A big thank you & my new enclosure

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
491
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
I first want to thank all of the members who are putting in countless hours posting replies and helping people out. I, like many others, did an enormous amount of research before getting my Hermann’s tortoise. I was so confused by all the conflicting information. The only thing I knew for sure, was that I wanted to give my tortoise the best possible like I could. Thankfully I found this forum before I brought my tortoise home. I don’t just want him to survive, I want him to thrive. Reading all of the advice the experts have given other people has indirectly helped me so much and has prepared me for situations that I could come across in the future. I am more grateful than I can even express.

So this is my tortoise, Dozer. He’s an Eastern Hermann’s tortoise and I got him from a breeder in Northern Saskatchewan on August 2, 2019. It was an 8 hour round trip to go get him, and it was love at first sight. His hatch date is May 4th, 2019 and when I got him, he weighed just 24 grams. Today he is just shy of 13 1/2 cm long and weighs 480 grams.
71BBF12B-5CF6-4C45-A997-A760CFF85D72.jpeg 3BDEE37B-55F5-4C07-AED0-0F182031FDFD.jpeg 21C9F6E1-DA30-4B3B-9762-639ED736C461.jpeg

I recently had a new enclosure built for him out of 3/4” expanded PVC. It is approx 7ft x 4ft and has 2ft high walls. It is an open top enclosure. I have his setup in a west facing spare bedroom on the 2nd floor of my house. This is the warmest room in the house and I’ve been able to maintain the temps and humidity he requires fairly easily. This is a smaller bedroom, so I think that helps a lot. I do have the option of throwing a tarp over it or fully enclosing it down the road if I feel it’s necessary. I am using 65 watt incandescent flood light bulbs (br30) on both ends of the enclosure. The lamp stand in the middle has a che in it that is on a thermostat. I’m also using a zoo med 10.0 uv fluorescent tube in a Sunblaster fixture. Because I live in a place that has way too many cold months, Dozer has to live indoors year round. He is able to spend a little bit of time in an outdoor enclosure in the few summer months we have but that doesn’t amount to too much outside time in a year.

This is the new enclosure once it was brought to my house and assembled. It had to be assembled onsite as it wouldn’t fit up the stairs otherwise. The 3/4” pieces are just screwed together and some marine grade silicone is on the inside seams.

884AC695-BCBA-415A-B180-576C8751C970.jpeg 52FC13E5-3225-4BFA-AAD5-651DE6A69A7B.jpeg
And here is the enclosure all set up.
A2EEAB1C-63B4-4197-A391-523DB332AD27.png 589F4F11-CFD0-44C5-A956-A7E572ACBDC1.jpeg 5E440848-D183-4812-91CC-1480ED269E04.jpeg 2793B8BE-9EBC-49D1-98EE-955F34661197.jpeg A55765F7-81E1-4766-AE5E-193DDA5EF284.jpeg 7550030D-81D2-40C0-AA49-C1F847E1AC59.jpeg
I was so afraid of how he was going to handle the move to the new enclosure. Once I had the enclosure I started to let Dozer run around in it for a few minutes at a time and I placed some of the new things in the enclosure so he could get used to seeing some of it. The enclosure wasn’t fully set up or anything, it was just to slowly ease him into being in the new space. The first time I placed him in it, he didn’t even move. The second time he ventured out a couple of feet...and after a month of spending little bits of time in it, it was almost like he would get mad when I’d take him out of the new enclosure to put him back in his old enclosure. That’s when I knew he was ready for the move. So he’s been in the new enclosure for about 2 weeks now. He’s adjusted really well. It’s been really fun watching him explore and figuring out what he does and doesn’t like. It seems everyday so far I’ve made an adjustment of some sort. This little guy has brought so much joy and purpose to my life. I can’t imagine life without him.
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
4,882
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Krista, you've done a beautiful job on his enclosure! It really looks so homey and comfortable, and gorgeous!

The little fence around the basking spot...did you make that, or buy it? It's perfect...after all most everybody likes some privacy when sunbathing! ☀🐢

Is there a backup in place for the clamps holding your lights? There have been cases (many, actually) of them failing and falling into the substrate, or landing on a baby, killing it. Houses have burned down.

