Enclosure Progress & some questions 🐒

sunny_27

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Looks incredible!
A few tweaks to do:
1. Move thermometer down, 1-2 inches over substrate - you need to know temperatures where your tortoise is.
2. Hang the dome with CHE from the ceiling, clamps are unsafe and it will work better pointed straight top down
3. And some "anti-slip" measures on the ramp - thin wooden planks, rubberized mat for kitchen cabinets or something like that.
4. Reenforce the basking lamp clamp to prevent it from falling. Or add a metallic cord/chain from UVB fixture frame to the dome so if clamp fails the dome would hang on it. Of course, hanging the basking lamp on adjustable stand is better.

The wonderful day is coming! Give Sunny a welcome warm soak and keep us updated!
Hello!

Today was a successful adoption day and Sunny is now home! It was hard to capture a picture of his sweet face because I think he was nervous being in his new environment. Hopefully with some time he will be more comfy with us :) he went straight to burrow himself in the mulch!

Here are the updated photos of the indoor enclosure! The rescue said everything looked good to go, so we feel relieved. A HUGE THANKS to everyone who helped me along the way and answered all my questions. thank you @Alex and the Redfoot for every suggestion and all your advice. You truly made such a difference and helped us to create a safe environment for Sunny to thrive in! 🌞🐒✨😁β™₯️PXL_20240605_213959583.MP.jpg
PXL_20240605_212836803.MP.jpgPXL_20240605_214153603.MP.jpgPXL_20240605_214016826.MP.jpgPXL_20240605_214032594.MP.jpgAdoption is ENCHANTING 🐒✨😁β™₯️
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Congratulations! You've done a great job! Sunny must be definitely happy!

One more minor suggestion :) :
Looks like the basking lamp dome blocks some UVB over the basking area slate. If it's possible to move it further to the right this should work better. Also place a termometer right on the slate for 1-2 hours and if the temperature is higher than 100F you can raise the basking lamp a little bit.
 

Carol S

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Beautiful enclosure. The only suggestion I have is to replace the feeding dishes with terracotta saucers (the kind you place under a flower pot). The terracotta saucers will help keep his beak filed down when he eats.
 

Yvonne G

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Hello!

Today was a successful adoption day and Sunny is now home! It was hard to capture a picture of his sweet face because I think he was nervous being in his new environment. Hopefully with some time he will be more comfy with us :) he went straight to burrow himself in the mulch!

Here are the updated photos of the indoor enclosure! The rescue said everything looked good to go, so we feel relieved. A HUGE THANKS to everyone who helped me along the way and answered all my questions. thank you @Alex and the Redfoot for every suggestion and all your advice. You truly made such a difference and helped us to create a safe environment for Sunny to thrive in! 🌞🐒✨😁β™₯️View attachment 371566
View attachment 371567View attachment 371569View attachment 371570View attachment 371571Adoption is ENCHANTING 🐒✨😁β™₯️
It fits nicely in that corner next to the window. . . looks like it belongs there! And I love the LED lighting under the 'eaves'!
 

sunny_27

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Congratulations! You've done a great job! Sunny must be definitely happy!

One more minor suggestion :) :
Looks like the basking lamp dome blocks some UVB over the basking area slate. If it's possible to move it further to the right this should work better. Also place a termometer right on the slate for 1-2 hours and if the temperature is higher than 100F you can raise the basking lamp a little bit.
Thank you! I feel very proud, especially since I'm a total newb. I feel incredibly grateful for this community!

I'll work on figuring out a way to bring the basking bulb out further to the right. I'll look for a long hook at the hardware store πŸ‘πŸ½ and thanks for the tip on putting the thermometer directly on the slate. I'll definitely do that moving forward.

I do have a question about the CHE. On the FAQs thread it says that it should be above 80 degrees for tropical species but for Testudo above 60 degrees at night. Does that mean it should just be above 60 degrees at all time or just at night?

I'll be sure to send updates on the outdoor enclosure too. We still got more to do for that one but wanted to focus on the indoor one so Sunny could come home :)
 

sunny_27

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Beautiful enclosure. The only suggestion I have is to replace the feeding dishes with terracotta saucers (the kind you place under a flower pot). The terracotta saucers will help keep his beak filed down when he eats.
Thank you, Carol! 😁✨

That's a wonderful suggestion and easy enough to find those. I'll definitely replace the plates with the terracotta. I have at least a small one I could use for his feeding dish and will find a larger one for his water. Thanks so much for your advice 🐒β™₯️
 

sunny_27

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It fits nicely in that corner next to the window. . . looks like it belongs there! And I love the LED lighting under the 'eaves'!
Thank you! We designed it and built it to fit our small space :) I'm so happy with how it turned out and the lights were @Alex and the Redfoot's idea! So many great helpers on this forum β™₯️
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Thank you! I feel very proud, especially since I'm a total newb. I feel incredibly grateful for this community!

