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Next, examine him to see if he will need a vet appointment. If he refuses to wake up, if his eyes are swollen, if bubbles come from his nose or mouth, or there is fungus growing in his shell or skin, he needs to be seen by your vet for proper treatment. If all seems well, you can prepare a home for him to live in for the rest of the winter.
Glass aquariums ir terrariums are not the best places to keep a tortoise, but can work if that’s all you have. You can use a plastic tote (such as those made by RubberMaid), a small size child’s plastic wading pool (for a small tortoise that can’t climb out), or a box.
Proper temperatures are important and this is where you will need a basking light. The gradient in the enclosure should be 21*C to 29*C, with the basking area warmer yet, at 35*C. Night temperatures can go down to 21*C to 23*C, so you probably don’t need to leave the heat on at night. Tortoises need the night time drop to stay healthy. If temperatures are a little too chilly in the daytime, lethargy and appetite loss will occur.
Your tortoise also needs UVB rays. Many of the so-called daytime lights for reptiles are called full- spectrum, but they do not produce any UVB rays at all. If the light doesn’t specifically state UVB (not UV or UVA, but UVB), it doesn’t produce UVB rays. Without UVB tortoises develop Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). It causes a very slow and painful death, often over a period of months to years. I recommend a light called the Reptisun 10.0 for UVB rays. UVB bulbs are ineffective after 6 months, even though they may look fine, and must be replaced twice a year for indoor tortoises. Calcium is also needed to prevent MBD. The best way to provide it is to give your tortoise a cuttlebone, which can be found in the bird section of pet stores.
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