The Best Way To Raise Any Temperate Species Of Tortoise

Tom

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This thread should be stickied so it’s easy to find! Just spent the last 20 min digging it up so I can bookmark it.
Agreed. I thought it was. @Yvonne G @wellington Can we have this one stickied in all the temperate species sections. Greeks, hermanni, Russians, gophers, Bowsprits?
 

cindy1546

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Hello,
I have looked everywhere and cannot find any mulches of the ones you suggested anywhere near me... not even shipping, what would you recommend I do?
 

Tom

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Hello,
I have looked everywhere and cannot find any mulches of the ones you suggested anywhere near me... not even shipping, what would you recommend I do?
People grow orchids all over the place here in L.A. They have to be getting their orchid bark somewhere. Have you called local nurseries and asked for orchid bark or fir bark for growing orchids?

You can spend the money and get the 24 quart bags of Repti-Bark from the pet stores for $18, or you can drive up to my local nursery up here and Santa Clarita and get the 2.0 cu.ft.. bags for $12.
 

cindy1546

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I will try my local nurseries tomorrow, since they were closed today for Labor Day but as far as I know, the big chain stores don't :( I mean unless this stuff is okay?
 

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Golden Greek Tortoise 567

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I will try my local nurseries tomorrow, since they were closed today for Labor Day but as far as I know, the big chain stores don't :( I mean unless this stuff is okay?
I’d go with the first picture, the other one looks like a mix of different things. I usually buy my orchard bark at Lowe’s or Home Depot, it’s cheaper there and works just as well.
 

Tom

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I will try my local nurseries tomorrow, since they were closed today for Labor Day but as far as I know, the big chain stores don't :( I mean unless this stuff is okay?
The big chain stores here never have it. In some parts of the country they do, but I've never seen it here. Except OSH. OSH used to have a great type. Super clean. The OSH near me closed down. Local nurseries are the way to go. I also like the local places because you can befriend the local plant nerd and get all your weeds, trees and shrubs ID'd.
 

cindy1546

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The big chain stores here never have it. In some parts of the country they do, but I've never seen it here. Except OSH. OSH used to have a great type. Super clean. The OSH near me closed down. Local nurseries are the way to go. I also like the local places because you can befriend the local plant nerd and get all your weeds, trees and shrubs ID'd.
Okay, thank you so much!! I’ll definitely call them today :)
 

brianna.33

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I struggled to find some and gave in to ordering online (link attached below). I hope this helps! 🙂

 

Tom

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I struggled to find some and gave in to ordering online (link attached below). I hope this helps! 🙂

This is another good resource to go to, but at that price, for that quantity, you can buy the Repti-bark at a pet store for less. The 24 quart repti-bark is $18.09 at Petco or Petsmart, or Chewey.com.
 

brianna.33

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This is another good resource to go to, but at that price, for that quantity, you can buy the Repti-bark at a pet store for less. The 24 quart repti-bark is $18.09 at Petco or Petsmart, or Chewey.com.
I’m switching from cypress mulch to the orchid bark because of the swampy smell. Does the repti-bark get the same way? The cypress mulch makes it much harder to keep a pleasant smell, especially with the enclosed chamber.
 

Tom

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I’m switching from cypress mulch to the orchid bark because of the swampy smell. Does the repti-bark get the same way? The cypress mulch makes it much harder to keep a pleasant smell, especially with the enclosed chamber.
That is the main reason I do not use cypress. It smells like the swamp it came from! :)

Orchid bark has no smell. If you put your nose right into a freshly opened bag, it has a pleasant earthy smell, but from 2 feet away, I smell nothing.

The repti-bark brand sold at pet stores is perfectly sized and usually very clean. It cost way too much for the amount that I need, and that is why I teach it out in bulk at local nurseries. OSH had a type and brand that was excellent, but my local nursery has this brand in giant 2.0 cu.ft. bags for $12:
Orchid Bark.JPG
 

ErinInCA

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Quick clarification question: for Hermann tortoise indoors, how long do they need a humid hide? I just got a healthy 2-year old male and he’s in a large open table. I spray the substrate daily but I’m wondering if he also needs the humid hide at this age?
 

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I am currently using the Exo Terra Solar Glo Sun Simulating Lamp 80 W but don't think it will be sufficient when I move my baby russian tort into his new 4' x 2' table. I have read and reread this guide by Tom and think it's great, can anyone please help me find the best lighting for everything (basking/uvb etc), I see here than MVBs are no good... I live in the UK and am really out of my depth here. I want baby Lionel to have the happiest best life :)
 

Member13020

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I am currently using the Exo Terra Solar Glo Sun Simulating Lamp 80 W but don't think it will be sufficient when I move my baby russian tort into his new 4' x 2' table. I have read and reread this guide by Tom and think it's great, can anyone please help me find the best lighting for everything (basking/uvb etc), I see here than MVBs are no good... I live in the UK and am really out of my depth here. I want baby Lionel to have the happiest best life :)
same here, I’m also in the uk using the same bulb but a 180w. I agree with Tom, I’m not sure about them (mvbs) but I really don’t know what lighting we need? Very confusing. Thanks and regards, Jay
 

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Olive_Hermann

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Aww brilliant, thanks so much. I’ll see if Swell reptiles have them as I think they guarantee the bulb and they are a bit cheaper! What should the UV be ideally? - The bulb wattage I think is based on the size of the enclosure and the height of the UV bulb determines the UV level?

Thanks again and kind regards.
Jay
 

Yossarian

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Aww brilliant, thanks so much. I’ll see if Swell reptiles have them as I think they guarantee the bulb and they are a bit cheaper! What should the UV be ideally? - The bulb wattage I think is based on the size of the enclosure and the height of the UV bulb determines the UV level?

Thanks again and kind regards.
Jay

I checked Swells website before going to amazon and they didnt have this kit, they had the double tube arcadia kit that is more expensive I think. WIth T5 tubes, longer tubes are higher wattage, The bulbs are sold with different UV outputs in the same size depending on the species of reptile you have, and of course the height of the light determines the intensity of its output that reaches the tort so that kind of determines the UV level as well.
 
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Olive_Hermann

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Thanks for that 👏🏻👍🏻 and I will look at Amazon.
Just to confirm, when I get the T5 bulb the UVI should be somewhere around 3-5 UVI for a Hermanns, and so I would need to have the T5 light (12%) at around 17”-20” from the tort? Added info to show the above.
Thanks and regards,
Jay
 

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Tom

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Thanks for that 👏🏻👍🏻 and I will look at Amazon.
Just to confirm, when I get the T5 bulb the UVI should be somewhere around 3-5 UVI for a Hermanns, and so I would need to have the T5 light (12%) at around 17”-20” from the tort? Added info to show the above.
Thanks and regards,
Jay
The desired UVI level is going to depend on how you are using the bulb. If it is to be on all day, then I'd go with a lower number. If you are going to use the UV tube only for a couple hours mid day, which is what I do and recommend, then a higher UVI would be desired. I go for a UVI go around 5-6 and run it only for one to three hours mid day.

Your estimated height sound about right, but I use my Solarmater 6.5 to set bulb height.
 
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