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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11066
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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This isn't a health related question but I am converting a

Customer Question

This isn't a health related question but I am converting a small room into a tortoise space and I wanted to make sure that there is adequate heat so I am looking for heat mats; however all of the reptile heat mats I have found are too small and it would require a great amount to cover the whole space. Whereas regular underfloor heating mats can be purchased at bigger sizes. What a normal heating mat be bad for a tortoise?
Thank you for any help you can offer.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Reptile
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Over the top of the heating mat would be a linoleum floor
Expert:  Anna replied 7 months ago.

Hello and welcome Sam. My name is ***** ***** I'm a biologist with a special interest in reptiles. You are wise to be researching before constructing your room. Heating mats are not usually recommended for tortoises. They work well for geckos and some other nocturnal lizards. Tortoises have adapted to keeping warm by basking in sunlight - heat from above. They don't have good heat sensors on their undersides, and can be burned by such heat sources. Even when adequate safety precautions are taken, behavior problems develop when heat is provided from below, probably due to stress. Another problem with heat from below is that tortoises need to burrow. Linoleum is not a good substrate for them for that reason. I'm going to give you a link to a very reputable tortoise website that explains the pros and cons of various heating methods.

There are several options there that may work for you.

What substrate to use is also a complex question. Most of those sold in pets stores are not suitable. Here's where you can read more on that:

If you have more questions, let me know. I wish you success with your room.


My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service only after you have all the information you need. Thank you!

Expert:  Anna replied 7 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about Padfoot. How is everything going?
Expert:  Anna replied 6 months ago.

Hi again, Sam,

Do you need any additional information?