Outdoor Box Turtle Enclosure Build Thread, picture heavy

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txturtle13

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Hello everyone!

Thought I'd share the progress of my Turtle Garden/Enclosure and start a build thread where I can map progress. It is NOT finished, but almost there. I still need to add the leaf litter, some cypress mulch, and move the little pond.

First step...dug up A LOT of rock and weeds. The previous owner of our home buried a ton of rock under garden tarp and dirt and started a garden on top. Took a pickax and hours of back breaking labor, great workout :)
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Next.. Clear out the rocks:
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Dug a trench about 6 inches deep for underground wall. It went against everything I felt, after having just dug up all that rock... But I buried rock and gravel:
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Then I tried to use these landscaping rocks we have to build the walls, but they just weren't sturdy enough.
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Cleared all rocks out, mixed organic peat moss, vegan organic compost and organic dirt from my yard to level the ground:
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Finally was able to put my stone walls up! Corners at the house measure 24"+ high, walls measuring 14" high. I'm really happy with how it turned out.
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We installed the little pond, later realizing there's not enough room for Dora to get around it. She can easily get in and out, so thankfully that's not an issue. Its also angled all wrong, so its not holding the water right now. We will be moving it before she goes to live in there permanently this weekend.
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Dora got to scope it out while I was in there planting some of her plants. She loves it! Never new turtles could get so excited
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Not all the plants, and hides, are installed. Many are still with her.



My Loves:
My Husband
2 Dogs
2 Three toed box turtles
1 Betta fish
 

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bmt123

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Just make sure you keep weeds in check I made that mistake in mine.
 

diamondbp

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Looks great! My only advice is to place some cypress mulch(2 inches or so) over a 1/3 to 2/3 of the inclosure . This helps hold natural bugs/worms to eat after a rain plus gives the box turtles some substrate to bury in to escape Mosquitos at night and to thermoregulate.
 

txturtle13

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diamondbp said:
Looks great! My only advice is to place some cypress mulch(2 inches or so) over a 1/3 to 2/3 of the inclosure . This helps hold natural bugs/worms to eat after a rain plus gives the box turtles some substrate to bury in to escape Mosquitos at night and to thermoregulate.

Thanks for the tip! I already have a bag waiting to be spread, I was just too tiered yesterday after constructing to add it. Ill be adding cypress mulch and organic oak leaf litter to it over the week. I'm pretty excited. This enclosure is about 4 times the size of her temporary enclosure.


My Loves:
My Husband
2 Dogs
2 Three toed box turtles
1 Betta fish
 

diamondbp

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Well then it sounds like it'll be perfect for her. I'm impressed
 

txturtle13

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Thank you! I'm pretty excited and can't wait to move her into it, but I need to finish it first. I think I'm going to plant a dwarf banana tree for shade also.


My Loves:
My Husband, 2 Dogs, 2 Box turtles, and 1 Betta fish
 

yagyujubei

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I would let the top row of blocks cantilever an inch or so into the enclosure to prevent climbing and escape. They can be surprisingly agile.
 

Bibbit

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Very nice. I am in the middle of building an enclosure myself and it is hard work. I like the stone wall on yours.
 

Centexsnakes

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That's way cool! Need to start planing mine for when my guy is bigger!


1.1 ball pythons 0.0.1 RES
0.0.1 eastern box 2.1 cats
0.1 dog
 

txturtle13

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Thank you! It was a lot of work but I'm so excited to permanently move her in there :). Ill be adding in some more plants and starting some seed I got from sulcatafoods.com. My baby won't be moved out there for a couple years, so she'll have the place to herself for a while. Not sure if I will hibernate her outside or Rubbermaid.. Haven't decided. Still need to research


My Loves:
My Husband, 2 Dogs, 2 Box turtles, and 1 Betta fish
 

txturtle13

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And it's finally done!! Cypress mulch laid, plants planted, leaf liter sprinkled along the back....Dora is officially moved in! Tonight will be her first night in her new home.
Here she is exploring her new home. She's been walking every inch of it all afternoon.

Oops the pictures didn't post... Here we go:
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And my little explorer:
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She can get out of the pond from all sides. I watched her this afternoon.
 

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terryo

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Fantastic! The only thing I would add is one hosta plant. I put a small one in mine and this year it got really big, and I notice they will sit under it when it's hot and it also draws slugs, which they love. I LOVE the little pond.
 

txturtle13

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terryo said:
Fantastic! The only thing I would add is one hosta plant. I put a small one in mine and this year it got really big, and I notice they will sit under it when it's hot and it also draws slugs, which they love. I LOVE the little pond.

That's my next addition :). I was just going to add one because I've heard they can get quite large. Thats a small dwarf banana tree in there too. I have them in my yard. It will soon have big leafs for shade and provide a cool spot once it's established. it supposedly will produce bananas, but that one is a few years away from that.

Thank you everyone! I'm just so excited for her to have her own space. The enclosure gets morning sun and shade after Noon. I also planted Sulcatafood.com seed in the front.

We're going to add another hide for her also. Chuy will go out there in 2-3 years :p
 

TigsMom

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Very nice! Here in AZ, I had to cover ours due to wildlife predators (hawks, ravens and more). The cover is a section of rod iron fence with chicken wire and shade screen. It's heavy, but I lift it up and prop it with a stick to work on the habitat, feed and water them. Plus one of my Boxies is a major escape artist, so the cover insures no escapes.

I'm getting ready to remodel their habitat with a grown humid hide, it's so pretty and edible I think it will be wonderful for them. I found it here on the forum. It'll be fun giving it a try. Basically 1 inch of soil, then cover with hardware wire, then another inch of soil, seeded with grasses and edible flowers in a tray. Once roots are well established, just form it gently into a arched hide.
 

txturtle13

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I just checked on Dora for the millionth time today.... And couldn't find her!! I panicked! She was no where to be found and the dirt didn't look dug up anywhere except where she destroyed some clovers I planted.

I ran inside the house, yelled up to my husband, "Dora escaped!!!!"

He comes down 5 min later, as I'm frantically searching the yard... Digs around in the dug up empty clover spot and there she is! The punk had bury herself instead of her norm of sleeping under her log!

Crisis averted! I'll feel better after she's been in there a week or two and I know she's established...
 

terryo

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You will find that when the plants get established she will mostly dig under instead of using the hide. Mine never used it so I just took it out of the garden, but my plants are all big now.
 
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