Cage Decor

alexksquared

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Sep 20, 2019
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Cleveland, Ohio
I am building a new and better cage for my marginated tortoise. I have the correct information for the tortoise, just the cage info not sure on:

-Has anyone used "GreatStuff" for the foam background? Any issues with it? Do the tortoise nails/claws scratch tear it?
-How much heat (if any) does the fluorescent light give off? I am thinking of routing out a hole in the top a hair smaller than the actual fixture. I don't want the wood to be affected by the heat.
-For the foam background, what sealer would work (for color and what not)? I want to have some rock and wood colors, i'll throw some of the bedding on there for a more natural look.
 

OogWillie

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I’ve used great stuff foam for many reptiles and it’s perfect, you have to be careful initially because the bad chemicals that could harm the tort would be when it is still soft. If you give it a while an let it dry completely I think you should be fine. I’d use a color that they definitely won’t try to eat.
 

Blackdog1714

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That sounds awesome I would just start it like 8-10 inches above the the shell height to be super safe. Please add pictures when you finish with your art!
 

TeamZissou

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I made a tortoise hide box out of foam, grout, and non toxic sealer based on the "lizard landscapes" youtube channel. It can hold humidity since it's a plastic shoe box with foam glued to it. You sculpt the foam to make it look like a rock, and then cover it with several layers of grout before painting. Painting something to look like a rock is harder than you think and that probably took the most time. The other plants in there are all plastic from Hobby Lobby, bought with a coupon.

You could definitely do the same thing for the walls. The Lizard Landscapes guy has some examples of that as well. It was a fun project.


IMG_2002.JPG
 

alexksquared

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Thank you for the advice and help everyone. I can only work on it during the weekends since I have my tools at my mothers. So I should have it done within a month. My tort can't wait. He's a climber. Either because the 40 gallon breeder is to small (he's 9 months old). Or because he is a daredevil.
 

Tom

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Thank you for the advice and help everyone. I can only work on it during the weekends since I have my tools at my mothers. So I should have it done within a month. My tort can't wait. He's a climber. Either because the 40 gallon breeder is to small (he's 9 months old). Or because he is a daredevil.
A 9 month old Margie in a 40 is getting pretty crowded. Time for something much bigger.
 

alexksquared

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A 9 month old Margie in a 40 is getting pretty crowded. Time for something much bigger.

That's the goal. This new one is going to be 56"x26"x20" (L.W.H.). I know i'll need a even bigger one in the soon future. But this is more to test out some ideas I have before I make the final cage. One idea is (closed top) is to cut out lamp sized holes here and there. So if I ever want to add more heat or change which side the basking will be on, I can do that. And I will keep the cut outs. So when they aren't being used, I can plug them up for the most part.
 

Tom

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That's the goal. This new one is going to be 56"x26"x20" (L.W.H.). I know i'll need a even bigger one in the soon future. But this is more to test out some ideas I have before I make the final cage. One idea is (closed top) is to cut out lamp sized holes here and there. So if I ever want to add more heat or change which side the basking will be on, I can do that. And I will keep the cut outs. So when they aren't being used, I can plug them up for the most part.
Best to design it with the heat and lights INSIDE the enclosure. If you cut holes and put the lights outside, most of the heat you generate will escape up into the room and it will create a chimney effect inside the enclosure.
 

Marginated.Oakley

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I used plain black silicone for my crested gecko tank and it worked great! It’s animal safe when it’s dry and it helps to cover any foam for cosmetic purposes and it also works great as a sealant. The foam was good for me but it expands more after the initial amount so be careful about that!!
 

alexksquared

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I used plain black silicone for my crested gecko tank and it worked great! It’s animal safe when it’s dry and it helps to cover any foam for cosmetic purposes and it also works great as a sealant. The foam was good for me but it expands more after the initial amount so be careful about that!!

Yeah I found out about how much the foam expands the hard way. I got the one that is used for big gaps...wrong to do. And I also burned two of my fingers while using the hot knife to cut it. And on top of other parts I have to redo. Didn't expect it to be so much 'fun' lol
 

Marginated.Oakley

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Yeah I found out about how much the foam expands the hard way. I got the one that is used for big gaps...wrong to do. And I also burned two of my fingers while using the hot knife to cut it. And on top of other parts I have to redo. Didn't expect it to be so much 'fun' lol
So true omg. I ended up leaving it because I didn’t think it was worth the effort to try to fix it. Glued some moss on and called it a day. It was very hard to apply for me too but I think I also got the wrong one and then had it outside in the rain for a day -whoops. That probably didn’t help.
 

ZEROPILOT

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A million years ago, one of my earliest attempts at a large indoor tortoise enclosure had foam caves built into it. It was an expanded enclosure that previously held my Uromastic lizards.
I kept 2 small Redfoot in there (under all the wrong conditions) and amazingly enough...None if them ever nibbled at or expressed any issue with trying to eat that foam.
That would be my primary issue with the foam.
It would be very bad for them to ingest.
 

alexksquared

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I just finished the foam, caulking, and bedding mix on the walls. The foam wasn't the greatest, but the dirt fixed it. The only exposed foam parts are on the top where I couldn't get to. Now all I need is the glass install and to fix some holes I made in the top, and the Frankenstein project will be done. Also looking for a type of ivy that is good for the tort. Something to hang along the walls.
 

alexksquared

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Here is roughly the final project. All I need to do is: use another heat probe for the cooler side, play with the temps/humidity to what it needs to be. Add his tunnel and dishes (he is using them now). When I make the bigger one in the future. I plan on doing things a little different.
 

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