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Old 19-10-2018, 09:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
Glad my guess on breed was accurate at least!

Right, so here is the plan...tomorrow, when it's colder, I'm going to carefully move him, without waking him if possible, to a different container. I have a large, solid, cardboard box with straw in it - though I could fill with topsoil, or I could get a something different???

I can move the box outside, to a cupboard near the house, insulate and hope for the best. Or I can put him in an unheated room for the time-being. Or, I can order a mini fridge for him and set at 5 degrees.

Are all options acceptable? Would one be preferable?

Gonna miss the fella for the next 5 or so months

If you are going to use a fridge then it needs to be monitored to make sure the temps do not drop below 5c. And it does not have a freezer compartment. As fridges do vary a lot.

If the box be moved outside it needs to be well and truly insulated against low temps. Using a themometer inside does help. And soil is better than straw or hay, as he can bury down into it.

I used to box my tortoises up, and keep them in the garage, which was attached to the house, and had a small area at the back which I could monitor the temps regularly.

Wherever you choose it has to maintain a temp of 5c. If it went up two degrees for one day, its not a problem. But a constant temp of 5c is the way to go.
< > 60+, keeping ibera, graeca and box turtles
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Old 20-10-2018, 07:58 AM   #12
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I use a round plastic Keter tub (was 20 in a sale but are 45 full price) with soil in it in the greenhouse (but would do in a garage or shed) sitting on top of a piece of 50mm thick Celotex insulation board and insulated with a tank jacket and cheap duvets and more insulation board so that the temperatures are fairly stable inside, it insulates it against getting warmer as well as colder. The tub has a panel removed for a doorway but is covered apart from a small bit for air. Once it gets warmer again some of it can be removed to allow temperatures to gradually rise.
I have a wireless thermometer sensor (about 30) inside the tub to monitor the temperature which I can do from the house. In case that fails I have a 2 thermometer, the type with a wire probe attached and with the wire hanging inside the tub which I'd have to go out and read until I got a new wireless one. Neither of these are under the soil so I know it will be more stable under the soil.
I check the temperatures on the weather forecast every day for a few days ahead.
You'd not want it where rats could get to it.
People use the fridge method and I've seen them say they fill bottles of water and put them in the fridge as it helps keep the temperatures more stable than if it was empty. You'd probably have to open the door once a day to allow air in. The smaller the fridge the harder it is to keep temps stable. I know that my torts move around in the soil during hibernation, as much as a couple of feet so for that reason I personally won't use the fridge method but many people do.
There are people who keep their Horsfields going all winter with the heat lamps etc but I think they still slow down and are looking to hibernate

Last edited by Alan1; 20-10-2018 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 20-10-2018, 10:37 AM   #13
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Horacio appeared for the first time in over a week today. I have given him a good long 'soak' and am trying to put a hibernation plan into action.

I think one of the difficulties about keeping a tortoise is that everyone does something slightly different - you become like a neurotic parent trying to do the best for your tortoise but you never quite know exactly what is best.

So glad he appeared though, before he goes down for the winter.

Thank you for all your advice.
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