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Tortoise Newbie - Housing advice


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#1 Guest_JohnMarsz_*

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 11:36 AM

Hello everyone!

I'm John and a newbie, still researching Tortoises before I take the plunge and buy one! I have decided to get one but am not going to just go out and buy on impulse since its literally a life long commitment and I want to ensure Im ready and got the knowledge I need

I am currently looking at housing for a new Tortoise and looking at tortoise tables pre bult and making one myself since it seems a very easy project to undertake.

One company I seem ok are http://www.thetortoiseshop.com/ I was wondering if anyone had any dealings with them, or opinions?


The have a plastic table shaped like a tortoise:

http://www.thetortoi...details/15.html

Does anyone have an opinion on this Daisy house? I KNOW its expensive, and yes I know people may think it looks awful, but if you could look at it purley from a tortoises point of view, would a tortoise be happy living there?

Its 3 foot x 2 foot which seems a good size - again any advice on size would that be big enough?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!!

Thanks

John



#2 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 11:59 AM

My brothers brother-in-law bought one of these I think, he also bought the tort from there too! I think its a personal preference - I personally wouldn't waste the money on it as it's very expensive and gimmicky. I think you'd be better of spending your money on either a tortoise table or indoor rabbit/guinea pig cage - a fraction of the cost!

If you've got the skill to build one yourself then why don't you? It would be much more satisfying, and you'll have loads of money left over to but the bits 'n'pieces you'll need!!! Lights, substrate, hides, etc!

Have you tried looking for a breeder local to you? If you put 'breeders' in the serch bar at top of page that should bring some up. Im not in a positipon to say don't buy from a pet shop cos thats where my first one come from BUT at least from a breeder you will know the history of the tort AND you got someone to go back to if you have any problems!!!

#3 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 12:00 PM

PS welcome to the forum btw!!! :wub:

#4 Guest_michele_*

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 12:07 PM

John
I did buy the tortoise table from here (not the one that looks like a tortoise ) very expensive but it's well made and i'm happy with it,plus you can buy an add on bit as well.Heard lots of bad reviews about the tortoise shop tortoises,thank god i got mine from a breeder and sooo much cheaper as well. :rolleyes:

#5 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 07 September 2009 - 12:11 PM

Hi John, my personal opinion on the daisy house is that it has few disadvantages. Its really quite a confined space so I don't think the tortoise would be able to get far away from the heat source and because it has a roof the movement of air would be restricted as well. I had a look at that link and the other products look a bit better but there are loads of things like this on e bay which are probably better value.

I have doubts about the lamps they are providing in these kits, its not clear if any of them provide UVB. In my opinion Mediterranean tortoises need a lot of Uv to be really healthy and although Neutrobal is useful in helping to provide Vit D3 they need to have UV light as well.

It can seem daunting to try and make your own housing but if I can do it then it really is true that almost anyone can. And often cheaper than any bought kits. Personally I think all those products are too small even for a little tortoise but everyone has their own views about this. Lots of people use rabbit cages and I'd suggest you might have a look at some of them on the internet.

For lighting, most keepers are really into these combined heat and UV bulbs. It does cost a bit more but we are certain the animal benefits. Its not just the actual bulb, you need a ceramic holder and a stand as well so the lighting alone is probably around £100 but you really get what you pay for. Some people like to use an ordinary light bulb for heat and have separately a UV tube such as the Reptisun 10. This looks a bit cheaper but probably in the longer run its not and you've got more wires trailing about.

I'm glad you've been looking into things before making a decision. Some of the websites (dare I say like that one you linked us to) seem to make out its the easiest thing in the world to keep a tortoise but the fact it, its not. To provide adequately for its needs we do need to go out of our way but its very well worth it. Its a good idea to look at some of the reptile supply sites on the internet to see the range of lights and heaters that are out there, some suitable for tortoises and some not.

I think you can do a lot better with your cash than the daisy shelter so keep looking. Nobody has a monopoly on the truth about keeping tortoises but bear in mind that nobody on here is trying to make a bean out of it, which does not apply to the pet products industry.

If you decide to have a look at more sites you must look at Kimbosreptiles. The guy who runs it does actually care about the animals. He phoned me up once to tell me that one of his most expensive advanced lights wasn't going to be the best thing for me even though I was keen to buy it.

