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Making enclosure for my red foot

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by Melisha, Sep 13, 2018 at 11:09 PM.

  1. Melisha

    Melisha New Member

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    Wanting suggestions on my new enclosure I am making out of an old piece if furniture. What Is the easiest / best way to make a 2nd floor.. Not wanting 2nd floor as big as 1st. I am thinking a loft. Was searching for an old entertainment center and found this on the side of the road. I replaced bottom fabric panel with clear boat glass(plastic). I used ASB plastic for bottom floor, which I can remove to clean well. I want to keep doors since they open all the way and perhaps use a few inches of hardware cloth coming up from bottom of doors.. To help keep my toddler out. Any Suggestions would be great! His enclosure now is a large tote. Excited to create an awesome new home for him! Most materials so far have been free, my dad has an upholstery shop and has hooked up everything needed so far!

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  2. LaLaP

    LaLaP Active Member

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    Hi and welcome!
    I'm building my first indoor enclosure too. It's been a fun project so far.
    Are you planning on using the cabinet standing up like it is in the photo or lying on its back? How big is the "floor"?
  3. LaLaP

    LaLaP Active Member

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    Ok so I got your message saying it it 24x30. I'm pretty new to this but here are my thoughts... it might be a bit small. Not only too small for your tortoise to have space to roam but also too small to create the different temperature areas that you need. They need a hot side and a cool side. Plus it would be challenging to get the lighting and heating fixtures into the cabinet. I'm hoping that someone with more experience can chime in a say wether im on track or not. How old is your tortoise and which species?
    katieandiggy likes this.
  4. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    I don’t think it would be worth converting that if I’m honest. It’s not big enough and you would need to upgrade pretty quickly. Also Redfoots need lots of humidity and I think the wood would rot very easily unless it was treated with something. I fear you would spend just as much converting this than you would buying a proper vivarium.
    That’s just my opinion.
  5. Melisha

    Melisha New Member

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    Only a 1 year old red foot. I am putting 2nd floor I. So that he has more terrain and temp differences. I've already installed his lighting fixtures as well. I also have an outdoor enclosure, which has bern great this summer. Its been hot here in Seattle and he's been loving chomping in swiss chard and dandelions in there.
  6. Melisha

    Melisha New Member

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    IHop, I have coated with a plastic spray so far to seal wood to prevent rot and other then that i have everything or upcycled, so a hole $5 has been spent so far. he is small and I understand that he will out grow in a couple years, which is fine. I am a full time student and mom of 3 and low on funds.. This will be much better then the big plastic tote he has now.
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  7. jockma

    jockma Well-Known Member

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    You can put a barrier on the ground that he can’t see over so he can feel like the enclosure is bigger than it is, instead of a second floor.

    Will it be upright or on its back? I see there are holes in the back but if you patch those up and lay the enclosure down he will have more room.
  8. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum!
  9. Melisha

    Melisha New Member

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    I put the holes in for cords and air flow. I like it sitting up, it will be larger then what he's in now. I have a 20 month old baby girl that loves him too much to have something laying down.. Plus she would probably burn herself on the lights.. Has to be baby proof. When he outgrows and my daughter is older I plan on making a larger table type.
  10. Minority2

    Minority2 Active Member

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    This is an example of an affordable 4 x 2 ft enclosure. It's effective, safe from toddlers when placed on top of a cabinet or drawer, and more importantly larger than what you're currently giving your tortoise.
    https://www.amazon.com/IRIS-Tree-St...f_rd_t=40701&refRID=EMRVB9F7EETJCSJMEGRB&th=1
  11. jockma

    jockma Well-Known Member

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    What if you put a child proof gate around the enclosure? Or set the enclosure on top of something she can’t reach?
  12. Melisha

    Melisha New Member

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    Lol.. She gets into everything. She climbs gates. We hold her up to his enclosure now to say hi and she tries to climb in. Ninja skills. We will only be in this house for another year so not looking to do a huge permanent enclosure. Our next house will be bigger. Our family is 3 kids, 2 adults and a dog and fish need space too. Once we move she will also know better to not touch lights abd climb in I hope!
  13. Melisha

    Melisha New Member

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    Not wanting another tote. It looks ghetto, it's in our main living space and trying to class it up. He gets out daily and explores all over when my daughter naps. He's happy and gets alot of exercise. We have 2 different enclosures outside for him as well, for when it's nice out.
  14. Minority2

    Minority2 Active Member

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    Animal plastics is a highly recommended choice for people that don't want "ghetto" enclosures. They're durable, displayable, and more importantly this particular model (6 x 2.5 ft) is small enough to fit in most moderately sized living rooms and are roomy enough to house a red foot for a few years before they outgrow them.
    https://apcages.com/collections/terrestrial-cages/products/t25-72l-x-30w-x-18h-1
  15. Melisha

    Melisha New Member

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    That enclosure looks great, but $400 is ridiculous. I am a full time student and mom of 3.. not working... So that's why i am into salvaging and repurposing materials. I feel like everyone is trying to point me in a different direction.. Which is not why i joined I specifically asked for suggestions on a 2nd floor and haven't recieved one. This is just becoming frustrating. I've spent hours on this project and all i have recieved is negative feedback.
  16. jockma

    jockma Well-Known Member

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    The second floor will not work well with the enclosure you are building, there is not enough vertical room and putting it higher up would be a safety hazard as he would have access to the doors. You could also accidentally injure him by opening and closing the doors if he is on the second floor. You can bisect the bottom of the enclosure with a piece of wood or something and use different textured terrain on either side, with a walkway so he can move between zones. This way he won’t feel as trapped because he won’t be able to see the whole enclosure from one spot. It will make his enclosure feel bigger for him than it really is.
  17. Melisha

    Melisha New Member

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    I am planning on having 2nd floor a 3rd if the size of bottom. And having a railing to protect him. The doors will not be near it. I want to make it like a small table with ramp and railing to remove easily. The cabinet it over 4 feet in height.
  18. Minority2

    Minority2 Active Member

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    You're planning on keeping a medium-sized species tortoise in a 2 x 2.5 ft enclosure. That's tiny even for a hatchling of any species of tortoise. While temperatures and humidity levels for a Red foot is easy to maintain, small spaces make tortoises feel inactive, even trapped. $400 is actually quite a deal. It's cheaper than what it cost to build a 6 x 2.5 ft plywood version out of nothing if one chooses to do so.

    I personally am not a fan of multiple level enclosures. In my experience such enclosures require far too many extra lighting fixtures to sufficiently light up each and every level. All those lighting fixtures equate to higher electricity bills for a 40-80 year investment.

    I've also noticed that some tortoises will simply not use any of the other levels besides the area closest to the main heating element. I'm not even sure tortoises can understand the concept of multiple floors within the same space. The limited amount of space used for ramps and banisters are often too small for maneuverability and growing tortoises. I've seen enough first hand to know that any vertical enclosure will require the dimensions of a typical recommended horizontal enclosure to be able to work. Otherwise, most people are just going to skimp on the details and in the end the tortoise ends up losing out because of it.
  19. Melisha

    Melisha New Member

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    The bottom is 3' x 2.5'.. Typed incorrectly.
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