Heat light broke

Post your pictures and any questions here of European tortoises e.g. Ibera Spur Thigh, Ibera Graeca, Marginated, Hermanns, Kleinmanni and we include the Horsfield tortoise. Also, do add pictures of Mediterranean tortoises you have seen in the wild.
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Amber10
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Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Heat light broke

Post by Amber10 » 21 Mar 2021, 09:53

Hi we got our tortoise yesterday and our heat lamp broke this morning will he start to highbanate straight away. We are going to replace it as soon as we can. Thanks

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Nina
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Re: Heat light broke

Post by Nina » 21 Mar 2021, 10:40

Hi Amber,
What a shame -- and I hope you can return that lamp. No, he won't start to hibernate right away, and he might just slow down a bit and sleep a bit more, but it would be good if you could get him as warm, or he won't be able to digest his food properly. Do you have any other kind of bulb you could put in there -- just an ordinary household spotlight or 60W or 100W bulb will give off heat and light and he will be fine? The low energy bulbs that we all use now don't produce any heat, but if you have another bulb of any sort that gives off light and heat then that would be good. And they need as much light as possible, so if he is near a window then that should be good too.

What sort of bulb was yours? If it was a combined heat/light/UVB bulb then they do need to be hung vertically, and not at an angle, as they do tend to blow then. Is the bulb in a ceramic fitting, rather than a plastic one? Many of the combined bulbs come with a guarantee so you can return it and get a replacement. If you are using an ordinary or reptile bulb that blew and have a separate fluorescent tube for UVB then any bulb for heat and light will do.

Let me know how you get on, and I'm so sorry that you've had bad luck at the beginning of having your tortoise.

Nina

Amber10
Posts: 28
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Re: Heat light broke

Post by Amber10 » 21 Mar 2021, 11:41

Hi we got a refund over the phone.
we managed to get another bulb from our local pet shop and he has started to come out again thanks for your advice really helped my 10 year old as she was so worried :D

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Nina
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Re: Heat light broke

Post by Nina » 21 Mar 2021, 11:54

That's great, Amber -- so glad you got it sorted.
If you'd like to post a photo of your tortoise, we'd love to see him/her (lol, we never get tired of lookig at photos of tortoises! Also, if it's a new set-up, do post a photo of that, because sometimes there are little tweaks that can improve things and make it perfect for them.

What species is the tortoise? We'd be happy to send you a link to a good care sheet for that species if you don't already have one.

Nina

Amber10
Posts: 28
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Re: Heat light broke

Post by Amber10 » 21 Mar 2021, 14:41

Hi he is a Hermann's we ordered a book on Hermann's which has been really helpful :)
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Nina
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Re: Heat light broke

Post by Nina » 21 Mar 2021, 14:57

What a handsome Hermann's and gorgeous daughter (who is obviously already in love with her new shelled friend!).
I'm not sure which book you've ordered (some are good and some aren't), but it will probably be fine. As an extra source, here's a link to a good care sheet for Hermann's that you can print out and use.
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf

Would your daughter like a complimentary copy of our Observation Records Booklet? Its a little booklet where she can keep records of your tortoise's growth, change of equipment, vet details, hibernation, etc. If you send me your address (don't post it here) to nina@thetortoisetable.org.uk I'll get one in the post to you a.s.a.p.

Finally just to check. Is your tortoise in a tortoise table or a vivarium (glass and wood enclosed box). The only reason I ask is that many people are sold vivariums by pet shops recently (sometimes out of ignorance and sometimes out of greed), and they are very bad environments for tortoises (good for snakes and lizards, but not torts) -- I can tell you why if you want to know, and if you have been sold a viv we can give you ideas for making it safer or advice onreasons to give when returning it.

Nina

Amber10
Posts: 28
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Re: Heat light broke

Post by Amber10 » 21 Mar 2021, 14:59

Our set up at the moment
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Nina
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Re: Heat light broke

Post by Nina » 21 Mar 2021, 15:26

Absolutely brilliant! You've created a super environment for your tortoise (what's his name by the way)?

You've got a good soil-based substrate, and those rocks and other 'furniture' in the table will provide interest and stimulation, as tortoises get quite bored and lethargic if they can see from one end of the table to the other without interruption. And having a second level is great -- I always recommend one. I feed my tortoises on the upper level (it stops the substrate from getting onto the food and they get loads of exercise running up and down the ramp to see if there are any treats there for them. You've made a really excellent table, so well done (you wouldn't believe what dreadful set-up some people have!).

Is there a water bowl in his table? Tortoises don't often seem to drink from their bowls (lol, or sometimes they wait until you have left the room to have a drink), but it's important to have one there, and also important to bathe him every other day or so, in a container that he can't see out of (like and old washing up bowl). Young tortoises can dehydrate easily, so If you bathe him in warm water (the temperature you would bathe a baby) for about 15 - 20 minutes, he will probably have a drink, but he will also probably have a wee and a poo and so there is less spot cleaning you have to do in the table.

