Questions about new enclosure

moongrace

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
21
New Enclosure: We are in the process of finishing up a new indoor enclosure for our 7 year old red foot. I have questions to make sure this is right.....or even close because it is a whole new set up from what he had before so all the configurations are changed.......Inside the dimensions are 7 ft by 2 ft and it is about five foot tall....I wanted an apex on top like an old greenhouse. The lighting fixtures sit on ledges about two foot high from the bottom of the enclosure. My husband bought all new lighting because of the height and how high up I wanted the fixtures to be. I have a 24 inch Reptisun T8 10.0 UVB light fixture, a heat emitter, and a basking light. I was going to put the basking light over a section where I put the sphagnum moss and his basking rock to generate humidity. In the center section, I was planning on putting the UVB light and the heat emitter. On the other end, I was planning on it being the cool end of the enclosure. That end has a second story to put food/water. with his hide house beneath...I wanted him to climb up and down to food because that dragging bedding into the water/soaking dish getting old. The hide house is on the cool side and will have his Cypress mulch. I am not planning on any planted plants where he can get to them because I feed him a lot from our garden or what we freeze because I KNOW those don't have pesticides in them. I was planning on secured plants in there out of his realm of reach. I have an orchid, some bromeliads and Venous fly traps- again, these are going high up will not be where he can reach and will have secured trays beneath so any water run off does not go into his enclosure space. I am mainly concerned about the lighting being two foot up from where he is....Thanks!!!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,427
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
RFs don't need a basking lamp. They need warm ambient temps day and night, all over the enclosure. There shouldn't be a cool end. Basking lamps and cool ends are for temperate species, not tropical forest dwellers.

2x7 is too small for a 7 year old unless he's tiny for some reason.

Most tortoises will eat moss and it shouldn't be used. It can cause impaction when eaten.

T8 bulbs make almost no UV even when they are 10 inches from the tortoise. At 24 inches, no UV will reach your tortoise.

Your thermometer will confirm that heat rises. You might find it difficult keeping the floor of the enclosure warm, down where the tortoise is, with such a tall structure.

I hope these tips help you get things just right for your tortoise.
 

moongrace

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
21
RFs don't need a basking lamp. They need warm ambient temps day and night, all over the enclosure. There shouldn't be a cool end. Basking lamps and cool ends are for temperate species, not tropical forest dwellers.

2x7 is too small for a 7 year old unless he's tiny for some reason.

Most tortoises will eat moss and it shouldn't be used. It can cause impaction when eaten.

T8 bulbs make almost no UV even when they are 10 inches from the tortoise. At 24 inches, no UV will reach your tortoise.

Your thermometer will confirm that heat rises. You might find it difficult keeping the floor of the enclosure warm, down where the tortoise is, with such a tall structure.

I hope these tips help you get things just right for your tortoise.
Ok, so the moss is sooo out and after I read that, I remembered we did try the sphagnum area before and I think he did eat it but it was so long ago, I forgot about that. I was mainly going to use if for a humidity source but will figure another way to get that. Can't build the thing larger....all the apex windows are already set. So, I guess he can keep going with me outside when I work in the garden or orchard during the summer. I will have to figure him maybe a place in the sun room during the winter days so he can exercise. If I took one of the awnings off one of the windows, he might get enough sun from that during the winter and the floor is terra cotta so it gets warm by the windows except on the coldest days in winter. Not worried about the light fixture, I can change that or figure him another way toward natural sunlight. I just wanted him to have enough sun type light when he is in the enclosure. I do have a fenced in area in the garden about 6ft by about 25 ft that he can still roam while I work outside, Its fenced at the short ends and the long ends are two raised beds about 3ft tall. I don't leave him out there when no one is outside with him....the local hawk has carried off chickens...I don't want him messing with my tortoise. Will look into some kind of floor heating system or other heat sources for him when he is in the enclosure...the floor of his new enclosure is about four foot off the floor in the room. Might be able to figure a heat source under his floor. Hmmm. Will have to think about that because you are correct, the heat will rise....I may get some more thermometers and put them around different spots in the enclosure and turn on the lights and see what temperatures I am dealing with. Great food for thought! Thank you!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,446
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
No floor heating. Tortoises warm themselves from above.
Uv does not go thru glass, so in the winter bring by the window will not give uv but can give heat. However its heat you can't control so not really safe.
If there is a lot of cover in the outside area then not likely a hawk will both her, specially at the sight an 8 year old should be. However, you could also make a smaller area then the whole garden and put chicken wire as a cover.
 

moongrace

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
21
No floor heating. Tortoises warm themselves from above.
Uv does not go thru glass, so in the winter bring by the window will not give uv but can give heat. However its heat you can't control so not really safe.
If there is a lot of cover in the outside area then not likely a hawk will both her, specially at the sight an 8 year old should be. However, you could also make a smaller area then the whole garden and put chicken wire as a cover.
Well, don't think the heat issue is a problem at this point. I put in the Reptisun light about 12 inches from the top level instead of the two feet from the bottom level. The top is where is food and water is so when he is not outside, He can at least get "something" until I go buy another bulb. The heat....Right at 80 degrees with the basking light two foot away and the heat emitter working so Dauntless is toasty and doing his regular run around self. If it gets lower than 80, I can add another emitter or try using one of the brood lamps already here and see what that does. It keeps biddies warm.....I am having a humidity thing...only 40% on the hygrometer. I added a tall water vase under the basking light and for now, will steal from one of my tanks a bubbler and pump till I can get something better fixed up this weekend IF the bubbler helps, I may just throw a hand full of guppies in and let it ride. Depends on what the water temp is tomorrow. I was so hoping to do the wet sphagnum moss trick but alas....not gonna be a thing with the risk. I sprayed him down a few times tonight and wet the enclosure down. Maybe the level will come up later but I need more permanent humidity. I may just wet down some more of that Forest Floor cypress mulch and put it in a low box he can play in when he wants till I figure what I want permanently. I may try adding a small thing for him to "maybe" stay outdoors later in the summer like you suggested but still debating that one. We do have orchard netting over the chickens because of that hawk and I do have some more chicken wire from where we added it to the bottom of the perimeter garden fence to keep the bunnies out.....Thanks for the suggestion!
 
Top