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What’s the best room in the house for a tortoise to live in?

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by Kelly.324, Dec 22, 2018.

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  1. Kelly.324

    Kelly.324 Active Member

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    I’ve got a nearly 4 year old Russian male tortoise, Sebastian, and he needs a bigger enclosure which I’m planning on building next month which will be 8x4.

    My question is, are some rooms in the house better or worse for a tortoise to live in?

    He’s currently in the spare bedroom at the back of the house but it’s far from ideal and he needs more space so it means he’ll need to move rooms.

    I’ve two options roomwise,


    Option 1; the other spare bedroom which is at the front of the house and we live on a busy road with a bus stop right outside that room. Would the noise, vibrations and lights of this stress him out at all? Otherwise it’s a small warm room that gets plenty of sunlight. This room would be also potentially mean his enclosure could be wider than in option 2.

    Option 2; the dining room. The living and dining room are open plan in the house. My main worry about him being in this room is that there’s obviously a lot of cleaning/chemicals of that type used on the dining room table and surfaces, as well as scented candles and air fresheners. I’m also concerned that the noise of us pottering around, having guests, the tv and the lights on a lot would stress him out? Although he would be in a kind of alcove out the way.
    This room doesn’t get a lot of natural sunlight either.

    Any recommendations/advice would be so welcome, thank you.

    Kelly
  2. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    I would personally put a tortoise where I could see him more, but the other spare bedroom sounds ideal :)
  3. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    My redfoot, Darwin, lives in my office, as that's where I spend a lot of time.

    Jamie
  4. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    if you set him up in the room that gets a lot of light from outside, he's going to recognize the times of the year and you may have trouble keeping him from hibernating in the winter (that is, if you don't want him to hibernate).

    They soon get used to noises from the house around him. It's nice to have the enclosure where you can see it.
    Pastel Tortie and TechnoCheese like this.
  5. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    If your temps are correct in your enclosure I don't think it really matters where you put it.
    Gillian M likes this.
  6. T Smart

    T Smart Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I personally wouldn't put it in close to the dining area, due to the fact that's my Russian drops some bombs every once in a while.
    vladimir likes this.
  7. Kelly.324

    Kelly.324 Active Member

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    Haha that’s a really good point, they don’t exactly smell of roses do they, I hadn’t thought of that!
    My main concern was any harm he might suffer from cleaning chemicals, air freshener, candles etc?
  8. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Without direct contact, I'm pretty sure that stuff won't bother him.
  9. KarenSoCal

    KarenSoCal Well-Known Member

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    I think most pets, even fish, like to be where the family is. No one wants to be shut off in a back bedroom.

    As for cleaning supplies, pet birds are extremely sensitive to chemicals. But we all clean around our birds' areas, with no repercussions.
    Pastel Tortie likes this.
  10. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Personally I would go for the spare room as that's where you have room for the biggest enclosure.

    Tortoises aren't social and don't want or need company. They like to have their own territory and be sure it is not being invaded by someone trying to take it over.

    Russians need lots of space as they are very active little torts. A four year old needs 4'x8' (1.5x2.2m) floor area ideally.

    Have you read the TFO care guides? They're written by species experts working hard to correct the outdated information widely available on the internet and from pet stores and sadly from some breeders and vets too.

    Beginner Mistakes
    https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

    Russian tortoise care
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
  11. Kelly.324

    Kelly.324 Active Member

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    Thank you, I have read them, they’re brilliant, I’m able to give him an 8x4ft table in either room, its just that’ll it’ll be a different shape depending on the room that’s all.
    Could anyone advise how big a uvb tube I’d need for an 8x4 enclosure?

    Thanks :)
  12. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Get a long tube - 36” A 10.0 tube for reptiles. It should say on the packaging what height it needs to be mounted.

    I also recommend timers for the lamps as it makes life easier for you.

    Just one thought on the room choice... how cold does it get at night in each room? Don’t guess; use a min/max thermometer. If it drops below 16C you are going to need supplementary heat in the room overnight
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  13. Kelly.324

    Kelly.324 Active Member

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    I’m not sure about the temperature in the small spare bedroom but the heating thermostat is in the dining room and it’s not read below 17c so far this year on a night, although exactly how accurate it is I’m not sure. Thanks for the advice though, I hadn’t considered that :)
  14. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Many good points above, in favor of either room. The spare bedroom sounds lovely, but if you're an "out of sight, out of mind" kind of person (or if any of your backup tortoise keepers are), then put it where you're going to see it.
    Kelly.324 likes this.
  15. Kelly.324

    Kelly.324 Active Member

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    Thanks everyone, I’ll check the temperatures in both rooms and go from there I think, and if need be get him a heat source for nighttime.
    Now I just have to build it !
  16. TortoiseRacket

    TortoiseRacket Well-Known Member

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    Where ever you have the most space. Tortoises really use all the space you give them. There really is no right or wrong answer, as long as you can provide a large cage and the temperature is not too cold. Hope that helped!
    -Mickey
    Kelly.324 likes this.
  17. Kelly.324

    Kelly.324 Active Member

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    Hi all,

    Just to say thank you for all your help and advice. I’ve decided to put him in the dining room after all. I could always move his enclosure to the spare room though if need be. For the moment I’m planning on converting 2 of these Ikea book cases (and fitting them together in an L shape). I do realise ideally he could use more space but until I get the kitchen extension done by next autumn I thought it’s still an improvement on what he’s got.
    I’ve started converting them but I’m unsure what uv light would be best? I wanted to go with the tubes but what size and how many would be recommended?

    Any advice greatly appreciated, thank you :)

    IMG_1548755563.776506.jpg
  18. Kelly.324

    Kelly.324 Active Member

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    Someone on another thread kindly suggested 2 18inch uvb tubes per bookcase. Just wondering if I could just get 1 36inch per book case?

    Thanks
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