Best Tortoise Enclosure Yet!!

Markw84

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Frustrated with the lack of any really good enclosure on the market currently, I decided to make a modest quantity of enclosures specifically designed for tortoises that will thrive in the "monsoon conditions" we find works so well for most young tortoises. I put everything I would want into the enclosure. All wiring, fixtures, dual thermostats, 3 smart timers - all ready installed and ready for bulbs. There is an outlet for a UVB fixture in the ceiling of the enclosure on a timer, but no UVB fixture, as they size and type of UVB can vary depending upon species, location and preferences. All the wiring is hidden in a compartment accessible along the top of the unit hidden! No more mess of wiring and timers sitting on top of the enclosure. The only wire is one wire coming out of the enclosure to plug into your wall outlet.

This is entirely PVC construction, so no worry about moisture, rotting, etc. The bottom is already sealed at the wall joints - so no leaking. This is meant to be the "last" enclosure needed.

I would post plans, but the enclosure needs really professional equipment and exact measurements to work effectively. It is expandable and all units are identical. The main unit is 4x3 and 27" tall. 2 units fit together to make one 8x3 enclosure. So as the tortoise grows, no need to completely replace a perfectly good enclosure - simply add another to expand it. You could put 3 together to make a single large enclosure as well. All sides, top and bottom simply lift apart and slip together. No screws or fasteners. So nothing that could pull apart or a screw that would strip easily of tightened too much into the softer PVC. It is double walled 1/4" PVC with 1/2" furring strips between to give an air gap/insulating effect as well. SO the walls end up being !" thick. This also creates the "tongue and groove" effect for joining the pieces. Dougle pane swinging doors that open for easy access to the enclosure. Vents on both sides that have a sliding door to open/close to the desired opening. The litter dam is 6" tall.

Here is a unit at a recent reptile expo in Pleasanton all set up. I used it to diplay some baby Burmese stars I have for sale....

IMG_0806.jpg

Here is the complete unit taken apart for easy transport or moving to another location.

IMG_0826.jpg
The whole unit weighs a total of 102 lbs. The heaviest piece is the top with all the wiring/fixtures at 35 lbs. Because of the bulky size, it is easiest to put in place with two people, but I can easily do it myself.

Top put together, lay the bottom in place...

IMG_0827.jpg

Then simply slip the back and front on as they will snap into the bottom. Everything fits securly in place - so the pieces will stand on their own, snapped into the bottom. Everything needs "gentle force" to slip into place as it is all made to fit extremely securely together. ( I took these pictures on one without door installed yet)

IMG_0829.jpg
The sides then slip into the front and back and down into the bottom groove...

IMG_0830.jpg

IMG_0831.jpg

The top has all the wiring and fixtures installed, along with the thermostats and smart timers. The front face of the top is divided into three panels that slip out for access to wiring. This should only have to be done with the initial setup to plug in the different fixtures to the timers and to setup the smart timers for easy access and control from your smart phone.

Here is the layout of the fixtures. I use four LED bulbs for ambient light. Great light. even for growing plants, and very little heat. These are connected to an outlet with smart timer. The outlets in the center are connected to respective thermostats/timers and labeled. The CHE hangs in the center back. The basking light hangs center front. The UVB I use is a 22" T5 HO that hangs across the center. These all hang from hooks that are already installed in the top, but not yet in this picture.

IMG_0834.jpg

Lift the top on and position it to slip down into the "tongues" of the walls to snap into place.

IMG_0833.jpg

(NOTE: These pictures all show units with the protective masking still covering the outside of the enclosure pieces. The masking has been removed for thermostat installation for the center section only.)

When more space is needed, a second unit can be joined together with the existing unit. All you need is another unit, that is a complete unit that can be used on its own as a separate unit. These are the joining pieces that are all that is needed to join the two.

