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  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default Indoor Tortoise Housing


    0 Not allowed!
    I am blaming all this on Scottishfish and Wizzle... (More to come!)

    But I do have a question...

    If you are in my situation...house in a very cold land...with cats...and the 'ideal' indoor set-up isn't so ideal...would you go to the non-recommended set-up if you are aware of the issues with it and do what you can to alleviate it?

    So...here we go...

    Ideal: 4X8' open top enclosure.

    Why I can't: Would have to go in the basement. Basement is too cold (even with lamps I would be hesitant). We have cats. Don't trust cats.

    Forbidden! Vivarium!!!

    Why I want to try this: Will fit on table in spare room. Spare room is warm and I can manage lighting easily. Comes with a snap on lid - keep cats out.

    The 'vivarium' I want to buy is the ExoTerra 40 gallon shallow (12"). This is designed for reptiles (if not for tortoises in particular).

    http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products...rium_large.php

    The problem with a vivarium:

    1. Glass. Glass and tortoises don't mix. I was planning on cutting some very thin plywood to line the glass with from the inside.

    2. Glass. Glass doesn't hold heat. But the plywood should solve that issue as well.

    3. Airflow. Yes...a standard aquarium would have poor airflow...but the ExoTerra seems to me to be okay. They even advertise the airflow.

    4. Size. This is the largest glass enclosure I can find. It is 36 X 18. The smallest recommended enclosure size I can find is 36 X 24 - so it's a bit smaller. Fine for a baby...but a tad small for an adult.

    Now...I'm well aware tortoises need lots of exercise room - and I am quite willing (once the animal is large enough) to let it roam around the house with supervision. I can also let it have the main bathroom - with the door closed to keep cats out - if I can't be there. I can put a heat lamp in the bathroom too.

    But...I've read you should never let the tortoise room the house because of dust and dirt...AND I've read it's quite all right to let the tortoise roam the house. I'm inclined to let the tortoise roam. If you give them their water soaks after they room...that should rinse any dust off...

    So much confusing information out there...doesn't help. I've had reptiles since I was 12. This would be my first tortoise. The species I'm getting is recommended for beginners and children.

    The one YouTube video I found where the owner is using the same ExoTerra just got blasted by negative comments (mind you, she had two in there)...yet the tortoises looked healthy...nice size, good shells....

    Thoughts?

    (p.s. An outdoor enclosure isn't a problem. We can build a huge one of those...either for summer day-time use, or for seasonal use...I'd have to see how it all pans out).
    Last edited by Rue; 02-27-2016 at 03:30 PM.
    55 g Goldfish Tank - 3 Fancies, 2 Comets
    25 g Tropical Tank - Celestial Pearl Danio/Mixed

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    My friend has tortoises. She brings them inside during the winter to hibernate and leaves them outside in their enclosure all summer. I think with due diligence you can work something out. As long as the smaller enclosure isn't it's forever place, just its temporary winter digs and you are committed to exercise.

    If you have to go this route I would stick with a smaller, hibernating species.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    It is a done deal! I need to work out a couple of bugs but I think this will do for a couple of years at least.

    20160227_155545.jpg20160227_142553.jpg20160227_155838.jpg
    55 g Goldfish Tank - 3 Fancies, 2 Comets
    25 g Tropical Tank - Celestial Pearl Danio/Mixed

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Welcome Goosefoot!!!

    (Hermann's Tortoise)
    55 g Goldfish Tank - 3 Fancies, 2 Comets
    25 g Tropical Tank - Celestial Pearl Danio/Mixed

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Very cool, congrats on the new setup!

    Goosefoot has a nice new home!
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
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    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  6. #6

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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Thanks! I was worried the enclosure would be too small and that the plywood would look awful...but it will do for a while (I saw some hibernating 1 and 2 year olds and they are still quite small) - and the plywood actually looks okay...kind of cozy!

    First thing Goosefoot did was try to eat the sphagnum. ..and then promptly went and buried him/herself in the corner. Lol. I have "empty cage" syndrome aleady!
    55 g Goldfish Tank - 3 Fancies, 2 Comets
    25 g Tropical Tank - Celestial Pearl Danio/Mixed

  7. #7

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    Here's to good games tomorrow ;-) - steeler58   Thanks for the rep ;-) - steeler58   My fish say Thank You - KoryKat   Thanks for the Rep ;-) - steeler58   Enjoy your weekend my friend - Taurus   
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    What will be his/her/their diet?
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
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    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Weeds, leafy greens, grass hay.

    Low protein...high roughage.

    Lots of mixed advice out there...but a bit of kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts...once in a while is okay. Vary rarely a bit of apple or a berry....like every 2-4 weeks.

    There is a pelleted tortoise food too which can be utilized but not as the main diet.

    In the summer I should have no problem finding weeds. In the winter grocery produce will have to do unless I want to grow some weeds in pots...which might be fun too. I can tell everyone I am growing weed...

    When Goosefoot is older I may try hibernating too...just have to be sure I know what I am doing. But that would solve the diet issue over the winter...

    Lots to learn! :)
    55 g Goldfish Tank - 3 Fancies, 2 Comets
    25 g Tropical Tank - Celestial Pearl Danio/Mixed

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Here's to good games tomorrow ;-) - steeler58   Thanks for the rep ;-) - steeler58   My fish say Thank You - KoryKat   Thanks for the Rep ;-) - steeler58   Enjoy your weekend my friend - Taurus   
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - steeler58   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - steeler58   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - aquariumlover10   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - gronlaura   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - SeaLady   

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Rue View Post

    I can tell everyone I am growing weed...
    I believe you just did.

    Expect the RCMP to come banging down the door, any minute...

    What's this "hibernating" thing with tortoises?

    You just stick them out on the front porch to freeze in the winter until spring's thaw, like some sort of ornament/doorstop?
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Cheers - Cliff   Merry Christmas! - Plecos   Happy Holidays. - gadget228   Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! - Plecos   Happy Holidays! - Boundava   
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    1 Not allowed!
    Hibernation, or brumation (for cold blooded animals) -- for tortoises (and all animals) is a way to get around incompatible weather at the least cost to the animal. So they stop feeding, slow down...all kinds of chemical and physiological changes take place...and they don't need to eat for months...

    So if they go into hibernation in November and come out in February or March (length depends on species and environment) they 'miss' the harshest part of winter.

    With pets there seems to be two schools of thought... a) it's better for them to hibernate - and b) since they are not living in harsh conditions...no need to hibernate. If they were living in the wild...and it was a very mild year...they would not hibernate.

    Babies don't hibernate.

    The breeder hibernates hers in a designated cold room. You can also use the fridge.

    The breeder also has one female that needed vet care...so that female isn't being hibernated this winter. She seemed just fine...lol.
    55 g Goldfish Tank - 3 Fancies, 2 Comets
    25 g Tropical Tank - Celestial Pearl Danio/Mixed

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