New Indoor Enclosure - Just Finished

ManAlive85

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
61
Location (City and/or State)
London UK
Hi all, I built a new enclosure for my 9 month old Indian Star a couple of weeks ago and after a bit of tweaking I think it’s ready to share.

FE20454C-070F-405D-99C1-E217B046AD43.jpeg

I don’t expect it’ll be big enough for more than a couple of years but for now 2’x3’ is as much space as I can give her. She gets daily stretches outside though when the weather’s good.

I’ve had her in a table since I got her in December but really struggled to get humidity above just 40%, even after I fitted sliding polycarbonate doors on top. It was pretty clear that I was going to require a more closed setup so I started work in this. As it was going to be such a big piece of furniture in a fairly modest sized flat, it was important that it was as attractive as possible as well as functional.

Under the hood there’s a 50 watt basking bulb set to be on during daylight hours and a 25 watt CHE hooked up to a thermostat to maintain temps above 80* at night. There’s also a small T5 strip to provide a bit of UVB for 8 hours a day for both the tort and the plants, which I’m hoping will grow to cover the back wall (esp where the varnish has turned milky) over the coming months. We’re now achieving a temperature gradient of 100* basking / 90* hot / 80* cool And a pretty steady humidity of 90%+ at ground level with twice daily mistings.

I’d like to thank the contributors to this forum for all their sage advice and help in making my Star’s life as comfortable as it is. I’ve done a lot of reading since deciding to own a tortoise and in a world of wildly conflicting information, this place has become my one source of the truth on tortoise care.

FE20454C-070F-405D-99C1-E217B046AD43.jpeg E0F01778-E97C-4E90-B43A-C2E3C4217D06.jpeg 5363FA6F-BDF8-4DB0-859A-D76F38191F9A.jpeg FC2FB60F-7032-4032-A0B9-FCE7400D677F.jpeg
 

Ink

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
1,137
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
Really pretty tortoise and enclosure!
 

DebbiLynn

Member
Joined
May 6, 2020
Messages
33
Location (City and/or State)
Austin, Texas
Hi all, I built a new enclosure for my 9 month old Indian Star a couple of weeks ago and after a bit of tweaking I think it’s ready to share.

View attachment 294384

I don’t expect it’ll be big enough for more than a couple of years but for now 2’x3’ is as much space as I can give her. She gets daily stretches outside though when the weather’s good.

I’ve had her in a table since I got her in December but really struggled to get humidity above just 40%, even after I fitted sliding polycarbonate doors on top. It was pretty clear that I was going to require a more closed setup so I started work in this. As it was going to be such a big piece of furniture in a fairly modest sized flat, it was important that it was as attractive as possible as well as functional.

Under the hood there’s a 50 watt basking bulb set to be on during daylight hours and a 25 watt CHE hooked up to a thermostat to maintain temps above 80* at night. There’s also a small T5 strip to provide a bit of UVB for 8 hours a day for both the tort and the plants, which I’m hoping will grow to cover the back wall (esp where the varnish has turned milky) over the coming months. We’re now achieving a temperature gradient of 100* basking / 90* hot / 80* cool And a pretty steady humidity of 90%+ at ground level with twice daily mistings.

I’d like to thank the contributors to this forum for all their sage advice and help in making my Star’s life as comfortable as it is. I’ve done a lot of reading since deciding to own a tortoise and in a world of wildly conflicting information, this place has become my one source of the truth on tortoise care.

View attachment 294384 View attachment 294385 View attachment 294386 View attachment 294387
:<3::<3::<3:
 

AmandaTX

New Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Houston, TX
Thanks so much for sharing! I hadn't thought of using those hairpin legs on a tortoise tank- they really look great! Looks like I have another "project" to plan now...
 

ManAlive85

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
61
Location (City and/or State)
London UK
Thanks for all the positive comments! I was bracing myself for critical feedback so I’m very pleased you like it.

I achieved the distressed look using a traditional Japanese style of woodcraft I’ve been playing around with recently called Shou Sugi Ban. You can google it but I burn the wood and then I use a wire brush to scrape out all the charred wood to reveal the dark grain and white springwood pattern.

The hairpin legs are really versatile and great for this kind of thing. I recommend the 3 pin variety though as they’re under a lot of strain with the weight of the viv and the damp substrate.
 

TaylorTortoise

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2020
Messages
808
Location (City and/or State)
Abington
Hello,
What are you using to build your enclosure? DID you go to lowes, home depot?
Also, How are you getting the lighting to stay up inside? What did you use?
Is this enclosure safe with how hot it gets inside with the wood?
 

ManAlive85

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
61
Location (City and/or State)
London UK
Hello,
What are you using to build your enclosure? DID you go to lowes, home depot?
Also, How are you getting the lighting to stay up inside? What did you use?
Is this enclosure safe with how hot it gets inside with the wood?

Hi Taylor,

I used 225x38mm timber for that enclosure and it worked pretty well but it’s unnecessarily chunky. I used it because it’s the timber I work with for a living so I had a lot of it around.

The uvb strip light comes with clips to hold it in the ‘ceiling’ and the canopy is suspended from an iron rod that’s screwed into the inside wall.

Temperatures are maintained using a thermostat so they’re pretty stable and humidity stays at a regular 80% as long as I spray the substrate down every day.

However, I had a new addition to the family in January so they’ve had a new duplex built.

BDB36846-9EB2-4FD6-983C-44CE52A3A6BB.jpeg

This is made out of 18mm MDF which is a lot more suitable. I live in the UK so I’m not sure if you guys have the same name for it but it’s reformed wood particle board that comes in big sheets from hardware shops.
 
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