Has anyone personally used the Penn-Plax Reptology Tortoise Palace indoor (2 box turtles)?

Box turtle

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Apr 21, 2020
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Minnesota
Hello Everyone,

I recently moved from Hawaii to Minnesota and brought my two "3 toed box turtles" with me. In Hawaii they were kept outside in an enclosure that was 4'x 2' that I built myself ( it didn't look great- but it worked)

However, now that they have to stay inside in Minnesota I have to keep them in a "decent looking" enclosure inside the house (per wife:).

We really liked the size and looks of the Pen- Plax tortoise palace and its not too pricey on amazon now (~$189). The other enclosures that are for sale are too small for me. I read a lot of mixed reviews about Tortoise palace some were real good and some were real bad.

I know I can be build an enclosure for much cheaper, even though I am pretty "handy,", I wouldn't be able to match the look of the Pen- Plax tortoise palace without spending a ton of time and possibly money.

I am wondering if anyone has used the tortoise palace personally and how was your experience and if you did any modifications ?

Or if anyone has any suggestions for a pre made box turtle enclosure that it is at least 4'x 2' that looks "good" inside a house?
 

Maro2Bear

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Are you planning to keep them in the one (new) enclosure?

The Penn-Plex tort houses seem pretty small:
  • MEASUREMENTS: 12” (H) x 48” (W) x 30” (L)
 

ZenHerper

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I'm a Read-the-Reviews sort of person. P-P don't have a universal customer satisfaction rating.

For $200 you could almost certainly do better yourself.

Or buy a good-quality stock tank:



Or one of these (they come larger, which is nice for two adult animals- contact the seller for availability):

 

Relic

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First, I would build another outdoor pen - it's plenty warm enough in the summer up there - and improve whatever you felt was lacking in the Hawaii pen. Then, in a relaxed manner over the summer, you could evaluate all your options for an indoor winter enclosure and buy / build the one that best suits you.
 

Tom

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Hello Everyone,

I recently moved from Hawaii to Minnesota and brought my two "3 toed box turtles" with me. In Hawaii they were kept outside in an enclosure that was 4'x 2' that I built myself ( it didn't look great- but it worked)

However, now that they have to stay inside in Minnesota I have to keep them in a "decent looking" enclosure inside the house (per wife:).

We really liked the size and looks of the Pen- Plax tortoise palace and its not too pricey on amazon now (~$189). The other enclosures that are for sale are too small for me. I read a lot of mixed reviews about Tortoise palace some were real good and some were real bad.

I know I can be build an enclosure for much cheaper, even though I am pretty "handy,", I wouldn't be able to match the look of the Pen- Plax tortoise palace without spending a ton of time and possibly money.

I am wondering if anyone has used the tortoise palace personally and how was your experience and if you did any modifications ?

Or if anyone has any suggestions for a pre made box turtle enclosure that it is at least 4'x 2' that looks "good" inside a house?
The Penn PLax one is far too small for a box turtle. 2x4 is too small also. They need much more room than that.
 

Box turtle

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8
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Minnesota
I'm a Read-the-Reviews sort of person. P-P don't have a universal customer satisfaction rating.

For $200 you could almost certainly do better yourself.

Or buy a good-quality stock tank:



Or one of these (they come larger, which is nice for two adult animals- contact the seller for availability):

Hello, thanks for your reply. I looked at the tubes/stock tanks , but I was looking for something that has a top/cover on it and looks more like a "furniture" since it will be inside my apartment . Also the tube seems a little too shallow ( 9 inches) for my guys. They usually like to burrow and I keep their soil height about 4-6 inches. But again thanks for the suggestions, if you have any other ones please let me know.
 

Box turtle

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8
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Minnesota
First, I would build another outdoor pen - it's plenty warm enough in the summer up there - and improve whatever you felt was lacking in the Hawaii pen. Then, in a relaxed manner over the summer, you could evaluate all your options for an indoor winter enclosure and buy / build the one that best suits you.
Hello, unfortunately I am living in apartment therefore they cannot stay outside. Therefore I just want to get a good inside enclosure.
 

K1LOS

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Im currently setting up a 4x8' outdoor enclosure for our EBT for summers, but I need a new indoor enclosure for fall-spring too. My best thought I've had so far is one of those PVC snake cages that I'd add a litter dam to so I can increase substrate depth. I don't know how people keep the humidity adequate in an uncovered tortoise table indoors, it wouldn't work here with a gas furnace running all the time.
 

Box turtle

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Hello everyone,

First I really want to thank @zenharper for "actually" providing some excellent ideas/constructive feedback for my turtles enclosures as I have DM'ed him and his was gracious enough to spend his time responding back and helping me out a lot.

Secondly, I would not spend my time posting in an internet forum if was not actually looking for help/ ideas. I deeply care for my animals, but I am not an expert in box turtle husbandry yet.

