Paint outside of Zoomed Tortoise House

Sugarmagnolia89

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Hey!
I would like to paint the outside only of my zoomed tortoise house (no paint inside) for my red footed tortoises and I am researching nontoxic paint. I will be painting outside and letting it dry but I have a dog and gecko too so I want to make sure the fumes don’t hurt any of my critters after it dries. From what I understand, nontoxic water based paint is fine but I am looking for recommendations on brands that won’t break the bank that are relatively quick drying. Thanks in advance!
 

Tortymama

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What about plastic storage stubs like you would buy from Walmart they are pretty deep but worried about space if that is going to be issue
 

Sugarmagnolia89

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Also in case anyone is worried, my dog could care less about my reptiles. He cares more about food and mom.
 

Tom

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I'm sorry to tell you that those open topped tortoise houses are totally unsuitable for any tortoise species at any age.

Your redfootneeds a closed chamber in order to maintain the correct temperatures and humidity. It simply can't be done in an enclosure like that one.

The substrate also needs to be damp, and that wood will leak and rot.

The enclosure is big enough for a hatchling, but too small for anything with any size.

Probably not what you want to hear, but every day your tortoise spends in that box, the pyramiding will get worse, and it can't be undone.
 

Sugarmagnolia89

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H
I'm sorry to tell you that those open topped tortoise houses are totally unsuitable for any tortoise species at any age.

Your redfootneeds a closed chamber in order to maintain the correct temperatures and humidity. It simply can't be done in an enclosure like that one.

The substrate also needs to be damp, and that wood will leak and rot.

The enclosure is big enough for a hatchling, but too small for anything with any size.

Probably not what you want to hear, but every day your tortoise spends in that box, the pyramiding will get worse, and it can't be undone.
Hi Tom,

Thank you very much for the advice! What is your recommended setup? Obviously it will be a waste of money on the house but I'd rather have them in the healthiest setup. I'm not sure what you mean by pyramiding?

Thank you for your guidance!

Best,
Brooke
 

nicoleann2214

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Hi Tom,

Thank you very much for the advice! What is your recommended setup? Obviously it will be a waste of money on the house but I'd rather have them in the healthiest setup. I'm not sure what you mean by pyramiding?

Thank you for your guidance!

Best,
Brooke
I had the same house when I got my baby, I’m probably going to take some of it apart and use it for the summer to put her in so she can get grass but also have a lid over top. I use a gro tent off of amazon and it holds good heat and humidity here’s a link.
VIVOSUN 48"x24"x60" Mylar Hydroponic Grow Tent with Observation Window and Floor Tray for Indoor Plant Growing 2'x4' https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DXYMQ9M/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
 

nicoleann2214

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Hi Tom,

Thank you very much for the advice! What is your recommended setup? Obviously it will be a waste of money on the house but I'd rather have them in the healthiest setup. I'm not sure what you mean by pyramiding?

Thank you for your guidance!

Best,
Brooke
Pyramiding is where the scutes of the tortoise shell are up right and not flat, a well taken care of should have a flattened out shell this is maintained by having the right amount of humidity. Pyramiding can be caused by a couple other factors, but the BIGGEST one is not sufficient humidity. Here’s some examples; https://www.petsulcata.com/sulcata-tortoise-health/can-i-reverse-pyramiding-in-sulcata-tortoise/
 

Sugarmagnolia89

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Pyramiding is where the scutes of the tortoise shell are up right and not flat, a well taken care of should have a flattened out shell this is maintained by having the right amount of humidity. Pyramiding can be caused by a couple other factors, but the BIGGEST one is not sufficient humidity. Here’s some examples; https://www.petsulcata.com/sulcata-tortoise-health/can-i-reverse-pyramiding-in-sulcata-tortoise/
Thank you Nicole. I've been doing research all afternoon about another setup. I have a much better idea of what I need but I'm stumped as to what to use for the actual cage because I also read that clear glass stresses them out. Any suggestions? I can build something too if I have an idea of what I need. They are hatchlings so I am thinking that I want to set something up that I can add additional space to over time like attach a second tank or something. Any suggestions?
 

nicoleann2214

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Thank you Nicole. I've been doing research all afternoon about another setup. I have a much better idea of what I need but I'm stumped as to what to use for the actual cage because I also read that clear glass stresses them out. Any suggestions? I can build something too if I have an idea of what I need. They are hatchlings so I am thinking that I want to set something up that I can add additional space to over time like attach a second tank or something. Any suggestions?
Glass tanks do stress them out unless you put like a liner around it, althoughthat wouldnt provide you with good humidity anyway because you’ll be using a screen top. You could definitely build your own, I was thinking about building my own from a dresser and lining it with plexi glass, if you build your own there are ton of DIY ideas on Pinterest and such. Also I know Tom had mentioned there are a couple people on the forum who sell enclosed chambers such as @Markw84 Tom could give you some ideas as well I’m sure @Tom
 

Sugarmagnolia89

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Awesome thank you so much! I also reached out to the Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society and they're going to connect me with someone knowledgable about this species to make sure I do it right .

