Night box flooring?

Johnkoch

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
Messages
59
Location (City and/or State)
Frisco, Texas
http://products.sunshinesupply.com/...for-testing-purposes-epro-ecoline-r-membrane? I'm trying this product, I don't have the sulcata yet but will be getting a large male... I can tell you from applying it that is has a tenacious bond after it drys. i did a sample on a piece of plywood and I tried to separate it from the plywood and you have to destroy the plywood to get it to remove... only time will tell but I hope it will have good longevity... I did this instead of horse stall mats... It is stocked at commercial construction supply stores...
Thank you for your response!! I will definitely have a look at this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jrh

Johnkoch

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
Messages
59
Location (City and/or State)
Frisco, Texas
Opinions on using hard board ( what they make clip boards out of ) for flooring?
Yeah, I'm not sure. Never tried it but my concern would be not only it being slick, especially when he/she pees on it and they will, but also the thickness of the hardboard. Is it thick enough to hold your weight? Not sure how big you're planning on building it but I'm constentlly inside my box (mainly to clean the poop and pee out of it) since I can't reach everything from the outside. Another consern is how it will hold up when it gets wet (from the pee). If at all possiable I would use plywood, just wouldn't want to do it then have to pull it all out and redo it all over again!! Just my opinion :)
 

Kadels

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
94
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt floods from the hardware store. I run them on a timer and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them.
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day ad night for tropical species, like sulcata.
  3. Light. I use florescent tubes for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most tubes at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. If you want it anyway, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type you get will depend on mounting height.
Curious about the light - is this just for babies? In building my new night box, I'm not sure whether it needs a light source, or just heat. I'm in Phoenix.
 

Big Charlie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
2,782
Location (City and/or State)
California
Curious about the light - is this just for babies? In building my new night box, I'm not sure whether it needs a light source, or just heat. I'm in Phoenix.
If it is a night box, you don't need light. In Phoenix, your adult should be able to come out every day to bask and eat. He'll just spend nights in the box and it should be dark so he can sleep.
 

Kadels

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
94
If it is a night box, you don't need light. In Phoenix, your adult should be able to come out every day to bask and eat. He'll just spend nights in the box and it should be dark so he can sleep.
Cool - that's what I thought. Thanks!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,610
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Curious about the light - is this just for babies? In building my new night box, I'm not sure whether it needs a light source, or just heat. I'm in Phoenix.
I agree. No need for any lighting in your heated box. It should simulate a burrow for a sulcata and be dark inside.
 

JackieJax

Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Grand Terrace
This is a matter of much debate and I'm sure everyone will have their own opinions. Here are mine with some explanation:
I have tried all sorts of things under lots of tortoises in night boxes over many years. I still have not found a one-size-fits-all solution. I have preferences, but I'm continually trying new ideas, and I'm open to suggestions. On some aspects of tortoise care, I am pretty well set on what I think is the way to go. Like soaking hatchlings every day. No ifs, ands, or buts about that one for me. On what to use for the bottom of a night box? I'm still up in the air and willing to learn and be taught. I have found solutions that work for me by much trial and error, but I'm open to new ideas too.

Sulcatas are very powerful, very heavy animals. Any sort of brushed on type of paint, epoxy or resin will not hold up. I'm using Pond Shield for my newest star tortoise boxes, but they are relatively small and light weight tortoises and I'm using 3" of orchid bark between them and the coating. I don't think pond shield would stand up to the abuse dished out by a sulcata. I've seen people use linoleum or tiles, and that seems like it could work for smaller, less destructive species, but I think a large sulcata would tear that up. I like the horse mat idea, but I don't like the idea of poopy tortoise muddy pee water getting under it and fermenting, and those things are heavy and difficult to manage for lifting and cleaning. I'm also concerned about any sort of fumes or residues from any kind of paint or coating.

The best solution I have found for large sulcatas is a thin layer of dirt and a bunch of grass hay on top of plain untreated plywood. The dirt and hay absorb everything and make clean up pretty easy. I have four adults that have been living this way for years, and the bottom of their enclosure is still in good shape. In the future, if it ever rots or gets too rough, it will be easy to slap a plywood patch right on top of the affected area, and I'll be good to go for several more years. If I was concerned about it, I could pre-install a patch in any new box, and then just replace it every year or two, and the original floor underneath would last forever. But I'm not concerned about it because it doesn't seem to be a problem. I just scrape out the muddy, poopy dirt and hay with a flat headed shovel and toss it in a wheelbarrow. Then I put in fresh dry dirt and a couple flakes of fresh grass hay, and they are good to go.
How do you keep the untreated plywood from getting mold?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,610
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
How do you keep the untreated plywood from getting mold?
I just doesn't. I put a thin layer of dirt in there to absorb all the mess, and then make it easy to scrape it all out with a flat head shovel.
 

New Posts

Top