Just finished russian tortoise table


New Member
Feb 2, 2016
I plan on getting a russian tortoise soon and I wanted to make sure my table and the lighting work well before getting the tort. This was my first real wood working project since building a bird house that fell apart in boy scouts so it looks a bit rough around the edges as I focused more on function then appearance. The base table dimensions are 45" x 28" and the plant level is 14" x 28" and I have about 4" of substrate on both levels. For the plants I am using 1/3 top soil (from my backyard a few inches down) and 2/3 coco-coir, under the plant level is 1/3 sand 2/3 coco-coir, the main area is all coco-coir, the basking area is all sand, and there is a corner at the warm end with timothy hay. I am aware of this forums views about sand and taking that into account the food rock and cuttlebone is in the all coco-coir area and no sand is used in the plant area. I am also aware of the dangers of mold with keeping the hay in there which is why I chose the warm dryer end where I can keep an eye on it and I can easily replace it with coco-coir if I need/want to. For lighting I'm using a 75w zoo med basking spot lamp in a mini deep dome lamp fixture for the basking area which gets the basking rock to 95-100 and the sand around it to about 90; I also have a 36" reptisun 10.0 UVB 25w T8 fluorescent running diagonally over the main area and I am using two UV resistant zip ties around the UVB hood so if the bulb somehow falls out of the sockets it won't fall to the table. In the plant area I am using 2 3w led grow bulbs along with a 9w led white light to help balance out the lighting color (I have included photos of the plants with and without the white light and without the white light the tortoise may have trouble identifying what plants are ready to be eaten which is why I added the light.) All lights are attached securely to the table making moving and relocating the table much easier. Additionally I added wheels to the table legs making the table much easier to move which helped during construction and allows me to move it out from under the bunk bed it will sit under most of the time. I also added a shelf under the table just above the wheels where I have my light timers and all the lights plugged in, and I have miscellaneous tortoise items like the mist bottle, the transport bucket, the poo shovel and poo can, exc. I look forward to any comments or recommendations


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Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Sep 6, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Couple things. It's way too small for an a adult Russian, they cover a lot of space in the wild and it needs some humidity, 50%, you could do this with a warm humid hide. I would not chance the sand or hay, neither is needed.
Otherwise I don't think it looks bad.

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