Enclosure materials

NathansChelonians

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Hey everyone, hope you're having a good holiday.

I'm building a new enclosure, and I need it to be waterproof, but it will be made of wood. Does anyone know what type of wood I should use? Are they all safe? And I need to waterproof it, but treated wood seems very dangerous. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) I thought of maybe using that "Flex-Seal" stuff they advertise on TV, but I'm worried it won't be safe. Does anyone know? It will be under the substrate, and on the sides there will be a polystyrene background (which I have seen many, many times, so I assume it's okay for animals) so it won't be direct exposure, I'm just not sure. Any help would be great, thanks.
 

mike taylor

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Just plywood made of pine is fine . To waterproof use dry lock you can get it at home depot. What type of tortoise are you putting in this new enclosure ?
 

NathansChelonians

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I'm waiting on an answer from Garden State Tortoise about the Homes Hingeback Tortoise, if no I'll be looking for a Forest (or Serrated) Hingeback.
 

mike taylor

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In that case I'd build one 4/8 feet . This will last him until you can build an outdoor enclosure .
 

NathansChelonians

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Unfortunately the most I have room for is 4/7 because I'm a teenager with only my room to work with. During the summer I'll be experimenting with a misted greenhouse to see if I can keep constant humidity, and they require moderately high temperatures so I should be able to maintain that. I live in upstate NY. So Kinixys homeana ranges from about 6-9 inches, and Kinixys erosa has been known to get up to 14 inches based on what I've read, but 12 is normal. Therefore, with the Homes I can probably manage 4/5 in 28 square feet, but with Forest or Serrated Hingebacks I can probably fit 3 at most, which is decent enough for the future breeding.
 

SarahChelonoidis

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So Kinixys homeana ranges from about 6-9 inches, and Kinixys erosa has been known to get up to 14 inches based on what I've read, but 12 is normal. Therefore, with the Homes I can probably manage 4/5 in 28 square feet, but with Forest or Serrated Hingebacks I can probably fit 3 at most, which is decent enough for the future breeding.

I don't keep hingebacks so I'm curious about this - do they really work well in such close quarters? 4-5 tortoises in a 28 sq ft space seems very overcrowded for species I have experience with, even if they're only 6-9" long. Are Home's more social and unaggressive than most species?
 

NathansChelonians

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Well that's what I've read, but I do know a fair amount about Hingebacks from lots and lots of research. They are a hiding species. They prefer low light levels, and dark, damp spaces. I've read that you can put 2 in 8 square feet, which translates directly to 4 in 16 square feet, but I find that to be a little too small. But they aren't very active animals, but I'd have to build it and get a visual idea in order to really calculate an appropriate amount.
 

NathansChelonians

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But it is very necessary to have spare enclosures close by just in case. I prefer a 50 gallon Rubbermaid with a singular light fixture on on side. This will have the appropriate gradient, and if needed a lid with holes can be used to keep humidity consistent.
 
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