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what size enclosure?

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#1 Guest_MrsG_*

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 11:26 AM

Hi. I really want a Hermann's tortoise and am doing some research. I am getting quite confused as different websites/books say different things. We are going to get a baby tortoise, what size indoor enclosure would it need to begin with? I read 3' x 2' is fine for the first 2 years. But how tall does it need to be?
Thanks :)

#2 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:39 PM

Good afternoon Mrs G! Welcome to our little mad world :wacko: hope you stick around and share your new tortoise with us when you get him/her :wub:

With regards to enclosures...

DO NOT GET A VIVARIUM - WHATEVER anyone tells you...they are not suitable for tortoises for a number of reason's but mainly (and very importantly) their health! :(

RE size... as big as you have space for is the general rule... if its a table then you'll need it to be at least 6 - 8" high to stop them climbing out - another reason why the cages are a good idea..

The best types of enclosure's you can get are what are classed as Tables or Cages. Personally I prefer cages - the indoor rabbit/guinea pig type - as they are safe and secure, have the wire to hang the light fittings and are a bit better space wise. Tables though are just as good.

If you look through this section you will see what most people use, and can get some idea's for your own. If you deciede to buy a table type one, before spending lots of money on ready built ones, have a look round your home!!!! Have you a bookcase you're not using?? With a minimal bit of adaption you could turn that into a fantastic table!! If you're getting a hatchling (baby) tort then you could use an underbed storage box for now - little ones don't like too much room..its very scarey to have a big vast space!!!

Don't waste time buying lots of novelty items, they like somewhere to sleep (a flowerpot turned on its side), a shallow dish for water, a piece of slate to eat of and another piece to go under the heat lamp (though if you're using soil this isn't as necessary). A piece of cuttlefish in the enclosure is a good idea because then your tort can help himself to a nibble when s/he feels they need to (I find fresh ones from the beach get nibbled on more rather than shop bought ones which have had all the goodness/flavour washed out of them!) For a younger tort you will also need to supplement with vits/mins & calcium, although as with humans I'm a strong believer that if they have the correct diet and sufficient Uv then you don't need to suppliment (my own personal view)

For substrate just use plain topsoil without fertilisers or compost etc in it

You will also need a heat lamp -either a 'proper' WHITE heat lamp bulb from a reptile store or a normal household WHITE spot bulb - don't buy a red or blue one - they are useless, the idea is you are simulating the sun. You will also need a UV tube. Again you can get these from a reptile store or the internet - shop around, there are bargins to be had! With both the heat & UV bulbs you will need the fittings, easiest option nowadays though is to go with a combined heat/Uv bulb because it uses less fittings and is easier!

Everything can be bought on the internet or in a good reptile store but as already mentioned shop around!!!!

All you need to feed your tort is weeds, weeds and more weeds!!! If there's not many around you can suppliment with florretti type salad leaves (NOT iceberg or cabbage). I have to say mine are virtually living on florretti at the moment (Thank you ASDA for having it on a special offer at the mo!!!!) as my borough seems to lack in weeds as a rule, as well as that the council do weed spray round here so the ones that do grow in the streets can't be used anyway :angry2: PLUS we are having such lovely dry weather (sorry all my scottish friends :rolleyes: ) down here in Sunny Surrey nothings growing anyway!!! It's all dying through lack of water!!!! :rolleyes:

Hope this helps a bit.......

here are some things YOU DO NOT NEED for your tort:

Heat mats - can cause burns
Hay/Straw - have mould spores can cause respiratory distress
Red/Blue bulbs - explained above
Food pellets - hmmm, not grown in their natural habitat...
Tortoise sand - unless they are torts that come from a desert habitat
Tortoise soil - WTF??? Just use good old plain topsoil - explained above

errrrr....if I think of anymore I'll add them ;)

#3 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 04:26 PM

Hi Mrs G,
Welcome to the forum, I see we have another Somerset girl!!
Have you researched where you will buy your baby tort from? There are lots of places to avoid.
Pet shops often sell imported torts, this is a bit of a lottery, some keepers on here have been lucky, others like myself have spent lots of money on vets bills due to poorly torts. :(

Paula x

#4 Guest_MrsG_*

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 05:14 PM

Thanks so much for the advice both of you! Much appreciated :) If you can recommend somewhere in Somerset that'd be great. Have seen some at Dobbies World garden centre in Shepton Mallet and online - but not keen on getting a tortoise delivered in the post. Doesn't sound very nice for the poor tortoise.

#5 Guest_italytors_*

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 09:32 AM

Good for you, Mrs G, for not going for a postal tortoise!!
It's horrifying to think someone could put a tortoise throught that :angry2: Surely it can't be legal, can it ???? I thought only tortoise smugglers did that not people selling animals legally.
Hope you manage one from a decent vendor.
Best of luck :)

#6 Guest_frenchypompom_*

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 09:16 PM

this is totally amazing, the pet store I got mine from sold me all of the above!!!!
I think I'm going to stop over and have a chat with them! Will keep you posted on THAT lol

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