Enough Air in Night Box?

Jeri Kramer

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Dec 28, 2017
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My husband and I just built a night box based on Tom's designs posted on this forum (many thanks, Tom!). I was building for maximum insulation, but my husband is worried that Shelly, our 50 pound sulcata, will suffocate at night when it is all closed up. It is 4 x 4 x 2, insulated and sealed with silicone. The door has about 1/4" clearance all around, and plastic vinyl strips hanging on the inside. I think the door space will let in plenty of fresh air, but my husband thinks the vinyl strips will be too restricting and he wants to drill holes on the side of the box so she can breath. I don't want the precious warm air escaping. Can anyone speak to these concerns? Thanks!
 

Dizisdalife

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Welcome to the Forum, Jeri. My sulcata has been in a night box like yours for 6 years and has never run out of air. I am at a loss to explain the how and why of the air flow in these boxes. What I can tell you is that my tortoise sits in the doorway, vinyl flaps parted around him, for hours every day. It's sorta like sitting in the entrance to their burrow.
 

wellington

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Many have used Toms design and similar for years. No tortoise has run out of air. Go by the experience of others.
 

Tom

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Reptiles use very little air/oxygen in comparison to a mammal, and especially when at rest and at a cooler body temp. Even if the box was completely air tight, there would be enough air in there to last your tortoise a week or more. But the box isn't air tight. Plenty of air is flowing all around the gaps in the door, and all day long when the door is open.

I have 2 dozen adult tortoises at my ranch and all of them sleep in these boxes every night. There is no issue.

Adding vent holes will defeat the purpose of the night box and allow the warm air out and cold night air in. It will make your heating equipment run all night which will jack up your electric bill and also dry out the air and your tortoise.

If your husband needs more convincing, have him call me. I love talking tortoises!
 

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