[split] New and have questions about Enclosure suitable for baby Herm?

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New Member
5 Year Member
Aug 19, 2013
Tom said:
You are off to a good start. You need:
1. More substrate.
2. Damp substrate.
3. A humid hid box.
4. As already stated and acknowledged, a new water bowl.
5. Sooner than you think, you will need a bigger enclosure.
6. A large safe secure outdoor enclosure for sunning and grazing.

Whats the temp under your heat lamp? Need any diet advice? Broadleaf weeds and certain leaves will be your answer.
I'm a new Hermann owner and this is what's been frustrating me so much about finding care information. There's soooo much conflicting information on the web it's confusing.

This site, which I was told by a reptile breader is very reputable, says exactly the opposite of what you are saying about humidity.


What am I missing?


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Apr 10, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Apple Valley, California
Well, here is where the fun begins :D Hosting a tortoise will produce a bunch of ways folks have tailored their husbandry.

There use to be the one and only way of thinking for "arid" and "semi-arid" species that they should be kept completely dry or they will get sick.....

Ok, so there is some truth to that (with certain variables)..if you have an enclosure and you wet the substrate and fail to offer a dry area and allow temps in the enclosure to drop below 80 then you will likely have a ailing tort...cool and damp is a bad mix...

Now if you set up that same tort in an enclosure that is set up on the dry method then you can still raise a healthy tort...but remember, that you will have to take on a more hands on daily routine....and here is why; if you are a wild tort then you can find a variety of micro climates that you can use as you need....if you take that same tort and place him in a captive enclosure that is based on dry ---then you have removed all options and have now subjected the tort to only one type of environment---this is not a sustainable situation over a long period of time..

To me, a good middle ground would be to offer a couple warm humid hides and also part of the enclosure to be a warm dry area and a cool dry area....plants to hide under and a soaking dish for the tort to utilize....I would also make sure that the tort is given outside natural sun time...a varied diet and lots and lots of exercise...

If you wait around long enough...you will likely get a bunch of others offering what they would or do...then you will decide what would work best for your set up in offering the best environment for a tort with as many micro climates as possible....:D


Active Member
5 Year Member
Jun 2, 2013
Location (City and/or State)
I second what ascott said!
I heard that especially young ones benefit greatly from a humid hide, as they would spend their first years mostly underneath shrubbery or in little burrows where it is automatically more humid. This doesn't mean that the whole enclosure should be humid, but just that the option should be available.

But that's just my opinion :p


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Feb 27, 2009
Location (City and/or State)
The Catskill Mountains of New York State
Ambient daytime temperatures between 72-82 degrees.

Basking temperatures between 90-100 degrees directly under the center of the light beam.

Night time temperatures between 55-65 degrees, around 60-63 being ideal.

Ambient humidity 50-75%, generally higher at night, drier during the daytime. Aim for around 60-65% if possible.

Semi-moist (not wet) substrate throughout the enclosure.

For baby tortoises a substrate of organic soil (70%) and coconut coir (30%) works very well. Holds the required moisture without being too wet. Firm enough for good footing but still allows for easy digging for the tortoise to bury itself.

Various (at least a couple) hide areas for the tortoise to rest in. Do not place them near the basking light, do not keep them too warm.

DO NOT keep your species of tortoise at or above 80 degrees as suggested above! Doing so is not good for the growth of Mediterranean tortoises or most other species for that matter. Hermann's and other Northern Mediterranean tortoise species are temperate climate species. Not tropical. This means that they have evolved to experience and thrive in an environment that has natural temperature changes monthly, weekly, daily and even hourly. This is the environment that they thrive in. Not in a tropical environment that is consistently too warm and too humid.

After nearly 30 years of keeping, breeding and raising baby Hermann's tortoises and other Northern Mediterranean species I can tell you that they should not be kept the same way as Redfoots or Sulcata or other species from completely different climates. Each tortoise species has evolved to survive in their climate and environmental conditions. I can assure you that keeping Northern Mediterraneans consistently too warm night and day is going to cause accelerated growth because due to the constantly warm temperatures. I've seen several cases of it.
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