Green House Tortoise Shelter

kameya

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This is one of the cinder block shelter I built for one of my larger tortoise a while ago. It was built fairly quickly with materials I had at hand during the time. I built it with cinderblocks and PVC frame cover on top, and there was nothing fancy about it. I think my tortoise knew this too, as he would spend some nights outside of its shelter and hide against the bushes, even during the rain, which got me concerned.


So I thought maybe I should have this shelter rebuilt, where I can update the design, and making it a little more comfortable for the tortoise to sleep in. I like to build a green-house type shelter as it can give the shelter extra warmth during the winter season and sustain the humidity in the summer season. The space is exactly 4x4, and I went online to search for a cold frame green house that would fit in this space. Then I found this on the following website...

http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Frame-Greenhouse-Seed-Starter/dp/B00DT6L62I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423502842&sr=8-1&keywords=4x4 cold frame

The size is perfect for my space, and its price is only in two figures. The only problem I faced is the height of the unit, I needed it to be higher so I could created an entrance for the tortoise to go in and out with ease. After some brainstorming, I remembered I've got two unused 4x4 garden bed walls in my storage which I could use as the base of the shelter.

This is the garden bed wall I was talking about which I used temporary when my tortoise was still small.


Here I stacked two of them to form a 18"H shelter base, then I cut out an opening for the entrance. I used the foam spray to fill the gap inside the plastic wall, and then I would sand down the foam when it's harden and painted over it to cover the small pores.


This is what the green house top looked like when assembled. The hinged covers would be added in the next step.


Now I placed the assembled green house on top of the garden beds, and I was surprised on how they fit together so perfectly, as I only did all these plannings based on what I gathered from the internet and pictures I drew up in my imagination.


I also added some door strips to cover the entrance.


Another look of the green house shelter from the side view. The green house top can be flipped up to reveal the interior, which allows me to see if the tortoise has checked in for the night easily.


Inside the green house, I've also added the thermostat-controlled heated shelter where the tortoise would actually sleep at night.


So far, I think my big tortoise likes its new house, as I don't see it stay outside against the bushes any more, which is a good sign... ^_^
 

Jodie

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Very creative and efficient! Plus you can open it up nice when it gets hot. Is it holding temps ok for you!? I like it!
 

wellington

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Looks great. So the bottom and the top are from two different places but fit together without much revamping, correct? Other members use the bottom for their torts and I want to do the same when and if I ever hatch out any leopards. They just fitted plastic over theirs, which I also like, but like your idea better.
Btw, where is the pic of the lucky resident?
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Expanded from Jacqui's question. When your evening is 55F what temps are maintained overnight not in the heated part? Or what are the temps in the heated part? Do you use a 'pig blanket' in the heated part, on a thermostat or rheostat?

Looks like a really great setup and great that all the parts fit together so well. The raised planter bed - where did you get that?

Thanks in advance for answers. Will
 

Millerlite

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They greenhouse won't hold heat at night. I also live in SoCal and have green house type hides for my guys. The inside temps at night will be just as cold as outside temps. The he's hide he has in the greenhouse tho as he mentioned is probably kept warmer for the tortoise to sleep comfy. The nice thing about the greenhouse type enclosure hides is for himidty during the dryer days. Also in the morning when it's cool. If the suns out and hitting the greenhouse hide it will warm up faster the. Outside temp. My greenhouse hide enclosure this am was 79 degrees when the temps outside was in the 60s the sun warmed it up quick. Soon as the suns gone tho it will cool quick.

But I do like your idea and enclosure. In the summer/spring you will find anything growing in the greenhouse will grow 5xs faster lol.

Kyle
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Thanks Kyle. I'm in Carlsbad now and considering various ideas. I posted a night house plan, then got caught up in a home purchase and now setting it up painting etc, for myself. A few more months and I'll get the tortoise thing going, and use the heated night house on a larger scale, inside a walk in greenhouse.
 

kameya

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Great said about the green house Kyle...
It's hard for the green house to hold the temp at night due to its lack of insulation compare to the typical wood/drywall construction. That's why I added the heated hide box inside the green house. As of right now, the lowest temp I got from the outdoor temp. sensor reading is around 55, and the highest is around 90.

My tortoise likes its new shelter so much as it would spend most day in there, and only comes out for food and water then goes back to the shelter right away.
 

argus333

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looks good maybe just get small che for nite and cold days.
 

kameya

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Expanded from Jacqui's question. When your evening is 55F what temps are maintained overnight not in the heated part? Or what are the temps in the heated part? Do you use a 'pig blanket' in the heated part, on a thermostat or rheostat?

Looks like a really great setup and great that all the parts fit together so well. The raised planter bed - where did you get that?

Thanks in advance for answers. Will

Hi @Will,
I used the thermostat-controlled heated blanket in the heated shelter. I will add a CHE lamp in the green house eventually before the next winter.

As for the raised planter, this is where I got mine at the following site...
http://www.amazon.com/Lifetime-Products-60065-Raised-Garden/dp/B007CHFK9A/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1423764449&sr=8-4&keywords=raised garden

Hope this answers your questions.
 
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