Newbie needing help

Jodie

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My winters are also long and cold. I built a heated night box in the back of a greenhouse. A 100 pound Sulcata really can't be kept in the house. They are destructive. There are many options though, and you have time until she is big enough to tear down walls. A night box works really well in summer. Yvonne posted some links above to show you what I am talking about. Best of luck. Remember to ask any questions you have.
 

leigti

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Make the walls of her enclosure in the playroom toll. Then you can make a PVC or wooden frame and cover it with something like a heavy duty shower curtain. This will help keep the heat and humidity in without having to make your entire house a sauna. Before I covered the enclosures it was taking a whole lot of light bulbs to keep it warm enough, I ended up using two 150 watt chicken brooder bulbs for each enclosureit was crazy. Now just one heat bulb is needed per enclosure. My electric bill is much better also. You may still end up needing two but your enclosure is bigger.
 

leigti

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On second thought, ignore my suggestions. @Jodie has made a tortoise room that would probably be much easier and economical for you. I sent a shout out to her so maybe she can explain it more.
 

Jodie

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I put insulation on top of the existing floor. Covered that with rock board. Screwed it down and put a floating plywood floor on top. This way it is easy to replace parts as they get icky. I used 18 inch painted boards for the walls, and sealed things up with caulking. I lined areas with plastic to put substrate, this is where I put the heat light. I keep the substrate moist. The rest I just use aspen to absorb messes and leave bare wood. I have humid night hides in each one. These have a Kane mat and a CHE on a thermostat.
I did similar in the greenhouse. The hide is much bigger and insulated. Instead of a CHE I use an oil filled radiant heater an a Kane mat. I also have a light for winter. My Sulcata comes out most days and walks around the greenhouse. It stays above freezing, but not warm. We are tossing around options to improve it's ability to hold heat. The box stays above 80 though. Sully goes out even in the snow sometimes. He has a lean to that was meant for shade area. It is not covered in snow under it. He tramps through the snow and eats grass there, then goes back in his box to warm up.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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This is where Bob lived. It's insulated walls, floor, roof, and heated with the same oil filled radiator heater that Jodie uses. The shed is 20'X12', so there's lots of pacing room after he came in from the snow. There is a 150 watt UVB bulb, a sleeping box with an osborne pig blanket and 24/7 humidifier. It stays an ambient temp of 85 degrees during the winter and 95 under the light. I like to give a big Sulcata the choice to go in or out, despite the weather. And if they decide to stay in, there's lots of pacing room in there. That's just how I liked to do it. Everyone does it how it suits them and their animal both. Bob always went out into the snow, took one tour of his yard and went back in. Big Sulcata are smart.

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Tidgy's Dad

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Hello, and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum to you and Ariel.
Thanks for coming here to learn, ask questions and clearly do the best you can for Ariel.
Good luck.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Can you include a photo of your UVB bulb? Compact florescent bulbs have caused serious and permanent eye damage to tortoises. (Let's be sure you don't have one.)
 

TerrapinStation

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Awesome! Congratulations and welcome. Ariel is lucky to have found your family. The beginning/setup is the hardest part. Once everything is in place, and you fall in to a routine it is quite enjoyable.

Another FYI for the warmer months, be careful with the tortoise being out with/around the other animals, not only for the obvious reasons, but Tortoises like to eat other animals waste, which can be toxic. Especially since you are running a rescue, I am sure a lot of the animals are on medications.... Something I learned here and like to pass on as it is not the first thing we think about... poop eating that is.......
 

sunshinedd8

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Here is a photo of Ariel's new home. Its 5'x6'. We are able to get the heat up to 85+. Even earlier this week when it was below zero here we were able to keep it at about 80. If we tarp it, we could probably do even better. DSCN2254.JPG
 

leigti

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It's good that you can keep the temperatures up, the high sides help. Is that silver bowl for water? A large terra-cotta plant saucer works, if you can find one that's a couple inches deep. Otherwise you could sync the bold deeper into the substrate and then put a couple rocks in the bottom of it just in case he should do something stupid and end up flipped into the bowl.
The clamps can fail, I have heard of cases where they do and it actually starts a fire. Not good for you or your tortoise. You can get a lamp stand or even hang them straight down using wire from a wooden bar across the top of the enclosure.
 

sunshinedd8

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This is a picture of the UVB bulb we have for her. I did buy it at a pet shop but I think it might be the wrong one. Where do I get the right one? DSCN2255.JPG
 

Alaskamike

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You are really working hard !
The great thing with torts is that once you the environment right it gets easy to maintain. I would not use that coil bulb. Some cause eye problems for torts. Someone will have the name - maybe a photo of the best one up here soon I'm sure I don't
use them in south Florida - plenty of sun here :)

Been a sucker for rescue myself & had to rapidly put together an environment, tweaking all the time till it was good for them.

I looked down through this thread , & may have missed it , but I would suggest to get a bag of Mazuri tortoise food. Comes in pellets. I buy 25 lb bags & keep it in a Rubbermaid bin. You just grab a handful soak it and mix with greens. In every case of getting a tort strong I believe it helped. I order mine right from manufacturer. Off website.

Don't be surprised if he puts on a growth spurt once he has enough water , good food and activity.

Good fortune with him.
 

sunshinedd8

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Thanks, Mike, for your kind words. I will look for that Mazuri food. I think we have a good routine going with her now. This site has been priceless help!! I feel much better about the care we are now giving Ariel and it is definitely because of the help we got here. Thank you so much, EVERYONE!!
 

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