Planning Outside and Inside enclosure


New Member
Jun 20, 2015
Location (City and/or State)
Van Buren, AR
I have taken the time to sit down this afternoon and plan the outside as well as the inside measurements for Bernadette's new enclosures. Please let me know if I am thinking big enough for my Russian.

The outside one will be in a raised flowerbed about 2 1/2 feet tall made out of cinder blocks. The measurements will be 8 ft long, 41 inches wide and 2 foot tall with a hinged lid. I will use chicken wire or the wire screen (not sure which I should use) I am thinking that should leave enough room to plant grazing munchies and have her a soaking area as well as a nice cave.

The indoor will be built Sunday (I have a friend coming over to help me). This will be a table about 30 inches tall. The enclosure will sit on top of this. The lower level will be 4 foot long and 2 foot wide and 9 inches deep. There will be caps on the front corners. The back and half of one side will be 20 inches high. The "balcony or upper level" will be 10 inches high 10 inches wide and 3 feet long with a ramp on one side. There will be a rail and a house for her to have a cave up there on the opposite end from the ramp.

As for lighting can I put the UV and soaking together (I have seen combos) or should I put them separate and make 2 different living areas? Also does her water need to be warmed or cool?

Any and all advise will be appreciated!


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Sep 6, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Build both as big as possible. Although they are small, they cover a lot of ground in the wild. I usually give room temp water to drink. I fill 5 gallon bucket and it warms up by the heat in their shed. Sometimes it's right out of the tap so will be cold. As for the UV and soaking together, I wouldnt. Most torts don't self soak as much as they will bask. I do put the water bowl to the side of the basking spot though, so it also gets warmer a little by the bulb but there is enough room for basking without having to soak.

Tidgy's Dad

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Feb 11, 2015
Location (City and/or State)
Fes, Morocco
Some members prefer mesh screens to chicken wire, as chicken wire is more easily penetrated by a determined predator.
Russians really love to roam so bigger is better is definitely true.
I supply water at the ambient temperature of the enclosure.