Should you use a humidifier for tortoise? Humidifier for reptiles!

Do turtles/tortoises really need a humidifier?

As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to keep your pets in a healthy condition. That includes providing a comfy habitat for them to live, grow, and reproduce effectively.

One of the essential components that your reptile needs for hydration, shedding, and proper behavior is a humidifier.

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If you require a humidifier and do not want to read the entire article, below are the recommended items from the article.  (Low, Medium and High Price)

Which Is the best Humidifier for A Tortoise

When dealing with A Tortoise, the best humidifier is the MistKing 22251 Starter Misting System V4.0 - PetOverstock

However, this will depend on several things, like if you want it to do several tasks – like Dorm Room, or Cold and Flu symptoms.

There will also be costs for the humidifier - like Mist Type, Water Tank Capacity, Coverage Area and Noise Level. So as you can see, there is a lot in picking the right humidifier!

If you have ever owned a pet turtle, then you are fully aware of the importance of humidity. If not, there is a good chance that your tortoise will be shedding or will develop an infection because they were in an environment where it was too dry. Because of this, it is important to know how to keep your tortoise’s living conditions humidified enough for them to thrive and maintain good health.

There are several ways that you can achieve this, and one of the easiest ways is to use a humidifier. Here are some benefits of using one:

Things to remember when you have a turtle/tortoise

The most important thing to remember when using a humidifier is that it should only be used on the floor of your tortoise’s habitat. Never use a humidifier inside of their tank or it might drown them. Also, if you are going to use this method, it is best to keep the lid off of their habitat so that the air circulates properly.

Humidifiers are great for keeping your pet’s environment humidified, but there are some other things that you can do to keep them in as good of health as possible to ensure that they live a long happy life. Here are some tips:

Why is humidity important for tortoises?

Forest tortoises usually come from areas of high humidity and do best in captivity at adequate levels of humidity- at least in some places. Some species, such as Yellow-foot and some Hinge-back Tortoises, prefer extremely high humidity- 95% or more. Others do perfectly well at 80% or up, but can often endure lower levels presuming there is some place they can lurk hat is more humid.

All animals lose moisture all the time- breathing, salivating, sweating (for mammals), urinating, excreting, etc. Animals have to take in water by drinking, getting it in their food, breathing it in, soaking in it, or whichever method they find suitable. Every species has its own plan and method.

Forest tortoises live with the expectation they can get plenty of moisture by just breathing, eating juicy foods, and finding water with ease, so they do not manage their water stores as efficiently as grass or arid land species do.

There is often a link made between humidity and the shell condition called pyramiding, but it appears that the leading issue might be one of proper bone density and development- although adequate levels of humidity certainly help with this and other health issues. Low humidity can also lead to dehydration and all that follows.

What to look for in a humidifier for tortoises

Tortoises are cold-blooded animals, so they cannot manage their own body temperatures and depend on the ambient temperature in their environment. Because of this heating your reptile cage is one of your primary concerns. Besides maintaining the proper temperature in your reptile tank, you also need to think about humidity, and that’s where a humidifier appears.

Tank Capacity

A humidifier contains a water tank that holds water that’s dispersed as moisture into the air. As moisture is discharged, the tank’s water depletes. Thus, a humidifier with a larger tank capacity would require less re-filling. The running time of a humidifier also depends upon this. Along these lines, picking a humidifier that accompanies a larger tank limit is usually a smarter decision to make.

However, sometimes, the quality of its pump caps its shortage of a tank being included in the set.

Extension Hose

The extension hose carries water from the tank to the mister.

A longer hose is highly upgradable and provides you the flexibility for adjustments depending on where everything is placed.

Automatic Shutoff

Apart from knowing when you must refill the device, it is crucial for the longevity of the appliance and pet’s safety to select a device that comes with an automatic shutdown mechanism.

An automatic shutoff feature will make the unit shut down automatically when the tank is running out of water.

A humidifier running when empty could bring the unit to a point with irreparable damage.

This is an additional advantage if you are often away or if switching off the humidifier is not customary to you.


Humidifiers that offer different settings including adjustable nozzles or humidity output control can offer you bigger flexibility to place and set up a humidifier.

Every tortoise has its own preferences for the quantity of moisture in the air.

Hence, buying a humidifier that comes with longer extension hoses and change possibilities is always a superior option.

Ease of refilling

Refilling your humidifier's water tank is inevitable. Therefore, it is always smarter to go with the choice that requires less effort.

There are different refilling options for humidifiers. Certain humidifiers come with detachable water tanks that can be carried to any sink or tub with no trouble.

Others are refilled from the bottom without the need to remove any parts.

This can be trickier to perform. Your humidifier needs to be flipped downside up, hence it's difficult to flip and refill a big humidifier.

Other units can simply be refilled from the top by removing the top cap and adding water to it (i.e. top-fill humidifiers).

What is the recommended run-time for tortoises?

As mentioned before, many tortoise species tolerate and enjoy very high humidity.

In addition, many long-term breeders think that high humidity in a tortoise's burrow can minimize the risk of pyramiding.