Do you happen to know if redfooteds can eat dubia roaches? I was going to ask them that too. I feed them to my gecko. Butterworms aren't available right now because of importation restrictions/covid.
 

Sugarmagnolia89

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Thank you Nicole. I've been doing research all afternoon about another setup. I have a much better idea of what I need but I'm stumped as to what to use for the actual cage because I also read that clear glass stresses them out. Any suggestions? I can build something too if I have an idea of what I need. They are hatchlings so I am thinking that I want to set something up that I can add additional space to over time like attach a second tank or something. Any suggestions?
I just saw the link to the grow tent. Thank you!
 

Tom

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Hi Tom,

Thank you very much for the advice! What is your recommended setup? Obviously it will be a waste of money on the house but I'd rather have them in the healthiest setup. I'm not sure what you mean by pyramiding?

Thank you for your guidance!

Best,
Brooke
I'm so glad you asked! I don't keep RF, so I hope one of our experienced resident redfooters will join the conversation and give you housing and temperature specifics, but essentially, you need a closed chamber. There is no way to maintain the correct tropical warm humid conditions that your baby tortoise needs if the enclosure is open to, and freely exchanging air with the colder drier room air in your house. Here is an example: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/new-stack-of-animal-plastics-closed-chambers.165626/
All the heating and lighting is contained inside the enclosure. These work a million times better, and use a fraction of the electricity too.

@Toddrickfl1
@ZEROPILOT
Can you guys steer Brooke in the right direction?


Pyramiding is what happens when a tortoise is grown in conditions that are too dry, and each scute forms a cone, or pyramid, instead of laying flat as it should. Here is a pic of a pyramided redfoot that I pulled from the net:
pyramiding1.jpg

This one is mildly pyramided:
DSC_2957 - Copy.JPG


This one is how it is supposed to look when they are raised correctly:
non-pyramid.jpg


And here is a little one just beginning a life of pyramiding. Note the incorrect dry substrate:
14615410_f520.jpg


You prevent pyramiding by growing them in the correct warm humid conditions, and not drying out their carapace too much with the wrong bulbs and wrong enclosure. Its a terrible thing that pet stores, breeders, vets, experts, books and the internet all give terrible tortoise advice, but the good news is that you found us.
 

Tom

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I have a much better idea of what I need but I'm stumped as to what to use for the actual cage because I also read that clear glass stresses them out. Any suggestions? I can build something too if I have an idea of what I need. They are hatchlings so I am thinking that I want to set something up that I can add additional space to over time like attach a second tank or something. Any suggestions?
Clear glass tanks are fine for tortoises. That glass tanks are bad is an old persistent myth. Me and many other veteran keepers here have been using glass tanks for decades with no problem. There are two problems with glass tanks:
1. They are too small for anything but a baby. Even very large glass tanks, unless we are talking about some sort of custom living room sized tank that needs a crane to lift it.
2. The open tops let all the heat and humidity out.
 

Tom

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Awesome thank you so much! I also reached out to the Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society and they're going to connect me with someone knowledgable about this species to make sure I do it right .

Do you happen to know if redfooteds can eat dubia roaches? I was going to ask them that too. I feed them to my gecko. Butterworms aren't available right now because of importation restrictions/covid.
Be aware that you will probably be received old outdated info from the people there. I don't mean to sound mean, but my comments are reflective of what I've seen with herp societies and tortoise clubs.

RFs can eat dubias and other insects occasionally too. There are many ways to give your RF its needed protein.
 

Sugarmagnolia89

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Oh perfect I actually have one of those on hand from a 2 pack I got for the gecko.

I am going to spend this weekend redoing the enclosure and will post a pic. Last question- can I plant tortoise safe plants directly into the tank or should I keep them in containers? I understand they like a lot of shade and plants help with humidity.
I’m glad I found this community as I learn more about my new kids!

Be aware that you will probably be received old outdated info from the people there. I don't mean to sound mean, but my comments are reflective of what I've seen with herp societies and tortoise clubs.

RFs can eat dubias and other insects occasionally too. There are many ways to give your RF its needed protein.
 

nicoleann2214

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Oh perfect I actually have one of those on hand from a 2 pack I got for the gecko.

I am going to spend this weekend redoing the enclosure and will post a pic. Last question- can I plant tortoise safe plants directly into the tank or should I keep them in containers? I understand they like a lot of shade and plants help with humidity.
I’m glad I found this community as I learn more about my new kids!
I planted mine in the enclosure with a minimum amount of soil and covered it with my substrate. Some people just leave it in a planter and then bury the planter down in the substrate, (I wish I did that lol) but yes you can!
 
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