Enclosure sizes, And it's impact on the tortoise's well being mentally/physically

Naulsteen

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Greetings!

I've been questioning about this for a while and it's starting to haunt my thoughts since im also gonna adopt a baby sulcata (3-4 months old)and the day is getting closer and closer, having done a decent amount of research (like 2 months or so) Still, i just think there is still so much trivial questions that needs to be consulted about because these trivial questions is what usually makes me anxious and overthink, since there could be no answer to it

Like, Enclosure sizes, what kind of impact that would inflict the tortoise if one keeps it in a tiny enclosure say about 27x27in or 30x30in???
Would it affect them mentally? And make them mildly stressed and depressed? And ended up degraded/declined their mental state?
Would it tremendously affect their physical well being and their growth?? Causing them to have some sort of deficiency or disorder in their growth,health,anatomy,appearance,interal organs, and etc?? Ended up making them sick,disabled, and possibly dead??

I apologize if these questions come off as convoluted and stuff but that's just how crazy those questions has haunted me, i would be really grateful if someone can shed a light and give a detailed,in-depth, and scientific(probably?) lecture regarding this topic

You could say this this is just one of those shower thoughts that made it to be interesting enough to caught my attention this much but i know it would be useful if i acknowledge it, Because i want to give the best care for my future baby and that means i need to know even just the trivial topics because small things can lead to bigger ones, And who knows? I could be sharing this info to my friends as well since they are also interested in adopting a sulcata, but we're all still learning.

Thank you!
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings.

You’ve posed a lot of questions in your posting. Most, if not all of your questions are thoroughly answered in this “care sheet”. Take a read.

 
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How much space do you have for your future tortoise?

All tortoises need sufficient space and exercise. I don't believe 24" x 24" is big enough really for any tortoise, let alone a Sulcata.
 

Skunkworks

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A 12ft x 12ft room is Hardly enough room for my 14 month old Sulcata. I was warned she would grow fast and she did. I went from a 2 ft x 6 ft enclosure as a hatchling to a 12ft x 4ft enclosure all within her First year of age.Now Nala gets a full 12ft x 12ft room to herself wich I think is just enough room for another year or so and then I plan to move Nala to the 60ft x 80 ft Backyard Permanently.. Space is a MUST..
 
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How much space do you have for your future tortoise?

All tortoises need sufficient space and exercise. I don't believe 24" x 24" is big enough really for any tortoise, let alone a Sulcata.
Just to clarify 24" x 24" is MAYBE acceptable for some hatchlings short-term, but not beyond that. From my understanding most require more space even as hatchlings.

Keep in mind you can't achieve a temperature gradient in such a small space. Too hard to provide a basking spot, and also somewhere to escape it. I know Sulcatas like it warmer, but I would be afraid the poor thing would cook.
 

Skunkworks

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Just to clarify 24" x 24" is MAYBE acceptable for some hatchlings short-term, but not beyond that. From my understanding most require more space even as hatchlings.

Keep in mind you can't achieve a temperature gradient in such a small space. Too hard to provide a basking spot, and also somewhere to escape it. I know Sulcatas like it warmer, but I would be afraid the poor thing would cook.
So True.. I was Fighting daily to keep the correct Temps and Humidity levels in Nala's 2x6, when I built the 12 ft x 12ft Enclosure everything seemed so much Easier.
 

Tom

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Greetings!

I've been questioning about this for a while and it's starting to haunt my thoughts since im also gonna adopt a baby sulcata (3-4 months old)and the day is getting closer and closer, having done a decent amount of research (like 2 months or so) Still, i just think there is still so much trivial questions that needs to be consulted about because these trivial questions is what usually makes me anxious and overthink, since there could be no answer to it

Like, Enclosure sizes, what kind of impact that would inflict the tortoise if one keeps it in a tiny enclosure say about 27x27in or 30x30in???
Would it affect them mentally? And make them mildly stressed and depressed? And ended up degraded/declined their mental state?
Would it tremendously affect their physical well being and their growth?? Causing them to have some sort of deficiency or disorder in their growth,health,anatomy,appearance,interal organs, and etc?? Ended up making them sick,disabled, and possibly dead??

