This needs to be about the same size as the outdoor pen, slightly smaller if space is
An old drawer or plastic tray can be used if you have one of a suitable size.
The pen must be placed out of reach of small children and pets, if necessary a removable
wire cover can be added.
Cover the base of the unit with the substrate, ideally play sand
/ loam mix.
This provides an interesting surface area and aids muscle development.
Hatchlings like to bury themselves in this substrate at night.
Provide a hide ( terracotta
or wooden tunnel) as suggested above.
A range of different internal units including
pictures are available via the above natural timber products link.A Lighting system is then suspended above one end of the pen, to form a "basking
There are many methods of suspending the Lighting system, find one that suits
Tortoise will place themselves under the light in order to increase body temperature,
moving away when optimum temperature is reached.
Examples of the three main types of
lighting are pictures below.
The Powersun UVB is possibly the most efficient system,
and this has received good press from one of the Tortoise Trusts articles.
Place an accurate thermometer at the surface of the substrate directly below
the spotlight, the substrate should be a mixture of play sand and soil compost (30/70 mixture)
A temperature of 85 to 90o F (30 to 33oC) is required.
Move the spotlight up or down in
order to achieve the a stable temperature.
Ensure the basking spot is well away from the
wall of the enclosure.
Tortoises will occasionally try to climb such walls and can end up
on their backs. being stranded upturned below the heat source can quickly lead to death.
Powersun combination bulb with fitting
Acadia uvb bulb
and halogen spot lamp
Reptisun uvb strip light
with seperate spot lamp
Click to enlarge