IMG_0824.jpg

Simply place the two bottoms side by side and take off the top and one of the sides and slip the "U" shaped piece on the left above over the two adjoining bottom sides. Here the connecting piece is laying on it side, next to the two bottoms where they meet to see how it goes together. It simply snaps over the tow adjoining bottom sides.

IMG_0823.jpg

Then take the black/white piece and slip it into one of the backs. It will rest on the bottom connector...

IMG_0822.jpg

Slide the other back into this piece and down into its grooves, just as setting up a new enclosure...

IMG_0821.jpg
Do the same for the two fronts and you are ready to slip on the side just as in setting up a single enclosure...

IMG_0819.jpg

Set one top on and place the remaining joining piece under the edge of the top where the side would have been if used as a single enclosure...

IMG_0817.jpg

Now set the other top in place and you have a 8x3 enclosure...

IMG_0815.jpg
The wiring from one enclosure plugs into the other joined enclosure so you still have only one plug going outside the enclosure to plug into a wall outlet. You can plug the whole second unit into the power source and have each side operating independently if you wish (cooler side/warmer side. One side goes darker before the other side, etc.) Or you can plug the individual components into the respective components of the other side and operate all together as one unit.

I have made 6 of these units so far with this final design that I settled upon. Every one is identical in dimensions and can fit together with any of the others. Two units do not have to be built to go together. Any unit will fit with any other as all are made to very exact and consistent dimensions.

These are moderately expensive and time consuming to build. I am currently selling these for $699 for a unit. It takes me about 3 days to build one, but I can build 3 in about 4 days with the mass production value saving time.

I will be at the Fresno Reptile Expo this weekend with some enclosures and some of my Burmese Stars.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Absolutely fantastic. Love it. I will be buying one or some next time I need an enclosure, and I'll be referring people to you from now on. No more waiting 5 or 6 months for someone who needs and enclosure NOW. And I love that it is so easily expanded. Perfect home for a baby tortoise, and so easy to double or triple as the tortoise grows.

Great design and flawless execution.
 

Gijoux

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389
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Frustrated with the lack of any really good enclosure on the market currently, I decided to make a modest quantity of enclosures specifically designed for tortoises that will thrive in the "monsoon conditions" we find works so well for most young tortoises. I put everything I would want into the enclosure. All wiring, fixtures, dual thermostats, 3 smart timers - all ready installed and ready for bulbs. There is an outlet for a UVB fixture in the ceiling of the enclosure on a timer, but no UVB fixture, as they size and type of UVB can vary depending upon species, location and preferences. All the wiring is hidden in a compartment accessible along the top of the unit hidden! No more mess of wiring and timers sitting on top of the enclosure. The only wire is one wire coming out of the enclosure to plug into your wall outlet.

This is entirely PVC construction, so no worry about moisture, rotting, etc. The bottom is already sealed at the wall joints - so no leaking. This is meant to be the "last" enclosure needed.

I would post plans, but the enclosure needs really professional equipment and exact measurements to work effectively. It is expandable and all units are identical. The main unit is 4x3 and 27" tall. 2 units fit together to make one 8x3 enclosure. So as the tortoise grows, no need to completely replace a perfectly good enclosure - simply add another to expand it. You could put 3 together to make a single large enclosure as well. All sides, top and bottom simply lift apart and slip together. No screws or fasteners. So nothing that could pull apart or a screw that would strip easily of tightened too much into the softer PVC. It is double walled 1/4" PVC with 1/2" furring strips between to give an air gap/insulating effect as well. SO the walls end up being !" thick. This also creates the "tongue and groove" effect for joining the pieces. Dougle pane swinging doors that open for easy access to the enclosure. Vents on both sides that have a sliding door to open/close to the desired opening. The litter dam is 6" tall.

Here is a unit at a recent reptile expo in Pleasanton all set up. I used it to diplay some baby Burmese stars I have for sale....

View attachment 273357

Here is the complete unit taken apart for easy transport or moving to another location.