Thirdly, most the other replies that I received appeared "judgmental" and not helpful at all.

"Seems pretty small"
"far too small for a box turtle. 2x4 is too small also. They need much more room than that."
"Not big enough for one turtle, let alone two."

Ok, I get it that may the enclosure that I was looking may be small, but if you do not provide me with specific feedback -suggestion how to improve it does not help me at all. For instance in my opinion these would have been better replies and more constructive :

" Seems pretty small: you should try to look into this article where it talks about the sizes of enclosures"

"far too small for a box turtle. 2x4 is too small also. They need much more room than that, for my own experience I think these measurements ..... would work much better since they they like to roam around etc....

"Not big enough for one turtle, let alone two, you should consider looking into this articles or checking this threads where they have talk about specifics of the enclosure sizes."

Just saying that something is "wrong" or "not good" especially if someone is asking for help does not make sense at all to me if do not provide an alternative solution in general.

I have spent considerable amount of time researching about box turtles enclosures and read a couple book passages. Mostly mentioned that a minimum size for an enclosure for 1-2 box turtles range 4x2 to 3x1. Although I understand bigger is better those are the minimum suggested by multiple resources. Furthermore, the exotic vet that used to take them told me that a 4x2 enclosure was appropriate. While I understand that vets or internet articles may not be the best source of information since may have some bias these were the best info I could find out.

These are some the "articles" that I read and where I got the sizes from.

https://www.turtleholic.com/box-turtle-aquarium-size/

https://www.boxturtleworld.com/box-turtle-habitat/build-an-indoor-box-turtle-pen/

https://books.google.com/books?id=qqgKBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=philippe+de+vosjoli+box+turtle+enclosure+size&source=bl&ots=VvWgNE2pho&sig=ACfU3U1FZK0b2YK5j01cC48Og1ZYcvlqbA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-6N7Up97pAhXPJDQIHcDuCJMQ6AEwAXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=philippe de vosjoli box turtle enclosure size&f=false

https://boxturtlesite.info/box-turtle-habitat/#size

https://reptilerapture.net/3-toed-box-turtle-caresheet.html

https://www.petguide.com/breeds/turtle/three-toed-box-turtle/

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Vivaria_Designs/1aoKBgAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=size
 
Last edited:

Relic

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Here
Sometimes the answers here can seem brusque and dismissive, but from what I've seen, it's not a function of "lack of tact" it's a function of "lack of time." Trying to give a quick answer, without adding an additional paragraph or two, getting way down in the weeds with specifics. Don't get your feelers hurt - that's certainly not the intention of the responders. You'd be surprised how many, many, many times the same questions are asked by newbies who either don't or won't search the site for the previous 600 answers to the question.

Rules of thumb for enclosures: bigger is better. But available space or available funds might be a limiting factor. Deal with it as best you can. You can usually find a way to go bigger at a later date. In my mind, it is more important to get the temp/humidity ratio correct, even if it means sacrificing a little space. Your pocketbook might be the deciding factor. Luckily, box turtles can thrive in a much wider temperature range than many tortoises, so you've got that going for you. If 4 X 8 is all you've got, then do your best to make it interesting: lots of things to go around, over, under, with plants, rocks , hides, etc. Maybe add an upper level at some point, with a ramp connecting the two. A 4 X 4 above a 4 X 8 would give you 50% more turtle space, without taking up any more human space.

Don't get discouraged, you've got a couple of turtles depending on you!
 

janevicki

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Oct 3, 2012
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Hello Box Turtle, I want to welcome you here! :)

You really did your studying on what to do for your Boxies. Love all the articles you noted LOL! 🤩

I want to concur with Relic that getting the temps and the humidity right are important and all the rest stuff that Relic said.👍

I love my turtle kids and I did the same thing has you did researching and trying to figure out what the best stuff I could do for them on my limited budget. I got on the forum here long ago, and got a lot of good advice. Took the good and left what did not work for me. I am no "expert" but my turtles and tortoise look like they are having a good life, and your little 3 Toeds are going to also with a good concerned care giver as you.

Welcome and love to see pictures of your Turts!

🐢 :<3: 🐢
 

aekd

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Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
California
Attached are instructions for an enclosure we are hoping to be able to build for our ONE box turtle. It especially appeals to us because we are bibliophiles.
I have been to doing extensive online research on indoor enclosures as well, and it has been S L O W going.
Good luck to you!
 

Attachments

solidsounds17

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May 24, 2020
Messages
121
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Inglewood, Ca
Hello everyone,

First I really want to thank @zenharper for "actually" providing some excellent ideas/constructive feedback for my turtles enclosures as I have DM'ed him and his was gracious enough to spend his time responding back and helping me out a lot.

Secondly, I would not spend my time posting in an internet forum if was not actually looking for help/ ideas. I deeply care for my animals, but I am not an expert in box turtle husbandry yet.