I'll work on figuring out a way to bring the basking bulb out further to the right. I'll look for a long hook at the hardware store πŸ‘πŸ½ and thanks for the tip on putting the thermometer directly on the slate. I'll definitely do that moving forward.

I do have a question about the CHE. On the FAQs thread it says that it should be above 80 degrees for tropical species but for Testudo above 60 degrees at night. Does that mean it should just be above 60 degrees at all time or just at night?

I'll be sure to send updates on the outdoor enclosure too. We still got more to do for that one but wanted to focus on the indoor one so Sunny could come home :)
Testudo species are more cold tolerant. Adults usually do fine in room temperatures when adequate basking area is provided. 60F is somewhat a safe minimum to ensure that tortoise stays healthy (especially with higher ambient humidity like 50-70%). Daytime temperatures should be a bit higher than that - e.g. 65-70F.

There are reasons to keep ambient temperatures higher (70-80F):
1. When you try to prevent tortoise from winter brumation and stay awake.
2. When tortoise is sick and you support the healing process.
3. When humidity is high (e.g. 70-80%). Such humid environment is not needed for an adult Russian tortoise.

In this thread (if you haven't read it already) Tom explains temperature and humidity requurements in details (including nighttime drops):
 

sunny_27

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Indianapolis, IN
Testudo species are more cold tolerant. Adults usually do fine in room temperatures when adequate basking area is provided. 60F is somewhat a safe minimum to ensure that tortoise stays healthy (especially with higher ambient humidity like 50-70%). Daytime temperatures should be a bit higher than that - e.g. 65-70F.

There are reasons to keep ambient temperatures higher (70-80F):
1. When you try to prevent tortoise from winter brumation and stay awake.
2. When tortoise is sick and you support the healing process.
3. When humidity is high (e.g. 70-80%). Such humid environment is not needed for an adult Russian tortoise.

In this thread (if you haven't read it already) Tom explains temperature and humidity requurements in details (including nighttime drops):
That's super helpful! Our house stays pretty warm, even with the air conditioning on because we have old windows (it's a historic home and the windows have never been replaced). We should have no problem maintaining that temp for him. In the winter, we will likely need to use the CHE more often but it works great and hanging it like you said really seem to help disperse the heat πŸ‘πŸ½

Thanks for linking the thread! I'll check it out :)

Sunny hasn't moved from his little burrow spot. Should I be worried or is this normal behavior with his environment change?
 

sunny_27

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I remember the day I adopted Edward very vividly! I am happy for you and for your tortoise getting an amazing home :)
That's so heartwarming β™₯️ thank you for you kind words and I'm happy for you and Edward too β™₯️🐒✨

When they took Sunny out of the carrier and his little eyes blinked up at us, my heart melted. He is so darling and I really hope he becomes more comfortable with us (although also taking into account that tortoises don't like to be handled).
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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With consistent routine he will get used to you feeding him, cleaning the enclosure etc. and maybe even being bathed. Even though he might never like getting pets or anything like that, I assure you that with good care, in a few weeks he will be more active and less scared.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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That's super helpful! Our house stays pretty warm, even with the air conditioning on because we have old windows (it's a historic home and the windows have never been replaced). We should have no problem maintaining that temp for him. In the winter, we will likely need to use the CHE more often but it works great and hanging it like you said really seem to help disperse the heat πŸ‘πŸ½

Thanks for linking the thread! I'll check it out :)

Sunny hasn't moved from his little burrow spot. Should I be worried or is this normal behavior with his environment change?
CHE with a thermostat will do the work for you, most likely it will stand idle through the summer.