View attachment 273363
The whole unit weighs a total of 102 lbs. The heaviest piece is the top with all the wiring/fixtures at 35 lbs. Because of the bulky size, it is easiest to put in place with two people, but I can easily do it myself.

Top put together, lay the bottom in place...

View attachment 273364

Then simply slip the back and front on as they will snap into the bottom. Everything fits securly in place - so the pieces will stand on their own, snapped into the bottom. Everything needs "gentle force" to slip into place as it is all made to fit extremely securely together. ( I took these pictures on one without door installed yet)

View attachment 273366
The sides then slip into the front and back and down into the bottom groove...

View attachment 273367

View attachment 273368

The top has all the wiring and fixtures installed, along with the thermostats and smart timers. The front face of the top is divided into three panels that slip out for access to wiring. This should only have to be done with the initial setup to plug in the different fixtures to the timers and to setup the smart timers for easy access and control from your smart phone.

Here is the layout of the fixtures. I use four LED bulbs for ambient light. Great light. even for growing plants, and very little heat. These are connected to an outlet with smart timer. The outlets in the center are connected to respective thermostats/timers and labeled. The CHE hangs in the center back. The basking light hangs center front. The UVB I use is a 22" T5 HO that hangs across the center. These all hang from hooks that are already installed in the top, but not yet in this picture.

View attachment 273375

Lift the top on and position it to slip down into the "tongues" of the walls to snap into place.

View attachment 273370

(NOTE: These pictures all show units with the protective masking still covering the outside of the enclosure pieces. The masking has been removed for thermostat installation for the center section only.)

When more space is needed, a second unit can be joined together with the existing unit. All you need is another unit, that is a complete unit that can be used on its own as a separate unit. These are the joining pieces that are all that is needed to join the two.

View attachment 273377

Simply place the two bottoms side by side and take off the top and one of the sides and slip the "U" shaped piece on the left above over the two adjoining bottom sides. Here the connecting piece is laying on it side, next to the two bottoms where they meet to see how it goes together. It simply snaps over the tow adjoining bottom sides.

View attachment 273380

Then take the black/white piece and slip it into one of the backs. It will rest on the bottom connector...

View attachment 273378

Slide the other back into this piece and down into its grooves, just as setting up a new enclosure...

View attachment 273381
Do the same for the two fronts and you are ready to slip on the side just as in setting up a single enclosure...

View attachment 273384

Set one top on and place the remaining joining piece under the edge of the top where the side would have been if used as a single enclosure...

View attachment 273388

Now set the other top in place and you have a 8x3 enclosure...

View attachment 273389
The wiring from one enclosure plugs into the other joined enclosure so you still have only one plug going outside the enclosure to plug into a wall outlet. You can plug the whole second unit into the power source and have each side operating independently if you wish (cooler side/warmer side. One side goes darker before the other side, etc.) Or you can plug the individual components into the respective components of the other side and operate all together as one unit.

I have made 6 of these units so far with this final design that I settled upon. Every one is identical in dimensions and can fit together with any of the others. Two units do not have to be built to go together. Any unit will fit with any other as all are made to very exact and consistent dimensions.

These are moderately expensive and time consuming to build. I am currently selling these for $699 for a unit. It takes me about 3 days to build one, but I can build 3 in about 4 days with the mass production value saving time.

I will be at the Fresno Reptile Expo this weekend with some enclosures and some of my Burmese Stars.
Such nice work!! Love your cages. You better get some help or people will be waiting 5 and 6 months for your cages too. Thank you for putting all the time and expertise to make life better for all our Torts.
 

Gijoux

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
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Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
389
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Frustrated with the lack of any really good enclosure on the market currently, I decided to make a modest quantity of enclosures specifically designed for tortoises that will thrive in the "monsoon conditions" we find works so well for most young tortoises. I put everything I would want into the enclosure. All wiring, fixtures, dual thermostats, 3 smart timers - all ready installed and ready for bulbs. There is an outlet for a UVB fixture in the ceiling of the enclosure on a timer, but no UVB fixture, as they size and type of UVB can vary depending upon species, location and preferences. All the wiring is hidden in a compartment accessible along the top of the unit hidden! No more mess of wiring and timers sitting on top of the enclosure. The only wire is one wire coming out of the enclosure to plug into your wall outlet.

