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Need Advice On My Indoor Enclosure

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#1 Guest_frenchypompom_*

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 08:18 PM

Hi everyone,

Even though I have sorted the temprature in her viv, Charlie doesn't seem very happy in there. She tends to just hide under the straw. She still hasn't really eaten anything eventhough when she's outside, I've seen her picking up stuff. I watch her very carefully and don't let her pic anything up as I'm not sure yet of what she can and can't eat out there. and I'm not sure about how much she's really drinking, so I've decided to bath her twice a day for the time being, untill I'm happier with her drinking.

I've had a look at the pics of indoor enclosure some of you put up on the forum and I've realised I need to make many changes to it. The first one will be to take a saw to the viv and make it lower and wider so she has more room to move around and have a proper cool place to chill and rest.


#2 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:09 PM

Hi Carine,

My little guys now live outside but here are some pictures of my old indoor and outdoor enclosures. The more room you can give them the better.

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This picture shows wood chippings before I learned that these are not suitable as substrate.

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One thing though, it would be better not to use hay, it harbours mould spoors when it gets wet and can lead to respiritory problems. Charlie will be happy with a topsoil substrate. Oh, one other thing.. :rolleyes: You can buy a reflector for your strip light which will reflect more of the UV from your light downwards onto Charlie.

Paula x

#3 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 02 September 2010 - 09:49 PM

Hi Carine,
Sorry to hear Charlie is unhappy in his viv. I would follow what Paula has said about the use of topsoil instead of hay. Looking at the pics you've posted, the viv does seem a bit small. I'm not too sure of it's exact measurements. Personally, I would be reluctant to saw through it. This would seem a bit of a waste. Instead I would do as you previously said and put it on eBay. You could make a new open top indoor enclosure out of an old bookcase or table if you have any about. Alternatively, if you know somebody who's handy at DIY they could make one for you out of white deal wood (available from any builders providers). I would then have it sealed with timber sealer to waterproof it. Providing you have the materials, making an open top indoor enclosure wouldn't require a lot of skill or time. Indeed you could probably bang one up in a couple of hours if you wanted to give it ago yourself. Anyway Carine, this would be what I would suggest. You will probably have to go down this road eventually. I wish you the best of luck and I hope my suggestions have been helpful.Take care.
Kind Regards

#4 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 07:58 AM

I was going to suggest exactly what Hetti has done to her enclosure. Saves spending out too much money until you have too:0)
It also takes some a while to ajust to new homes. Eating is not the thing to worry about at the moment (keepers always worry to much about the eating thing:0) ) dehydration is a bigger worry. No healthy tortoise will refuse food when its available:0)
As long as weight is not being lost (dont weigh every day as this gives a false impression) and he/she has clear bright eyes and a dry nose. And moving around there is not much to worry about:0)

#5 Guest_tugay_*

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 06:28 PM

I have noticed that you have tortoise pellets in the food bowl, this may be why your tort is sleeping alot because i used to feed mine on them until i was told they were no good for him, but it was a nightmare getting him to eat anything else once he had a taste for them, so the sooner you can ween her off them the better.
i had to crush a few pellets and sprinkle them on some weeds so he would atleast eat something good for him.
good luck :)

#6 Guest_frenchypompom_*

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 09:19 PM

Thanks everyone for your advice. :)
I'm going to sort something out for Charlie tomorrow. Will also stop at that pet shope and give them a peice of my mind! :angry2:
I'll post pics once Charlie's new table is done.

Thanks again for all your help! I've learned more over the last few days than I did over the holidays all by myself. Can't beat first hand experience, can you?
Have a great week-end.
Carine :wub:

#7 Guest_frenchypompom_*

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 06:49 PM

Hello Everyone.

After spending last night on the indoor and outdoor forum looking at your enclosures, making notes and taking hints on what to do and not to do, I went a little mad today.
I woke up at 6.30, very excited and as I couldn't hold it in any longer, got up and got ready to go shopping! I popped into Argos for a cheap bookcase then went to a huge garden/pet centre where I knew they would have everything I needed to make Charlie a fabulous indoor home.

