New Corrugated Plastic Enclosure

Souptugo

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May 21, 2016
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Hello from Vancouver, BC Canada.

I finished building my little Charlie the Hermann a new enclosure. He's outgrown his old one so fast! It's only been nine months and he's gone from 30 grams to 190!

1) Started with some laminated pine. The wood seems light to me and easily cut and worked with.

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2) I made slats to reinforce and connect sheets together for the base. Total base is 60" x 32". These dimensions fit out my apartment door and into the elevator. Cannot make it any bigger or it will be difficult to move.

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3) Sides are 12" tall all connected with drywall screws. Wheels were attached to the bottom so I can move it to clean the floors underneath.

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4) The enclosure was painted with Behr enamel semi-gloss (100% acrylic) paint and sealed with Le Page Extreme repair adhesive (which is waterproof and safe in aquariums). I used corrugated plastic to line the inside of the enclosure and taped with high end water-proof/mildew-proof/mold-proof Nashua tape.

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5) Once everything is completely sealed, I used 100% coco coir blocks - took 9 blocks or 3 packs of 3. Total was $30 in coco coir. I used to buy the already made bags but found no difference between the two for a fraction of the price. I can make a whole batch in about 20 minutes.

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6) A finishing touch on the enclosure before loading.

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7) I place cement blocks on the light stands for stability and am using 2 Mercury vapor bulbs. One is 160 W and one is 100 W. He likes his temp at about 34-35 C. The humidity is usually quite high when new substrate is in (up to about 80-90%). I spray and mix by hand some water when it gets dry.

I used a microwave tray for bacon as his water dish. It's impossible for him to drown in it due to the ridges. I used to put stones in a plant saucer but it's a pain to wash out and clean the rocks properly. The plants are mostly carexes. I find they live well with my coco coir and are extremely hardy. I have to trim the every week. He doesn't eat them either. I've tried succulents amongst many others but he destroyed them all.

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8) Bum seems to be enjoying his new enclosure. Thanks everybody on the forum for helping me learn more about how to take care of my little guy better. Appreciate all the input from everyone on this site! I am so grateful for all the information.

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James
 

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Team Gomberg

IXOYE
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I think it looks great!

I like the natural look and the plants for cover/hiding.

I'd suggest upgrading from the analog thermometer though. ;)
 

wellington

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I think it looks great too. However, the water dish looks too shallow. It should be deep enough that the water comes up the side of the tort to where the top and bottom she'll meet or just past it and also where he can stick his head under the water to drink which is how most/all like to do. What are the night temps? I don't see any night heat. Being on the floor, it's going to be colder then what your room thermastat will say.
 

Souptugo

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ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1482243094.361909.jpg

Room temp at night is 66 F or 19 C. Should I get a CHE? He seems to wake up on time around 7-8 am every day. Sleeps at 7-8 pm.

Good idea about water dish. He drinks during bath time but I will add another deeper dish for drinking.
 

Yvonne G

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You've done a really nice job with the enclosure, James. I like it. About the only thing I'd change is the way you have the light stands. Instead of inside the habitat, I'd have them sitting out on the floor. The moist substrate is going to mess with the paint on the stand.
 

Souptugo

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May 21, 2016
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166
I think I will move the lamp stands. Thanks for the recommendation. I will just put it on the floor and put a brick on it :) I think it's getting a little cold for him at night so I'll go buy a CHE and a mount today. I'll plug it into a thermostat for night time.
 

Alex Z

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Sep 15, 2016
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NYC
Great enclosure..very natural looking...love your torts holiday spirit!!
 

D.Mac

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Jul 9, 2017
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Location (City and/or State)
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Thanks for the informative post on your build - it's given me enough info that I'll be able to build something quite similar !
 
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