When Is It Table Time?

Cicitina

Active Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
139
Location (City and/or State)
Ontario, Canada
My baby margie has been growing so quickly and I am wondering at what size is it recommended I move him to a tortoise table while he’s still indoors? I want to be able to have enough time to prepare and build the ideal enclosure for him for when he’s ready to leave his closed chamber he’s currently set up in. I haven’t been able to weigh him lately but I have noticed he is much more active lately and roaming around and climbing things all day long, could this also be a sign it’s time to move on to bigger and better things?
 

TMooney

Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Messages
40
Location (City and/or State)
North Carolina
I'm curious about this too. My little guy is tiny right now and lives in a 3' x 2' enclosure but I know he'll outgrow it at some point. I have plans to build a 6' x 3' indoor enclosure for him and I'm also going to build a big outdoor enclosure but I don't know when I'll need those yet. I'm guessing probably sooner than I think.
 
Last edited:

Cicitina

Active Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
139
Location (City and/or State)
Ontario, Canada
I'm curious about this too. My little guy is tiny right now and lives in a 3' x 2' enclosure but I know he'll outgrow it at some point. I have plans to build a 6' x 3' indoor enclosure for him and I'm also going to build a big outdoor enclosure but I don't know when I'll need those yet. I'm guessing probably sooner than I think.

I just commissioned an indoor table about 6x4
I’ve been feeling too guilt watching him all day every day walking along the glass up and down back and forth. He needs more space to roam for sure
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
53,769
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I prefer to use closed chambers for all indoor housing. There is no time in a tortoise's life when a closed chamber isn't suitable. Some species get so large that an entire room needs to become their closed chamber for indoor housing, but that is the point where I make a "closed chamber" heated night box for them and they go live outside in my mild climate.

The purpose of a closed chamber is to contain the warm humid air and make efficient use of the electricity we burn trying to maintain our tortoises. Using an open topped table is like heating or cooling your home with no roof on it. Imagine lying in bed on a winter night looking up at the stars with your house heater running all night. It would be pointless. Your house would never warm up because the heat would just drift up and out into the night sky. So unless room temperatures and humidity are close to what your tortoise needs, then an open topped enclosure will make life very difficult. For most temperate species, like your marginated, room temps and humidity are close to what they need at night, and heat lamps plus extra lighting make up the difference in the day time.
 

Cicitina

Active Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
139
Location (City and/or State)
Ontario, Canada
I prefer to use closed chambers for all indoor housing. There is no time in a tortoise's life when a closed chamber isn't suitable. Some species get so large that an entire room needs to become their closed chamber for indoor housing, but that is the point where I make a "closed chamber" heated night box for them and they go live outside in my mild climate.

The purpose of a closed chamber is to contain the warm humid air and make efficient use of the electricity we burn trying to maintain our tortoises. Using an open topped table is like heating or cooling your home with no roof on it. Imagine lying in bed on a winter night looking up at the stars with your house heater running all night. It would be pointless. Your house would never warm up because the heat would just drift up and out into the night sky. So unless room temperatures and humidity are close to what your tortoise needs, then an open topped enclosure will make life very difficult. For most temperate species, like your marginated, room temps and humidity are close to what they need at night, and heat lamps plus extra lighting make up the difference in the day time.

It will be a closed chamber, we have 3 cats and one would love to eat him as a treat so it’s the only option either way. Plus with his RI that he’s on antibiotics for I want to keep him in those conditions not to let it worsen or come back again
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom

Impulse2

New Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2021
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Ukraine
A closed chamber is much better for baby margie than an open-top table. You can put some stickers (a grass) on the front glass of the chamber to make a visual barrier.
 

Cicitina

Active Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
139
Location (City and/or State)
Ontario, Canada
A closed chamber is much better for baby margie than an open-top table. You can put some stickers (a grass) on the front glass of the chamber to make a visual barrier.

I don’t know what’s considered a baby anymore as the last time I weighed him a month ago he was 155 grams
 

Impulse2

New Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2021
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Ukraine
I don’t know what’s considered a baby anymore as the last time I weighed him a month ago he was 155 grams

I believe that all tortoises smaller than 4" should be kept as babies with humid hides, often soaking, etc. The half-grown 6" margie is a young adult one and it can live in a less humid environment.
 

Cicitina

Active Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
139
Location (City and/or State)
Ontario, Canada
I believe that all tortoises smaller than 4" should be kept as babies with humid hides, often soaking, etc. The half-grown 6" margie is a young adult one and it can live in a less humid environment.

I will keep him in a humid closed chamber/table for as long as possible as he was sick with multiple RIs when I first got him and don’t want it returning
 

tglazie

Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Joined
Jul 21, 2010
Messages
631
Location (City and/or State)
San Antonio, TX
Always aim for a larger enclosure once the animal passes the four inch mark. If you live in Canada, and you don't keep this fellow in a tortoise room of his own with maintained high humidity and relative high temperature, then I would advise a closed chamber. Just remember, the larger your chamber, the easier it is to maintain the temperature and humidity. Sure, this involves higher wattage heaters and larger volumes of water to maintain these variables, but it also means less maintenance, fewer sudden shifts in environmental conditions that could be stressful for your animal over time. But yes, once they are over four inches, treat them like adults, get them into as large an enclosure as you can provide.

T.G.
 

alexksquared

Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2019
Messages
37
Location (City and/or State)
Cleveland, Ohio
So mine grew like crazy within the first year. I recommend building a closed one way before you need it. I just build a 76"x24" closed. He loves it, but it took longer than I thought to make it.
 
Top