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indoor house

Discussion in 'Sulcata tortoises' started by zoey vagner, Dec 29, 2017.

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  1. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    As of now my sulcata has been living outside and being brought in at night to sleep. Hes definitely outgrown his indoor enclosure and needs a major upgrade!

    I am not very good at building things but my boyfriend has helped me make planter beds in the past so he will be helping. Does anyone have any build plans for a tortoise home?

    My idea is have 4x8 feet, a big plastic box with a filed down cut out at one side for a more controlled humidity spot, etc. I have no idea where to start. I leave for Hawaii in a couple of weeks and want to make sure he has plenty of room to roam around while being watched by my parents for 10 days.

    helppppppp
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  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Have you seen Toms night box threads. An 8 year old sully should be too big for a 4x8 box. That's the size an adult Russian needs which is much smaller then a sully.
    Build a heated night box or shed and leave him outside.
  3. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    I have not.
    My only concern with outside at night is that we have coyotes here and im also nervous about when it rains. I live more in a valley so the temperatures take a plunge at night-early morning. Would he stay out even when it rains?

    He has made his own burrow spot outside under a bush he enjoys for daytime, but im not sure where id put an actual box and how id supply heat to it. We don't have many outdoor outlets, and "his zone" is nowhere near one but its the only spot he enjoys. Any advice here?

    Sorry if I come off as ignorant, this is my only and first tortoise besides the one we found that "ran away" that we got back to his owners a few weeks later. I got Shiloh at 6 months old and was a teenager, knew literally nothing.. I am trying to learn as much as ai can now so that I can give him the best life possible.
  4. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    im looking at this plan that someone uploaded to the forum which looks good and looks like a box I could put under the patio to connect it to a heat source. what would I use for heat here?

    Attached Files:

  5. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    A small oil filled heater fits into that square space in the center, and usually a radiant heat panel is affixed to the roof. Both are connected to a controllable thermostat (check out LL Reptile thermostats). Once you have the box and heaters set up, it’s all easy!

    Here’s the link for the RHP - http://www.reptilebasics.com/rbi-radiant-heat-panels

    Thermostat link - https://www.lllreptile.com/products/13883-zilla-1000-watt-temperature-controller
    • @Tom has all of the info on these night boxes nicely detailed in the enclosures section.
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  6. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    is an oil heater safe?I live in a high fire zone
  7. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    also, would I fill it with the coconut fibre substrate I currently use?
  8. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    thank you by the way!
  9. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  10. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    Wonderful, that is so helpful! thank you
  11. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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  13. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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  14. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    I ordered all of the heating stuff and a thermostat!! radiant heat panel and the Kane one.
    Ive never been so excited to spend money XD can t wait to give my guy the best life ever
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  15. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Certainly ready to live outside at 15 pounds.

    The weather this "winter" has also been exceptionally good. I can't remember a winter with so many days over 80 degrees here. Last winter was the worst winter we've ever had, as far as tortoise weather was concerned. It was high 50s to low 60s consistently all winter long with no warm spells last year. This year we broke all the heat records in history during Thanksgiving (96 degrees here on TG!) and it has been consistently warm and sunny all winter. CA ain't cheap and some of the laws and taxes are ridiculous, but man, the weather sure is nice!

    Key elements when building your box are silicone sealing all the joints and seams, and using insulation in all the walls, floor and ceiling. Without doing those two things properly, the Kane mat and RHP will not be able to hold temps up on those occasional winter nights when the outside temps really drop.

    I also like the outdoor enclosure to be as large as possible. 50x50 feet is a nice size for a 15 pounder, just as a suggestion. Larger would be even better.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  16. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    He was weighed yesterday at the vets and I though it was in kg but it was in lbs. XD He looks mighty but I think hes a bit of a runt for his age!

    The weather has been good :]

    My boyfriend questioned the insulation and said it'd be a lot of trouble and I told him the tortoise peeps know whats up and that this will keep the heat inside. good idea on the silicone sealing too, I didnt think of that. I will make sure we do both of those things! I am just hoping he heat panel and mat come in before I leave for Hawaii since he will be going to my dads house for that week since my dads gf knows my vet well and also know how to give injections. id like to have his outdoor night house ready for there.
  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The BF is going through the same things I initially went trough many years ago. I tried to build it simply and cheaply. Those early boxes were okay, but they just weren't efficient, and they just couldn't keep the temps up even with thicker plywood and the heaters running all night long. I ended up having to retro-fit those early boxes with insulation and then sealing and adding interior walls after the fact, and that was really a pain in the rear. When I finally built the next box, I did it "right" from the beginning and I was really pleased with how well it worked, and also how little electricity it used in comparison to maintain ideal temps.
  18. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Trust in @Tom - no sense reinventing the wheel. Much easier to do it all right from the start than retrofitting, when things aren’t up to par.

    Good luck!
  19. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    Absolutely! My bf is still telling me its stupid and I said trust the pros. he recommended paying someone to do it then and I said um no just stop being stubborn. were modifying it to a 4x4 box since its just 1 sulcata. getting the materials in a moment.
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  20. zoey vagner

    zoey vagner Member

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    we ran into a couple of issues with he box. the person at Lowes cut all of the plywood wrong D: we were still able to work with it though. should be finished tomorrow!!!
    OMary and Big Charlie like this.
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