ANOTHER Night Box Thread...

Romeo Serback

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What kind of leopard do you have? The Babcocki are usually smaller, around 11-17 inches and then the PP around 20 plus.
Babcocki. What's the adult width and height? Or should I make the entrance for SA in case I get another and then build a smaller one for my current one?
 

wellington

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Babcocki. What's the adult width and height? Or should I make the entrance for SA in case I get another and then build a smaller one for my current one?
They don't do good in pairs so I wouldn't get another. I also wouldn't mix the SA with a Bab. I believe my Babs opening is 12 inches wide by 24 inches high. My leopards are 11 inches long and 7 years old. I don't know how wide they are. Probably around 6 to 8 inches wide.
 

Romeo Serback

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Oh, I've read over 500 threads in the past 2 weeks alone and I know about not mixing pairs or breeds due to bullying, diseases, etc. I was implying that if you love one tortoise, you can't just get one. Lol And if I build a hide that's big enough for SA, then it should be good for my Babcocki. So you would say that a 24" high and 18" wide would be good? I think I'll do that. Thanks for the help.
 

wellington

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Oh, I've read over 500 threads in the past 2 weeks alone and I know about not mixing pairs or breeds due to bullying, diseases, etc. I was implying that if you love one tortoise, you can't just get one. Lol And if I build a hide that's big enough for SA, then it should be good for my Babcocki. So you would say that a 24" high and 18" wide would be good? I think I'll do that. Thanks for the help.
I see. If your thinking ahead for an SA I would do a 24x24.
 

Tom

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Oh, I've read over 500 threads in the past 2 weeks alone and I know about not mixing pairs or breeds due to bullying, diseases, etc. I was implying that if you love one tortoise, you can't just get one. Lol And if I build a hide that's big enough for SA, then it should be good for my Babcocki. So you would say that a 24" high and 18" wide would be good? I think I'll do that. Thanks for the help.
I like to make my door as small as possible, but also allowing for adult sizes. This way, less heat is lost out the door. There is no reason to make a leopard door more than 16" or 18" tall. I do 16-18" tall for adult male sulcata, and 24-26 wide.
 

Tom

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We used these plans to build our night box. It is awesome! Thanks for posting this!
I wanna see pics! I get ideas and inspiration from other people's builds too. WIll you make a thread when you have time?
 

DawnH

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Question!!

Is there a particular reason why you have not painted the inside of the night box? I’m asking because everyone thought I was crazy when I used exterior house paint and also painted the INSIDE of our chicken coop, but it find that makes cleanup much easier and it creates a barrier to keep the wood fresher and longer lasting in regards to feces/urine/water. I actually planned on doing that when I create Tuleo’s night box but I’m wondering if there’s a particular reason why I should NOT?

Thanks for any help you can give!

Dawn
 

Yvonne G

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Question!!

Is there a particular reason why you have not painted the inside of the night box? I’m asking because everyone thought I was crazy when I used exterior house paint and also painted the INSIDE of our chicken coop, but it find that makes cleanup much easier and it creates a barrier to keep the wood fresher and longer lasting in regards to feces/urine/water. I actually planned on doing that when I create Tuleo’s night box but I’m wondering if there’s a particular reason why I should NOT?

Thanks for any help you can give!

Dawn
About painting the inside: Will told me that black widow spiders don't like light colors and prefer dark places, so if you paint the insides of your boxes and sheds white it cuts down on the widow population.
 

wellington

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Question!!

Is there a particular reason why you have not painted the inside of the night box? I’m asking because everyone thought I was crazy when I used exterior house paint and also painted the INSIDE of our chicken coop, but it find that makes cleanup much easier and it creates a barrier to keep the wood fresher and longer lasting in regards to feces/urine/water. I actually planned on doing that when I create Tuleo’s night box but I’m wondering if there’s a particular reason why I should NOT?

Thanks for any help you can give!

Dawn
There is no health reason, not to paint or seal. I painted the floor of my old shed too. But if you live in a area that has black widow spiders, I would follow Yvonne's advice and paint a light color inside.
 

Tom

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Question!!

Is there a particular reason why you have not painted the inside of the night box? I’m asking because everyone thought I was crazy when I used exterior house paint and also painted the INSIDE of our chicken coop, but it find that makes cleanup much easier and it creates a barrier to keep the wood fresher and longer lasting in regards to feces/urine/water. I actually planned on doing that when I create Tuleo’s night box but I’m wondering if there’s a particular reason why I should NOT?

Thanks for any help you can give!