Welcome to MyH and I hope you stay on board.

#6 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 07:16 AM

There is a difference between a UK breeder or importer. Often these days people assume all tortoises have to be bred in the UK, but this is not so. I don't know if the tortoise shop is a breeder or importer. The imported ones usually come in with worms or other diseases. Lots of different groups are put together increasing the risk of cross contamination and have been from pillar to post and back, causing lots of stress; often moved in awful conditions.
There are may UK breeders and then the baby goes straight from breeder to your home and will be much more heathy. They are often cheaper than shop bought ones, but you may have to travel to get one.


#7 Guest_JohnMarsz_*

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 07:43 AM

Well, I have to say a big thank you to everyone for your kind words and advice.

I never expected to get much of a response at all being a newbie but your advice is amazing!

RE: Housing, I spent yesterday at work looking at various sites and tables from ebay to building my own and I think I may go down the build my own route, for cheapness and to allow me to get something I like.

I am looking at the possibility of converting a bought blanket box / ottoman into tortoise housing, with a view to cutting down the high sides into a lower side and incorperating some patten / design (with the aid of my jigsaw!).

With refrence to actually getting a tortoise I do not intend to use ANY internet site to buy from, I want to go and see the tortoises, where they are kept, I want to be able to choose one that i find i "bond with" and like to look of.

So any place that says I cannot go and view the tortoises will be struck off my list and anywhere I go where I feel the tortoise seller is just making money from them and not really caring about the tortoises will also be struck off my list.

I want to do everything properly so distance is not really an issue and I am prepared to travel in the UK to visit and buy a tort.

I met the tortoise lady at the Chatsworth show this weekend - has anyone any experience of her and her torts, she seemed very nice and knowlageble, however checking the internet i see there are lots of registered breeders.

So really now Id love any advice people can give on the best place to buy a tort from?



#8 Guest_Lin_*

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 11:25 AM

This site is quite incestuous :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Lots of us have Darran's babies ;) He's the boss of this site and lives in Cardiff. There are lists of UK breeders on various tortoise sites

#9 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 12:54 PM

Here's the TPG's breeders list (Im sure they won't mind me copying it as I have left their 'copyright' on it....


Dedicated to the Conservation and Protection of Tortoises

UK BREEDERS LIST

Have you ever wondered where the tortoises that you see in pet shops and garden centres come from?

Did you know that the majority of these animals are imported from abroad in their thousands just to satisfy the UK pet trade?!

They arrive in the UK certified as being captive bred, when in fact a large majority of these tortoises are either wild caught, or come from factory farms abroad, where tortoises are taken from the wild, forced to lay their eggs in captivity, and then the hatchlings imported into the UK.

Imagine being packed in a box for days on end, with no food or water: the stress alone can bring untold misery for these poor creatures. Chronic worm infestations in imported tortoises are all too common. Also, stress makes tortoises more susceptible to a wide variety of diseases. We know of many cases where these animals die within weeks of being sold to new keepers, who are unaware of the suffering that their new pet has had to endure.

The Tortoise Protection Group (TPG) is campaigning for a ban on the importation of tortoises for the UK pet trade, in order to preserve them in their natural environment, and to put a stop to the pain and suffering they have to endure for our pleasure.

Please help us put a stop once and for all to this vile trade in the importation of tortoises.

We have compiled a list of genuine, reputable UK Breeders as an alternative to buying from a pet shop. If you are thinking of buying a tortoise, or know of someone who is, please support our campaign and consult our list first:-

http://pets.groups.y...rotectionGroup/

© Tortoise Protection Group 2007
4th April 2007


Name - E-mail - Address - Contact Number - Area - Species -

Anne Campbell anne.tortuga@btinternet.com 01625 877865 Cheshire Hermanns

Arlene tillytortoise@hotmail.com 07814 117655 Hampshire Hermanns

Brian Longworth briantortoise3234@myway.com 07929 359092 East Yorkshire Hermanns (boettgeri)

Darran Sproul darransproul@btinternet.com 07979457840 South Wales Hermanns (boettgeri)

Darren darrenandsteph_@hotmail.com 07709 009781 Kent Ibera

Darren darrenlangford@btinternet.com Chester Redfoots,Yellowfoots, Elongated - (occasionally). Ibera, Northern & Southern Graeca, Hermanns (boettgeri), Horsfields.