This is entirely PVC construction, so no worry about moisture, rotting, etc. The bottom is already sealed at the wall joints - so no leaking. This is meant to be the "last" enclosure needed.

I would post plans, but the enclosure needs really professional equipment and exact measurements to work effectively. It is expandable and all units are identical. The main unit is 4x3 and 27" tall. 2 units fit together to make one 8x3 enclosure. So as the tortoise grows, no need to completely replace a perfectly good enclosure - simply add another to expand it. You could put 3 together to make a single large enclosure as well. All sides, top and bottom simply lift apart and slip together. No screws or fasteners. So nothing that could pull apart or a screw that would strip easily of tightened too much into the softer PVC. It is double walled 1/4" PVC with 1/2" furring strips between to give an air gap/insulating effect as well. SO the walls end up being !" thick. This also creates the "tongue and groove" effect for joining the pieces. Dougle pane swinging doors that open for easy access to the enclosure. Vents on both sides that have a sliding door to open/close to the desired opening. The litter dam is 6" tall.

Here is a unit at a recent reptile expo in Pleasanton all set up. I used it to diplay some baby Burmese stars I have for sale....

View attachment 273357

Here is the complete unit taken apart for easy transport or moving to another location.

View attachment 273363
The whole unit weighs a total of 102 lbs. The heaviest piece is the top with all the wiring/fixtures at 35 lbs. Because of the bulky size, it is easiest to put in place with two people, but I can easily do it myself.

Top put together, lay the bottom in place...

View attachment 273364

Then simply slip the back and front on as they will snap into the bottom. Everything fits securly in place - so the pieces will stand on their own, snapped into the bottom. Everything needs "gentle force" to slip into place as it is all made to fit extremely securely together. ( I took these pictures on one without door installed yet)

View attachment 273366
The sides then slip into the front and back and down into the bottom groove...

View attachment 273367

View attachment 273368

The top has all the wiring and fixtures installed, along with the thermostats and smart timers. The front face of the top is divided into three panels that slip out for access to wiring. This should only have to be done with the initial setup to plug in the different fixtures to the timers and to setup the smart timers for easy access and control from your smart phone.

Here is the layout of the fixtures. I use four LED bulbs for ambient light. Great light. even for growing plants, and very little heat. These are connected to an outlet with smart timer. The outlets in the center are connected to respective thermostats/timers and labeled. The CHE hangs in the center back. The basking light hangs center front. The UVB I use is a 22" T5 HO that hangs across the center. These all hang from hooks that are already installed in the top, but not yet in this picture.

View attachment 273375

Lift the top on and position it to slip down into the "tongues" of the walls to snap into place.

View attachment 273370

(NOTE: These pictures all show units with the protective masking still covering the outside of the enclosure pieces. The masking has been removed for thermostat installation for the center section only.)

When more space is needed, a second unit can be joined together with the existing unit. All you need is another unit, that is a complete unit that can be used on its own as a separate unit. These are the joining pieces that are all that is needed to join the two.

View attachment 273377

Simply place the two bottoms side by side and take off the top and one of the sides and slip the "U" shaped piece on the left above over the two adjoining bottom sides. Here the connecting piece is laying on it side, next to the two bottoms where they meet to see how it goes together. It simply snaps over the tow adjoining bottom sides.

View attachment 273380

Then take the black/white piece and slip it into one of the backs. It will rest on the bottom connector...

View attachment 273378

Slide the other back into this piece and down into its grooves, just as setting up a new enclosure...

View attachment 273381
Do the same for the two fronts and you are ready to slip on the side just as in setting up a single enclosure...

