Help me pick a room to keep my tortoise in

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Hi! I am still in the dreaming/planning stage for getting a Hermann’s or Russian tortoise. I feel like I don’t have a lot of great options for enclosure placement, would love everyone’s opinions on which option you would go with if you were me. P.S I will still be giving him or her as much outside time as possible but we live in WI where the weather is not conducive to keeping a tortoise outside 24/7.

Note that about the same size enclosure will fit in each of these spaces so that’s not the main concern here.
Option 1: The Living room: pros- we’re a calm household and spend a lot of time in this room so we could enjoy seeing him. The ambient room temp could be kept around 70-73•F year round. Cons: it would be right next to the television which is sometimes playing quite loudly... would it scare him? It would involve rearranging our living room furniture which I’m not sure everyone is on board with lol.

option 2: The dining/family room. Pros: nice quiet space with lots of natural light. We also spend a lot of time in here so we could enjoy seeing him. Cons: only heat sources in this room are a fireplace and a space heater which we run at night in the winter for our rabbit and hamsters who live in here too. It drops to about 68/69•F in winter overnight.

option 3: spare bedroom- pros: nice quiet room, we could still easily go in and see him throughout the day each day. Stays nice and warm like the living room in winter. Cons: this is the only option where the enclosure would have to be slightly smaller. Also, This room currently houses my vintage toy collection... and I’m just not sure I want a mixed “vintage toy/ tortoise” aesthetic in there lol.

option 4: The basement. Pros: It’s partially finished down there. Nice and quiet. More humid than the upstairs. Cons: it’s cold in winter, probably about 64•F. I’m not sure if I’d get lazy about going down there daily to feed/check etc.
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome,
This is the caresheet for the species you are considering which will help you get everything in place before he arrives -
Check that to see what the ideal temps are and ask as many questions as you like.

Pet stores often sell unsafe and unsuitable equipment for torts because they know very little about keeping them and are profit driven so check with members here before spending hard earned cash, we can save you a lot of money and make sure you get the right and safest equipment.

Are you getting a hatchling or rehoming an older tort? Hatchlings will be OK in a large viv for a couple of years where you can control the temps and humidity better, but the young adults of the smaller species will eventually need a minimum space of 4 x 8 feet. There are ways of providing night heat with CHE's etc but it is more difficult with an open table. Have a look at the enclosures thread for ideas of how people cover those.

As for the best room, bear in mind that torts are easily stressed, the tv noise (if not too loud) may not be too much of an issue for him, although my tort definitely picks up on noise, but they need darkness to sleep, so I would avoid a room that's too busy at night.

I was amazed at how my bills shot up when I first got my tort, but he's a leopard so needs higher temps day and night.
 

Lyn W

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Sorry should’ve added this is well be an adult. Not a baby
OK in that case you're looking at a min enclosure size of 4 x 8 feet to start off, but the bigger the better as they are wandering creatures so need space to explore. There are some great ideas on the forum.
 

wellington

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Doesnt really matter the room temp as you need to provide his own heat.
The dining room sounds like the best one.
The dining room night temps are good for night time, no extra heat needed. The day time temp will need to be 75-80 with a basking temp of 95-100.
A 4x8 minimum enclosure is needed. If you don't have that much room in one level you can build a two level with a ramp.
 
Joined
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OK in that case you're looking at a min enclosure size of 4 x 8 feet to start off, but the bigger the better as they are wandering creatures so need space to explore. There are some great ideas on the forum.
Yes I’m aware of size requirements as I said, not really asking about size but thanks
 
Joined
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Doesnt really matter the room temp as you need to provide his own heat.
The dining room sounds like the best one.
The dining room night temps are good for night time, no extra heat needed. The day time temp will need to be 75-80 with a basking temp of 95-100.
A 4x8 minimum enclosure is needed. If you don't have that much room in one level you can build a two level with a ramp.
This is very helpful thank you! So since there’s no way we will keep any room of our house that hot ambient during the day I’ll just provide a heat source in the enclosure to keep his “ambient” cage temp around 75-80 and turn it off at night? Do I have that right?
 

wellington

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This is very helpful thank you! So since there’s no way we will keep any room of our house that hot ambient during the day I’ll just provide a heat source in the enclosure to keep his “ambient” cage temp around 75-80 and turn it off at night? Do I have that right?
Yes.
Use a tube florescent for uvb during the times you can't take him outside. Then use a incandescent flood bulb for basking. If the basking bulb is not enough heat for the whole enclosure then add a ceramic heat emitter.
Use thermostats and timers to make life easier. Humidity for an adult, should be 30-50%, the higher side is better.
If the room does not go below 60 then all lights and heat can go off at night.
 
Joined
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Location (City and/or State)
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Yes.
Use a tube florescent for uvb during the times you can't take him outside. Then use a incandescent flood bulb for basking. If the basking bulb is not enough heat for the whole enclosure then add a ceramic heat emitter.
Use thermostats and timers to make life easier. Humidity for an adult, should be 30-50%, the higher side is better.
If the room does not go below 60 then all lights and heat can go off at night.
Awesome! Thanks again! I’ve read this entire forum several times over it feels like but there is so much info about so many different breeds it sometimes gets lost in my brain lol
 

wellington

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Awesome! Thanks again! I’ve read this entire forum several times over it feels like but there is so much info about so many different breeds it sometimes gets lost in my brain lol
Oh yeah I understand that. Just have to remember that everything you read is not meant for every species. You have to make sure your reading the right stuff for your tort.
 

Chefdenoel10

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Awesome! Thanks again! I’ve read this entire forum several times over it feels like but there is so much info about so many different breeds it sometimes gets lost in my brain lol

I am dying to see what room you’ve used and what you built for your tortoise!!!
Please post pics!!??! 😍😃
 
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