the timer still has the floods on the correct time. But If the temp goes above 95° the floods will go off until the temp drops back down.

The way I set my timers for actively growing babies and juveniles:

6:00 AM the flood lights go on. This gives a "dawn" type light of the more red and softer colors.
7:00 AM the ambient grow lights come on. = daylight.
11:00 AM the UVB light comes on. Peak midday with UVB.
3:00 PM the UVB light goes off.
8:00 PM the ambient grow lights go off. = dusk
9:00 PM the flood lights go off.
Wow, nice.
 
Top