What is the BEST Enclosure for a Russian Tortoise??

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Tortilla1989

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I want to give my Tortoise a bigger better habitat but I am debating back and forth as what the best enclosure would be, I am housing my tortoise indoors because I live in Chicago....
I see lots of different options and hoping some suggestions and ideas will help.

I like the rabbit cage idea because of the ramp but maybe be dangerous for torts... but looks easy to clean and the cage will keep my kitty cat out...

Also I see outdoor pond tubs used which makes a really cool looking lifelike habitat, but how hard is that to clean..? DO they have smaller ones for indoors?

Or just a simple rubbermaid container seems to be a popular option... what about heating and humidity issues with that...?

Also I read that you can use Cement mixer containers? have NO idea what that is..


I keep seeing this rectangular tubs with one end higher then the other and a small stair ramps, I don't know what they are or where I can find them but I like those the best


ANY Replies to my questions would be a BIG help! Thank you!!!!!!
Ps. I posted a picture of what I am using now but need to find something bigger right away!

_Tortilla_
 

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Tom

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A couple things about the current enclosure first: That water bowl is a death trap. Get rid of it right away. Fine for lizards and snakes. No good for tortoises. Get a terra cotta plant saucer at the hardware store for 2 or 3 bucks instead. Sink it into the substrate so the rim is level with the surface. The other thing is the sand. It poses an impaction risk and it can be a skin and eye irritant. I recommend something else. Coco coir, orchid bark, cypress mulch, etc...

For an enclosure what you need is floor space for an adult russian. Anything that is convenient to go buy is going to be too small. You can either build something or convert an old book shelf. My preference would be a 4x8' enclosure, but 3x5' would be adequate. Just make sure you go big with the outdoor enclosure. Give him plenty of room to graze and stretch those legs during the warmer months.
 

Yvonne G

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You can go around to yard sales or garage sales and try to find a 5 shelf book case. Remove the shelves, line it with plastic. You may have to reinforce the back (which is now the bottom) because lots of times they are just cardboard.

The only thing I find wrong with the book case habitat is that it has to be on the floor. Its usually drafty on the floor.

You can also buy two of the biggest plastic tub (by biggest, I mean floor space, not wall height) and cut out opposing ends then put them together.

Your steppe tortoise is an adult, and he needs quite a bit more room than you have for him. I'd say five or six times more room.
 

Thalatte

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So here is an unusual idea and don't know if your interested but a cheap/ easy way to do a large tort table is find a dining room table that is the dimensions you need and screw some walls into the sides then it is off the ground, doesn't take much in the way of technical skills, and you can find some really nice tables that only have a few dings scratches or chips at yard sales, second hand stores, and junk yards.
 

WillTort2

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Thalatte said:
So here is an unusual idea and don't know if your interested but a cheap/ easy way to do a large tort table is find a dining room table that is the dimensions you need and screw some walls into the sides then it is off the ground, doesn't take much in the way of technical skills, and you can find some really nice tables that only have a few dings scratches or chips at yard sales, second hand stores, and junk yards.

I like the idea for the DR table being converted into a tort table. One way to do this with an expansion table (one that has leaves for making it larger) is to use the expansion opening to mount your sidewall. Also cut an arch into the sidewall to allow entry to the other half of the table. Should you need to separate 2 torts; just cover the arched opening. The leaves of the table can be used to expand for future use. And the legs usually can unbolt for easy moving.
 

Thalatte

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That's a great idea! I didn't even think of expanding with the leaves! Now the only issue someone would have is finding a place to put a second dining room table...
 

Tortilla1989

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THANK YOU everyone for the quick responses!!! I have everything I need for her new habitat just need the Enclosure!!!
I am not going to use sand any more but mix the coconut coil and potting soil together then lay some Timothy hay on top and leave some areas with slate or flag stone.
I like the idea about the old book shelf, I have a lot of room so size isn't an issues.
Does anyone know a company that sells custom made tortoise tables? I am no good with power tools and wood so making one myself would be impossible.
I want this new home to be the one she has for the rest of her life well at least for indoors.
I saw another Idea for enclosure someone used an old bathtub which looked really cool but not sure what issues would arise with that..
Thank you again for all your help!

_Tortilla_
 

Thalatte

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First thing that pops into my mind is it wouldn't be big enough. I don't know of any that sell custom tort tables but there are a few sites that do custom reptile enclosures. A large snake enclosure would work if you could find one large enough.
 

mainey34

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There are so many ideas and things that you can use..be creative...its amazing how old they really are..buy looks like you got. A real sweet heart...
 

Tortilla1989

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Tom said:
A couple things about the current enclosure first: That water bowl is a death trap. Get rid of it right away. Fine for lizards and snakes. No good for tortoises. Get a terra cotta plant saucer at the hardware store for 2 or 3 bucks instead. Sink it into the substrate so the rim is level with the surface. The other thing is the sand. It poses an impaction risk and it can be a skin and eye irritant. I recommend something else. Coco coir, orchid bark, cypress mulch, etc...

For an enclosure what you need is floor space for an adult russian. Anything that is convenient to go buy is going to be too small. You can either build something or convert an old book shelf. My preference would be a 4x8' enclosure, but 3x5' would be adequate. Just make sure you go big with the outdoor enclosure. Give him plenty of room to graze and stretch those legs during the warmer months.

I got rid of that death trap water bowl right away, it took up half her home anyway, I have a small water dish in there she never goes even near it! but I give her "Bath time" every two days.


mainey34 said:
There are so many ideas and things that you can use..be creative...its amazing how old they really are..buy looks like you got. A real sweet heart...

Aww thanks : ) how old would you say my Tortilla is? They told me at the pet store there really is no way of know.. But I read they don't reach adult until 3 years!
 

Tom

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Where are you? There are lots of custom builders in the L.A. area and around Phoenix too. Don't know about other parts of the country. You could always hire a local handyman.

P.S. Skip the timothy hay. It will mold on top of damp substrate.
 

Tortilla1989

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Tom said:
Where are you? There are lots of custom builders in the L.A. area and around Phoenix too. Don't know about other parts of the country. You could always hire a local handyman.

P.S. Skip the timothy hay. It will mold on top of damp substrate.

Got it, NO Hay. I am in Chicago. I Only found custom tables in the UK... as long as they can ship I would be willing to order from anywhere really.
 
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