Enclosure arrangement

MNGuy

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I'm doing research in preparation for adopting a tortoise one day. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but how do you arrange your tortoise enclosure in terms of where you place the water bowl, feeding station, humid hide, etc.? I've read the caresheets and stickies but can't find any answers.

My questions are:

1/ Should the humid hide go on the hot side near/under the basking light? Or, the cool side? Or, somewhere in the middle? (Part of me worries that the tortoise might want to camp out in it for moisture and if it's too cold the tortoise will get sick or will slow down and just not leave. I'm in Minnesota so right now my house can get into the mid to high 60s at night.)
2/ What about feeding station placement? Should it be near the warm side since heat = appetite?
3/ Water bowl?

Thank you.
 

Tolis

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Depending on the species the care can vary but the basics are the same. You can start here


but check individual species care sheets to see what is best for you. A male adult sulcata could be up for adoption but it might not be the right tort for you.

Well done for doing the research before getting the tort, I did my research 8 years late.
 

MNGuy

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Depending on the species the care can vary but the basics are the same. You can start here


but check individual species care sheets to see what is best for you. A male adult sulcata could be up for adoption but it might not be the right tort for you.

Well done for doing the research before getting the tort, I did my research 8 years late.

Thanks. I am looking for either a Russian or a Hermann's. However, none of the caresheets really address my questions. Maybe it's not an issue where I place any of those things?
 

Yvonne G

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I put the feeding tile clear across the enclosure from the hiding place so the tortoise has to walk a ways to eat. I keep the waterer away from the walls because when the tortoise takes his laps, he always walks the walls and if the water is by a wall dirt gets walked through it.
 

MNGuy

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I put the feeding tile clear across the enclosure from the hiding place so the tortoise has to walk a ways to eat. I keep the waterer away from the walls because when the tortoise takes his laps, he always walks the walls and if the water is by a wall dirt gets walked through it.

Thank you! That is great insight I would have never thought of having never kept a tortoise! I appreciate it.
 

Tom

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I'm doing research in preparation for adopting a tortoise one day. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but how do you arrange your tortoise enclosure in terms of where you place the water bowl, feeding station, humid hide, etc.? I've read the caresheets and stickies but can't find any answers.

My questions are:

1/ Should the humid hide go on the hot side near/under the basking light? Or, the cool side? Or, somewhere in the middle? (Part of me worries that the tortoise might want to camp out in it for moisture and if it's too cold the tortoise will get sick or will slow down and just not leave. I'm in Minnesota so right now my house can get into the mid to high 60s at night.)
2/ What about feeding station placement? Should it be near the warm side since heat = appetite?
3/ Water bowl?

Thank you.
Good questions.

For tropical species, the whole enclosure is warm, so it doesn't matter where you put the hide. For temperate species, I like a hide on the warm side and the cool side so they can choose and use both as they thermoregulate.

I use terra cotta saucers for both food and water. I keep the food bowl on the cool side away from the heat sources. It doesn't dry out and wilt as fast this way.

For older larger tortoises I do what Yvonne said. I keep the water dish in the middle out of their way. For hatchings and babies I intentionally put the water dish in a corner or along the side knowing they will walk right into it regularly. It makes a mess as they grow, but it helps ensure they find the water, drink, and stay hydrated. When they get bigger, this is not necessary and they get it way too dirty too quickly.
 

Maro2Bear

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One other “tip” when you use those round terra cotta (plant) saucers for both food & water. I found it best to sink them down level into the substrate. Why? Easier for your tort to drop it’s head down into the dish to eat or drink, and they don’t push the dishes all around the enclosure. Almost impossible to tip over a water dish when it’s sunken down level.
 

MNGuy

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Good questions.

For tropical species, the whole enclosure is warm, so it doesn't matter where you put the hide. For temperate species, I like a hide on the warm side and the cool side so they can choose and use both as they thermoregulate.

I use terra cotta saucers for both food and water. I keep the food bowl on the cool side away from the heat sources. It doesn't dry out and wilt as fast this way.

For older larger tortoises I do what Yvonne said. I keep the water dish in the middle out of their way. For hatchings and babies I intentionally put the water dish in a corner or along the side knowing they will walk right into it regularly. It makes a mess as they grow, but it helps ensure they find the water, drink, and stay hydrated. When they get bigger, this is not necessary and they get it way too dirty too quickly.
G
Good questions.

For tropical species, the whole enclosure is warm, so it doesn't matter where you put the hide. For temperate species, I like a hide on the warm side and the cool side so they can choose and use both as they thermoregulate.

I use terra cotta saucers for both food and water. I keep the food bowl on the cool side away from the heat sources. It doesn't dry out and wilt as fast this way.

For older larger tortoises I do what Yvonne said. I keep the water dish in the middle out of their way. For hatchings and babies I intentionally put the water dish in a corner or along the side knowing they will walk right into it regularly. It makes a mess as they grow, but it helps ensure they find the water, drink, and stay hydrated. When they get bigger, this is not necessary and they get it way too dirty too quickly.

This is great information! Thank you. I have your caresheet bookmarked as well.
 

MNGuy

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Location (City and/or State)
Minneapolis, MN
One other “tip” when you use those round terra cotta (plant) saucers for both food & water. I found it best to sink them down level into the substrate. Why? Easier for your tort to drop it’s head down into the dish to eat or drink, and they don’t push the dishes all around the enclosure. Almost impossible to tip over a water dish when it’s sunken down level.

Thank you for the great information!
 

Ghazan

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I keep both towards the middle or away from the hot side
 
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