Bixi's Tortoise Table (Pics)

Bixi

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Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
47
Location (City and/or State)
Memphis, Tn
Hello everyone,
Bixi is my ~5 month old Sulcata. I have other posts about her on the forum (with her name in the post title), if you want to check her out.

Here is the album of pics for Bixi's new habitat. http://imgur.com/a/wmnl5

I converted an old 75 gallon aquarium-stand into a box (by laying it on its side and adding walls). I water-proofed it with a heavy plastic liner, and I added some decorative paint on the outside. It looks very Asian (ie. her name-sake). For anyone who is not familiar, "Bixi" is the name of a mythological dragon tortoise:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bixi_(mythology) <~ "Bixi" info here.
The Chinese characters on the front of her enclosure show her name, Bixi. ;)

She has 2 rocky hides with substrate beneath them for her digging pleasure. I secured them so that she couldn't dig beneath the rocks and injure herself. The rocks are quite heavy. She can also climb on top of the hides if she desires. I put a piece of slate beneath her ceramic heat lamp for feeding/sunning.

I think I need to swap her ceramic bulb for a small mercury-vapor bulb to give the enclosure more light. Her current UVB bulb lights up most of the walking area in the enclosure, but I feel that the enclosure could use more light as a whole. Also, I know the plastic liner looks kinda tacky, and I may remedy that in the future. I just wanted to get some pics up because this was a big project and I am proud!

Poor Bixi was scared when I introduced her to the new enclosure. She ran to the outside-back of her water dish (the only thing she recognized) and tucked her head into the wall against that dish. It is warm there, so I am just going to leave her and let her adjust naturally.

The ambient temps in the enclosure went up quickly with her heating setup, but the substrate is still quite cool. I am hoping that the big UTH I installed will warm up her soil within 24hrs.

If anyone has comments/questions/suggestions, please express them! I am open to altering her setup to give her optimum conditions. Thanks!

Proud Daddy,
Burke

p.s. - Quick edit... After an hour of sitting, her tank is ~95 Fahrenheit under her heat bulb, ~85 within a foot or so of that bulb (cooler further away), and holding at ~80% humidity.
 

wellington

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That water dish is unsafe to use. Baby tortoises can easily drown in them. Replace it with a low sided clay saucer like is used under flower pots.
Also the temp/humidity gauge you are using is very unreliable. A digital kind with or without a probe is best and they are not that expensive. Some can be found at Home Depot or Menards or even hardware stores. It also needs to be at tort level. I would remove some of those white stones as they can be too small where the tort could possibly try to swallow them and they are also quite sharp and can possibly hurt or scratch up his shell. Add more dirt or coir substrate instead.
Is the enclosure a closed chamber? If not those temps and humidity will be hard to maintain.
 
Last edited:

Bixi

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
47
Location (City and/or State)
Memphis, Tn
That water dish is unsafe to use. Baby tortoises can easily drown in them. Replace it with a low sided clay saucer like is used under flower pots.
Also the temp/humidity gauge you are using is very unreliable. A digital kind with or without a probe is best and they are not that expensive. Some can be found at Home Depot or Menards or even hardware stores. It also needs to be at tort level. I would remove some of those white stones as they can be too small where the tort could possibly try to swallow them and they are also quite sharp and can possibly hurt or scratch up his shell. Add more dirt or coir substrate instead.
Is the enclosure a closed chamber? If not those temps and humidity will be hard to maintain.


The dish is never more than 1/2-1cm full of water, so she could not drown even if she was on her back. She seems to like climbing into her dish and soaking a lot (it is near the heat lamp, which helps with humidity in the whole chamber). The high walls probably make her feel safe, and she poops in that dish every day.

The table is fully enclosed and waterproofed, so temps/humidity have been very stable. As for the gauges being reliable, I haven't had experience with them. I may try to upgrade them in the near future.

The stones I used are mostly too large for her to swallow at her current size. I do not feed her near the stones (only on the slate or in a dish). I can easily scrape away some of the stones to reveal the dirt/coir beneath them. The stones are not very deep as a substrate. She seems to like cypress mulch best, and that was the main substrate in her 1st enclosure. I may reduce the amount of stones and add more cypress mulch/dirt/coir mixture instead. The stones do hold heat well, and they slowly release moisture that is sprayed into them, so I thought they would be a good idea. When she gets larger, I can see eating a stone as being a problem... Thanks for the input!

Burke

P.s. - She has taken to her enclosure very well, she seems happy, and she loves her warm/humid hide in the front of the cage.
 
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