Sulcata shed conversion

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
Where sulcatas come from there is no winter. Daily highs are usually near 100 all the time, and they spend 95% of their lives underground where the temperature is consistently 80-85. This is how we should maintain them. This is what works best.

When days are sunny and warm the thermostat should be set at 80, because they can come out and bask to get warmer if they want. During winter cold spells, I bump it up to 86 since its cold and overcast and they can't get warm any other way. Your Kane mats will give them a way to warm up their core temp when the sun isn't shining, instead of the heat lamps.

70 is too low. 60 is WAY too low. It kills off certain flora and fauna in the gut biome when temps drop too low. They can usually survive that, but its not "good" for them to be that cold. In your humid climate, temps that low are likely to result in sickness.
Thanks for the ranges. I don’t let mine get to 60 except for a very rare night when the heaters are really struggling.
 

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
Where sulcatas come from there is no winter. Daily highs are usually near 100 all the time, and they spend 95% of their lives underground where the temperature is consistently 80-85. This is how we should maintain them. This is what works best.

When days are sunny and warm the thermostat should be set at 80, because they can come out and bask to get warmer if they want. During winter cold spells, I bump it up to 86 since its cold and overcast and they can't get warm any other way. Your Kane mats will give them a way to warm up their core temp when the sun isn't shining, instead of the heat lamps.

70 is too low. 60 is WAY too low. It kills off certain flora and fauna in the gut biome when temps drop too low. They can usually survive that, but its not "good" for them to be that cold. In your humid climate, temps that low are likely to result in sickness.
Tom, I looked at another thread you’d posted on and had another temp question. At what point would the shed become too hot? I was planning to have a duct fan trigger at 105 if it heated up to much, but I’m beginning to question how hot they can really tolerate. Thoughts?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,322
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Tom, I looked at another thread you’d posted on and had another temp question. At what point would the shed become too hot? I was planning to have a duct fan trigger at 105 if it heated up to much, but I’m beginning to question how hot they can really tolerate. Thoughts?
I don't know. Never tested to see at what temp they would die. We have days in summer here that are over 110 and they all survive. Even the ones above ground with no burrow. I wouldn't want the shed to get much over 95 personally, though I know they can survive hotter temps.
 

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
I don't know. Never tested to see at what temp they would die. We have days in summer here that are over 110 and they all survive. Even the ones above ground with no burrow. I wouldn't want the shed to get much over 95 personally, though I know they can survive hotter temps.
95 is plenty safe to me.
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
44,263
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
I’ve actually had to keep them separated for the past 5 years. They use to live together without issue, but bullying became a problem and I’ve since divided everything into thirds. Any advice on how to overcome this with males would be appreciated. The ramming behavior injured one of my guys and that’s when I started separating them.

Duly noted on the heat btw, I think I’ll try Tom’s radiator idea. The pig blankets haven’t been durable enough in the past.
You did right by separating them. The only solution that still doesn't have a 100 % no bully rate is to get a bunch of females and a very large, acreage enclosure.
 

LeoTheWaywardTortoise

Active Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
104
Location (City and/or State)
Maricopa, AZ
Tom, I looked at another thread you’d posted on and had another temp question. At what point would the shed become too hot? I was planning to have a duct fan trigger at 105 if it heated up to much, but I’m beginning to question how hot they can really tolerate. Thoughts?
Anecdotal info from a newbie in which N=1: I live in the outskirts of Phoenix, and temps this past summer exceeded 110F many days. I’d planned to bring my sully, Leo, indoors when days were forecast to be above 105F - he was ~10” and my yard is west-facing, so it gets really hot and not enough deep shade to protect him, or so I thought. But he did a disappearing act a couple days before the first forecasted day w/temps meeting the threshold… I could not find him anywhere. I was extremely concerned, even considered he’d somehow gotten out or had been taken by a predator. I put food out for him each morning, and checked when I got home from work each evening to see if any had been eaten.. it was untouched each day. Searched everywhere every evening, no luck. On the third evening, I checked his dish and it was completely empty. Still couldn’t find him, but I knew he was there, somewhere.

