Terpaulin Enclosure for my Baby Sulcata

fernando7kose

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Hi all! I just want to share the new enclosure for my baby sulcata.
The frame is made of PVC pipes and the base is made of terpaulin. I keep it covered with transparent terp. The size is around 40x20x20 inches.

I'm using 75W Exoterra intense basking spot lamp.
The ambient temperature is around 90 at daytime, 85 at night.
Basking spot is around 95.
Humidity around the basking spot is around 75-80%, anywhere else is more than 80%.
The substrate that I'm using is coco husk.

Should I add anything to this enclosure? Is this good enough?
How about the air circulation? Does this look okay?
Please let me know if I need to change anything.
Thank you!

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Last edited:

Maro2Bear

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Id add a few live green plants to enhance the inside a bit & provide some interest & shade. It all looks a bit barren right now. The overall base & legs holding the enclosure look a bit wobbly!
 

fernando7kose

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Id add a few live green plants to enhance the inside a bit & provide some interest & shade. It all looks a bit barren right now. The overall base & legs holding the enclosure look a bit wobbly!
Thank you for the suggestions! Do you have any recommendation on what plants should I put inside? And would it be able to grow with my current substrate?
 

Sarah2020

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I would use plastic fish tank plants, flatish stones, slate and a tunnel ( hide). Real plants can come later as tge enclosure will need yo get bigger and humidy can mould stuff. I clean all bits monthly. Your trying yo block it end to end vision to encourage exploring and add visual interest.
 

fernando7kose

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I would use plastic fish tank plants, flatish stones, slate and a tunnel ( hide). Real plants can come later as tge enclosure will need yo get bigger and humidy can mould stuff. I clean all bits monthly. Your trying yo block it end to end vision to encourage exploring and add visual interest.
Thank you for the suggestions!
I will do it over the weekend.
Will post more pictures after I'm done adding the stuffs that you suggested.
 

Tom

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Hi all! I just want to share the new enclosure for my baby sulcata.
The frame is made of PVC pipes and the base is made of terpaulin. I keep it covered with transparent terp. The size is around 40x20x20 inches.

I'm using 75W Exoterra intense basking spot lamp.
The ambient temperature is around 90 at daytime, 85 at night.
Basking spot is around 95.
Humidity around the basking spot is around 75-80%, anywhere else is more than 80%.
The substrate that I'm using is coco husk.

Should I add anything to this enclosure? Is this good enough?
How about the air circulation? Does this look okay?
Please let me know if I need to change anything.
Thank you!

View attachment 348357 View attachment 348358 View attachment 348360 View attachment 348361
Coco coir is an okay substrate, though messy, but coco chips like what you've got is not. Its difficult for babies to walk on and incidental ingestion and impaction are likely.

There needs to be a humid hide in there and much more vegetation. Potted plants are great, but if you don't have that, you can clip branches from edible tress and shrubs like mulberry, grape, hibiscus and more. Replace the branches every other day or so as they begin to wilt.

The "intense spot lamp" will cause "intense" pyramiding. I'd replace that with a flood bulb ASAP.

I recommend no less than 48x24 for starting babies. Yours is smaller than that and it is not going to last for very long, so start planning something much bigger soon.
 

fernando7kose

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Coco coir is an okay substrate, though messy, but coco chips like what you've got is not. Its difficult for babies to walk on and incidental ingestion and impaction are likely.

There needs to be a humid hide in there and much more vegetation. Potted plants are great, but if you don't have that, you can clip branches from edible tress and shrubs like mulberry, grape, hibiscus and more. Replace the branches every other day or so as they begin to wilt.

The "intense spot lamp" will cause "intense" pyramiding. I'd replace that with a flood bulb ASAP.

I recommend no less than 48x24 for starting babies. Yours is smaller than that and it is not going to last for very long, so start planning something much bigger soon.
Thank you for replying, Tom!

For the bulb, can you please help me to make sure that mine is not a flood bulb? This one is not the coil type.
If it's dangerous I will change it right away.
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For the substrate, does this coco coir look good? Please let me know and I will change it ASAP.
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Yes I read in your guide about the minimum size of the enclosure for babies.
I just wanted to start small & make sure that I'm able to maintain the temperature and humidity.
I have already provided a humid hide & I'm planning to add what Sarah suggested.
For the potted plants, do you have any recommendation, Tom?
 

Tom

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Thank you for replying, Tom!

For the bulb, can you please help me to make sure that mine is not a flood bulb? This one is not the coil type.
If it's dangerous I will change it right away.
View attachment 348399

For the substrate, does this coco coir look good? Please let me know and I will change it ASAP.
View attachment 348400


Yes I read in your guide about the minimum size of the enclosure for babies.
I just wanted to start small & make sure that I'm able to maintain the temperature and humidity.
I have already provided a humid hide & I'm planning to add what Sarah suggested.
For the potted plants, do you have any recommendation, Tom?
That is a spot bulb. You want a flood.

