Tip: Watch my hatchling enclosure setup video on the videos page!
For Hatchlings I would recommend a "close chamber" type enclosure such as an aquarium and storage tote. Enclosures such as these do a better job at maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels as opposed to open tortoise tables where that can be next to impossible. Enclosures need to be large enough to support the temperature variants required below. Aquariums need to be a minimum of 40 gal to achieve this.
Temperatures will fluctuate through the enclosure. I HIGHLY recommend purchasing a temperature gun so you can spot check temperatures throughout your enclosure. Below is a list of what temps in your enclosure should be around.
Basking Spot: 95-100 degrees
Warm Side of Enclosure: 85-95 degrees
Cool Side of Enclosure: 80-85 degrees
Hide: 90 degrees
**Heating Tip: Temps can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the elevation of the heat lamp or by changing the bulb wattage.**
Tortoises still need heat at night but should be in total darkness. Use a CHE (Ceramic Heat Emitter) for heat without light at night.
Humidity is key to raising a healthy, smooth tortoise. The higher you can get the humidity the better. Try and shoot for 60-80%.
Soaking your tortoise is extremely important. This should be done as often as possible, daily for 20-30 minutes in warm water is ideal.
Tortoises are reptiles so they absorb moisture through their skin to hydrate. Soakings allow them to get the hydration they desperately need.
This is the part that confuses most people, don't over think it. Tortoises need UVB to simulate sun light. I strongly recommend a Mercury Vapor UVB Basking Bulb. This will act as both your heat lamp and UVB lamp during the day. Avoid coil bulbs as they have been known to be harmful to tortoises eyes. If your tortoise lives outdoors no UVB is necessary but I do not recommend a tortoise under 6" living outside full time.
Sulcatas are grazing tortoises so grasses and weeds should be the bulk of your tortoises diet. Cactus Pads, Spring Mix Lettuce (without spinach), Mazuri tortoise diet, Hay, Mulberry, and Hibiscus leaves are excellent options as well. Be sure to sprinkle calcium powder with Vitamin D3 on their food twice weekly.
Recommended Material List:
There is more than one way to properly care for a tortoise. These are just some basic materials I recommend. Materials will vary depending on what type of set-up you choose to go with.
-UVB Basking Bulb (Mercury Vapor Bulb, not the coil type bulbs)
-CHE (Ceramic Heat Emitter)
-Heat lamp dual dome fixture
-Heat lamp stand
-Shallow food and water dish
-Substrate (Coconut Coir and/or ReptiBark)
-Log Hide or other humid hide
-Thermometer and Hygrometer (Temp Guns are HIGHLY recommended)
-Pressure Spray Bottle for misting
**Wattage on bulbs will depend on your enclosure type and size**