Leopard tortoise enclosure change.

solidsounds17

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Hey guys, first post here.

Recently purchased a baby leopard tortoise and built an open top enclosure for him/her but after browsing the leopard care sheets, I’ve noticed the way to go is through closed chamber for high humidity.

I attached a picture of the current setup which is 77x30x30. Is there way I can transform this into a closed chamber or is building a new one the way to go? I’ve seen the the pvc build setup but funds are a bit tight to splash out on a bunch of pvc sheets.
Does anyone have any additional links to easy closed chamber setups?

4AEDC026-5F77-4C26-9BAE-2A2112FDC16C.png
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings.

sure, just extend all four sides upward another 24 inches (or so) - height can depend on how much cutting you want to do or what best works.

That said, build the walls up high enough to fully enclose your lights & heating & basking bulbs. Overtop you can cover with two pieces of plexi glass. Why two? One lefy side, one right side - this way you are only ever lifting half of the lid to access/clean water & food dishes. If you are handy, mount the plexi onto/into a wooden frame. Frame could easily be attached to the main enclosure with some simple hinges.

Personally id get rid of the second floor ramp thingy & get a better digital temp & humidity gauge. Those analog circular gauges are known to not be very accurate.

Once enclosed (with a lid), it will be easy to maintain proper heat & important humidity.

✅ The Care Sheet - https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threa...se-a-sulcata-leopard-or-star-tortoise.181497/
 

solidsounds17

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Greetings.

sure, just extend all four sides upward another 24 inches (or so) - height can depend on how much cutting you want to do or what best works.

That said, build the walls up high enough to fully enclose your lights & heating & basking bulbs. Overtop you can cover with two pieces of plexi glass. Why two? One lefy side, one right side - this way you are only ever lifting half of the lid to access/clean water & food dishes. If you are handy, mount the plexi onto/into a wooden frame. Frame could easily be attached to the main enclosure with some simple hinges.

Personally id get rid of the second floor ramp thingy & get a better digital temp & humidity gauge. Those analog circular gauges are known to not be very accurate.

Once enclosed (with a lid), it will be easy to maintain proper heat & important humidity.

✅ The Care Sheet - https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threa...se-a-sulcata-leopard-or-star-tortoise.181497/
Thank you for the response.
All sides are sitting on 12inches with out the ramp. Just to be clear, raise it to a total of 36in? I was thinking of using plexiglass to raise the height and mount it on some 1x4. If I were to do this, do you think have a plexiglass cover would still work with minimal holes on top that would allow for air to get out?
 

KarenSoCal

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I don't think you need to raise the sides, but I'm no carpenter.

You already have the overhead bar to hang lights from, so could you make a wood frame to hold the 2 sheets of plexiglas like Mark said?

Then, put the "A" on the A frame. You could use plexi or even just plywood for 3 sides, with only one side hinged with the 2 .door access panels.

You do not need any holes for air to escape. The whole purpose of a cloced chamber is to keep heat and humidity inside.

You would lose the "loft", unfortunately.

It's 3:30 AM and I need to sleep...I hope what I wrote makes sense.

BTW, welcome to the forum!
 

Srmcclure

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I'm not good with building either, but Karen's A frame idea sounds the easiest to ME, which doesn't mean much lol! Obviously I haven't built something like that so I could just be assuming.

I have a leopard too, have you thought about maybe getting a grow tent for cheap on Amazon for a closed chamber? It just might save you some headache if your anything like me with construction....

Here's what mine looks like: 20200411_211612.jpg
Its a 2x2x4 grow tent on its side with a bottom tarp liner. Works amazing and it was only like $50 something. They come all different sizes too which is a plus!
If you look them up, look for one that has windows in the door lol. I had to sow mine in with a clear, thick shower curtain lol.
20200428_105700.jpg
 

Maro2Bear

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Thank you for the response.
All sides are sitting on 12inches with out the ramp. Just to be clear, raise it to a total of 36in? I was thinking of using plexiglass to raise the height and mount it on some 1x4. If I were to do this, do you think have a plexiglass cover would still work with minimal holes on top that would allow for air to get out?

Sure, you could raise the sides with whatever material you want to use. Wood is cheaper than plexiglass, so i was giving you the cheap & easy option. 😃 No need for additional/any holes - there’s always air circulating & exchanging with daily opening to feed/water/take torty out for soaking... good luck.
 

solidsounds17

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I'm not good with building either, but Karen's A frame idea sounds the easiest to ME, which doesn't mean much lol! Obviously I haven't built something like that so I could just be assuming.

I have a leopard too, have you thought about maybe getting a grow tent for cheap on Amazon for a closed chamber? It just might save you some headache if your anything like me with construction....

Here's what mine looks like: View attachment 295529
Its a 2x2x4 grow tent on its side with a bottom tarp liner. Works amazing and it was only like $50 something. They come all different sizes too which is a plus!
If you look them up, look for one that has windows in the door lol. I had to sow mine in with a clear, thick shower curtain lol.
View attachment 295531
Thank you, I this may be the way too go in the meantime while I acquire more wood. Very much affordable as well.
Thank you!
 