Depending on the size and type of the tortoise, run the humidifier for as long as it is needed to maintain the humidity at a pleasant level - even up to 24 hours. Using a timer to run it every couple of hours will be sufficient.

What is the recommended output for the humidifier?

The recommended output range depends on multiple factors, including the size of both your pet and the enclosure.

Check the size of your tortoise enclosure to ensure it is within the maximum output range required. Their habitat must provide them sufficient space to move around and escape-proof.

How often do you need to clean the humidifier?

A deep clean every 3-7 days is recommended. However, this all depends on the usage and your pet’s habits.

See the manufacturer specifications and follow them to guarantee proper cleaning of the appliance.

How to choose the best humidifier for your pet turtle/ tortoise

Tortoises are land-dwelling reptiles that live in the wild. As they spend a large portion of their time outside, they require humidifying when this is done. Use of the right humidifier can help with problems such as skin and respiratory issues, while some models can be even be used as a habitat for these cold-blooded creatures. With this in mind, let's take a look at what you need to know about finding the best humidity level for your pets.

1) The setting for humidity

Tortoises live in a hot, dry environment, but they need to be kept in a humid atmosphere. This means you need to set the thermostat higher than your ambient room temperature. You can usually find this in the owner's manual for these devices or online, but it can range from 25% to 50%. If you don't know where to start, it's best that you begin with 30%.

2) How many tortoises?

You do not need to humidify an area that is too large for the number of tortoises that are going to inhabit it at one time. You can increase the humidity slowly when tortoises get used to it.

3) Use of the humidifier in winter

You should take care of your tortoises when it's cold outside. When their skin is exposed to cold temperatures, they can develop respiratory issues such as runny noses and thick mucus.

Use a humidifier when temperatures drop below 70 °F (21 °C). Find one that has a temperature control feature too so you can use a lower setting in colder weather and then increase it when it warms up again.

4) Levels of humidity

You can set your humidifier in different levels of humidity. For example, you can set it to 70% or 80%. The lower the level, the less moisture. But when you set the humidity to 100%, you could potentially over-humidify your tortoise causing issues such as pneumonia and mold.

You should test it out before and after a few days to make sure it's not too much for your pet. It's best that you have it at 35% to 50% for indoor use. For outdoor use, keep it around 70% or 80%.

5) Cleaning

You should clean the humidifier on a monthly basis. The same goes for the dish that's used to collect the water. You can simply remove the tank and put it in warm, soapy water for a few minutes. Then rinse it and allow it to dry completely.

Follow up with a small amount of aquarium or kitty litter to keep away any leftover debris. This will keep it clean and ready for new tortoises or other pets who are interested in it (or you!).

6) Filters

The filter should be cleaned once every two weeks, and you can do so by removing it and soaking it in white vinegar for a few hours. Then rinse it off while running warm water through the unit to clean it thoroughly.

7) Cost

Humidifiers can vary in price depending on the features each offers. The cheapest models cost around $30, while the most expensive may run upwards of $200. However, you should also determine whether or not you'll need a new filter for your humidifier every few months.

8) Repairs

As with any mechanical device, there are occasional malfunctions. It's important that you take care of these problems as soon as they arise so you don't have a prolonged problem that may drain your finances. If you discover a malfunction with your humidifier, you can contact the manufacturer so they can send someone out to repair it. If this is not possible, consider replacing it.

9) At home care

You need to ensure that your tortoise is getting the correct amount of sunlight during the day. Use a light box or similar means of providing bright lighting without heat or ultraviolet light rays for lighting at night from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

10) Foraging

Your pet tortoise might not like being in a humidifier, and won't use it if you don't provide it with food sources. You can give them banana peels, kale, dandelions or even mist sprayed carrots that have been soaked in water.

These foods are low in sodium and high in fibre and should be placed near the humidifier to encourage your tortoise to use it. You can also give them cuttlebone which is made of calcium and phosphates. As long as the same moisture is provided day after day, all of these foods are acceptable forms of food for tortoises.

Final Remarks

Taking care of your tortoise may pose as exhausting considering the special requirements they need to exist. However, they can make a great pet and can live long and healthy with adequate care.

Proper temperature and humidity are vital for your reptile’s survival, so don’t be skimpy. You want to choose a model that is the size for your tank and that will persevere for at least several years. You don’t want to waste your money on a unit that will deteriorate in just a couple of months.


Please Note: Just because a humidifier is marked, for example “Baby Room”, it will still work for other things, for example “Living Room” or “Plant Humidifier”

Items To Buy

Again, the humidifiers below are probably the ones that you will need to buy!

The prices of these are low, medium and high. This will give you the best range. The lower prices will not have all the bells-and-whistles, and the higher price one's will.

