My Custom Tortoise Table Build Thread

skyline223

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Akronic said:
yeah ive heard of ppl using liners. i was gonna use some 5mil visqueen, but they will try to dig and scratch a hole in it. 2mil is way to thin anyway. if you are dead set on using a liner at homedepot they have shower pan liners, which is MUCH thicker than any vapor barrier, or you could go w/ linoleum(squares or sheets) I went w/ Minwax Helmsman water sealer. idk about a drain hole.......looks great tho like how you put the loft above the hide, they will prob try to escape/fall off that ramp or use the height advantage to climb over the side wall

I understand your thoughts regarding liner thickness. It is a good possibility that holes could be scratched in 2 mil plastic, but also consider that liners will be in use for one to two week time periods for me.

I have also been considering a duct tape liner as a more permanent option. We will see how things go.

I am hesitant to use any urethane based finishes inside the enclosures. You must keep in mind how close contact the tortoises will come in with the surfaces on a 24/7 basis. Urethane is very mean stuff.

What do you see wrong with a substrate drain?

If you had read closer you might see that I mentioned the installation of plexiglass next to the ramp to prevent escapes. It has been planned since day one.
 

Akronic

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once it's dry the minwax wont hurt anything you can lick it and taste nothing once it's fully cured. someone talked about a water proof coating that their father used when he was making wooden baby toys, you might be more comfortable using that instead. if your gonna swap out substrate that often then yeah a removable liner would prob make sense but thats gonna get either expensive(depending on what you use) or tedious. i just dont see the need for a substrate drain, if your using a liner whats the drain for, liquids? and i know you talked about a plexi railing-whatever on the left side of the ramp, but on the right side of the ramp one your tort get to the top there isnt much of a lip/railing/high enough side wall. if you came up as high as the loft's walls on the back wall just a section for the back side of the ramp, it wouldnt even need to be 12" long. and i read all your posts
 

lynnedit

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I am using the Lowe's shower pan liner (comes by the foot or in package 5x6'?). VERY touch, my Russians cannot dig through it. Flexible enough to fold neatly in the corners, up the sides and staple. So far, so good.

I agree, if you spot clean, you could leave the same substrate over winter and switch it out once your tort is outside (if going outside). If you add some water, and stir the substrate up, it stays moist and lasts quite awhile.

I am quite sure that your tort is going to be very well cared for, regardless.
 

skyline223

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Alright, the tortoise table is now finished! I ended up using 3M industrial duct tape and lined the entire bottom of the enclosure. I poured water on it and confirmed that it was completely waterproof. As you may notice, I installed LED's along the perimeter of the lower portion. I will post a pic when night falls!

finish5.jpg


Rose enjoying her raised basking platform
finish3g.jpg


Tortoise eye view of the waterfall and vegetation
finish2w.jpg


Ramp and hide. She has gone up and down the ramp numerous times and successful every time.
finish4f.jpg


finish1g.jpg
 

Arizona Sulcata

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2 things comes to mind when looking at this... 1st is job well done it looks great!! 2nd is its going to be so sad when your tort messes everything up. Haha I built a table, made it look nice, 10 min after putting my tort in it everything was destroyed! Hence now I make things less pretty... Haha but congrats you really did a fantastic job!
 

luke

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thats exactly what I was thinking. My torts would wreck those plants in minutes. and the water bowls would be brown with substrate.
 

skyline223

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Surprisingly, she's been moving about the table for a good three hours and so far everything still looks pretty nice!
 

cljohnson

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skyline223 said:
Surprisingly, she's been moving about the table for a good three hours and so far everything still looks pretty nice!

That's just RECON.
She's just surveying her new surroundings and plotting. Thinking what do I [email protected]€K UP first.
 

skyline223

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Here are the LEDs. I turned them up bright for this pic, but I plan to leave them very dim. The color can also be changed as well.

I also forgot to mention earlier that I ended up using 50/50 topsoil and Ecoearth as the substrate; Sphagnum peat moss in the hide

lightsl.jpg
 

Zamric

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I think it looks FABULOUS! Great job on thr build!... very creative thinking with the duct tape!:p
 

cljohnson

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Looking good. Now all you need is a little rotating disco ball.
Seriously nice job and good choice for substrate.
 

skyline223

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cljohnson said:
Looking good. Now all you need is a little rotating disco ball.
Seriously nice job and good choice for substrate.

Thank you! :p

As always I appreciate the help from everyone here!
 

MarcaineArt

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Looks incredible. I can't wait to get started on mine. My only questions stopping me right now are where to put it. Lots of people and articles have said that the torts wouldn't like living in the human living area because of movement and stress. Right now they are in a large shower room in the basement which is great for keeping the heat and humidity up. Not sure if I want to just build it in there or another area of the house.
 

lynnedit

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Put it where you would prefer to have it. Sometimes having them in a more common area makes it easier to take care of/maintain. You can do a little bit here and there. Or, in your case, perhaps the bathroom area makes it the easiest.
Watching my torts, and reading others' experiences, I am not sure noise/movement bothers torts too much: they seem to rely on vibration/sight. So perhaps not in the middle of a dance party, but over to the side of a living area should be fine, if that is what you works for you. There are ways to keep humidity up, with plexiglass covers, etc., so that doesn't need to be a limiting factor.

(Sorry, Will, not to hijack your thread!)
 

RuthieHurry

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That's awesome! I wish my husband was as creative when building things as you obviously are!

And, ahem....I second the idea of a little disco ball!
 
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