Thirdly, most the other replies that I received appeared "judgmental" and not helpful at all.

"Seems pretty small"
"far too small for a box turtle. 2x4 is too small also. They need much more room than that."
"Not big enough for one turtle, let alone two."

Ok, I get it that may the enclosure that I was looking may be small, but if you do not provide me with specific feedback -suggestion how to improve it does not help me at all. For instance in my opinion these would have been better replies and more constructive :

" Seems pretty small: you should try to look into this article where it talks about the sizes of enclosures"

"far too small for a box turtle. 2x4 is too small also. They need much more room than that, for my own experience I think these measurements ..... would work much better since they they like to roam around etc....

"Not big enough for one turtle, let alone two, you should consider looking into this articles or checking this threads where they have talk about specifics of the enclosure sizes."

Just saying that something is "wrong" or "not good" especially if someone is asking for help does not make sense at all to me if do not provide an alternative solution in general.

I have spent considerable amount of time researching about box turtles enclosures and read a couple book passages. Mostly mentioned that a minimum size for an enclosure for 1-2 box turtles range 4x2 to 3x1. Although I understand bigger is better those are the minimum suggested by multiple resources. Furthermore, the exotic vet that used to take them told me that a 4x2 enclosure was appropriate. While I understand that vets or internet articles may not be the best source of information since may have some bias these were the best info I could find out.

These are some the "articles" that I read and where I got the sizes from.

https://www.turtleholic.com/box-turtle-aquarium-size/

https://www.boxturtleworld.com/box-turtle-habitat/build-an-indoor-box-turtle-pen/

https://books.google.com/books?id=qqgKBgAAQBAJ&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=philippe+de+vosjoli+box+turtle+enclosure+size&source=bl&ots=VvWgNE2pho&sig=ACfU3U1FZK0b2YK5j01cC48Og1ZYcvlqbA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj-6N7Up97pAhXPJDQIHcDuCJMQ6AEwAXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=philippe de vosjoli box turtle enclosure size&f=false

https://boxturtlesite.info/box-turtle-habitat/#size

https://reptilerapture.net/3-toed-box-turtle-caresheet.html

https://www.petguide.com/breeds/turtle/three-toed-box-turtle/

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Vivaria_Designs/1aoKBgAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=size
Man, they really make them sensitive now a days. Don’t come asking for help if you’re going to reject it. A couple of the folks mentioned getting waterland tubs and you flat out turned their response away. Just because it isn’t what you’re looking for doesn’t mean it’s bad help.
 

jeff kushner

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Ahhhh, the relaxing meeting of countering agendas......makes forums fun if you can remain an observer;

Newbies come looking for help.....old-hands wish to impart their knowledge....collide nearly every time.....but only b/c we can't write "intent" into our words....

I suspect I've kept turtles & torts for as long as many here, 55+ years.....and apparently, reading through the forum, all mine should have died......LOL

I collect and restore vintage motorcycles to running original condition, and yet I see daily guys who throw them together with no regard for using original parts and original paint......I do not. MY bikes are perfect restorations using NOS(new old stock) parts that take sometimes years to find.

The guys who throw their bikes together....have bikes that run

So do i..................................if you don't get it, don't feel bad though, it's just a mental exercise.


jeff
 

ZEROPILOT

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Ahhhh, the relaxing meeting of countering agendas......makes forums fun if you can remain an observer;

Newbies come looking for help.....old-hands wish to impart their knowledge....collide nearly every time.....but only b/c we can't write "intent" into our words....

I suspect I've kept turtles & torts for as long as many here, 55+ years.....and apparently, reading through the forum, all mine should have died......LOL

I collect and restore vintage motorcycles to running original condition, and yet I see daily guys who throw them together with no regard for using original parts and original paint......I do not. MY bikes are perfect restorations using NOS(new old stock) parts that take sometimes years to find.

The guys who throw their bikes together....have bikes that run

So do i..................................if you don't get it, don't feel bad though, it's just a mental exercise.


jeff
I'm also an avid collector and restorer of old motorcycles
Mostly Kawasaki. Mostly "period correct".
The whole "bobber" thing makes me crazy.
And you're also correct that a lot of the help that we try to give gets lost in translation when it is posted in cold, anonymous print.
I know we must always keep that in mind, but posting the same information again and again gets mechanical. The intent is still there. But the feeling gets lost.
 

Relic

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Messages
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I'm also an avid collector and restorer of old motorcycles
Mostly Kawasaki.
The whole "bobber" thing makes me crazy.
And you're also correct that a lot of the help that we try to give gets lost in translation when it is posted in cold, anonymous print.
A brand new 1970 Kawasaki Trail 90 was my first, and favorite motorcycle...ahh, the memories. Leaving for school early enough to ride off-road for a while, barely making it in time for 1st period typing. Then hitting the trails again on the way home. Today's kids have no clue...
 
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