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New enclosure for my tortoise Herb

PiL71

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Jul 7, 2018
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45
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
Hello! So, for my enclosure right now, it is two 2x2x4 foot hollow wooden boxes, with Plexiglas on the top. I am wondering, not so much about reformatting it, but whether or not my Russian will climb a slight incline to get to the second one? They are going to be stacked on top of each other. I am also turning them on their sides, as my father said that would be easier than having to completely remake them as I was originally going to do. What I am wondering, is, if A) a Russian will climb a slight incline? and B) whether or not 6 inches of wood (probably a hardwood like a maple siding) would be enough for him to not constantly pace because I remember when I first got him he was housed in a 20-gallon enc for about a week, but I soon moved him out of it. The way I'm rebuilding, no, not rebuilding but renovating the two boxes (and please keep in mind I will upload pictures when I get home, I'm currently not at home at the current moment:)). As I said before, they'll be put one on top of the other and then rotated so I can have front viewing windows instead of top viewing windows. I'm planning on putting a water feature in so I do not have to worry about changing his water and refilling it. It will be running with filtration. On top of that, I am planning on putting automatic misting systems in the new enc so that I again do not have to worry about his humidity as much as I do now. The initial question I guess was if I put a small tunnel with light shafts streaming through, will he climb through it, to get from one part to the other? It's hard to explain in words, but I've done research that seems to line up with my ideas. I just wanted another pair of tortoise experienced eyes. Thanks! I will upload pictures when I get home, if I can manage to remember :D.
 

TechnoCheese

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How old is your tortoise? Please keep in mind that an adult russian requires a minimum enclosure size of 8x4 feet, or 32 square feet. You would need a 4x4 double decker for it to be the correct size.

If the incline isn’t too steep, then it should probably climb up. But please keep in mind that you will need to light and heat both layers so that they are not dark during the day.

-I definitely would not use a water feature. Regardless of weather or not you have a filter, you still need to replace the water so that it is clean and fresh. Tortoises often poop in their water, and that will most certainly get caught in the filter. Water still evaporates with use of a filter, so you would still have to refill it as often, if not more, than a dish. Additionally, I’m sure that you would need a relatively deep water area for this, while your tortoise needs a shallow dish to wade in. I would just stick with a large terra cotta saucer.

-you really don’t need a whole automatic mister if your tortoise is an adult. Humidity really isn’t too important as long as you’re soaking every so often, have a water dish available, and have a humid hide. Just mist every so often when it seems a little too dry.
 
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PiL71

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
How old is your tortoise? Please keep in mind that an adult russian requires a minimum enclosure size of 8x4 feet, or 32 square feet. You would need a 4x4 double decker for it to be the correct size.

If the incline isn’t too steep, then it should probably climb up. But please keep in mind that you will need to light and heat both layers so that they are not dark during the day.

-I definitely would not use a water feature. Regardless of weather or not you have a filter, you still need to replace the water so that it is clean and fresh. Tortoises often poop in their water, and that will most certainly get caught in the filter. Water still evaporates with use of a filter, so you would still have to refill it as often, if not more, than a dish. Additionally, I’m sure that you would need a relatively deep water area for this, while your tortoise needs a shallow dish to wade in. I would just stick with a large terra cotta saucer.

-you really don’t need a whole automatic mister if your tortoise is an adult. Humidity really isn’t too important as long as you’re soaking every so often, have a water dish available, and have a humid hide. Just mist every so often when it seems a little too dry.
Hello! Thank you for responding. I adopted him about 1.5 years ago, and while I do not know his exact age, I don't believe he's an adult because I just looked at an approximate size chart, and the results are veryyy astounding. I was under the impression this entire time that he was about 5 years of age when I got him, so he's be about 6 years old now, but looking further it looks like he might be closer to 3-4 years old. This is because within the picture I looked at, his physical features look the most like the 2 year old specimen in the photo. I'll include both the photo and a picture in this, but I'll have to wait until the morning before I upload him, as I'm on my PC and I don't have any pics of him on here. I'm going to guess, maybe a +/-30 degree incline, would that be too steep?

Thank you for the water advice. I thought, maybe because it was running that it would evaporate slower because it was moving, similarly to how a stream evaps much slower than a pond does, during the day. I'm not sure whether or not he is an adult, so therefore misting may or may not be included depending on his age and if you have any further advice on it. I am in fact using a large (maybe 10 inch diameter) terra cotta saucer right now for his water dish. Also, both boxes are currently lit and heated. (Well not at the exact current moment because they're timed and stuff but for about 13 hours daily they're heated.)

Would you classify weekly to be every so often for soaking?

Thank you again!russiantortsizechart.jpg
 

TechnoCheese

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Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
3,827
Location (City and/or State)
Lewisville, Texas
Hello! Thank you for responding. I adopted him about 1.5 years ago, and while I do not know his exact age, I don't believe he's an adult because I just looked at an approximate size chart, and the results are veryyy astounding. I was under the impression this entire time that he was about 5 years of age when I got him, so he's be about 6 years old now, but looking further it looks like he might be closer to 3-4 years old. This is because within the picture I looked at, his physical features look the most like the 2 year old specimen in the photo. I'll include both the photo and a picture in this, but I'll have to wait until the morning before I upload him, as I'm on my PC and I don't have any pics of him on here. I'm going to guess, maybe a +/-30 degree incline, would that be too steep?

Thank you for the water advice. I thought, maybe because it was running that it would evaporate slower because it was moving, similarly to how a stream evaps much slower than a pond does, during the day. I'm not sure whether or not he is an adult, so therefore misting may or may not be included depending on his age and if you have any further advice on it. I am in fact using a large (maybe 10 inch diameter) terra cotta saucer right now for his water dish. Also, both boxes are currently lit and heated. (Well not at the exact current moment because they're timed and stuff but for about 13 hours daily they're heated.)

Would you classify weekly to be every so often for soaking?

Thank you again!View attachment 286978
Weekly soaking would be fine, and an incline of that angle would likely work. But just remember, this enclosure will not be the correct size unless you add two more boxes, so you may consider finding a different plan instead of wasting the time and materials only to have to make a different one.
 

PiL71

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2018
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
Weekly soaking would be fine, and an incline of that angle would likely work. But just remember, this enclosure will not be the correct size unless you add two more boxes, so you may consider finding a different plan instead of wasting the time and materials only to have to make a different one.
I'll keep that in mind, thank you. You said 32 sq ft for an adult, right? I don't believe he's an adult, given his size, but I could be wrong. Have a good day!
 

TechnoCheese

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Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
3,827
Location (City and/or State)
Lewisville, Texas
I'll keep that in mind, thank you. You said 32 sq ft for an adult, right? I don't believe he's an adult, given his size, but I could be wrong. Have a good day!
Even if he’s not an adult, he’s close to it, and will be soon. Remember, males only get to 4-6 inches anyway, and you’ll still have wasted all of the time and materials. Best to just go with a permanent enclosure regardless
 

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