Hermanns Tortoise Care Sheet
Other names: western Hermann's tortoise, eastern Hermann's tortoise, dalmatian tortoise
20cm - 25cm (8 to 10 inches)
We believe Reptisun bulbs are the best UVB tubes around. Perfect for animals like mediterranean tortoises.
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As a treat, you can ocassionally offer your tortoise their favourite brand of dried food.
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We advise using wooden vivariums rather than glass as they retain heat more efficiently keeping your pet nice and warm. As Hermanns Tortoises are quite slow growers we advise a vivarium of 36" x18" x18" as a youngster and a 48" x24" x24" for adults. This will ensure your Hermanns tortoise has enough room to explore and move around.
Substrate and Decor
Beech woodchip is a good substrate. Sands, such as calci sands can be ingested easily, building up inside the animal potentially causing health problems and distress to your pet.
Hermanns Tortoises are very active and require decor to climb around on. Just make sure its are not to steep as the tortoise will fall. You can use artificial plants to brighten up the vivarium and make it more natural.
During the day a spot bulb is used to raise the temperature to about 90 -95 oF. This should be at the one end of the vivarium to create a hot end and a cooler end. The spot bulb will also provide a day and night cycle. Temperatures should always be checked by a reliable thermometer.
Day light is provided by the spot bulb or used to raise the day temperate. All tortoises require additional UVB lighting. Tortoises require UVB light in order to synthesise vitamin D. Without vitamin D (in particular D3) tortoises are not able to metabolise calcium properly causing problems with bone growth. This can lead to serious disease problems such as metabolic bone disease, which kills many reptiles. Tortoises require a 10% UVB light to remain healthy. The UVB light should be turned on and off with the spot bulbs and placed no further than 30cm (12 inches) from the animals. The UVB tube should be replaced every 6-9 months, as the UVB output is not effective after that time. Ensure you have the correct size starter unit.
Feeding and Water
Good vegetables to feed include dandelion, clover, honeysuckle, leafy salads, watercress, curly kale, brussel tops, spring greens, coriander, parsley, rocket, carrot, parsnip, courgette, peppers and small amounts of non citric fruit. Ones to avoid include cabbage, spinach, onion, tomato, buttercup, citric fruits and iceberg lettuce.
Also make sure you dust the vegetables with Nutrobal before putting them in a food dish.
You NEVER want to keep a water bowl in the enclosure. This will create a lot of humidity and can cause respiratory problems. We take the tortoises out of the enclosure and bath in luke warm water at least twice a week to provide hydration.
Tortoises do not really enjoy being handled. However they do liked to be stroked but you must do it with care.
These tortoises are ok together as long as they are similar in size and you only have one male per enclosure. Make sure if you do have a pair that you have enough room to house them.
Regular spot cleaning of the vivarium should be performed to keep it hygienic for both the animal and the keeper. Change the substrate once a month or as required and clean the vivarium with a reptile disinfectant. These tortoises make fantastic pets!