On my next day off (two days later) I parked myself on the back porch early in the morning and resolved to stay there until he appeared. A few hours later he emerged from deep within a dense, sprawling rosemary plant that had been growing unchecked for 20 years. So my routine through the summer was to put out his food in the morning, porch-park myself each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, then scoop him up and soak him to hydrate him for the upcoming week (I also had water available for him outside, of course).

Leo thrived over summer, despite the extreme temps. I ensured that the rosemary plant was watered daily and also sprayed it with water during the day when temps were high. He also would occasionally seek shelter underneath an overgrown dwarf citrus tree that received water each morning - I wanted it to provide higher humidity for him when he used it. He thrived throughout the summer, thank goodness.
 

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
Anecdotal info from a newbie in which N=1: I live in the outskirts of Phoenix, and temps this past summer exceeded 110F many days. I’d planned to bring my sully, Leo, indoors when days were forecast to be above 105F - he was ~10” and my yard is west-facing, so it gets really hot and not enough deep shade to protect him, or so I thought. But he did a disappearing act a couple days before the first forecasted day w/temps meeting the threshold… I could not find him anywhere. I was extremely concerned, even considered he’d somehow gotten out or had been taken by a predator. I put food out for him each morning, and checked when I got home from work each evening to see if any had been eaten.. it was untouched each day. Searched everywhere every evening, no luck. On the third evening, I checked his dish and it was completely empty. Still couldn’t find him, but I knew he was there, somewhere.

On my next day off (two days later) I parked myself on the back porch early in the morning and resolved to stay there until he appeared. A few hours later he emerged from deep within a dense, sprawling rosemary plant that had been growing unchecked for 20 years. So my routine through the summer was to put out his food in the morning, porch-park myself each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, then scoop him up and soak him to hydrate him for the upcoming week (I also had water available for him outside, of course).

Leo thrived over summer, despite the extreme temps. I ensured that the rosemary plant was watered daily and also sprayed it with water during the day when temps were high. He also would occasionally seek shelter underneath an overgrown dwarf citrus tree that received water each morning - I wanted it to provide higher humidity for him when he used it. He thrived throughout the summer, thank goodness.
That would have given me quite the scare. Smart boy hiding in the Rosemary. We have lots of tree cover here so even on 100+ days I know they have plenty of shade outside the shed. Thanks for sharing!
 

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
Where sulcatas come from there is no winter. Daily highs are usually near 100 all the time, and they spend 95% of their lives underground where the temperature is consistently 80-85. This is how we should maintain them. This is what works best.

When days are sunny and warm the thermostat should be set at 80, because they can come out and bask to get warmer if they want. During winter cold spells, I bump it up to 86 since its cold and overcast and they can't get warm any other way. Your Kane mats will give them a way to warm up their core temp when the sun isn't shining, instead of the heat lamps.

70 is too low. 60 is WAY too low. It kills off certain flora and fauna in the gut biome when temps drop too low. They can usually survive that, but its not "good" for them to be that cold. In your humid climate, temps that low are likely to result in sickness.
Hey Tom, where do you place the temperature probe when using the thermostat for the Kane mat?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,322
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hey Tom, where do you place the temperature probe when using the thermostat for the Kane mat?
Down low, just out of tortoise reach and far from any heat source. If the air temp in the shed is below the set point, I want the heat mats to be on so that they can get warmer than ambient.

I don't want the surface temp of the mats to be near the set point temperature. I want them to be significantly warmer than the air temp so the tortoises can get warmer.
 

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
You did right by separating them. The only solution that still doesn't have a 100 % no bully rate is to get a bunch of females and a very large, acreage enclosure.
Separating them has been hard as I obviously have to do everything 3 times. We recently relocated to a very large piece of land (22 acres) with the intent to give them a good 10 acres of outdoor run as they continue growing. I may try and reintroduce them once that’s all complete, but I’m weary of it after the last time. We had tried lots of visual breaks previously to see if that made it any better, but my biggest male is relentless in his pursuit of the others so we didn’t feel it was worth the stress and risk of injury.
 

