Russian Tortoise Enclosure, Proper Size and Materials

sunnythecutie

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
US
Hi all,
Beginning to set up a tortoise enclosure and am in need of some advice.

Tortoise is a Russian, 4.5" in length. We got a preliminary enclosure (we'll probably need a bigger one); it's a plastic bin, dimensions 39.5" L x 20.25" W x 7" H

The height, I think is too small for fixing the lamp up. Additionally, I think she's stressed out and is going in circles.

What dimensions are recommended for a good, large, appropriate enclosure for Sunny? She loves going outside, burrowing in the grass, running around and loves the sun.

Might go to Lowe's/Home Depot but don't know where to start. Do they cut wood there, etc.?

All the materials are there:

-UVA/UVB 150W lamp w/ fixture
-Thermometer/Humidity Gauge
-Cypress mulch, Repti-bark, Coco coir for substrate
-Dual basking hiding area (has "stairs" and is hollow)
-Small food and water container

Would appreciate some help, thanks!
 

Freckles24

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
66
Location (City and/or State)
TN
I've never had an RT but I do know the stairs can be a falling/flipping hazard. Please remove it so the risk of her getting stuck on her back will be lessened. I just read the care sheet and it says minimum for a RT is 8' x 4' and with an RT bigger is always better because they are energetic.
 

mini_max

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
386
Location (City and/or State)
Alberta, Canada
4x6 or longer is great if you have the space. I book shelf turned on its side with all seams caulked and then coated on the inside with a waterproof varnish is a great option. It gives great depth and length, and it is already prefinished in a color of your choosing. Ikea's great.

If your tortoise loves going outside, you could consider building an outdoor enclosure too. We use landscaping blocks, and then covered the top in chicken wire so we didn't have to worry about unwelcome intruders. Then plant tortoise friendly plants for your little one to graze on and enjoy.
 

sunnythecutie

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
US
4x6 or longer is great if you have the space. I book shelf turned on its side with all seams caulked and then coated on the inside with a waterproof varnish is a great option. It gives great depth and length, and it is already prefinished in a color of your choosing. Ikea's great.

If your tortoise loves going outside, you could consider building an outdoor enclosure too. We use landscaping blocks, and then covered the top in chicken wire so we didn't have to worry about unwelcome intruders. Then plant tortoise friendly plants for your little one to graze on and enjoy.

My house is a bit small, so I'm afraid I don't have the space. Additionally, I live in New England, so needless to say, most of the year is winter--cold, and depressing hahah.

I'll see what I could do in the meantime, it does look like I will need to increase the space. We were thinking about a bookshelf, but were not sure how big one would need to be. Your everyday shelf is a bit small, so I was thinking I could build it using smooth wood from a hardware store. My bookshelf is actually from Ikea, and they sell individual shelves as separate unit. So, great ideas here--thanks!
 

mini_max

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
386
Location (City and/or State)
Alberta, Canada
This is our book shelf - we cut one of the shelves and mounted it as an upper level (and had glass custom cut to make a look out - which is excessive I know ).
image.jpg I know what you mean, our shelf is about 4x5 because we just don't have the space for more, but Max lives outside for about 3-4 months of the year, so I feel a bit better. also the upper level gives a bit more room. Ours looks sparse right now because I don't have any plants since he's been outside. I find if you do put different live plants in, often and in different spots, and make hills, valleys, rock piles, etc to vary things once in a while, that goes a long way to getting the most out the of the space.
 
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