Backyard build for Hermann’s

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May 16, 2024
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Location (City and/or State)
Cary, North Carolina
Are build threads a thing here? My main hobby is reef aquariums and over on those forums people like to document their builds so I figured I’d do the same thing here. This build is for a Hermann’s to live outside full time. This will be my first tortoise but I have been keeping herps all my life.

I don’t have a true “before” picture since I didn’t think to take pictures before I raked out all the leaves and pulled up some old vegetation which isn’t tort safe. So for the purposes of this thread I’ll start the pics after clearing out the area - more or less my “blank slate”.
 

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Joined
May 16, 2024
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Cary, North Carolina
Yeah I’ll build some kind of insulated box under there for proper overnight/over-wintering. Mostly under the deck was just unused space that happened to be adjacent to the pen and I figured it would provide shade and general shelter and be a fun “cave” environment. Might as well include it. I also included some space under the circular deck as well, again just for general hide/shade/shelter/enrichment purpose
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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I love the under-deck space. What a fantastic use of the available area. I'm not a fan of the rocks under there, but I think they are big enough to not hurt anything.

What are the bushes? I'm no plant expert, but the leaves look like azaleas.

This looks like it will be a great enclosure. Looking forward to updates as you progress.
 
Joined
May 16, 2024
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Cary, North Carolina
Here’s a closer look at the rocks under there, let me know if you think it’d be a problem. I’m hoping it will be okay since there will be plenty of other substrate throughout the enclosure. I can remove them if needed, just some more work.

The bushes are gardenia. It’s listed as do not feed on tort table, but seems mostly out of lack of information, and mentions the occasional nibble should be okay. I’ve trimmed the lower branches to keep the leaves out of reach. I’m not attached to them so I can remove them if needed.
 

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I also picked up a bunch of plants over the weekend.

False Spirea (Astilbe x arendsii) “Moccachino”
Dead Nettle (Lamium maculatum) “Purple Dragon”, “Orchid Frost”, “White Nancy”
Bellflower (Campanula) “Clockwise Deep Blue”, “Pearl Deep Blue”
Geranium: Cranesbill (Geranium macrorhizum) “Bevans Variety”
Geranium: Rozanne (Geranium x ‘Gerwat’) “Rozanne”
Geranium: Biokovo (Geranium x cantabrigiense) “Biokovo”
Evergold Sedge (Carex oshimensis) “Evergold”
Dwarf Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides) “Little Bunny”
White Gaura (Gaura lindhermeri) “Belleza”
Tickseed: Threadleaf (Coreopsis verticillate) “Zegreb”
Tickseed (Coreopsis) “Uptick Gold and Bronze”, “Double the Sun”
Sedum (Sedum spurium) “John Creech”
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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All of those plants sound good for a tortoise enclosure. But I haven't found any info on the toxicity of White Gaura. Some say tortoises don't like the taste. But since there is to definite info on it's toxicity and plants closely related to it are safe, I would assume that it is also edible. Sedum can lead to diarrea if eaten in excess
 
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Location (City and/or State)
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Put the house in place, installed electric fence, and removed much of the gravel under the deck:
 

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