View attachment 273384

Set one top on and place the remaining joining piece under the edge of the top where the side would have been if used as a single enclosure...

View attachment 273388

Now set the other top in place and you have a 8x3 enclosure...

View attachment 273389
The wiring from one enclosure plugs into the other joined enclosure so you still have only one plug going outside the enclosure to plug into a wall outlet. You can plug the whole second unit into the power source and have each side operating independently if you wish (cooler side/warmer side. One side goes darker before the other side, etc.) Or you can plug the individual components into the respective components of the other side and operate all together as one unit.

I have made 6 of these units so far with this final design that I settled upon. Every one is identical in dimensions and can fit together with any of the others. Two units do not have to be built to go together. Any unit will fit with any other as all are made to very exact and consistent dimensions.

These are moderately expensive and time consuming to build. I am currently selling these for $699 for a unit. It takes me about 3 days to build one, but I can build 3 in about 4 days with the mass production value saving time.

I will be at the Fresno Reptile Expo this weekend with some enclosures and some of my Burmese Stars.
Hi Mark! I would like to refer someone to purchase one of your cages. How is the best way?
 

Turtle girl 98

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I absolutely love this Mark! I am going to show my husband (his name is Mark to lol) and he loves to make things. Where are you located? Probably to far to come pick one up of you have any still available
 

Markw84

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I absolutely love this Mark! I am going to show my husband (his name is Mark to lol) and he loves to make things. Where are you located? Probably to far to come pick one up of you have any still available
I am in the Sacramento CA area. I have not gotten into shipping yet and have just done builds I can deliver or we can meet - so just California so far.
 

Markw84

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How much are these enclosures ??
Sorry, I did not see your post. Thank you, @Gijoux .

When asking questions it is best to alert the member as I did with Gijoux just above. That way we are notified and know to look at the post.

It is $699 including the double thermostats and all wiring set up for all your needs. The materials alone to build one costs me $422 with much of that purchased at wholesale. There are over 100 individual pieces of PVC I assemble and over 100 electrical connections in one enclosure. The finished product is just 6 pieces to snap together and only 1 visible cord to plug into the wall.
 

obxdevilfin

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Sorry, I did not see your post. Thank you, @Gijoux .

When asking questions it is best to alert the member as I did with Gijoux just above. That way we are notified and know to look at the post.

It is $699 including the double thermostats and all wiring set up for all your needs. The materials alone to build one costs me $422 with much of that purchased at wholesale. There are over 100 individual pieces of PVC I assemble and over 100 electrical connections in one enclosure. The finished product is just 6 pieces to snap together and only 1 visible cord to plug into the wall.
Thanks, and I will alert the member from here on out, being new here, never gave it a thought.......lol
 

Kapidolo Farms

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A single picture is worth a 1000 words, a single video is worth a 1000 pictures. There needs to be a simple assembly video. @Markw84 is kind enough to share booth space with me at shows. Even I can put it together.

There is a weird frustration people have with these enclosures. It is exactly what they want, priced much better than lesser all PVC enclosures, and they still think it's too much $ (my opinion of how they twist their face up when told the price). It's the best out there, and very fairly priced.

There will be one, maybe two, at the Phoenix Reptile show at the end of November. Be the first to let Mark know you want it, that's like $250 free shipping, don't hesitate.
 

ZEROPILOT

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A single picture is worth a 1000 words, a single video is worth a 1000 pictures. There needs to be a simple assembly video. @Markw84 is kind enough to share booth space with me at shows. Even I can put it together.

There is a weird frustration people have with these enclosures. It is exactly what they want, priced much better than lesser all PVC enclosures, and they still think it's too much $ (my opinion of how they twist their face up when told the price). It's the best out there, and very fairly priced.

There will be one, maybe two, at the Phoenix Reptile show at the end of November. Be the first to let Mark know you want it, that's like $250 free shipping, don't hesitate.
Ever made a cheap indoor enclosure?
It didn't end up being very cheap. Did it?
 
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