Dawn
I don't like the chemical fumes in a closed space. Makes me nervous. I also don't need to paint the surfaces because the wood holds up for years when left completely untreated. When it does eventually rot through after several years in a particularly messy night box like my female leopards who poop and pee in there every night, I simply put a patch over the affected area and it lasts for several more years until I remove that old patch and put on a new one. I have boxes that have been in use more than 10 years and have never needed any patching or repairs of any kind. Also, no paint will last where a tortoise comes into contact with it. They are too big, heavy and hard. Their shells, feet, legs and nails will rub the paint right off, and then you have a paint chip mess.

Also, paint has gotten exceedingly expensive. I'd rather not use it where I don't need it.
 

Tom

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Would you recommend tile?
Tile could work, but again, its just isn't necessary. If you want to spend the time, money and tremendous effort to tile in a tortoise box, then go for it. But they don't need it, and its going to be very heavy when you are done.
 

DawnH

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I don't like the chemical fumes in a closed space. Makes me nervous. I also don't need to paint the surfaces because the wood holds up for years when left completely untreated. When it does eventually rot through after several years in a particularly messy night box like my female leopards who poop and pee in there every night, I simply put a patch over the affected area and it lasts for several more years until I remove that old patch and put on a new one. I have boxes that have been in use more than 10 years and have never needed any patching or repairs of any kind. Also, no paint will last where a tortoise comes into contact with it. They are too big, heavy and hard. Their shells, feet, legs and nails will rub the paint right off, and then you have a paint chip mess.

Also, paint has gotten exceedingly expensive. I'd rather not use it where I don't need it.

Makes sense but I only use low VOC paint and I’m highly sensitive to smells and have had no issues. I would probably paint it during the spring months and let it air out for weeks before I closed it up. Plus I would never purchase paint for this project, just use leftover exterior house paint (like we did for the coop) that we already have around. I might try it just to see if I think it’s worth it for the next go around. I just know that however fast I try and get to his messes, it leaves unsightly staining that IS still pee and poop, no matter how much you try and clean it. I thinking it might be a more sanitary option. Plus I can’t see the paint chipping, mostly getting scratched up. We painted wood floors before and had the dogs (Great Dane and German Shepherd) did minimal scratching, I know a bull headed tortoise is different but I might try it just so I can see if it works or not. I was able to hose/disinfect the coop out every spring and it held up great. (Coop photo shown before we added perches and outer walls. We added 2" of sand at the bottom and just scoop feces with a cat litter scoop and toss it in the garden beds.)

Yes, I paint like a 5 year old...lol

coop.jpg
 

Always pondering

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Hi Tom,
I used your box design to build one for our new Sulcata. Thank you very much for sharing all of this it made things a lot easier. I have a question about the RHP. How far above the tortoise should it be? At the moment I have it like 2-3" above where she would be.

Our girl, Timmy JoJo, is about 13" tall, she's about 12 yrs old and came to us from a family member who also has a big 100lb male who they rescued recently and one had to go.
My wife made this account but I guess I'm the one who will be posting.
Thank you again
Rich
 

Clorenzo85

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I did it again. :)
And I'm going to keep doing it too! :D

Here is the latest night box. Its similar to the others, but I wanted to show more of the electrics involved and how I use them. I made this one for my two returning Gpp females. I gave these two girls to a friend in 2010 and he raised them. They both turned out to be female, while most of mine are male. He offered to give them back to me in the hopes of producing some babies in the future. They will live alone for a couple of months for quarantine and fecal exam purposes, but then they will join the other girls.

Here we go...

Here is the almost finished box showing the yet uncovered insulation inside the walls.
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Here is the assortment of equipment going into this box:
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The heat mat and radiant heat panel have been mounted here, as has the shoe box that will hold all the excess wires.
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Here you can see all the cords and the thermostat all hooked up and stuffed into the shoe box. You can also see my thermostat probe hanging on the wall on the "cool" side. Notice the "drip loops" on the cord coming in to the box and inside the box. More on that later.
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Close up of the shoe box:
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See how nice it looks with the cords all contained? :) Notice that drip loop again...
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A wider view of the whole thing. In this one you can see my GFI circuit that I'm plugged into:
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Here is that "drip loop" that I keep talking about. I learned this back in my early aquarium days. You see, water runs downhill. Amazing right?! In the event of an earthquake or other aquarium splashes, the idea is that if you have a "loop" so that your cords always run downhill first and then uphill into your outlets, water will not be guided into your outlet. Instead it will come to the bottom of the loop and drip down to the ground harmlessly. I did one outside this new tortoise box and inside, just to be safe.
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Here it is open for business.
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In my excitement I forgot to get pics of the new inhabitants. I'll get some pics and post those later.

Hi, where did you buy that heating system. I have to order it.
 

Tom

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