Dawn Skinner dawnstortoises@btconnect.com 01329 668824 Hampshire Hermanns

Elaine Pearman elainepearman@yahoo.co.uk 07733 167770 Kent TGG and Whitei

Helen Smith helen.smith95@btinternet.com 07866 820204 East Yorkshire Horsfields

Jeffrey Pilkington Pilkingtonf@aol.com 01237 475514 Devon Tunisians, Pancakes & TGG (Moroccan)

Judith Hill smalljude49@hotmail.com Hailsham, E.Sussex Horsfields

Lin King bbs@tlady.clara.co.uk Oxfordshire Ibera (6yr olds avalible)

Lisa Lisa@thetortoisehouse.freeserve.co.uk Kent Horsfields

Lynne Fitzharris lynne.duncton@btinternet.com 01489 579210 Southampton, Hampshire Hermanns (boettgeri)

Martin mdann@mywitsend.fsnet.co.uk Sheffield, South Yorkshire Horsfields

Mary Marytort@hotmail.com Wiltshire Horsfields, Ibera, Hermanns (boettgeri)


Mike Lewin rupert_the_dog@tiscali.co.uk Cheshire Redfoots, Yellowfoots, Elongated

Peter Fowles OSSYPETE@aol.com Lancashire Redfoots

Sally sally@tortgirl.co.uk 07906 222798 Hertfordshire Hermanns (boettgeri)

Sandy sandy@aclandr.freeserve.co.uk Kent Ibera, TGG

Shirley (Jersey tortoise Sanctuary) tortoisesanc@localdial.com 01534 768485 Channel Islands, Jersey Hermanns (boettgeri), Ibera, Marginata

Simon tortoisepoo@yahoo.co.uk 07736 848278 Sussex Ibera

Sue wizzasmum@aol.com Shropshire/ Welsh border Hermanns (boettgeri)

Sue Brooks tortsue@yahoo.co.uk Devon Hermanns, Whitei, Ibera

Ted Wilson emendatus@hotmail.com 01728 832328 Suffolk Hermanns


© Tortoise Protection Group 2007
4th April 2007


I've done this bit, I'll leave you to trawl through it and see if there's anyone near to you..... :rolleyes:

#10 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 01:09 PM

Sorry, here's their more up to date one!


Please note that the TPG does not agree with the mass breeding of tortoises for
commercial purposes. The ‘breeders’ listed below are merely hobbyists with a genuine
interest in tortoises.

ENGLAND

Cheshire
Anne anne.tortuga@btinternet.com
01625Tortoise Protection Group List of Approved Breeders
Breeders list Tortoise Protection Group May 2009
877865
Hermanns

Mike rupert_the_dog@tiscali.co.uk
Redfoots, Yellowfoot &
Elongated

Devon
Jeff Pilkingtonf@aol.com 01237
475514
Tunisians, Pancakes &
TGG (Moroccan)

Sue tortsue@yahoo.co.uk
Hermanns Boettgeri

Dorset
(Bournemouth) Susan uksuzy@hotmail.co.uk Mob. 07858
811413
Home
01202
257043
Hermanns and
Testudo graeca
graeca

Hampshire
Arlene tillytortoise@hotmail.com
07814
117655
Hermanns

(Southampton) Dawn dawnstortoises@btconnect.com
01329
668824
Hermanns

Lynne lynne.duncton@btinternet.com
01489
579210
Hermanns
(Boettgeri)

Isle of Wight
Jane itzonelimee@yahoo.com 07811
515474
Horsfields

Kent
Darren darrenandsteph@ntlworld.com 07709 009781 Ibera

Elaine elaine@tortoise-protection-group.org.uk
07733
167770
Testudo graeca
graeca

Lisa lisa@thetortoisehouse.freeserve.co.uk
Horsfields
Ibera

Sandy sandy@aclandr.freeserve.co.uk
Ibera, T.g.g

Lancashire
Peter OSSYPETE@aol.com Redfoots

London
Dave dave.patmore@ntlworld.com 07957
397139
Hermanns

Midlands
(Central) Jacqui insenceaddict@blueyonder.co.uk
www.jacquiscaptivebredtortoises.com
07984
474665
Hermanns (Boettgeri)

