Louie’s enclosure

brownterri83

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Ft Worth, Texas
He really likes it. I just finished it. He is climbing and exploring. I have a wire cover for when we aren’t around so the kitties won’t get in with him. They like sitting with him.
IMG_2602.jpeg
 

wellington

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Unfortunately there are a few things that need changing.
The water dish is a flipping and drowning hazard. Switch it for a cjay saucer
Remove the hay, it's not an appropriate substrate and molds fast and easy
An adult Russian needs a minimum of a 4x8 foot enclosure, this one doesn't look big enough unless he's hatchling.
If he is a hatchling, he needs a closed chamber enclosure with high humidity
Also a tube fluorescent for uvb should be used not a mercury, halogen or coil type bulb.
Sorry changes are needed. Wish you could have searched here beforehand
 

brownterri83

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Joined
May 17, 2024
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Location (City and/or State)
Ft Worth, Texas
Unfortunately there are a few things that need changing.
The water dish is a flipping and drowning hazard. Switch it for a cjay saucer
Remove the hay, it's not an appropriate substrate and molds fast and easy
An adult Russian needs a minimum of a 4x8 foot enclosure, this one doesn't look big enough unless he's hatchling.
If he is a hatchling, he needs a closed chamber enclosure with high humidity
Also a tube fluorescent for uvb should be used not a mercury, halogen or coil type bulb.
Sorry changes are needed. Wish you could have searched here beforehand
Thanks for the info. This enclosure is temporary until I can get his big one built hopefully next month. He munches on the orchard hay and I change it every 2 days due to the mold worry. I did change water dish to a clay saucer 😁 I will try to find the fluorescent tubes but been unlucky here so far. Is there a place on line I can order maybe? Thank you again.
 

Tom

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Thanks for the info. This enclosure is temporary until I can get his big one built hopefully next month. He munches on the orchard hay and I change it every 2 days due to the mold worry. I did change water dish to a clay saucer 😁 I will try to find the fluorescent tubes but been unlucky here so far. Is there a place on line I can order maybe? Thank you again.
It looks like you have a florescent UV tube over the water area?

Russians don't eat grass or hay. This is not a suitable food for them. Allowing them to eat long strands could block them up, as they are not able to digest it very well. You can use soaked hay pellets, or finely chopped and rehydrated grass hay mixed in with greens to add fiber to grocery store greens, but feeding dry hay to a Russian tortoise is not a good way to go. Its the wrong food for your species. Your tortoise should be eating mostly broadleaf weeds and leaves, and if you don't have anything like that suitable, grocery store greens with the correct amendments added will work just fine.

For an adult Russian, outdoor housing would be best, and your climate is great for it most of the year. Check this out:
 

brownterri83

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Joined
May 17, 2024
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Ft Worth, Texas
It looks like you have a florescent UV tube over the water area?

Russians don't eat grass or hay. This is not a suitable food for them. Allowing them to eat long strands could block them up, as they are not able to digest it very well. You can use soaked hay pellets, or finely chopped and rehydrated grass hay mixed in with greens to add fiber to grocery store greens, but feeding dry hay to a Russian tortoise is not a good way to go. Its the wrong food for your species. Your tortoise should be eating mostly broadleaf weeds and leaves, and if you don't have anything like that suitable, grocery store greens with the correct amendments added will work just fine.

For an adult Russian, outdoor housing would be best, and your climate is great for it most of the year. Check this out:
oh no, the light is just an led spectrum light. I’ll try the soaked hay pellets. Thank you. He gets a variety of greens daily with added vitamins and calcium once weekly.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

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Location (City and/or State)
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Welcome to the forum!😊

As wellington has said, this guy will need bigger and it sounds like you have plans for that😁thought I’d include an example of how you can set them up as cost effectively as possible🙂

This is one way to come up with an appropriate indoor set up for this guy, including the appropriate indoor uv, if they are primarily housed outdoors, you may not need it, but if housed inside for a good portion of the year, I’d add it.

Basking light should be an incandescent floodlight(example attached) on a 12 hour timer.

Basking temperature directly under the floodlight should be 95-100f. The rest of the enclosure should be ranging 75-80 during the day.

You may also wish to add ambient lighting on the same timer, providing shady areas with hides and safe plants.

Then CHE/CHE’s(ceramic heat emitters) always on a thermostat, for night heat if your house drops below 60’s at night. Set the thermostat for a night temperature place the probe in their cooler end, plug the che into it and the thermostat into the mains, it’ll be plugged in 24/7 but will only turn on when the temperature drops. If your house stays in the 60’s don’t worry about this!

Uv should be a t5 fluorescent tube, avoid the compact and coil uv bulbs, they don’t give out enough uv and can hurt the tortoises eyes. The uv can be on a 4 hour timer from noon. I’ve attached examples of the two brands to go for and some examples of how to mount them.

With lighting always avoid anything labelled halogen or mercury vapour.

For substrates, either coco coir, dampened and packed down by hand as a base, with a layer of orchid(fir not pine) bark or forest floor on top, or just the orchid bark/forest floor. Never use anything with sand mixed in, no top soils and no kinds of moss. The problem with top soil is unless you’ve composted it yourself, you don’t know what kind of plants have gone into it, it could be something toxic. Sand can irritate the eyes and be an impaction risk, moss is an impaction risk too.

You want to aim to have the bottom layer of substrate damp, to do this pour lukewarm water into the corners, not loads but enough to dampen the entire bottom layer. To stop that top layer getting a little too dry/dusty, mix the substrate now n then. Check your monitors and substrate to do the pours as and when needed.