Yes, he needs some time to adjust. Tortoises don't like changes, especially sudden and drastical. In a week or two you will see him more active and exploring. He might refuse food for the first week too - keep his weekly weight track to see how he's doing. And set up routines - same things at the same time and in the same place.
 

sunny_27

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With consistent routine he will get used to you feeding him, cleaning the enclosure etc. and maybe even being bathed. Even though he might never like getting pets or anything like that, I assure you that with good care, in a few weeks he will be more active and less scared.
We decided to take him out of his little burrow and attempt to feed him so we could start a routine like you and Alex suggested and he has been so bright and ate so much! He still seems timid but better than yesterday :) thank for your reassurance!1000012798.jpg
 

sunny_27

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CHE with a thermostat will do the work for you, most likely it will stand idle through the summer.

Yes, he needs some time to adjust. Tortoises don't like changes, especially sudden and drastical. In a week or two you will see him more active and exploring. He might refuse food for the first week too - keep his weekly weight track to see how he's doing. And set up routines - same things at the same time and in the same place.
Right! That thermostat is so helpful!!

Surprisingly he ate a bunch of the testudo sprouts this morning! I took him out from his little burrow and placed him next to the patch of sprouts and he went to town on them! I also gave him a couple of dandelions and clovers as a little welcome home treat β™₯️ we will definitely start the routine. What does your routine look like?PXL_20240606_140853053.TS_exported_2241~2.jpgPXL_20240606_150155813.MP.jpgPXL_20240606_140226204.MP.jpg
 

Alex and the Redfoot

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Right! That thermostat is so helpful!!

Surprisingly he ate a bunch of the testudo sprouts this morning! I took him out from his little burrow and placed him next to the patch of sprouts and he went to town on them! I also gave him a couple of dandelions and clovers as a little welcome home treat β™₯️ we will definitely start the routine. What does your routine look like?View attachment 371612View attachment 371613View attachment 371614
I envy this tortoise! And Sunny is so handsome!

Besha's routine is pretty simple:
1. Wake up at 5.40-6AM
2. Do nothing (except a couple of yawns) and looking out of the hide.
3. At 6.15 stand near usual food dish place. Moving closer with each minute to make it obvious that she's hungry.
4. At 6.45 get into her water dish (I should fill it with fresh clean lukewarm water by that time!). Soak 15-20 minutes.
5. Do some strolls around the enclosure.
6. Climb pothos, scratch the glass doors until I let her on the walk outside.
7. Do some tortoise business until 11.30.
8. Nap, because sun is too fierce.
9. 3PM - up and running... Maybe.
10. 5:30PM - last snack then tuck in for the night.

I do weightings and visual checkup on Tuesday mornings before taking her outside, add calcium supplements on Fridays, multi-vitamins - on Tuesdays. I soak her irregularly daily or every other day (no strict schedule here but she likes to bath and often sits in the water dish) - often 1-2 times in the middle of the day when I move her from outside back in the enclosure to cool down or warm up. For a Russian tortoise you don't so much soaks or he will be mad at you :)
 

_The_Beast_

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LOVE the pics! Sunny is gorgeous and this enclosure is amazing. My Russian is only 8 months, so does more sleeping and gets daily soaks.

Routine currently looks like:
  • 7:00am Basking light comes on
  • 8:00am Room lights and tort is sometimes coming out of their hide
  • 8:30 ~ 9:30am (depending on whether tort is being extra lazy or not) Bath Time! Followed by supervised adventure and engagement time in a separate enclosure for about 30 minutes. Afterwards we're back in our main enclosure. Breakfast is also served after bath time.
  • 10:00am Breakfast has been consumed and it's time to bask or loaf on the wheel

  • Loafing with intermittent trips to get some more noms, 'run' on the wheel, and go from wheel to basking area. Occasional rampage around the enclosure. Sometimes tort is exceptionally lazy and just basks through the afternoon before consuming a bunch of food right before bed.

  • 3-5pm Eat more food, 'run' on wheel if haven't already done so (uses the wheel almost every day for an hour or so).
  • 4-6pm-ish Back to bed!
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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Edward's current routine:

7 am: Lights go on
7-9 am: Grazing and basking. Walking up and down the ramp.
9-11 am: Nap
11 am - 13 pm: Digging and making a mess. Trying to climb on top of the hide etc. :tort:
13-18 pm: Outdoor time in the outdoor enclosure, grazing and patroling
18-19 pm: Soak (3 times a week) and one last snack, some digging and of to bed

I weigh him on Fridays after the soak.
 

_The_Beast_

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Forgot to mention weigh day! Friday morning before bath time is when we do weigh ins and measure shell growth :) We also get a gentle shell scrub with a toothbrush (extremely hated experience) on Fridays as all that digging and stomping leads to a messy little dude.
 
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