Basic Husbandry for Tortoises

Basic Husbandry for Tortoises


Species Variation but 25-35C temperature RANGE. Allow the animal to select from a thermal range


Feed selection from :
Lettuce         Spinach            Green leaves
Coriander    Parsley              Hibiscus Flowers     

NOTE: The diet should be varied; DO NOT just feed on 1 of the above.  Grass hay and fresh grass can also be offered for eating.

A small pinch of vitamin and mineral supplement such as Avimix Or Nutrobal should be sprinkled onto food twice weekly especially if indoor

Outdoor Environment

Summer – Place outside in the early morning or late afternoon. If out all year MUST HAVE ACCESS TO SAND IN SHADE (for digging into)

Winter – Can be outside all day unless raining or temperature below 20C (normally at night) 

Bath– use warm water; ensure it is not too deep. For 5-10 mins per day


Open top pen

with artificial grass bedding (Astroturf). Bedding to be changed and washed each day. Shredded paper creates a good “hide”


to monitor enclosure temperature at ground level

Arcadia / Reptisun 5.0 UVB Fluorescent Light Or JBL Reptile Mercury Halide bulb

Tortoises need 12 hrs exposure per day (minus time spent in daylight outside). Fluorescent bulb MUST be replaced every 6 months as UVB emission will have dropped (this drop in output is NOT visible to our eyes). Mercury Halide sun bulbs have a longer lifespan (2 yrs)
The fluorescent bulb needs to be no more than 15cm from ground level, JBL Mercury halide bulb provides heat and UV. Distance is up to 36cm and distance determined by temperature (see below) .

Heat source

Bulb hungover 1 corner of the enclosure to create a “hot spot” of 32 C, ensure tortoises cannot get stuck in this area, or they could overheat.