(West) Sarah blondesarah@hotmail.com
Red Foots, Iberas,
Hermanns
(T.H.Hercegovinensis),
Tunisians, Horsfields

Norfolk
Barbara jeremy.ashford@btinternet.com
01328
700629
Hermanns, Horsfields,
Iberas

Eleanor eleanorchubb@gmail.com
01508
570984
mobile:
07799
688798
Burmese Browns
Hermanns

Oxfordshire
Lin bbs@tlady.clara.co.uk T. Ibera

Shropshire
Pam pamupton@fsmail.net
Med. Spur Thigh Ibera

(Welsh
Borders)

Sue wizzasmum@aol.com
Hermanns (Boettgeri),
Horsfields

Suffolk
Ted emendatus@hotmail.com
01728
832328
Hermanns (Hermanni)

Surrey
Alison alison4@blueyonder.co.uk
07768
862354
Horsfields

(Redhill)
Chelle adrianblades@aol.com
Marginated

Lindsay lbudgen@gotadsl.co.uk
Horsfields

Sussex
Simon tortoisepoo@yahoo.co.uk
07736
848278
Testudo Ibera

East Sussex
(Hailsham)
Judith
smalljude49@hotmail.com
Horsfields

West Sussex
Hannah hannahpollock@btinternet.com
www.purpletortoisespurthighed.co.uk
07825
642759
Testudo Ibera

(Worthing)
Pam enquiries@sussextortoises.co.uk
07836
683957
Hermanns

Sarah sarahdela@yahoo.com
http://www.tortoisetortoise.com/
07803
507647

Val 01342
325855
Marginated, Graeca,
Hermanns

Wiltshire
Mary marytort@hotmail.com
None available at present
Horsfields, Iberas,
Hermanns (Boettgeri)

Yorkshire
East Yorks. Brian briantortoise3234@myway.com
07929
359092
Hermanns (Boettgeri)

(East Yorks.)
Helen helen@tortoise-protection-group.org.uk 07866
820204
Horsfields
(West Yorks.)
Dawn dawn_fletcher@ntlworld.com 0113
2956765
Hermanns (Boettgeri)

South Yorks.
(Sheffield)
Martin mdann@mywitsend.fsnet.co.uk
Horsfields

Wales
(West Glamorgan)
Susan susan@swilson94.orangehome.co.uk
01639
851916
Testudo Hermani
Boettgeri

(South Glamorgan)
Darran darransproul@btinternet.com
07979
457840
Hermanns (Boettgeri

Tortoise Protection Group List of Approved Breeders
Breeders list Tortoise Protection Group May 2009

#11 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 05:06 PM

Hi, I am also a newbie, keenly awaiting my arrival at the end of this month. I cant answer all of the technical details, but I like you have put in a lot of research on tables / sizes etc. I am okay at DIY so went to Argos and brought a bookcase (the first one was 800 x 450 but my breeder advised me to go larger to obtain the heat gradient). So now I have bought a 1.2 x 600mm bookcase from Ikea which I will put seed trays from the garden centre with loads of plants / hideaways etc. I will be testing my lamp temps over the next 2 weeks to make sure temp ok. The bookcase comes in either a 20cm or 40 cm depth, but I have been to B&Q and they have offered me some cheap offcuts of polycarb roofing to put around the edge if it is too shallow. (I think the 40cm might be too deep)

The other thing I did was buy a printer table from Argos (only £12) which is on castors to fix the bookcase to. I am aware that the tort table will be quite heavy for me to mover around on my own and I wanted it at a managable height for maintenance etc.

Anyway, I hope some of this is of use to you. In my mind you are better off making cheaper tort table which you can get some use out of and a better quality heating/lighting system.

#12 Guest_lilacgeorge_*

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 05:29 PM

I hope you post some pics of these home made tables!!! Give the rest of us some ideas!!!!!!!! lol!!!!

#13 Guest_michele_*

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Posted 08 September 2009 - 06:04 PM

QUOTE (lilacgeorge @ Sep 8 2009, 06:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I hope you post some pics of these home made tables!!! Give the rest of us some ideas!!!!!!!! lol!!!!
Here ,Here and your outdoor one !





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