The only small change I would make is the thermometer. Tortoises need a temperature of around 30C directly under the light and at the height of their shell, and 20C at the cool end ofthe table. Unfortunately those thermometers mounted on a nearby wall give an artificially low reading for the high temperature, which will be under the light, and if that temperature is saying 30C then it could well be at least 35C under the light, which could be dangerous. What many people now use is one of those fridge-freezer thermometers, with a digital display unit that can go outside the table and then a probe on the end of a long cord that you can hang down into the table near the circle of light. Something like this https://www.nisbets.co.uk/hygiplas-digi ... meter/f343 (but there are loads available). And most of these thermometers have a Max/Min facility so that you can see how hot or how cold it got since you last set the function. This is useful for seeing how cold it got at night, or on a particularly warm day if it got too hot while you were out. You could test your circular thermometer by recording the temperature it is saying on the wall and then holding it directly under the light for several minutes to see what the temperature is there.

So sorry to go on about temperatures, but they are super important for tortoises, because they are ectothermic animals -- their body temperature is determined by the temperature around them, so if it is too cold their systems slow down, and too hot they can dehydrate, and they need to wander from warm to cool areas constantly to regulate their body temperature.

I can't tell you how good it is to see someone who has put together such a nice table for their tortoise -- and I think he is very lucky to have found a home with you. And do email me at nina@thetortoisetable.org.uk if you'd like an Obs Booklet -- but it just occurred to me that someone called Amber recently ordered all three of our booklets, so if that was you then you've already got the Observation Records Booklet!

Nina

Amber10
Posts: 28
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Re: Heat light broke

Post by Amber10 » 22 Mar 2021, 12:56

Hi we have a water bowl it's not in the pic because we had to return it as it had a crack in.
My partner has ordered the temperature gauge that u suggested thanks for your help and I think it was a different Amber that u may have sent the booklets to.
She's looking forward to getting that in the post thank you.

Amber10
Posts: 28
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Re: Heat light broke

Post by Amber10 » 22 Mar 2021, 13:21

What would you recommend to clean his enclosure some people on here say bleach but I don't think that would be suitable for our pine enclosure.
Should I get a spray made just for tortoises to clean the enclosure or will a disinfectant be ok
Thanks

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Nina
Posts: 1526
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Heat light broke

Post by Nina » 22 Mar 2021, 13:39

Hi Amber and family,

Yes, I guess i was a different Amber. Your booklet went in the post this morning, so you should get it soon.

Regarding the water bowl -- you don't need a fancy one -- just an ordinary plastic plant saucer (the sort of saucers that you put under plant pots) should be fine (that's what I use) -- like this, and big enough so that she could go all the way in if she wants: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whitefurze-G04 ... 0251&psc=1 If it seems a bit deep for her (as she is small), either get a shallower saucer or put some nice flat pebbles in the bottom.

Regarding disinfectant. I think the fumes from bleach would probably not be good for her. You could just use soap and water, or what a lot of people use is a reptile-friendly disinfectant called F10. If you Google F10 disinfectant you can see that it comes in a concentrated form that you mix with water, or a ready to use form. If you are spot cleaning the table regularly (for wee and poo) then you shouldn't have to do a total clean too often. I actually bought some extra for myself last year, for cleaning my kitchen counter tops, as I discovered that F10 also kills the Covid virus (so good for my tortoises and for me).

Is your table lined with something? Most people use plastic pond liner, and spread it along the bottom and staple it up the sides so that it is just a bit higher than the top of the substrate will be. It's easy to clean and you don't have to worry about water soaking into the wood.

Nina

Amber10
Posts: 28
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Re: Heat light broke

Post by Amber10 » 22 Mar 2021, 14:09

Thank you for your advice I'll have a look into F10.
At the moment the top soil is just on the wood when we clean him out I will suggest to my partner to pop a plastic liner in the bottom thanks

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Heat light broke

Post by Nina » 22 Mar 2021, 14:34

The reason people use pond liner is that it is hard wearing -- you wouldn't believe what tortoises can dig through. I once took one of mine in the car to the vet. I put her in a cardboard box, but when I got to the vet's all I had was a cardboard box with a tortoise sized hole in it and no tortoise. Fortunately it was in the car and I found her down the other end of the seat, but that was the last time I used a cardboard box!

I can't remember now, but have you told us what your tortoise's name is?

Nina

Amber10
Posts: 28
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Re: Heat light broke

Post by Amber10 » 22 Mar 2021, 18:42

Hi thanks for the advice we have ordered some F10 seems to be the best one.
His name is Dynamite :D

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Nina
Posts: 1526
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Heat light broke

Post by Nina » 22 Mar 2021, 20:00

That's a super name! :D

Nina

Amber10 wrote:
> Hi thanks for the advice we have ordered some F10 seems to be the best one.
> His name is Dynamite :D

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