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Posted: 10/08/2011 by fifigibbo

Click and drag me down to the editorHi, Everyone,

I'm thinking about getting a tortoise, ive read various articles, and they seem to differ greatly.

Could someone tell me what i need for the perfect indoor tortie house, as i wan't to get it right beforehand so he doesn't get stressed.

Thanks in advance x

Re: Newbie
Posted: 10/08/2011 by DavidWYork

Well done for thinking well ahead of purchase. If you click on "photo gallery" then "indoor enclosures" of this site, you will see ideal set ups for hatchlings. Do not be talked into buying a vivarium. Vivaria do not allow sufficient air flow or   temperature gradient for a tortoise. Spend time scrolling through members' questions and read the answers posted. I you opt for the open topped rabbit cage, I suggest you search e bay...plenty available. As for heat and U/V light, set these up ahead of getting your tortoise, to ensure you do not bake or freeze your tortoise.

I personally favour Spur-thighed tortoises. As they age they have darker shells and can adapt to outdoor life. Being dark, they warm up quickly in our climate and absorb lots of natural light. A tortoise table will not be adequate a few years from now, once beastie has grown.. Welcome to  the world of tortoises...

Regards David nr York

Re: Newbie
Posted: 11/08/2011 by tortoise7

Hi and welcome
Good advice from Dave,could save you pounds. You could also get an old wooden drawer or make an oblong box from ply wood for an open top pen. As Dave said have a look at the members gallery, they can give you some good ideas. Each part of the pen is a learning curve e.g heating, lighting, substrate, you learn so much. There are items that serve a purpose, like slate to eat food from which aids in keeping the beak trim, also cuttlefish for the same job. I guess the most important are substrate, UV,heat, water food. Substrate for thermoregulation, and because soil/sand is what is natural to them, UV to help with Vit D3 for calcium intake and prevention of MBD (Metobolic Bone Disease)and heat to keep the digestive and immune system working properly, water to keep them hydrated, and finally weeds to give the high fibre low protein that Hermans Spurs and Horsfields need (dusted with nutrobal/lime flour), other species may need other foods. This is a very basic outline of the reasons why these items are needed, other items like stones, plants can be added later when you see the behaviour of your tort.
That was interesting Dave about the spur thigh, not heard that before, logical though, another one for the memory bank

Re: Newbie
Posted: 23/08/2011 by krissander

I have built my outdoor enclosure just using some decking from B&Q, which is on special offer at the moment as the summer draws to an end. Its much cheaper than buying one and can be built to make the most of the space you have available.

Re: Newbie
Posted: 23/08/2011 by VivTPG

I have noticed to David that its always my spur thigh and the darker margies that are the warmest when I bring them in at night, and that was my reasoning for this!!
Kriss your pen sounds like its going to be a good one, any chance you can take pics stage by stage as its built to add to the gallery, to give other members ideas on building one?
Regards Vivienne


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