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Red Foot Tortoise Tank Set-Up


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#1 PGAProTortoise

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 08:51 PM

I am new to the Tortoise world and want to do it right. I just purchased a new 2x2x6ft Galvanized stock tank and now need to know what to put in it to make it perfect for the little guy. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for the help.

#2 RobBierman

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 09:49 PM

For a start, cypress mulch would be a great substrate to use. Try to keep the enclosure humid. And you need a UVB bulb and possibly a heat lamp (depending on the temperature already) I would have a water dish as well as a hiding spot. :)

Edited by RobBierman, 28 May 2006 - 09:49 PM.


#3 Wiggles

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 07:36 AM

Congrats on your new Redfoot! I have a couple questions for you:

1. About how old is your new guy? If he is a hatchling, you may want to use just sphagnum moss in the beginning. I put the Cypress mulch in my in the beginning and my redfoot hatchlings started eating it.

2. Is this going to be outside or inside? If he is going to be outside, there is no need for a UVB light. If inside then it's your choice on the UVB. I have decided not to use UVB for my hatchlings since they never are out. They stay in their hide 99.9% of the time.

Also, you will need to put a hide in there and keep it moist at all times. You will find that the humidity will stay pretty high if the substrate is kept wet.

As far as playthings or other decrorative things, keep in mind that they like to climb and can easily tipover. I chose not to put anything in my enclosure that they can climb up on.

#4 PGAProTortoise

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 08:39 AM

Thanks everyone for the advice. I haven't actually gotten the little guy yet. I'm wanting to do all my homework and have everything a go whenever he arrives. Not wanting to rush into anything. Is the size of the tank alright? Also, Heated Rock as a basking area a bad idea? Thanks again everyone.

#5 Wiggles

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 10:44 AM

It's good to plan and have everything ready when he gets there. IMO, heat rocks are not good for Tortoises. The reason they dig in is to cool off and regulate their body temps more from the bottom than the top. Also, like I said before, most redfoots do not bask out in the open when they are young. They like to be in their hide. I have a heat emitter over one side of the hide and that's where they stay.

Edited by Wiggles, 29 May 2006 - 10:45 AM.


#6 PGAProTortoise

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 02:19 PM

What kind of thermometer do you all use to maintain heat in the tank? Thanks again.

#7 Wiggles

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 07:30 PM

Thermometer is a digital. My table is in a separate room built just for the tortoises and is kept at an average temp of 78. The hide is kept between 80-88 degrees with a heat emitter over one end.

#8 PGAProTortoise

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 07:55 PM

Alright I think I'm finally starting to get this. So do you use an automatic mister to maintain humidity? Thanks again for the help.

#9 Wiggles

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 11:08 PM

I don't use one. In my setup and room, just keeping the substrate wet keeps the humidity up around 85% to 90% depending on the day. Remember to put the meter down by the substrate, not up on the wall. Redfoots tend to stay on the ground :D

#10 kjtortoise

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 04:47 AM

I use a 1-2 gallon bug sprayer to mist with. You can get them at wal-mart for about $8. I also use a digital "raytek" temperature gun to monitor temps, along with thermometers hanging in the room to. My tortoise room is kept at 82-85 degrees ambient temp. During the summer it gets a little hotter. Redfoots like it hot and humid. They thrive on humidity. I use a humid box with reds to and they love it. Cypress mulch is the best substrate to use on a redfoot. Remember that opinions on substrates is a hot topic on talk forums and will vary a great deal. :rolleyes:

#11 Wiggles

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 07:43 AM

kjtortoise is right about the substrate choice, there are a few different ones you can use. The reason I suggested just using the moss at first is because if they are small(1 month or so old), the cypress mulch has some pretty hard and sharp pieces in it that may hurt them. I'm not saying for sure but I'd rather take precaution against them getting an eye poked or something. Once they are older, the cypress mulch along with moss is a great substrate for humidity.

#12 MamaTortuga

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:25 AM

I would also be wary of cypress IF you have a hatchling. I ended up just using reptile carpet for Tozi because the mulch seemed to irritate her eyes and she was always ingesting it. Because the carpet doesn't really hold water I added a fogger to keep the box humid. Also the winters in Minnesota are really dry so I had to have an extra humidity source.
Be conciouse of your area and it's humidity and temps and just adjust from there. Good luck, you are going to LOVE your redfoot, they are great pets!

#13 PGAProTortoise

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 07:00 PM

What do you all use as your hides? Also, What heat emitter wattage would be good for the tank that I'm using, it's 2x2x6Ft. Thanks again for all your advice.

Edited by PGAProTortoise, 30 May 2006 - 07:43 PM.


#14 Wiggles

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 08:29 PM

To get things straight, the heat emitter is only good for over their hide or basking spot. It will not heat the whole enclosure as big as yours. Now that we have that clear, depending on how far away you have it from the substrate is how you determine the wattage. This is how I have mine set up:

The hide is just a wood box that I made. 24" L x 10" W x 7" H
I put a 100W emitter above the box at the far end of the box and it is about 3" above the top of the box. I drilled a 2" hole in the top of the box where the emitter is so the heat can get into the box. This creates a hot spot in the hide about 85-88 degrees on that side and on the other side it stays about 78-80 degrees. This provides them with a choice of temps.

#15 Turtletary

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 09:43 PM

See it here.. http://www.herpdeals...itter/color.htm

Modify as needed ;)

Terry

Edited by Turtletary, 30 May 2006 - 09:45 PM.


#16 PGAProTortoise

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 04:00 AM

Where did you purchase your emitter? Your set up looks similar to what mine is, but on a smaller scale. Thanks again for all your help and advice.

#17 kjtortoise

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 05:26 AM

PGA, since Tary has not seen your post yet, I will tell you that you can get those ceramic emitters at home depot. :)

#18 Wiggles

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 06:06 AM

Actually, Terry has a better memory than I do. That is my set-up I had made for Einstein, my first redfoot hatchling and I had put that webpage up to show how to make a setup with heat and humidity.

As for the heat emitter, you can get that at pet stores or online. Make sure you get a ceramic lamp holder though and not a plastic one. Plastic will not be able to withstand the heat and will melt.

#19 PGAProTortoise

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 07:31 AM

So will the lights that are put in the cage keep the heat up on the other side of the cage that does not have the emitter? Thanks again.

#20 Wiggles

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 08:10 AM

Depending on where you are putting the tank. If it's outside and it gets cold at night, I would probably say no. If it's inside, where the temp doesn't get below 70 degrees, then it will keep it warmer but not in the 80's




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