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
Just finished installing the inline vent with a duct. Placed the temperature sensor near the roofline. It’s a 6” model, placed the intake near the roof and then ran a vent tube through the insulation, wall, and out to a covered hood.

Went with this model given the good reviews: AC Infinity CLOUDLINE T6, Quiet 6” Inline Duct Fan with Temperature Humidity Controller, Bluetooth App - Ventilation Exhaust Fan for Heating Cooling Booster, Grow Tents, Hydroponics https://a.co/d/bFJetoZ
 

Attachments

  • 17B5AA95-8703-488D-BE0B-A8FCCFB178C1.jpeg
    17B5AA95-8703-488D-BE0B-A8FCCFB178C1.jpeg
    1.3 MB · Views: 4
  • 280E9492-470A-410D-B621-71C635B76921.jpeg
    280E9492-470A-410D-B621-71C635B76921.jpeg
    1.1 MB · Views: 3

Ray--Opo

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
6,388
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
My deck is made of the same stuff and does fine, but I’ll check/replace the bottom boards if they deteriorate. It’s all easily removable with screws.
Nice job, to get away from bottom boards deteriorating. You could use the composite 5/4 board. I know it's pricey, but for some reason I am guessing. Price is not a issue. 😂
 

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
Nice job, to get away from bottom boards deteriorating. You could use the composite 5/4 board. I know it's pricey, but for some reason I am guessing. Price is not a issue. 😂
Lol, price is always an issue (thus the rehab of the shed), but that’s a good point if they deteriorate too fast. I got the vent on a good Black Friday deal (~$100) and just don’t want to have to redo this again for a long while. I feel tortoise owners are constantly struggling with the do it cheaper and then redo it as they grow, or do it right and convince the wife it’s worth it 🤣. It helps that she’s seen me have to do it a few times.
 

Ray--Opo

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
6,388
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
Lol, price is always an issue (thus the rehab of the shed), but that’s a good point if they deteriorate too fast. I got the vent on a good Black Friday deal (~$100) and just don’t want to have to redo this again for a long while. I feel tortoise owners are constantly struggling with the do it cheaper and then redo it as they grow, or do it right and convince the wife it’s worth it 🤣. It helps that she’s seen me have to do it a few times.
I get it 😂
I just built a new night box for our sully. I used expanded PVC foam board, for outer and inner walls. Also the top and floor. I keep telling my wife it will last forever.
She is skeptical of course. 😂
 

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
I get it 😂
I just built a new night box for our sully. I used expanded PVC foam board, for outer and inner walls. Also the top and floor. I keep telling my wife it will last forever.
She is skeptical of course. 😂
😆 Would love to see pics of your setup if you’re willing to share
 

Ray--Opo

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
6,388
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
😆 Would love to see pics of your setup if you’re willing to share
Sure, let me put the finishing touches on it. I work on it when I can. I am a double amputee with lots of health problems. So I just trudge along when I can.
 

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
Sure, let me put the finishing touches on it. I work on it when I can. I am a double amputee with lots of health problems. So I just trudge along when I can.
Thanks a bunch and best of luck with the finishing touches!
 

DarkerGraphic

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
54
Mostly done with the door insulation. Used a combo of carpet tape and foil duct tape (till I ran out)
EFD20044-EADF-4D1D-9691-45AF92A2100F.jpeg 8E4D6D81-3F94-4FF3-9E12-57967D25F64C.jpeg
 

dd33

Well-Known Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 22, 2018
Messages
332
Location (City and/or State)
Florida
Can they reach that insulation at all? If they can scratch at it they will eat the pieces.
Also, keep an eye on that foil backed tape. Some types stick like crazy and you can never peel it off. Other types will loosen up after a few weeks and just fall right off. I have had it happen on the poly iso type insulation on several occasions now.
 

New Posts

Top