Darius_the_Tort

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Jun 17, 2021
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3
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Mullica Hill
I plan on making my Russian tortoise's indoor enclosure as a 7x2.5 size (a bit awkward but fits in the room); aside from this he has an outdoor enclosure aswell. I know a lot of people strongly suggest an 8x4 enclosure for an adult; so I was wondering if instead of expanding it I could add a second layer? if so, how would you set up lights for a multi-layered enclosure as such? And what height would you recommend for each layer. Also confused on another thing where people measure RT lengths by multiplying their shells by something; is that an effective measurement scale or just some form of legality?
 

Darius_the_Tort

New Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Mullica Hill
Also does anyone know if you can make a second layer bioactive, as I am pondering on making an arid bioactive enclosure; but this is undecided yet.
 

KarenSoCal

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Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
I plan on making my Russian tortoise's indoor enclosure as a 7x2.5 size (a bit awkward but fits in the room); aside from this he has an outdoor enclosure aswell. I know a lot of people strongly suggest an 8x4 enclosure for an adult; so I was wondering if instead of expanding it I could add a second layer? if so, how would you set up lights for a multi-layered enclosure as such? And what height would you recommend for each layer. Also confused on another thing where people measure RT lengths by multiplying their shells by something; is that an effective measurement scale or just some form of legality?
Hello, and welcome to TFO!

Lots of members have added a 2nd floor to their tort's house, and some have added a raised platform. I have a picture of 2 of them.

Here's one:
F4C42F05-F647-4E11-881B-80FEB9CD2675.jpeg.jpg
2EEBBBE3-9EC6-467B-8840-1D4D8C159979.jpeg.jpg
D21ED54C-7950-4BB4-AD69-12155ABB3217.jpeg.jpg

And the other:
20200807_194219.jpg

Here's another.
287B9175-55CB-494F-9858-2EFA5DB5C30D.jpeg.jpg
CBFA505A-B7FD-430F-BC8F-10D6C4A9769E.jpeg.jpg

The 1st floor has the hide and the basking area. The 2nd floor is high enough for the tort to easily fit under it. The height is also somewhat determined by the space you have for the ramp. It can't be too steep.

The length of a tortoise is measured as SCL, 'straight carapace length'. You get this by laying the tort on a ruler that is perpendicular to a wall. You put the front of the shell against the wall (with the tort's head pulled inside), and looking straight down, measure how long the shell is, or mark a piece of paper.

Here's 2 ways...
20200807_194219.jpg CBFA505A-B7FD-430F-BC8F-10D6C4A9769E.jpeg.jpg a038e3242185c02b6ba42969faa6cd72.jpg
clip_image002_0000.jpg
measureopt2.jpg
 

KarenSoCal

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Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Also does anyone know if you can make a second layer bioactive, as I am pondering on making an arid bioactive enclosure; but this is undecided yet.
I think an arid bioactive would be difficult to maintain.

First, your tortoise will need humidity...an arid living space will not be healthy for him.

Second, the bugs you need for bioactivity live in warm moist places. I guess there are insects that serve the same purpose in arid climates, but I don't know how available they would be.
 

Darius_the_Tort

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Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Mullica Hill
I think an arid bioactive would be difficult to maintain.

First, your tortoise will need humidity...an arid living space will not be healthy for him.

Second, the bugs you need for bioactivity live in warm moist places. I guess there are insects that serve the same purpose in arid climates, but I don't know how available they would be.
Thank you for your help; idk why I said arid when I think I meant to say was a non-tropical bioactive; as those usually have too much humidity for them. I've looked up a lot about isopods and tortoises and still inconclusive to whether I'll make one; but I'm definitely looking into a second story now, because those enclosures look great. Thanks for your help!
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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Norwich CT
I have a second story in my Russian’s enclosed chamber. The thing that is most important to remember is that a ramp needs a 1:2 ratio. For every 1 foot of rise, the ramp needs 2 feet of length. It can be done, but it needs a lot of forethought.
 
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