  • Reptile Tank Accessories - Ensure your scaly friends are cooled and refreshed during the day thanks to Evergreen Pet Supplies Reptile Humidifier. The fogger is compatible with a variety of enclosures including vivariums, tanks, cages, terrariums, aquariums, and more!
  • Great for Any Reptilian - The large humidifier is suitable for any type of reptiles, amphibians, and herps, whether it's your water or bearded dragon, gecko, snake, turtle, tortoise, iguana, lizard, chameleon, frog, toad or hermit crab
  • Adjustable Cool Fog Output - Our compact, ultrasonic, cool humidifier for reptiles features an adjustable fog output control (up to 300 ml per hour), so you can ensure that your pet is completely comfortable
  • Large Tank with Dry-Run Protection - The tank humidifier holds up to 2 liters of water and features a no-spill valve for easy filling. Dry-run protection shuts off the device when the tank is empty. The adjustable hose ranges from 1.5-5 feet
  • Easy to Assemble - Includes a complete set of instructions and tips to help you install and prep the humidifier. Note: Please use only distilled water when filling the cool mist humidifier. Best used with a hygrothermal or timer to provide a rest period for the terrarium humidifier
  • Flexible spray nozzles can be pointed in any direction
  • Easy to install tubing fits through the closeable wire/tube inlets (featured on all Exo Terra Terrariums)
  • Misting stimulates breeding behavior and is necessary for live tropical plants
  • Reservoir is .4 gallons and is easy to refill
  • 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗥𝗧𝗘𝗥 𝗠𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗦𝗬𝗦𝗧𝗘𝗠, 𝗩𝟰.𝟬 – Designed to let you unleash your creativity, the Starter Misting Kit is perfect for reptile owners that have lots of experience keeping. This 4th generation misting system features everything needed to begin customizing on a small scale or for simple installation as-is. It can easily run 1 nozzle or can be upgraded to as many as 10; if you’re planning to run more than 10, be sure to upgrade to the Ultimate or Advanced
  • 𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘𝗥 & 𝗖𝗢𝗠𝗣𝗢𝗡𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗦 – This system is based on a robust pump with a specially designed timer . The reservoir bulkhead ensures you can tighten the bulkhead without causing stripping and includes the O-ring for a secure seal.
  • 𝗕𝗨𝗜𝗟𝗧 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗠𝗨𝗟𝗧𝗜𝗣𝗟𝗘 𝗔𝗣𝗣𝗟𝗜𝗖𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡𝗦 – Our misting systems have been applied in a multitude of applications; perfect for arboreal geckos, chameleons, and amphibians as they both increase humidity and provide drinking water for your pet. Major zoos, botanical gardens, educational institutions, corporations and individual hobbyists all recognize our dedication to quality and customer service and are using these systems throughout the world
  • 𝗞𝗜𝗧 𝗜𝗡𝗖𝗟𝗨𝗗𝗘𝗦 – This Starter Misting System v4.0 includes a 24-volt pump, the pump power adapter, 1 Value L misting assembly, a reservoir bulkhead, 15 feet of 1/4” tubing, timer, reservoir bulkhead, 5 tubing clips, and a manual
  • 𝗝𝗨𝗡𝗚𝗟𝗘 𝗛𝗢𝗕𝗕𝗜𝗘𝗦’ 𝗠𝗜𝗦𝗧𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚 – Founded in 2005, Jungle Hobbies Limited is best known for their misting systems that are used by hobbyists, zoos, greenhouses, and botanical gardens worldwide. These systems are designed to stimulate the frequent natural. The MistKing systems are renowned for their ultra-quiet pumps, incredibly fine mist, and long-life performance.

Other Questions

Do tortoises need humidity?

Yes, they very much do, and this is because Tortoises are docile terrestrial animals. To keep a tortoise as a pet, create the perfect temperature and humidity for them. Tortoises as pets, are to keep in tanks or tables, of which you have to make the ideal tabletop environment for them.

The room temperature where the tortoise will be kept should be maintained at 24 degrees Celsius at every point in time. If the temperature drops below 24 degrees, the tortoise may have trouble eating and digesting food.

The tortoise has an internal clock that changes per the ambient temperature, such that when their environment is cold for a long time, they prepare for hibernation by lowering their food intake. However, if the ambient temperature fluctuates wildly, the tortoise will be forced to stay active to cool off but won’t have any appetite.

Can a tortoise get too hot?

A lot of tortoise species can take and enjoy very high humidity of about 70% to 100%.

Forest tortoises especially, come from high humidity areas and so they perform their best at high humidity. Some other species make do with 50 to 70% of moisture. Hence, tortoises are not creatures to get too hot, as they live and enjoy high humidity.

Do tortoises Recognize their owners?

Note that Reptiles recognize and show affection to their owners differently from mammals.

Both turtles and tortoises acknowledge their owners or caretakers, but it might take a while. Tortoises are very smart reptiles and so to identify their owners, they have to learn the sounds, scents, behaviours. The recognition might take a while, but they warm up to people quickly.



If you require more information, please check these references

Practical Tortoise Raising , article, "", retrieved on, Sun 18-October-2020

Range and Habitats of the Desert Tortoise , article, "", retrieved on, Sun 18-October-2020

Tortoise , article, "", retrieved on, Sun 18-October-2020

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