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Building My First Tortoise Table

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by rexosorous, Sep 24, 2019.

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  1. rexosorous

    rexosorous New Member

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    hey guys, i'm completely new to tortoise keeping and i just got a baby calfornian desert tortoise (just under 2 inches in shell diameter). it's been living in a glass enclosure for the past 3 days and i've noticed that it constantly tries to walk into or climb up the glass walls. i think this might be a space issue (the tank is 10in x 20in). so i'm thinking of building my first tortoise table. i'm going to be placing this indoors because there are cats that live around the neighborhood and i'm scared they'll break in to any countermeasures i build in.

    my main questions are:

    1. how large should i make it?
    2. will the UVB lamp provide enough light to grow plants?
    3. will the heat lamp make it too hot to grow the plants?
    4. what seeds should i buy? ie. what plants are good to grow and be a healthy source of food for the tortoise?
    Cathie G likes this.
  2. Cathie G

    Cathie G Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome to TFO. Other more experienced members for your species will answer you. In the meantime there's also places on this site with really good ideas for tortoise tables. But something you could do in the meantime to maybe stop the climbing is to tape a border around the outside of the aquarium. It has to be tall enough(6 to 8") so the little one can't see the great outdoors. You could just use a grocery store brown paper bag until you get your table built.
  3. Prince's mom

    Prince's mom New Member

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    Research and have fun building

    20191013_194727.jpg
  4. method89

    method89 Active Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Rex,

    do you have a heat bulb on the aquarium? it may be too hot for him and he is trying to escape. 1)When building a table, bigger is always better. Find a space in your house that can taken over and fill it with table.

    2)all depends on the plants you are looking to grow.
    3)I wouldnt put anything directly under the heat lamp but, depending on what you want to grow, should be fine.
    4)spider plants, aloe, and you could also look at tortoisesupply.com for seed mixes that tortoises can eat.

    **Check out the info on this site for your species as well, tons of info, and most questions answered before you even know you had a question**
  5. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    For babies I just start with a large plastic bin. You cut holes in the lid for the lights and you have an instant closed chamber - just line the edge of the holes with foil. Add fir bark substrate, a piece of broken cement to put the food on, a saucer with pebbles in the bottom for water and a couple plants still in their pots for added security and you're good to go.

    I like to use the tube type fluorescent UVB bulb along with a ceramic heat emitter for heat.

    babies.jpg
    baby desert tortoises 9-17-15 a.jpg Vision Cage a.jpg YF tort table a.jpg YF tort table b.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2019 at 7:55 AM
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