It's OK to use them, but they need to be secured so they cannot fall.
 

maggie3fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
4,397
Location (City and/or State)
Crazy Train
I first want to thank all of the members who are putting in countless hours posting replies and helping people out. I, like many others, did an enormous amount of research before getting my Hermann’s tortoise. I was so confused by all the conflicting information. The only thing I knew for sure, was that I wanted to give my tortoise the best possible like I could. Thankfully I found this forum before I brought my tortoise home. I don’t just want him to survive, I want him to thrive. Reading all of the advice the experts have given other people has indirectly helped me so much and has prepared me for situations that I could come across in the future. I am more grateful than I can even express.

So this is my tortoise, Dozer. He’s an Eastern Hermann’s tortoise and I got him from a breeder in Northern Saskatchewan on August 2, 2019. It was an 8 hour round trip to go get him, and it was love at first sight. His hatch date is May 4th, 2019 and when I got him, he weighed just 24 grams. Today he is just shy of 13 1/2 cm long and weighs 480 grams.
View attachment 321093 View attachment 321094 View attachment 321095

I recently had a new enclosure built for him out of 3/4” expanded PVC. It is approx 7ft x 4ft and has 2ft high walls. It is an open top enclosure. I have his setup in a west facing spare bedroom on the 2nd floor of my house. This is the warmest room in the house and I’ve been able to maintain the temps and humidity he requires fairly easily. This is a smaller bedroom, so I think that helps a lot. I do have the option of throwing a tarp over it or fully enclosing it down the road if I feel it’s necessary. I am using 65 watt incandescent flood light bulbs (br30) on both ends of the enclosure. The lamp stand in the middle has a che in it that is on a thermostat. I’m also using a zoo med 10.0 uv fluorescent tube in a Sunblaster fixture. Because I live in a place that has way too many cold months, Dozer has to live indoors year round. He is able to spend a little bit of time in an outdoor enclosure in the few summer months we have but that doesn’t amount to too much outside time in a year.

This is the new enclosure once it was brought to my house and assembled. It had to be assembled onsite as it wouldn’t fit up the stairs otherwise. The 3/4” pieces are just screwed together and some marine grade silicone is on the inside seams.

View attachment 321096 View attachment 321097
And here is the enclosure all set up.
View attachment 321098 View attachment 321099 View attachment 321100 View attachment 321101 View attachment 321102 View attachment 321103
I was so afraid of how he was going to handle the move to the new enclosure. Once I had the enclosure I started to let Dozer run around in it for a few minutes at a time and I placed some of the new things in the enclosure so he could get used to seeing some of it. The enclosure wasn’t fully set up or anything, it was just to slowly ease him into being in the new space. The first time I placed him in it, he didn’t even move. The second time he ventured out a couple of feet...and after a month of spending little bits of time in it, it was almost like he would get mad when I’d take him out of the new enclosure to put him back in his old enclosure. That’s when I knew he was ready for the move. So he’s been in the new enclosure for about 2 weeks now. He’s adjusted really well. It’s been really fun watching him explore and figuring out what he does and doesn’t like. It seems everyday so far I’ve made an adjustment of some sort. This little guy has brought so much joy and purpose to my life. I can’t imagine life without him.
What a great story. He's cute as hell, and his habitat is nice
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
491
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Krista, you've done a beautiful job on his enclosure! It really looks so homey and comfortable, and gorgeous!

The little fence around the basking spot...did you make that, or buy it? It's perfect...after all most everybody likes some privacy when sunbathing! ☀🐢

Is there a backup in place for the clamps holding your lights? There have been cases (many, actually) of them failing and falling into the substrate, or landing on a baby, killing it. Houses have burned down.

It's OK to use them, but they need to be secured so they cannot fall.
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply! 😍 The fence around the basking spot is those small bendy log bridges that some people use as hides. I just made up my own use for them lol. I didn’t have those in there initially and noticed he wouldn’t kick his legs out and relax like he did in his old enclosure. I figured he must not have felt secure enough on the slate, so that was the solution I came up with. Within minutes of putting up the new “fence” he was basking with one leg kicked back and one out to the side and was zonked out on his slate lol. I don’t use any clamp lamps, those are too risky and scary for me. The 3 dome fixtures are all hanging from Zoo Med lamp stands that tighten up with bolts in 3 different places. If by chance one of the bolts came loose on the main tall part of the stand, it wouldn’t come in contact with the substrate. Ive also got heavy a large heavy paving stone sitting on top of the base of each of the lamp stands under the substrate to hold them in place. I’ve been using the 3 lamp stands shown in the pictures from day one with the old enclosure and haven’t experienced any loosening of the bolts, although I do check them regularly just to be sure. Have there been issues with the lamp stands too? I’m only aware of issues with the clamp lamps. The UV fixture is hanging from 2 “over the door” hangers which have been secured in place.
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
491
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
That is soooo awesome! It’s like every tortoises dream home! In a few years when my little guy is old enough I’m gonna make him one just like that. Thank you so much for sharing your pics and your story. You’re a great mommy to Dozer and a great person too:)
Thank you for your kind reply. You made my heart smile 😊
 