I apologize if these questions come off as convoluted and stuff but that's just how crazy those questions has haunted me, i would be really grateful if someone can shed a light and give a detailed,in-depth, and scientific(probably?) lecture regarding this topic

You could say this this is just one of those shower thoughts that made it to be interesting enough to caught my attention this much but i know it would be useful if i acknowledge it, Because i want to give the best care for my future baby and that means i need to know even just the trivial topics because small things can lead to bigger ones, And who knows? I could be sharing this info to my friends as well since they are also interested in adopting a sulcata, but we're all still learning.

Thank you!
Almost everything you find about care for this species is going to be the old wrong info. Read that care sheet from Mark and stick to that.

Small enclosures do affect them mentally and physically. Tortoises rely on locomotion to help keep the GI tract moving. In a small enclosure with a water bowl, hides, food bowl, and some decorations, there is nowhere left to walk. They need space, even as babies.
 

Naulsteen

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Jakarta
How much space do you have for your future tortoise?

All tortoises need sufficient space and exercise. I don't believe 24" x 24" is big enough really for any tortoise, let alone a Sulcata.
Hi, sorry for the late response, im planning to use an old bookshelf just gonna need to unscrew the platforms, it's still in a perfect condition and it's about 51x24" the problem is that the shelf is made of particle board, and particle boards don't stand againts prolonged humidity that well, so im kinda stuck with that option for a moment
 

Tom

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Hi, sorry for the late response, im planning to use an old bookshelf just gonna need to unscrew the platforms, it's still in a perfect condition and it's about 51x24" the problem is that the shelf is made of particle board, and particle boards don't stand againts prolonged humidity that well, so im kinda stuck with that option for a moment
51x24 inches is the minimum size for a baby sulcata, but it won't last more than a couple few months.

Particle board will not last and is a waste of your time.

Tortoise tables are not suitable for this species. Even in your country, they need a closed chamber to maintain the correct indoor conditions. Please read the care sheet that Mark B. linked for you.
 

Naulsteen

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@Maro2Bear @Tom

Hello, again, sorry for the late response and thanks for the notice and concern

I actually have been mostly relying on caresheets from the TFO mostly from Tom's caresheet for the past few weeks, and also take references about certain topics from the discussion threads if i need more insight.

Regarding the enclosure, i have re-read the paragraph, and maybe i'll have to reconsider since the bookshelf wont even work bcs of its material, Im thinking of using a custom enclosure and there's a woodcraft district not that far from here probably it takes like 45 minutes to get there and probably i could figure something out and get myself a closed chamber or terrarium made from actual fine wood and actual decent finishing, but that's a solution that i can think of as of right now, If you have any suggestions or alternatives please do suggest it, it would be very helpful! Thank you!
 
Last edited:

Tom

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@Maro2Bear @Tom

Hello, again, sorry for the late response and thanks for the notice and concern

I actually have been mostly relying on caresheets from the TFO mostly from Tom's caresheet for the past few weeks, and also take references about certain topics from the discussion threads if i need more insight.

Regarding the enclosure, i have re-read the paragraph, and maybe i'll have to reconsider since the bookshelf wont even work bcs of its material, Im thinking of using a custom enclosure and there's a woodcraft district not that far from here probably it takes like 45 minutes to get there and probably i could figure something out and get myself a closed chamber or terrarium made from actual fine wood and actual decent finishing, but that's a solution that i can think of as of right now, If you have any suggestions or alternatives please do suggest it, it would be very helpful! Thank you!
Wood doesn't work well because of all the moisture. The only coatings that will protect it are non-toxic boat paint, or Pond Shield, and I don't know if you can get either there. Best to use expanded PVC sheets if you can get it there. You might also be able to find a portable green house of some sort, and set up an open table inside of it.
 
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