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Need Tortoise Table Tips !

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by CFK, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. CFK

    CFK New Member

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    Hi ❕ Building my first Custom Tortoise Table since I just got a second Star !

    I have a 10 year old male and just acquired a 3 Yr old Female. My Table is 2x8x1' . I'm essentially copying this :

    http://startortoises.net/tortoisetables.html



    First of all is lighting, I'm looking at the new T5 High output UVB tubes and will be doing custom lighting hanging above the table. So with a 96" total length, minis 15" for the hide, leaving me 81". I was gonna purchase a 48" fixture and use 1-54 watt 46" Zoomed bulbs. Will that be to much, or not enough light ?

    Second ? : I want to safely seal to wood to prevent rot and mold, I've heard of people using Minwax Polycrylic water based sealer. Is it safe ? Any other products that are safe ? Or just use Poly sheets ?

    http://m.homedepot.com/p/Minwax-1-qt-Satin-Polycrylic-Protective-Finish-63333444/202061476

    Thanks in advance for any advice :D pics to follow
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Hi, and welcome to the Forum!

    Is there any chance you can make it 3' wide instead of 2'? I think your 2x8 is big enough for the one tortoise, but adding a second one that might just be a tad too small. Also, once you put in several inches of substrate, 1' deep is mighty shallow. A big tortoise like your male will be able to climb right out.

    I think the light will be fine for UVB, however, you'll need heat. You'll probably need two CHE (ceramic heat emitters), one on each end.
  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Unless the room you are going to keep them in is warm and humid all the time, I would not use a table. Closed chambers make life much easier for you and much better for the tortoise.

    I would also not house them as a pair. That will be very stressful and possibly deadly for your young female.

    It varies from vet to vet, but a quarantine period of 3-12 months should be observed too. Stars are known carriers of all sorts of bad stuff.

    Here is where my stars live. These leopards grew up and live outside now:
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/closed-chambers.32333/
  4. CFK

    CFK New Member

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    Ok. I've already built the base. Guess I should have asked before construction. I'm building a divider to seperate them if he harrases her. I've already introduced them, they've been together for 2 months.

    I assume my enclosure is obviously way to small. This build has been a long time in the making. And yes I feel terrible, so take it easy on me !

    My male is only 5.5" long and the same size as my female. I've had him for 7 years and was told he was 3 when i got him. I always let them roam around my house. I'm in the PNW, so outdoors isn't an option. I take them to the vet if I feel anything is wrong. And make sure he isn't loosing weight .

    If I have to build a duplicate cage to seperate them them they get larger I will do so.

    I ended up buying 2- 4' T5 High Output fixtures. And will possibly tile the bottom then.But thanks for the advice , and I will do more research in the future as I care deeply for my little tort friends !

    Thanks again !
  5. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Its good that you are here and asking!

    I also use the HO type UV tubes. I have Arcadia 12% tubes in reflector hoods and they make a lot of UV. I only run them 4 hours a day, mid day because they are so strong. Its best to use a UV meter when mounting them to make sure the UV is strong enough, but not too strong.

    I strongly recommend against letting them roam on the floor. Everyone who does this intends to be carful and thinks its safe, but so many tortoises end up impacted, injured or dead from this practice. They are safest and happiest in their home.
  6. CFK

    CFK New Member

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    Update : Finished Wood construction, finally found a Non-Toxic Wood sealer / waterproofer available in Canada :

    http://www.seal-once.com/component/...ercent-polyurethane-interior-exterior-sealers



    I was thinking of using Linolium for the floor. It appears very durable and waterproof. Anybody used it before ? Tileing would be heavy and expensive.

    Also, I bought 2- 54 watt T5 HO fixtures with Zoo Med Reptisun 10 UVB bulbs. Before having to purchase an expensive UVB meter I found that National Geographic makes these little UV Sensor cards with a Low - med - high reading.

    http://m.petsmart.com/h5/hub?id=/reptile/bulbs-lamps/national-geographic-trade-uv-sensor-zid36-5230138/cat-36-catid-500036?null

    There dirt cheap and I know " you get what you pay for " but has anybody had experience with them ? Or can suggest a reasonably priced Meter that I can purchase ?

    I was contemplating separating the each light onto different timers depending on the amount of lumens / UVB it out out. So for example you could have 1 bulb on for 6 hours, 2 on for 3.

    So Tom, for your indoor enclosure, how many bulbs / watts did you have on for 4 hours a day !?! Do you have a smaller bulb you run for the remainder of the day ?

    So much research, so little time ! Things are really starting to add up as they usually do with projects , but my torts happiness is my main priority !$! Thanks in Advance ❕

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
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