Indoor enclosure advice needed for 4 year old sulcatas...

MandM C

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Joined
Feb 19, 2020
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4
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
We have 2 sulcatas that are almost 4 years old and I’m needing some help on providing them temporary, indoor enclosures. We live in Southeast Texas so it doesn’t get and stay super cold here. They’ve been kept outside in a 10 X 10 fenced area (dog kennel) but it’s been too cold to leave them outside lately. We have just finished building a house and moved in and we still need to get an outdoor enclosure built. So, in the meantime we are keeping our torts inside but I really need some advice on doing that properly. They are currently in large, plastic tubs (separately) with cypress mulch for substrate and heat lamps. I take them out of their boxes throughout the day and let them roam the house but I need something larger to keep them in and I need some education on CHEs, humidity, etc. They are certainly too big for their current setup and I’m not sure the best way to keep heat on them. Can anyone give me some tips?
 

maggie3fan

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How big are they? Pictures? We need to know some things so we know what kind of advice to give...Size matters...:)
 

Markw84

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Once they are 8"-10" I keep them outside full time. At 4 years, I know yours are certainly that large. I know you are "working on an outdoor enclosure", but even in the area you had been keeping them outside, I would just build a good night box and leave them outside. The night box will then be used in your permanent outdoor enclosure as well.

Here's a link to the post on building a night box.


A large sulcata is not best heated with a CHE or heat lamp. The heat is too concentrated. Much better to have a night box you can heat to the proper temperature and no have the tortoise need to get under a smaller heat source. The night box is extremely energy efficient and easy to heat with an oil filled radiator heater on a thermostat.

You can divide the 8 ft night box in half and have two doors for access to the different enclosures for each sulcata.

This way they can stay outdoors year-round and come in and out of the night box as they wish. They will still go out in very cold weather, but will stay out shorter times and them go back in to warm back up. I've kept sulcatas this way for over 28 years now in weather very similar to your extremes.
 

MandM C

New Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
How big are they? Pictures? We need to know some things so we know what kind of advice to give...Size matters...:)
One is about 10” and the other 11”
 

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MandM C

New Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2020
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
Once they are 8"-10" I keep them outside full time. At 4 years, I know yours are certainly that large. I know you are "working on an outdoor enclosure", but even in the area you had been keeping them outside, I would just build a good night box and leave them outside. The night box will then be used in your permanent outdoor enclosure as well.

Here's a link to the post on building a night box.


A large sulcata is not best heated with a CHE or heat lamp. The heat is too concentrated. Much better to have a night box you can heat to the proper temperature and no have the tortoise need to get under a smaller heat source. The night box is extremely energy efficient and easy to heat with an oil filled radiator heater on a thermostat.

You can divide the 8 ft night box in half and have two doors for access to the different enclosures for each sulcata.

This way they can stay outdoors year-round and come in and out of the night box as they wish. They will still go out in very cold weather, but will stay out shorter times and them go back in to warm back up. I've kept sulcatas this way for over 28 years now in weather very similar to your extremes.
 
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