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Welcome, New Member With Ideas To Build An Outdoor Enclosure.


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#1 ST+SJ

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 05:43 PM

I would like to welcome my two tortoises to this forum "ST + SJ". I'm looking for people to help and make suggestions as I'm wanting to build an outdoor enclosure for my two mediterranean tortoises. They are getting too big for the indoors and I want to build a brick enclosure with access to the outdoors. I know I still need to provide a space with heat, lamps, water and food, but also want them to go outside when the weather is good.
If anybody has built an outdoor pen please may you provide pictures for me to gather ideas. Or share any information. What to avoid and what's a must have.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post and ill be looking forward to your ideas.

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#2 Kelly

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:32 PM

Hi and welcome to the forum. :wave:

 

Have a look through our Housing and Habitat section for ideas. The Outdoor enclosure section has loads of posts with photos that may give you something to think about. :) Check out the "hot" posts.

 

http://www.hermann-t...hp?showforum=51



#3 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 07:43 PM

Hi and welcome to the forum. One thing you may like to concider before you begin planning your outdoor enclosure is the question if hibernation!
I decided to build my outdoor homes.... Tort lodge and the conservatory extension... Around the plan I wanted my creep to hibernate as naturally as possible. Therefore I had to dig deep and insulate....
There are loads of great ideas on the forum x x x hugs x

#4 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 04:37 PM

A couple of thoughts Ozric... :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:  :winkgrin: x x x hugs x x



#5 Graham

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:45 PM

Hi, and welcome to the forum  :welcomecrowd:

 

I completely agree with what Ozric says, there's lots to be considered when building an outdoor enclosure.

Should you decide to build one out of brick, have a look at this link:

http://www.hermann-t...?showtopic=8078

Basically, I did the same, and posted the progress on this forum, so the pics should give you an Idea of how I went about it. One thing that was important, I thought, was to ensure that there was a half-wall going in from the entrance; this acts as a windbreak, and gives the tort another corner to snuggle in. The substrate is pure, sterilized topsoil, as it's in a tort's nature to burrow.

You need to provide electricity for a basking lamp, but this is quite easy; I did it by running a lead through the kitchen wall via a plastic conduit medium to the house. 

The roof should be hinged so that you can get at your tortoise if needs be, and also so you can replace the lamp when it eventually pops. Also, the roof needs to be sloping so the rain runs off. It's a good idea, too, to have a skylight in the roof to allow natural sunshine to come through; Harry often warms up under his skylight before emerging for the day.

Sorry if I'm making it sound a bit complicated; it isn't really, it's just a case of forward planning; design it beforehand. It's not difficult by any means for anyone with a bit of DIY savviness, and it costs about £150 for all the materials.

 

If you want any further info or advice, please feel completely free to contact me.



#6 ST+SJ

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:42 AM

Thank you for all the kind replays. I have already looked and read the other forums. I have found good ideas and started to draw up plans. I'm still thinking brick built.
The garden is a south facing garden with a power cable under the ground going from the house to the garage. The garage is at the bottom of the garden. The section i want to use is on a slight slop, to be safe I will cove it too with wire mesh. I'm waiting for a electrician to come around to see if we can use that same cable or see what the options are. I'm guessing they would want to know the Wattage being used.
Indoors I'm currently running a spot lamp 100watts and a UVB tube with 30watts. The only thing I'm unsure about and I'm sure you would help me. What set up would I need for the outdoor enclosure?

I am thinking of using a tubular heater / thermal tube for a steady background heat at night and stops frost. Or should I be using a infra red lamp on a habitat cool control?
Also I'm guessing on a nice warm day the tortoises would go out side so I would not need the lamps on otherwise it would get too hot in the enclosure. So would I need to be buying a dimming thermostat?

I'm happy with the building part but its the technical help I'm needing with the lamps / heat set up.
Any help would be appreciated.

#7 ST+SJ

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 08:51 AM

Forgot to add... I'm looking to add one/two females to start breeding. At the moment I have the two males split up as they have started to fight and bite each other. I have a row of bricks down the middle of the indoor enclosure, so they can not come in contact with each other. When they are out in the garden I allow them to be together when supervised. I'm looking to build the outdoor enclosure with this in mind.
Does anyone know how big to to build the outdoor (the part indoors) enclosure. I mean the part where the heat lamps are, not the overall section.

#8 Graham

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 06:22 AM

Hi there,

The power cable you have leading to your garage is more than likely directly linked to the mains circuit, so it'll be a heavy-duty twin and earth 240V lead. Depending on what you're running in your garage, this should easily deliver the required current to the tort's house without overloading at all; basking lamps are of 100W at max, and tubular heaters are normally about 60-80W depending on the length.

Because of the insulative nature of the house I built Harry, the lamp in it, and the fine weather we've had,  I've not put the heater on at all, it would get far too warm. I will be watching the temps, though, later in the season. The lamp is run through a timer; it comes on at 8am, and goes off at 9.30am. As I discovered, if you leave them on all the time, the tortoise can become lazy, staying under it all day instead of going out in the sunshine. The idea is to warm them up a bit after the cool night, just enough to get them energized,

As I have only one tortoise, I can't help you with the second part of your question, sorry, but an experienced keeper like Sue (Wizzasmum), will be able to help with the conditions needed for accommodating multiple torts.

 

Hope this is of some help to you.



#9 ST+SJ

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:45 AM

Thank you for this helpful information Graham. Are you still running a UVB light. Also do you allow Harry to go out side on cold/damp days or do you have a flap/door you close when the weather is too cold?

#10 Graham

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 08:41 AM

If your tortoise is living outside, you don't need a UV lamp, they get all the UV light they require from the sun, even if it's not particularly warm outside. As for cold/damp days, these are not a problem; the house is naturally insulated by the bricks, and the ground inside is about a foot deep with sterilized soil so he can burrow down if he gets a bit chilly. In the wild, tortoises are accustomed to lower temperatures, particularly at night, so at this time of year, it's not something you really need to worry about. Come October, though, I will be keeping a close eye on the temps, and putting the heater on for a bit if necessary, or bringing him in at night in case of a frost.






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