Uh oh! I thought I had it figured out, please help.

Jo84

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Hi again, I have had my little leopard tortoise for 2 weeks. I built her a closed chamber enclosure like I read about here from a plastic Christmas tree box and a cold frame green house. I noticed that she paces a lot on the back wall and sometimes she flips herself on her back and kind of just struggles a little then kind of gives up. Im worried about her getting stuck when Im not here to help her. I use fine orchid bark, I removed what she could get stuck on. Its always in the same place too. I thought she did it when she had food she didnt love (she does seem picky), but now im wondering if her enclosure just isnt big enough. I dont let her roam outside of her enclosure and I havent taken her outside yet because its been too hot here, the only time out has been for her soaks. Please help.
here is her enclosure…where the pink dot is in the third pic is where she flips. Near the UV light.
 

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Blackdog1714

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For the time being it is large enough. You need more plants. Leopards love to hide in plant cover Mine has hostas to "hide" in. Yes there is a 2.5 year old leopard in there. You have moved the stumble obstacles so get more plants and watch closely
 

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wellington

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What type uvb light you using?
It must either be a mercury vapor bulb or a coil bulb? Both are bad and needs to go.
The enclosure is not a xmas tree storage box. It would be much bigger but for now the size is fine as long as there is enough room between tort and lights.
Get a tube florescent uvb and maybe have to add another che to replace the uvb bulb you have now.
More plants will help the flipping and getting rid of the bad UVB
 

Yvonne G

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I really like how creative you've been with the enclosure! Good Job!!

Like Barb has said, get rid of the dual fixture and it's lights and use a T5 UVB instead:

T-5 fluorescent bulb.jpg

Then for heat you can use a CHE:

ceramic heat emitter.jpg

Then, like Black Dog said, add more plants. You can leave them in the pots. It just gives the baby more cover and he feels safer. He may quit trying to escape (climb the sides) once he feels safer in there.
 

Jo84

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What type uvb light you using?
It must either be a mercury vapor bulb or a coil bulb? Both are bad and needs to go.
The enclosure is not a xmas tree storage box. It would be much bigger but for now the size is fine as long as there is enough room between tort and lights.
Get a tube florescent uvb and maybe have to add another che to replace the uvb bulb you have now.
More plants will help the flipping and getting rid of the bad UVB
Thank you so much for answering. The UVB is reptisun 10.0 UVB, I also have the 5.0. Is there something better? I will add more plants!
 

Jo84

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For the time being it is large enough. You need more plants. Leopards love to hide in plant cover Mine has hostas to "hide" in. Yes there is a 2.5 year old leopard in there. You have moved the stumble obstacles so get more plants and watch closely
Thank you for the feedback! I will for sure add more plants.
 

Jo84

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I really like how creative you've been with the enclosure! Good Job!!

Like Barb has said, get rid of the dual fixture and it's lights and use a T5 UVB instead:

View attachment 333517

Then for heat you can use a CHE:

View attachment 333518

Then, like Black Dog said, add more plants. You can leave them in the pots. It just gives the baby more cover and he feels safer. He may quit trying to escape (climb the sides) once he feels safer in there.
Hi Yvonne! Thanks so much. I got my inspiration from one of your posts. Should I put the plants on the walls or dispersed through out?
These are the lights I am using as well as a night incandescent (colorless) light for nighttime ambient heat. I do have the reptisun 5.0 as well. I have the 10 in there because the 5 needed to be so close.
I do the think the plants will help too. I had more in there and stone tiles but removed them because I was worried she would get stuck.
She actually just did it again, so I grabbed a pic. She isnt good at flipping herself back over :(
 

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Maro2Bear

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One more question. How do I hang/attach the linear UVB?

Lights are easily hung with zip ties. An eye hook (really two or three) in the ceiling then daisy chain some zip ties. Or, instead of zip ties, use the very light weight link chain used for hanging normal sop type LED lights.
 

