Small DIY Enclosure - Help

JonnyLightning

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May 22, 2020
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Hey guys and gals,

This is my first post. I am thinking about getting a hatchling tortoise that would stay rather small, hopefully to remain and indoor tortoise. I am renting an apartment right now that's rather small. I've seen people using Rubbermaid totes, small wooden boxes etc for hatchlings. My question is, how long can they live in these small makeshift houses?

Everywhere online states minimum of 40 gallons here, 8x4 here, 4x4 there, 6x2 there etc, I get it is kind of subjective but that also it is important too for the tortoise to get room to walk around around. My question is really based on the small enclosures, the ones about 32" by 35" or so, the small indoor ones for hatchlings, how long can they live in these small enclosures?

I'm thinking of a Baby Greek tortoise, but please don't blast me about my ignorance I'm here looking for help! Here is a DIY cage that I just built that is 31"x 20" it is small but I have limited space and I've seen people use totes with this space for their tortoise.

Is this a no-no? If I use my own DIY cage, how long can I keep a tortoise in here? If not a baby Greek, something that I can keep in this for a good while before I have to rebuild another cage.. Any ideas or suggestions?
Thank you. - also, yes I need to do my laundry lol IMG_20200522_164454.jpg IMG_20200522_164442.jpg
 

iAmCentrochelys sulcata

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Ok I would use that just for a baby, I myself have a Testudo Species. A Herman’s to be exact I keep it in a plastic tote which maintains humidity and heat. It’s a chapter option and more convenient. Since you already make your enclosure you could keep it there but find a way to keep the humidity 60-75% to prevent Pyramiding.
I think a any species of Testudo would suit you. If you have any questions feel free to ask!
Good luck!
 

JonnyLightning

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I would love to house a baby in this while building a coffee table enclosure, but I'd like to know thoughts on how long a "baby" stays a baby in terms of years, and how long can I house a "baby" in this enclosure, before I need to rehouse. Thank you
 

JonnyLightning

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That is a great enclosure and a good size but babies need high humidity and wooden enclosures with open top can't really achieve that.
So I close the lid or fill it in and put mesh on the sides. I can worry about humidity and temperature levels, I will do what I can. I am worried about spacing and longevity of this enclosure. Thank you for compliments.
 

Crush da Baum

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So I close the lid or fill it in and put mesh on the sides. I can worry about humidity and temperature levels, I will do what I can. I am worried about spacing and longevity of this enclosure. Thank you for compliments.
Just keep a plastic wrap or something over the screen and spray the dirt down and I think you would be fine. For the size, you are perfectly fine. That size for a hatchling is plenty enough. 8 by 4 foot is good for a full-grown Herman.
 

JonnyLightning

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lol
Just keep a plastic wrap or something over the screen and spray the dirt down and I think you would be fine. For the size, you are perfectly fine. That size for a hatchling is plenty enough. 8 by 4 foot is good for a full-grown Herman.
Thank you. I have plexiglass cut for the side hole right now. if i put plastic wrap on the lid I won't be able to put a light on there. I was thinking if the side was plexiglass and I had the light just sitting upside down on the mesh it would hold heat/ humidity. If i put plastic wrap there where would I put the light? I'd like to build a solid enclosure for a coffeetable with lights built in after I get a hatchling and it outgrows this
 

Crush da Baum

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Oh, yea totally forgot about the light. My bad. I have seen people build a Plexiglas box attached to the top with a flap or open up lid in the front and drill holes on the top and hang the lights.
 

JonnyLightning

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Ya that is what I was going to do. I guess I'll get a light and try to achieve trial and error humidity and heat and get that right before I get one. THanks
 

JonnyLightning

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I did some reading and I think to help with the humidity, I can cut a piece of wood the same size as the mesh and cut a hole for the light to rest on top. Then coat the wood of the entire box with marine varnish and then paint, and after it's 100 percent dry should be good to maintain humidity with a closed top and the porous wood shouldn't absorb as much humidity because of the coating and paint :D
 

Sue Ann

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So I close the lid or fill it in and put mesh on the sides. I can worry about humidity and temperature levels, I will do what I can. I am worried about spacing and longevity of this enclosure. Thank you for compliments.
My son built one like yours and we fit plexiglass in the open or screened places. Worked great until he outgrew it in a year.
 
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