Viv help

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Sio08

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Hello everybody,

I know you all hate vivs but I have to hermann tortoises just a year old now which live in a viv, and in trying to get some new air vents for better circulation but can't seem to find any the right size, anybody on here know of anyone? I have tried pet shops caravan shops eBay etc but can't find the right size. What I'm looking for is below but I need them to fit a 80mm viv. We have only had them for 9 months so still working everything out. We have a heat temperature of 86 which is regulated through a thermostat, we want to eventually put them in a table top but they seem to like exploring and climbing everywhere at the moment. Plus we got told that at such a young age they can't regulate their body temperature very well hence the reason they are in a viv. Many thanks in advance.

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.co.uk/viewitem?itemId=220943637683


Simon
 

Yvonne G

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We're really not against vivs here on the Forum. In fact for hatchlings, a viv is the way to go.

Sorry, I can't help you with the air vents. I just cover my baby habitats with aluminum foil and when I feed them or change the water, I remove the foil and I figure that is enough air exchange for the day.
 

Team Gomberg

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I use a covered aquarium to act like a viv for my Leopard hatchlings. I don't have any air vents.
Personally, I don't think you need to add any.

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Sio08

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Well they are just over a year old and the vivarium already has air vents when we got it, but we seem to struggle to keep the cool end cooler than the warm end? The thermostat is set to 86 but doesn't seem to be much cooler at the "cool end" any tips?
 

Tom

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I just use a basking lamp at one end and let the other end be whatever it is. I adjust the height of the basking lamp to get a hot spot directly under the bulb of 95-100. No night heat for this species.

The whole viv should not be set to 86. Not sure how you are heating it.
 

Sio08

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We have a fluorescent tube which runs from one end to the other and at one end we have a heat lamp, we have a thermostat with the sensor in the middle of the viv set to 86...
 

Tom

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What is set on the thermostat? The basking lamp? The florescent tube?


In any case, I would re-do this. You don't need a thermostat. You need to check the temp under your basking lamp and adjust the height of the fixture to get it around 100. He needs a basking lamp all day. Maintaining an over all temp of 86 with no hot spot after the temp reaches 86 is not the way to go. Your florescent bulb and basking lamp should be on a timer for around 12 hours.

Thermostats are more for tropical species that need warm temps all over the enclosure 24/7 and usually people run a separate heating element with the thermostat, because the tortoise needs its basking lamp and "sun" even when the overall ambient warms up.
 

Sio08

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It is set to the basking light, we got a thermostat because we couldn't keep a constant temperature it was fluctuating too much, how do you measure the temperature of the basking light? We cannot move the basking light as its a fixed fixture at one end of the viv. Since living in the uk and the tortoises being at my girlfriend house they have the heating on full blast all the time, and then this makes the viv too hot, then when they aren't at home they obviously don't have the heating on therefore the temp is too cold. We have a stick on thermostat on at the cool end.


The fluorescent tube is on a timer which comes on for 12 hours from 7 in the morning but we have also noticed they seem to like to sleep dig under the wood chip and are awake and tearing around even before the light comes on, the basking light isn't on constantly it's only on when the viv needs to get up to temperature.
 

Tom

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You need a thermometer with a remote probe or an infrared temp gun to check your basking temperature. If the bulb can't be moved you'll need to experiment with different wattages to get the correct temperature.

Understand that having the probe in the middle of the viv and heating the whole thing up to that temp isn't desirable. Once you have the basking temp set with the right size bulb, that will be all you need. If your whole enclosure is overheating from the basking bulb, then you have too big of a bulb in too small of an enclosure.

On a related note: What are you doing for UV?
 

Team Gomberg

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Tom has explained it all well.

I second his advice to use a lower wattage bulb. Place a probe thermometer under the bulb (on the substrate at tort level) so you know the basking temp and you should notice more of a temperature gradient.
I'd also have the basking bulb on the 12hr on/off timer and not use the thermostat. Having the thermostat on the middle is why you don't have a cool end. Adding extra vents wouldn't help you.

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Sio08

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We have a tortoise book which it says you need a temperature of 86 and then the heat lamp and it shouldn't go over this as it will be too hot on the tortoises shell? We have the uv light on 12 hours a day and the heat lamp only comes on when it drops below this temperature from the sensor which is located in the middle of the viv. We wanted better air vents at the cooler side to try and get some better ventilation and to make the cool end cooler.
 
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