Confused beginner wondering about wood types

TaylorTortoise

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WOW!
This is awesome. Can I ask where did you get your lights and the stuff to hang your lights? Did you check to see if this set up is safe?
 

ManAlive85

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WOW!
This is awesome. Can I ask where did you get your lights and the stuff to hang your lights? Did you check to see if this set up is safe?

Pretty much everything came from Amazon I think. The black canopies have two bulb holders and each hold a 50w CHE on a thermostat and a 40w incandescent bulb on a timer. They hang from some ornate black iron pipe that I had left over from another job which is securely screwed to the side of the viv. These fixings could easily take 50kg+ loads so there’s no chance of them failing under the weight of the light fittings. I’ve attached a photo of the same kind of fixing i used in another viv I built last year. It’s over engineered but it works.

25347504-406B-4831-8F04-5652A7837146.jpeg

There are also full spectrum LED grow lights mounted underneath the raised platforms to help the grass and weeds grow. This was quite expensive and has only been moderately successful in keeping the foliage alive but it does provide a nice, fairly cool light source in what would otherwise be a dark area of the habitat. A small, cheap strip light would probably do the same job for a fraction of the cost though.

UVB comes from Arcadia Pro UV T5 strips mounted in the top of each viv. 👍
 

TaylorTortoise

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Pretty much everything came from Amazon I think. The black canopies have two bulb holders and each hold a 50w CHE on a thermostat and a 40w incandescent bulb on a timer. They hang from some ornate black iron pipe that I had left over from another job which is securely screwed to the side of the viv. These fixings could easily take 50kg+ loads so there’s no chance of them failing under the weight of the light fittings. I’ve attached a photo of the same kind of fixing i used in another viv I built last year. It’s over engineered but it works.

View attachment 329797

There are also full spectrum LED grow lights mounted underneath the raised platforms to help the grass and weeds grow. This was quite expensive and has only been moderately successful in keeping the foliage alive but it does provide a nice, fairly cool light source in what would otherwise be a dark area of the habitat. A small, cheap strip light would probably do the same job for a fraction of the cost though.

UVB comes from Arcadia Pro UV T5 strips mounted in the top of each viv. 👍
Very nice.
My only concerns may be does the fixture hit the top of the wall in there to where it might get to warm causing the top to overheat and possibly a fire?
 

ManAlive85

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Very nice.
My only concerns may be does the fixture hit the top of the wall in there to where it might get to warm causing the top to overheat and possibly a fire?

The light fitting is actually a lot closer to the top of the viv in the photo that I attached to my last post (which was my previous viv) than it is in the new one but yes, that should certainly be a consideration.

In the dual bulb canopies I use, the ceramic bulb holders protrude about 3” from the top of the canopies and these conduct very little heat, even when the CHE is on full blast. It’s these ceramic domes that are closest to the roof of the viv which should minimise any risk of dangerous hot spots. Definitely something to bear in mind though.

I spent the first month after building the viv frantically firing my infra red thermometer all over the inside looking for hot or cold spots and the spot below the canopy is consistently far warmer than the space above it.
 

Lulabee247

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Thanks a lot.

Feel free to drop me a message on here if you need any help or advice with the build.
You have already given a load of useful info in what you have said thanks. I didn’t know I could use yacht varnish for starters to seal the wood. How does your tort get onto other levels then ? Are there a few ramps in there ?
 

ManAlive85

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You have already given a load of useful info in what you have said thanks. I didn’t know I could use yacht varnish for starters to seal the wood. How does your tort get onto other levels then ? Are there a few ramps in there ?

You’ll want to do your own research but I’m pretty sure any varnish is safe once it’s fully cured. Yacht varnish was my first choice as it effectively plasticises the inside of the viv.

I use wooden ramps with icelolly sticks glued to them for traction. These need replacing every so often because they go rotten where they’re submerged into the damp substrate but it’s not too big a job. To be clear though, my viv has two separate habitats for two tortoises so each tort just has one ramp to a raised platform level.

I could, theoretically link the two habitats with a bit of tweaking and an extra ramp but I currently have no plans to do so.
 

William Lee Kohler

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I have phoned, emailed, searched Amazon and Ebay all over the country trying to find a WATERPROOF coating for damp/wet substrate, that is non toxic if applied in the animal room and that they cannot remove with their incessant digging and cannot find ANYTHING I can Paint on! I suspect the varnish will crack with ANY flexing of the enclosure and then will leak and rot the wood. I once used something like a fiberglass paint but believe that is toxic until well cured. The best idea for protecting wood from rot seems to be to use pool liner or perhaps precision cut pieces of thin hard plastic secured in place by screws cemented in place and all the edge seams also sealed with hardening sealer rather than silicone or caulking. Tortoises claws are incredibly destructive of Flex Seal or anything not as hard as a rock. This would only need to be done up to a couple inches higher than the depth of the substrate.
 

maggie3fan

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I used shower curtain liners in 3 tort tables. That totally worked out great until I took the tortoise out of one table and put 2 box turtles in, and now the box turtles have dug down and bit by bit they have pulled that liner up and are ripping it to shreds...
 

William Lee Kohler

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There was a tortoise living in one tort table and I took him out after being in it for 12 years...The box turtles have pulled pat of the the liner out in 3 years.
So it did work for a long time
View attachment 330052
For arguments sake: Once it had one hole in it it became essentially worthless. Just one little water leak is all it takes. You had an unusually well behaved tortoise😇. Mine aren't🤪!
 

maggie3fan

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For arguments sake: Once it had one hole in it it became essentially worthless. Just one little water leak is all it takes. You had an unusually well behaved tortoise😇. Mine aren't🤪!
In all the tortoises I have cared for in the last buncha years, I have never had one that burrowed, but those darned box turtles!!!
 
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