KarenSoCal

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Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
4,882
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
I've never heard of an issue with lamp stands that are secure like yours are. Sounds like nothing would dare topple them! :)

The touch of putting a picture on the wall was brilliant! And it's just perfect! Honestly, this is by far the very best table I have ever seen! I'll bet your house is beautifully decorated too. You have talent! 🏚🏡
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
491
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
I've never heard of an issue with lamp stands that are secure like yours are. Sounds like nothing would dare topple them! :)

The touch of putting a picture on the wall was brilliant! And it's just perfect! Honestly, this is by far the very best table I have ever seen! I'll bet your house is beautifully decorated too. You have talent! 🏚🏡
Thank you so much, Karen. This means a lot to me, coming from you.
 

harrythetortoise

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Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
325
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
I really love it, and Dozer is lucky to have you as his keeper!
May I ask which company you used to order those PVC pieces? When Harry is older I want to make one like yours too!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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Joined
Jan 9, 2010
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53,362
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
@Krista S

YOU!!! Are the BEST kind of tortoise keeper! :D

Excellent job all around! It looks fantastic and you've got a very lucky tortoise. I hope other tortoise owners use your enclosure pics as an example of how to do it right.
 

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
491
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
I really love it, and Dozer is lucky to have you as his keeper!
May I ask which company you used to order those PVC pieces? When Harry is older I want to make one like yours too!
Hello! Thanks for your nice response. I actually hired someone to source the materials and build the enclosure. Expanded PVC is hard to come by where I am in Canada. The person I hired ended up having to special order it through a local plastics company in my city, so I am not sure what the brand of it is. I really like the embossed wood grain finish on the outside. I don’t know if that’s standard on expanded PVC, but to me it makes the appearance just that much nicer. The inside is not textured which is good. Being smooth makes it’s easy to wipe down. Hopefully some of the American members can chime in who have worked with expanded pvc and give you some guidance on obtaining this kind of material. @Markw84 is who comes to mind first.
 
Last edited:

Krista S

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
491
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
@Krista S

YOU!!! Are the BEST kind of tortoise keeper! :D

Excellent job all around! It looks fantastic and you've got a very lucky tortoise. I hope other tortoise owners use your enclosure pics as an example of how to do it right.
Thank you so much, Tom. I truly appreciate your thoughts and opinions so much, so it means a lot to hear this from you! 😊
 

harrythetortoise

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2020
Messages
325
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
Hello! Thanks for your nice response. I actually hired someone to source the materials and build the enclosure. Expanded PVC is hard to come by where I am in Canada. The person I hired ended up having to special order it through a local plastics company in my city, so I am not sure what the brand of it is. I really like the embossed wood grain finish on the outside. I don’t know if that’s standard on expanded PVC, but to me it makes the appearance just that much nicer. The inside is not textured which is good. Being smooth makes it’s easy to wipe down. Hopefully some of the American members can chime in who have worked with expanded pvc and give you some guidance on obtaining this kind of material. @Markw84 is who comes to mind first.
Thank you! I still have some time until then but will be looking around soon 😊
 

KatQ

New Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2018
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago
Wow- this is impressive. I have been exploring the PVC options at home depot and this is a great example of how it could go thank you for posting pics. how I have a 3yo herman and a 10yo Russian in separate enclosures that I need to expand. I'm in Chicago and a condo dweller so outdoors is a no go. It is excellent in the simplicity of the plan itself i love the fold out door etc.
Home Depot in my area sells this in sheets but I don't have the knowledge or the equipment to cut or put together the pieces. How moveable would you say this table is- you said it was too big to get up the stairs but do you think this could be dismantled if you had to move? Also what the frame - was this also custom built or is this a coffee table or something? Are those real plants?
 
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