Yvonne G

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Neither of the bulbs you're using are good. The Reptisun concentrates UVB out of the end and is hard on their eyes. In my opinion they should be mounted horizontally, if used at all. The spot bulb concentrates a hot spot that is dessicating to the shell. You should use a flood rather than a spot. And you can use the flood instead of the CHE, but you'd still need the CHE for night heat.
 

Jo84

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Neither of the bulbs you're using are good. The Reptisun concentrates UVB out of the end and is hard on their eyes. In my opinion they should be mounted horizontally, if used at all. The spot bulb concentrates a hot spot that is dessicating to the shell. You should use a flood rather than a spot. And you can use the flood instead of the CHE, but you'd still need the CHE for night heat.
Thank you! I did buy flood lights, I hope its the right kind, they are incandescent 65watt. What do you mean by horizontally? Would you happen to have a photo? I looked and looked for pics of lighting and how they were attached but I think maybe I missed it or misunderstood. I feel so stupid, I read and read so many threads here before I brought her home, I should have asked how to make my enclosure better prior and I really should have just bought one made.
 

OkAdiza

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Thank you! I did buy flood lights, I hope its the right kind, they are incandescent 65watt. What do you mean by horizontally? Would you happen to have a photo? I looked and looked for pics of lighting and how they were attached but I think maybe I missed it or misunderstood. I feel so stupid, I read and read so many threads here before I brought her home, I should have asked how to make my enclosure better prior and I really should have just bought one made.
Oh no, don't feel stupid! You are clearly here trying to find out the best way to care for your tortoise and also willing and eager to learn. I found some of the UVB lighting confusing as well because there are coil bulbs that say 10.0 and also the linear long tubes that are also 10.0. You want a long tube UVB bulb that would hang the way an under the counter light fixture would hang. I do not have a picture to show you, but I think Yvonne was saying that instead of the Reptisun bulb you have hanging down in a dome, there are some light fixtures that allow you to face them horizontally, which would be better on the eyes. It is overall better to use a long tube UVB fixture instead. If I can find a picture I will come back and post. The flood light is you got is good for the heat lamp.
 

OkAdiza

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Ok, I just did this to show you a visual. Horizontally would have the bulb like the first picture. In the dome would be like the second picture. (Sidenote, this is not being used for any of my tortoises, the bulb is not a coil UVB, just a regular incandescent bulb, and the fixture has a bending neck so I could show the difference in direction. IMG_4089.JPG IMG_4090.JPG
If you are able to, a fixture that can hold a long tube UVB T5 10.0 would be best.
IMG_4091.JPG
 

Jo84

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This is stressing me out a little, lol.
w the T5 5.0 or 10.0 linear long tube. What distance should it be from Shelby? Should i have the hood tilted or is facing down ok?
Is the Arcadia proT5 comparable? And if so would that be the 6%, 10% or 12%.
Is it supposed to read 6.5 on a UVB meter? Oi, this makes me want to take her outside everyday.
 

OkAdiza

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This is stressing me out a little, lol.
w the T5 5.0 or 10.0 linear long tube. What distance should it be from Shelby? Should i have the hood tilted or is facing down ok?
Is the Arcadia proT5 comparable? And if so would that be the 6%, 10% or 12%.
Is it supposed to read 6.5 on a UVB meter? Oi, this makes me want to take her outside everyday.
I completely here you! I don’t want to confuse you more cuz I am not sure myself, so I will let a more experienced member explain the lighting. I do know that if you do decide to take your leopard out for a few hours a week for natural sunlight, you do not have to use the artificial inside. You still need the basking and the CHE inside, but a hour or so outside a few days a week would be ok.
 

Jo84

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Thank you! Today wasn’t too hot so I brought her out in a very very temporary enclosure. She seems very happy. We will be building her a big outdoor enclosure over the next few weeks since the summer heat is starting to wane. Here is her temp out door spot. And then what we are building. I hope I can get a little more guidance on the UVB set up for when I cant get her out. It seems that UVB charges her and gives her more energy and she eats better when she gets it.
 

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