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Hi All, I'm Getting My 1St Tortoise Very Soon


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#1 leemh99

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:29 PM

Hi, I'm a newbie on here and very much looking forward to getting my 1st tortoise. I have already paid a deposit and just need to get my indoor enclosure sorted out before we welcome them to our home.

 

I am building my own home for them using an old 2 tier rabbit hutch we had lying around. I have a clear idea in my head how I want the hutch set up to accommodate them but I'm just a little stuck on how to keep it heated and well lite on both levels.

 

The hutch is 4ft x 1 1/2, I intend using all this space on the bottom floor. On the top level i will be making the floor space 3ft x 1 1/2 , the spare foot will be the space i use for a spot lamp dome with a 160 watt vapor mercury bulb in to hang down and create a hot spot on the bottom level. On the top level i was thinking of just having a uv strip light of some sort. To add enough depth for them to dig I have decided to completely take the flooring out and use some deep gardening tray that fit perfectly between the 1/12 gap. This should give then a good 6 inches to dig in on both levels with out disturbing our view of them. 

 

That is as far as I have got so far, I'm going to be starting work on it this weekend and just wanted to say hi and to see if anybody out there had any better ideas and whether this will be enough lighting and heating for them. 

 

I have attached a picture of the hutch before I cleaned it up to give you a better idea.

 

Thanks Lee

    

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#2 mildredsmam

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 05:41 AM

hi lee welcome to the forum. :)

I think I sort of get what you mean, :lol: ( but I am a woman. )  what you need to think about is if it will work getting temperatures right etc, basking area with the correct temps and a cool end that as you have said is not to dark, also how the tort is getting from one level to the other safely.

is it a hatchling that your getting.

I think if it was me I would lay the hutch on its back take out the centre shelf and make one big space, but that's just me.

look forward to seeing pictures as you do this. ;)



#3 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 06:36 PM

Hello Lee, welcome to the forum... It will be interesting to see your tort table developments. My first table was made from a bookcase.... Once the torts were settled in their outdoor enclosure permanently, the bookcase went back on the wall.. X x x hugs x x

#4 leemh99

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 10:35 PM

Hi, I will deffo keep you updated on the project as it unravels. I'm really looking to doing the outside den, I wouldn't keep them out there permanently until they are at least 3-4 years old though. We have a massive garden and already have a nice sunny spot picked out for them under a walnut tree. My parents had a tortoise when I was young and remember him being out there, wondering around the garden all the time on hot sunny days.

 

Somebody already suggested turning the hutch on it's back but the whole idea of converting it is to keep them secure and safe from dog's and kids. I have a 6 yr old girl, an eight year boy and 2 labs. The hutch will also keep all the lights and heating safely secure. 

 

On another note, I received my 160 watt vapor mercury bulb today and it's massive! It seems like over kill to me and was wondering if anybody used theses before and what sort of heat they kick out? It's new and can be re-sold if needed but wanted a second option 1st.

 

By the way Stella looks gorgeous.  



#5 leemh99

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 10:43 PM

Or Zoe, sorry   :)



#6 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 12:00 AM

hi lee welcome to the forum. :)

I think I sort of get what you mean, :lol: ( but I am a woman. )  what you need to think about is if it will work getting temperatures right etc, basking area with the correct temps and a cool end that as you have said is not to dark, also how the tort is getting from one level to the other safely.

is it a hatchling that your getting.

I think if it was me I would lay the hutch on its back take out the centre shelf and make one big space, but that's just me.

look forward to seeing pictures as you do this. ;)

I agree. Tortoises are ground dwellers and are to be found either  at ground level or underground. Climbing to higher living levels is not something that comes naturally to them and is alien to their survival instincts.  Deep substrate is necessary and I cannot really see how a multilevel enclosure is going to provide enough heat and light where it is needed. As Karen says, a wider more open area would be preferable for any tortoise really. Has your breeder not given advice on this?



#7 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 12:05 AM

Hi, I will deffo keep you updated on the project as it unravels. I'm really looking to doing the outside den, I wouldn't keep them out there permanently until they are at least 3-4 years old though. We have a massive garden and already have a nice sunny spot picked out for them under a walnut tree. My parents had a tortoise when I was young and remember him being out there, wondering around the garden all the time on hot sunny days.

 

Somebody already suggested turning the hutch on it's back but the whole idea of converting it is to keep them secure and safe from dog's and kids. I have a 6 yr old girl, an eight year boy and 2 labs. The hutch will also keep all the lights and heating safely secure. 

 

On another note, I received my 160 watt vapor mercury bulb today and it's massive! It seems like over kill to me and was wondering if anybody used theses before and what sort of heat they kick out? It's new and can be re-sold if needed but wanted a second option 1st.

 

By the way Stella looks gorgeous.  

Please do not take this the wrong way, but if you are wondering about the tortoises safety where your children are concerned and more importantly the labs (a mouthing breed), it might be a good idea to rethink the situation. They will need lots of roaming area, even when young and regardless of what pet outlets might tell you, need to be outdoors for a large part from hatchlings. a mercury vapour lamp needs height to work and I don't honestly think it will fit into your rabbit hutch, also the wired front will just appear not to be there, to a tortoises mind, causing it to get head and legs stuck as it tries to walk through it. They have no concept of glass or wire mesh unfortunately. As others have said a larger floor area such as a tilted bookcase would be much more humane for them to be honest. HOpe this helps :)



#8 mildredsmam

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:23 AM

hi Lee,

if you laid the hutch on it's back or used a book case etc you could always make a mesh lid to go over the top. :)



#9 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 05:52 PM

By the way Stella looks gorgeous.  [/quote]

Lol... I do feel I am 'wearing well' x x x :-). :-). :-). Hugs




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