SUGGESTION for Setting Up a Baby Habitat

Yvonne G

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I sell the baby leopards and adopt out the desert and Texas babies as it's illegal to sell them.
 

Tortimomoftx

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There is more than one "right" way to set up a tortoise habitat. Whatever works for you, and provides what the baby needs, that's the "right" way for you. This is how I set up my baby habitats.

I start with a plastic Rubbermaid tub, some small sized Orchid Bark, a Zoo Med Power Sun Mercury Vapor Bulb, a rough piece of flat rock or slate for a feeding station, bell-shaped light with a ceramic base, a timer, a Zoo Med light stand, a hiding place and a plug with multiple outlets (can't remember what it's called).

View attachment 104657



I use plants still in their pots, and I add them first so the pot is sitting on the bare floor of the tub. Then I add the substrate. For babies, I only use about an inch and a half to two inches on the floor of the tub. Then I pour a whole pitcher full of water into the substrate.

View attachment 104658


Next I stir it up with my hand to get it wet clear through. If it is very dry, it sometimes takes quite a bit of stirring to get it wet.



View attachment 104659

Now you're ready to add your waterer, feeder and the babies:


View attachment 104660

The light you buy comes with a suggested height to hang it. This one is on an adjustable stand (Love the Zoo Med light stand!!!), and I'm starting out at 12" above the back of the tortoise. I sometimes stuff the hiding place with moist sphagnum moss. And for sure I'll be covering this whole habitat with foil to keep the cold house air out and the warm, moist air in.
Yvonne,

Power Sun 160 w or 100 w? BTW, thanks so much for this and the photos. Really good for beginners like me.
 

Yvonne G

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I have never used anything bigger than a 100 watt, however, it all depends upon how large your container is. You may need a higher wattage to get the desired temperature inside the habitat. You can test it out with a regular 100 watt incandescent bulb and see if that's warm enough.
 

feister47

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Great guide, does this refer to only redfoots? Or can it apply to Mediterranean species like Greek and Hermann's?

Thanks
 

Yvonne G

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The babies I set up are desert tortoises, leopard tortoises, Texas tortoises, box turtles, yellowfoot and Russian tortoises. I've never had a baby redfooted tortoise.

We have a wonderful care sheet for Greeks and Hermanni. Each is shown at the top of their sections here on the Forum.
 

feister47

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Oh, it just sort of looked like a red foot setup. I'm assuming it would work with them since it has worked with yellow foots
 

BeeBee*BeeLeaves

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Always excellent Yvonne!
And baby owners, take good heed from Yvonne's experience.
Babies are fragile and nerve wracking, nerve destroying, in my opinion. Your set up has to be on target so they can thrive.
And survive.
 

mangococonut

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Hello,
I've set everything up but I'm still a little confused on exactly where the lights go. I see that your basking light is pretty much in the middle of your tank. I have mine in one far corner and then a che in the other corner (both on the back side corners of the tank). I put the humid hide under the che but it doesn't seem to be on during the day because the mv basking light is on. Should these lamps be side by side or should the hide be under the lamp directly. Sorry for more questions, I just don't see exactly how to position the lights in your setup and with the hide. I actually only see the log hide - is that all they need? I had another member email me about making a humid hide out of a plastic box and I did that and they seem to really like it, but I'm just a little confused so I want to make sure I'm doing it right. Thank you.
 

Yvonne G

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Since I don't care if I have a warm side/cool side, I place my light in the middle so the whole area can benefit from the heat. I figure if they want to get cooler they'll go into their hiding place or burrow down.

Every one does it just a little bit differently. The purpose of this thread was to let people see the supplies they need. Why don't you re-post your post in a new thread under the habitat section so you can get more opinions on set up.
 

mangococonut

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Thanks so much! I honestly thought about posting a new post but I didn't want to be disrespectful to the who took the time to send me a note already. It was just a very different setup. There seems to be a lot of different ways to do it and some people have the hides in the warm wet area, some don't have the wet, some have it all wet - it can all be a little confusing. I followed yours because I had the photo so I knew I was at least setting it up correctly, and you seem as others do to really be experts. I was just confused if the hide goes under the night heat lamp as I have it, or both the lamps just go right up the center.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Really, really useful and informative thread for us learners Yvonne.
Thank you.
 

Yvonne G

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If you start with a big enough container, you can keep them in it until they're big enough to live outside during the day, then back indoors at night.
 

John84

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If you start with a big enough container, you can keep them in it until they're big enough to live outside during the day, then back indoors at night.
I know that's where I messed up. I started off with a 49 gal breeder and was wondering how long it was ok to house him there.
 

Camp

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Thank you for posting your set up for your babies. I do have a question. I am soon to be getting Eastern Hermanns hatchlings, (beyond excited!) from @HermanniChris , could I just cut out about half the top of the rubbermaid container use hardware cloth to cover it and set my lamp stand over that side. Would this hold in enough humidity for these babies? Also what type meter is everyone using to check humidity levels? I already have the zoomed powersun lamp and lampstand, ReptiTemp 500R Thermostat, and a timer for the light. I plan on using a topsoil/coir mixture for the substrate. I don't plan on using heat at night because after questions and research I am finding that Hermann's need to cool down at night to 60F-70F. Also how wet is too wet for the substrate and would I mist just when the top layer dries or mist daily anyway?
 

Yvonne G

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You may still need to cover or partially cover the habitat to keep the warm, moist air inside. I don't think misting the substrate gets it wet enough.
 
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