Liner and sleeping area!

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beeclaire80
Posts: 78
Joined: 22 Sep 2020, 17:10

Liner and sleeping area!

Post by beeclaire80 » 25 Sep 2020, 08:08

Hi,

Quick question (well two actually!)

Does my table need a liner? It currently doesn’t have one. If so what is best to use?

Second, the “sleeping” area has a little mound of soil which I’ve been popping Floyd onto at night (he falls asleep in the corner but the reptile guy we got him from advised moving him so he is nearer the heat mat).
Does Floyd need anything else as a bed? Should I be making the area more comfortable?

Thanks.

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Nina
Posts: 1460
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Liner and sleeping area!

Post by Nina » 25 Sep 2020, 10:06

Hi Claire,

The sort answer is 'yes' it probably does need a liner. I don't know what your wood has been coated with, but repeated spilling of water from the bowl and wee could soak into the wood and make it harder to clean. Most people use a soft plastic heavy sheeting of some sort, like pool liner (which you can get at garden centres and DIY places I think). And you just lay it in and staple or tack it up the sides to just a bit higher than the substrate will be.

Heat mat rings alarm bells. They shouldn't really be necessary unless the temperature drops below about 13C or 14C at night, but if it is cold then a heat mat can be placed on the roof or higher up on the wall of the sleeping area. It should never be placed on the floor, as tortoises can get horrendous burns from sitting on top of a heat mat, even if it is covered in substrate. A mound of soil is perfect as a bed for him, and it is exactly what he would have in the wild. Mine sometimes fall asleep in corners, or choose different places to sleep at night, so I wouldn't worry about that. Where is his sleeping area in the photos you sent in the other thread? I can't see a particular area there, but it doesn't matter really. If the sleeping area is large then that could be why he doesn't go there. They do like to get all scrunched up in a tiny space to sleep (maybe they find it cozy or protective), so half a flower pot on its side or one of those curved pieces of bark like you already have should be fine (if you put one end of that against a wall, to make a little tunnel with a wall at the end, he might go there.

Nina

beeclaire80
Posts: 78
Joined: 22 Sep 2020, 17:10

Re: Liner and sleeping area!

Post by beeclaire80 » 25 Sep 2020, 12:14

Hi Nina,

Will sort a liner out. Thank you.

Have attached pictures of the dark sleeping area. The heat mat is behind a glass partition and gives out a low heat (the glass isn’t hot to touch if that helps).

The picture with me hand in shows where I have been encouraging him to sleep (the guy at the reptile place said I might need to move him to get him into a suitable place to sleep!).

I think I need to have a look at some more bits for his enclosure so that it’s more interesting.

He tends to just sleep on top of the soil. Should he be covering himself or anything?

Gosh, owning a tort is nerve wracking!

Claire

PS the booklet arrived. Thank you so much!
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Nina
Posts: 1460
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Liner and sleeping area!

Post by Nina » 27 Sep 2020, 10:39

Hi Claire,

So sorry that I somehow missed your latest post.

That heat source sounds safe, so that's fine (it's just that if they sit on top of it then it can be dangerous), but do you know how warm it gets inside that sleeping area at night? Tortoises do like a drop in temperature at night, as that is what they would have in the wild, so unless it gets below about 13C or so I wouldn't worry about having a heat mat on (but if it gets very cold in winter then it could be useful.

I'm not sure what the guy meant by 'a suitable place to sleep' :) . They sort of just sleep where they want to. They do usually choose a dark, enclosed, cozy space (does he ever go inside your curved bark thing?), but sometimes they also just choose to fall asleep in a corner or just where they were basking under the light. You could pick him up and put him in the sleeping area for several nights running and see if he gets the idea. It's amazing how quickly tortoises learn. For example, when I built a ramp up to a second level in my table, the first time I put them in there I tempted them with a bit of food, dangling it in front of them as they went up the ramp. It only took one time, and after that they were constantly running up and down to see if I had left some food up there for them (and I did end up feeding them up there).

Regarding burying, Hermann's don't bury themselves as much as Horsfields do, so if he likes to sleep on top of the soil then I think that is fine.

Nerve wracking? Definitely yes! I think I had more stress worrying about my tortoises than I ever did about my son.

Cheers,
Nina

beeclaire80
Posts: 78
Joined: 22 Sep 2020, 17:10

Re: Liner and sleeping area!

Post by beeclaire80 » 29 Sep 2020, 18:53

Hi Nina,

As ever your help and advice is very useful and welcome!

He does love a good corner to sleep in!!

The temp drops to about 15 ish at night. We’ve a big lounge and the heating currently isn’t on (hubby won’t budge till October!)

We’ve added some more substrate, a plant pot and some slate today and he spent ages exploring and checking the enclosure out! He’s now curled up in the plant pot!

C x
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Nina
Posts: 1460
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Liner and sleeping area!

Post by Nina » 29 Sep 2020, 21:36

Aww, they do love a cozy plant pot! 15C is fine at night, and I'm as stubborn as your hubby and not turned the central heating on yet (but I have cheated and turned on the coal effect gas fire in my lounge, because I've been freezing in the evenings).
That is really good that he's been exploring everything -- sounds like an adventurous little tortoise with a big personality to me!

Nina

beeclaire80
Posts: 78
Joined: 22 Sep 2020, 17:10

Re: Liner and sleeping area!

Post by beeclaire80 » 07 Oct 2020, 13:44

So last night I didn’t move Floyd and left him curled up next to to his plant pot (I actually forgot to move him 😳).

Turned his lamp on at 7.30 this morning and realised (well after I looked in the sleeping part and panicked that he’d escaped 😂) that he was where he was.

By 8am he was awake and mooching about looking for food! When I leave him in the sleeping area he doesn’t usually start to move about till about 9.30am! And even then I have to move him sometimes.

I think I might leave him where he is tonight and see how it goes!

Pictures of him waiting for his bath!
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Nina
Posts: 1460
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Liner and sleeping area!

Post by Nina » 07 Oct 2020, 15:13

Aww, bless - he is so sweet! Regarding his sleeping preferences, I guess he just seems to want to 'couch surf' for a while until he decides on a more permanent sleeping arrangement. :lol:

Nina

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