I’d personally recommend you make your own base to go as big as you possibly can for the space you have, roaming room is vital for tortoise health, it aids in digestion and builds muscle strength. The closer you can get to an 8x4 size the better, but again if yours is primarily housed in a large outdoor space, you’ll get away with something smaller for whilst they’re inside. They still do need roaming room though.

When making your base, just make sure the material is safe, some use flower beds, or take a large bookcase, take out the shelves and lie flat, or just make their own, for all these options I’d line with cheap pond liner to protect the base, making sure the liner goes up the sides too and make sure those sides are deep enough! They can be professional escape artists😂

I’ve also included examples of stands people make/buy to hang their lighting, use a temperature gun to determine how high the basking bulb needs to be, the uv I suggested needs to be mounted 18-20 inches from the substrate.

For a water dish a shallow terracotta saucer is considered safest, they have grip in the event your tortoise flips themselves, most pet store options are a known hazard.

I’d also always recommend getting your hands on a temp gun, they’re SO handy when setting up a new environment or for checking your monitors are correct🙂

Perhaps this link below will help give you more ideas on the diet side of things too👍

 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Joined
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Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
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oh no, the light is just an led spectrum light. I’ll try the soaked hay pellets. Thank you. He gets a variety of greens daily with added vitamins and calcium once weekly.
LEDs are good too to make it look nice and bright during the day time in there.
 

brownterri83

New Member
Joined
May 17, 2024
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Ft Worth, Texas
Welcome to the forum!😊

As wellington has said, this guy will need bigger and it sounds like you have plans for that😁thought I’d include an example of how you can set them up as cost effectively as possible🙂

This is one way to come up with an appropriate indoor set up for this guy, including the appropriate indoor uv, if they are primarily housed outdoors, you may not need it, but if housed inside for a good portion of the year, I’d add it.

Basking light should be an incandescent floodlight(example attached) on a 12 hour timer.

Basking temperature directly under the floodlight should be 95-100f. The rest of the enclosure should be ranging 75-80 during the day.

You may also wish to add ambient lighting on the same timer, providing shady areas with hides and safe plants.

Then CHE/CHE’s(ceramic heat emitters) always on a thermostat, for night heat if your house drops below 60’s at night. Set the thermostat for a night temperature place the probe in their cooler end, plug the che into it and the thermostat into the mains, it’ll be plugged in 24/7 but will only turn on when the temperature drops. If your house stays in the 60’s don’t worry about this!

Uv should be a t5 fluorescent tube, avoid the compact and coil uv bulbs, they don’t give out enough uv and can hurt the tortoises eyes. The uv can be on a 4 hour timer from noon. I’ve attached examples of the two brands to go for and some examples of how to mount them.

With lighting always avoid anything labelled halogen or mercury vapour.

For substrates, either coco coir, dampened and packed down by hand as a base, with a layer of orchid(fir not pine) bark or forest floor on top, or just the orchid bark/forest floor. Never use anything with sand mixed in, no top soils and no kinds of moss. The problem with top soil is unless you’ve composted it yourself, you don’t know what kind of plants have gone into it, it could be something toxic. Sand can irritate the eyes and be an impaction risk, moss is an impaction risk too.

You want to aim to have the bottom layer of substrate damp, to do this pour lukewarm water into the corners, not loads but enough to dampen the entire bottom layer. To stop that top layer getting a little too dry/dusty, mix the substrate now n then. Check your monitors and substrate to do the pours as and when needed.

I’d personally recommend you make your own base to go as big as you possibly can for the space you have, roaming room is vital for tortoise health, it aids in digestion and builds muscle strength. The closer you can get to an 8x4 size the better, but again if yours is primarily housed in a large outdoor space, you’ll get away with something smaller for whilst they’re inside. They still do need roaming room though.

When making your base, just make sure the material is safe, some use flower beds, or take a large bookcase, take out the shelves and lie flat, or just make their own, for all these options I’d line with cheap pond liner to protect the base, making sure the liner goes up the sides too and make sure those sides are deep enough! They can be professional escape artists😂

I’ve also included examples of stands people make/buy to hang their lighting, use a temperature gun to determine how high the basking bulb needs to be, the uv I suggested needs to be mounted 18-20 inches from the substrate.

For a water dish a shallow terracotta saucer is considered safest, they have grip in the event your tortoise flips themselves, most pet store options are a known hazard.

I’d also always recommend getting your hands on a temp gun, they’re SO handy when setting up a new environment or for checking your monitors are correct🙂

Perhaps this link below will help give you more ideas on the diet side of things too👍

Thank you. Awesome ideas also. I am planning an 8 x 4 set up. I like bigger for him. Will look into getting the gun for temp and I have all the timers now just have to get another for the night temp set up. House usually hovers around 65 at night. Still looking for plants for outside and inside enclosure. Have a list but some I can’t find locally. Probably have to order them. Thank you again for the info.
 

Littleredfootbigredheart

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2023
Messages
1,465
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Thank you. Awesome ideas also. I am planning an 8 x 4 set up. I like bigger for him. Will look into getting the gun for temp and I have all the timers now just have to get another for the night temp set up. House usually hovers around 65 at night. Still looking for plants for outside and inside enclosure. Have a list but some I can’t find locally. Probably have to order them. Thank you again for the info.
No problem at all, sounds great! Would love to see photos once you’ve got it up and running🥰
 

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