Srmcclure

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Thank you, I this may be the way too go in the meantime while I acquire more wood. Very much affordable as well.
Thank you!
Np! If you do just make sure to do a tarp inside(I gorilla taped the sides of the tarp to the actual tent) and one on the bottom on the outside to protect the floor/table etc from any moisture. Once I taped the inside I had no issues though 😁

Its a really good option when you've started the wrong way. I had an open top too and was in a rush to fix it.
 

solidsounds17

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Np! If you do just make sure to do a tarp inside(I gorilla taped the sides of the tarp to the actual tent) and one on the bottom on the outside to protect the floor/table etc from any moisture. Once I taped the inside I had no issues though 😁

Its a really good option when you've started the wrong way. I had an open top too and was in a rush to fix it.
That’s the exact position I am in right now 😂
 

Srmcclure

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That’s the exact position I am in right now 😂
Yea its a mad scramble once someone tells you open tops are a no Bueno lol
I also love most of those are on prime, so super quick shipping for your peace of mind

My end game is a pvc enclosure, but for now, he's super happy in there and it holds all temps and humidity like a dream so I'm happy too 20200428_153459.jpg
 

solidsounds17

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Yea its a mad scramble once someone tells you open tops are a no Bueno lol
I also love most of those are on prime, so super quick shipping for your peace of mind

My end game is a pvc enclosure, but for now, he's super happy in there and it holds all temps and humidity like a dream so I'm happy too View attachment 295615
True that, if it’s not broken why fix it lol
Beautiful tortoise you got there btw!
 

Tom

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In addition to fixing the open top, I see another train wreck coming that I would like to help you avoid. Your light fixtures. First, swap those out for ceramic based units. About $12 at Home Depot. The plastic bakelite types you are using won't hold up to all that heat all day long all the time. I've had them crack apart and also short out. Bad deal. Ceramics last forever and can handle the heat.

Second issue is those clamps. I remove them and hang the fixture from over head. You already have an overhead bar to do it. The clamps always fail eventually. Best case: You have broken glass and a "hot" socket in your tortoise's enclosure. Worst case: Your whole house burns down. Talk to a fireman. Many house fires start from reptile heat lamps. Hang them from over head correctly and this can never happen. Hanging them also allows you to easily adjust the height up or down to get the correct temperatures under them. In some homes, these need to be adjusted seasonally.
 

solidsounds17

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In addition to fixing the open top, I see another train wreck coming that I would like to help you avoid. Your light fixtures. First, swap those out for ceramic based units. About $12 at Home Depot. The plastic bakelite types you are using won't hold up to all that heat all day long all the time. I've had them crack apart and also short out. Bad deal. Ceramics last forever and can handle the heat.

Second issue is those clamps. I remove them and hang the fixture from over head. You already have an overhead bar to do it. The clamps always fail eventually. Best case: You have broken glass and a "hot" socket in your tortoise's enclosure. Worst case: Your whole house burns down. Talk to a fireman. Many house fires start from reptile heat lamps. Hang them from over head correctly and this can never happen. Hanging them also allows you to easily adjust the height up or down to get the correct temperatures under them. In some homes, these need to be adjusted seasonally.
Appreciate the feedback, I did not know this. Heading over to Home Depot to buy those.
 

solidsounds17

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In addition to fixing the open top, I see another train wreck coming that I would like to help you avoid. Your light fixtures. First, swap those out for ceramic based units. About $12 at Home Depot. The plastic bakelite types you are using won't hold up to all that heat all day long all the time. I've had them crack apart and also short out. Bad deal. Ceramics last forever and can handle the heat.

Second issue is those clamps. I remove them and hang the fixture from over head. You already have an overhead bar to do it. The clamps always fail eventually. Best case: You have broken glass and a "hot" socket in your tortoise's enclosure. Worst case: Your whole house burns down. Talk to a fireman. Many house fires start from reptile heat lamps. Hang them from over head correctly and this can never happen. Hanging them also allows you to easily adjust the height up or down to get the correct temperatures under them. In some homes, these need to be adjusted seasonally.
Since I was going for the closed chamber look, would these work?
I removed these from the basement and say the hold a max of 660W/250V.
 

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Srmcclure

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True that, if it’s not broken why fix it lol
Beautiful tortoise you got there btw!
Thanks! I kinda like him 😁
And definitely think on those clamps like Tom said too. I almost had an issue with that as well in my open top. Thankfully I had the foresight to zip tie the clamps to the lamp arms and it stayed otherwise I wouldn't have a place to live lol.
 

solidsounds17

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Thanks! I kinda like him 😁
And definitely think on those clamps like Tom said too. I almost had an issue with that as well in my open top. Thankfully I had the foresight to zip tie the clamps to the lamp arms and it stayed otherwise I wouldn't have a place to live lol.
Dang, didn’t think these things were that dangerous. So glad I found this forum early on. I thought I had the perfect table but boy was I wrong lol
 

Srmcclure

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Dang, didn’t think these things were that dangerous. So glad I found this forum early on. I thought I had the perfect table but boy was I wrong lol
I know the feeling SO well, lol. Tom was an amazing help along with a bunch of others to get mine set up in a proper way.

And this is the thermostat I use, but they have others on amazon as well thats are also cheaper and probably just as good.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYXX9L3/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

I really like it so far.
I'm still working on a temp gun. I had one ordered but its on a wait...
 

solidsounds17

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I know the feeling SO well, lol. Tom was an amazing help along with a bunch of others to get mine set up in a proper way.

And this is the thermostat I use, but they have others on amazon as well thats are also cheaper and probably just as good.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYXX9L3/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

I really like it so far.
I'm still working on a temp gun. I had one ordered but its on a wait...
Thank you.
I’m probably gonna check my local Petsmart and get one locally. Shipping takes an eternity during these times and I don’t want to wait any longer and have my little guy in inadequate conditions lol.
Any suggestions on uvb? Been seeing a lot of talk about T-5 HO or something like that?
 
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