I can't tell what is in that package of substrate. If it is plain coco coir, it should be okay, but orchid bark works better.

I have experience with pothos and spider plant, and both of those work for me.
 

fernando7kose

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That is a spot bulb. You want a flood.

I can't tell what is in that package of substrate. If it is plain coco coir, it should be okay, but orchid bark works better.

I have experience with pothos and spider plant, and both of those work for me.
Thank you Tom!
I will add spider plant & change the the substrate.
I just searched through this forum about flood bulb.
I couldn't find any kind of PHILIPS BR30 Flood Light in Indonesia.
What I found is this Arcadia Solar Basking Flood Light :
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Just want to double check, is this safe to use for my baby sulcata?
 

Tom

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Thank you Tom!
I will add spider plant & change the the substrate.
I just searched through this forum about flood bulb.
I couldn't find any kind of PHILIPS BR30 Flood Light in Indonesia.
What I found is this Arcadia Solar Basking Flood Light :
View attachment 348412
Just want to double check, is this safe to use for my baby sulcata?
The Arcadia flood lights are great.
 

fernando7kose

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The Arcadia flood lights are great.
Thank you Tom!
One more thing related to enclosure, my baby sulcata is way more active when he is allowed to free roam in my garden compared to when he is inside the enclosure. Is this normal?
 

Tom

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Thank you Tom!
One more thing related to enclosure, my baby sulcata is way more active when he is allowed to free roam in my garden compared to when he is inside the enclosure. Is this normal?
He's in a panic and looking for something familiar that looks like "home". They should never be free roaming. You will lose him that way. Make an enclosure in the garden for him. After a few trips outside in his own enclosure, it will become more familiar and less scary to him.
 

TammyJ

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You are getting the best advice! Good start for your little one!
 

fernando7kose

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He's in a panic and looking for something familiar that looks like "home". They should never be free roaming. You will lose him that way. Make an enclosure in the garden for him. After a few trips outside in his own enclosure, it will become more familiar and less scary to him.
Thank you for the advice Tom, will make sure to do it!

Here is the updated enclosure :
- I added coral vine from my garden to add more greens.
- I projected the spot lamp to the wall, so it won't go straight to the baby (While waiting for my flood lamp).
- I added slate to put the food on.
- I added another hide around the basking area (He likes to hang out there).
- I'm planning to add tree branches to act as a divider. Hopefully to promote exploring.
- I'm waiting for my coco coir.
Please let me know if I should change / add anything!
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You are getting the best advice! Good start for your little one!
I know!
I'm so glad that I found this forum
I've been reading through this forum for the past week 😀.
 

Tom

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Are coral vines non-toxic and safe to eat? If yes, I'd add more.

All else looks and sounds great.
 

fernando7kose

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Are coral vines non-toxic and safe to eat? If yes, I'd add more.

All else looks and sounds great.
I've searched through thetortoisetable and this forum but I couldn't find any info about coral vine.
Some days ago, I posted a thread asking for it and fellow member RosemaryDW replied that it's safe.

I have another question related to substrate.
I just found out through one of your replies in other thread that COCO COIR = COCO PEAT.
I also found out that these 2 substrates by exoterra & zoomed are also coco peat.
Which one would you recommend out of these two?
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Thank you so much for answering all my questions!
 

Tom

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I've searched through thetortoisetable and this forum but I couldn't find any info about coral vine.
Some days ago, I posted a thread asking for it and fellow member RosemaryDW replied that it's safe.

I have another question related to substrate.
I just found out through one of your replies in other thread that COCO COIR = COCO PEAT.
I also found out that these 2 substrates by exoterra & zoomed are also coco peat.
Which one would you recommend out of these two?
View attachment 348459 View attachment 348460


Thank you so much for answering all my questions!
Those are both the same thing. Get whichever is cheaper. I don't like coir for sulcatas because it is too messy. Its safe for them, but very messy. Use a thick damp layer and hand pack it firmly. You will have to regularly add water to keep it from drying out. Fine grade orchid bark works best.
 

fernando7kose

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Those are both the same thing. Get whichever is cheaper. I don't like coir for sulcatas because it is too messy. Its safe for them, but very messy. Use a thick damp layer and hand pack it firmly. You will have to regularly add water to keep it from drying out. Fine grade orchid bark works best.
Yes I've read through your replies about coco coir/peat in this forum. Will make sure to hand pack it!

And I just bought a pot of spider plant 😀.
I'm planning to change the soil that comes with it to coco peat. I already saw some insects & worms inside the plant's soil.
I'm planning to keep the plant inside the pot before putting it inside my enclosure.

Do you have any suggestion on this?
Thank you!
 

fernando7kose

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Update on my enclosure :
- Changed half of the substrate to coco peat (I need to buy more for the other half)
- Added a pot of spider plant
- Added grape & coral vines for decoration

Thank you so much for all the suggestions 😀🙏.
Please let me know if I should add anything else!

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