Now, I'd like your expert eyes to have a look at it and tell me what you think, what needs to be changed and what might be missing. I know I haven't got a slate yet for her food, but I should be getting it soon. I also think I might need more light on the other end, what do you think?
I'm no gardener, so any advice on how to keep the plants in there would help. I got more to swap once the one in there is gone... And since, just a few minute after I put Charlie down on her new home, she climbed up to the pansies and gobbled a big leaf up, I have a feeling it might not last very long! Good to know she likes it though!

I know it's all been a lot for Charlie and I'm concerned all these changes have stressed her a bit, she only moved in 5 DAYS AGO!!!! Plus, this week, in order to get her out, I had to carry her down 2 floors and keep a close eye on her outside. So I will leave her be for the next couple of weeks - outside of her bath time of course - and hope that she'll settle in her new home. I have moved her to the groundfloor of the house, makes things much easier, and probably nicer for her too.

Ok, I'll stop going on and on and on ...
Carine xxx

Ps. I can't stop looking at her!!! Everyone say "Blessssss" lol

#8 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 08:47 PM

Carine that is fab!

You have done really well to make so many changes for Charlie so soon, she will be a much happier tort in there! biggrin.gif

I haven't come across the pellet things you have used, what are they?

One thing about your plants, if you buy from a garden centre be aware that they may have sprayed their plants with fertilisers and so shouldn't be offered to torty without being 'weathered' outside for a few weeks first. Any flowers should be picked off and discarded and only new flowers are to be given to torty.
I go a bit OTT with new plants after discovering fertiliser balls in the soil, I repot them in topsoil before putting them in with my little guys.

Paula x

#9 Guest_frenchypompom_*

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 09:49 PM

Thanks Paula, :D

I have to admit, I feel very smug and proud of the work I did today, and seeing Charlie settling in there is the best possible reward.
Thanks for your advice on plants. That's a great tip. I'll sort them out tomorrow and will pick the flowers off too.
I did repot them in topsoil but will double check them just to make sure they're clear of fertilisers.

The pellets are a straw beeding. It is made from compressed straw pellets to provide a soft bedding that should not cause impaction if eaten. I thought I'd try as I noticed she looks for something soft to sleep on. She seems to love it as she digs herself a hole in it and settles down in it looking really comfy.

I was also recommanded some calcium sand. Has anyone ever used it? Is it any good or should I avoid it?
Have a great week-end.
Carine :wub:

#10 Guest_Freddy McGavin_*

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 10:43 PM

Hi Carine,
Charlies new indoor enclosure looks great. You are certainly a woman of action Carine and seem to have got straight on the case. This is very rewarding for us all who give advice here on the forum as it shows that you are willing to listen then do something about it. You are also most gracious and it was a real pleasure helping you out. Best of luck ;)
Kind Regards
Freddy :D
P.S I would be wary of the straw pellets as these can harbor mold spores which are harmful to torts.Best as Paula says to use sand or topsoil or if you're looking for some soft bedding try Readigrass (available from most reptile shops).This would need to be changed at least once a week ;)

#11 Guest_jay_*

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 06:47 PM

Your enclosure looks great you have worked so hard for Charlie,well done!
Jay,H and Becky

#12 Guest_SheilaS_*

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 11:56 AM

Wow that all looks so great :D

#13 Guest_Pat_*

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 08:38 PM

Hi, it looks great and you will have a much happier little tort!

One thing I do particularly if you have soil is dig up some plantain from your garden and simply plant it in the table for him to have a chew on whenever he wants. Dandelions have roots too deep to do any good but you can get as much root as possible to keep fresh longer.

It is also good to have some cuttlefish on the table - give it a soak first to take off the fishy smell and the hard backing. You can also get some limestone flour from a shop which sells horse feed and mix it with some water until its a stiff paste. Pop it in ice cube trays overnight and keep the surplus in a storage jar.

As you have found out - it does become a bit of an obsession! Since I had my girls last year, I have spent more time making sure their indoor and outdoor homes are right than I have my own! :rolleyes:

Pat x

#14 Guest_frenchypompom_*

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 07:58 PM

Hi Pat,

I didn't know about soaking the cuttlefish before hand, but that would explain why they arn't going to it lol.

I did put some flowers in there - pansies - but they are hard to keep alive in the top soil with the heat and all.
I'll go and get some dandelions for them tomorrow. I'll figure out the whole flower thing eventually... I'm no gardener lol
Thanks for your ideas and advices.

Carine, Charlie & Lola :wub:

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