Three options for hatchling housing

LeahK

Active Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
78
Location (City and/or State)
Berkeley CA
Hey! I am back again, still preparing for my incoming hatchling. I have been fussing over the housing, and I want some help on deciding the best enclosure for a 3 month old Hermann's hatchling.

1. His juvenile enclosure - It's a 3'x6' wooden enclosure, and I could use half of it to start.
2. A 3'x1.5' glass tank. I have heard very mixed things about glass tanks, so this is the one I am most skeptical about.
3. A rubbermaid plastic storage bin, with base dimensions of 1.5'x1'.

In all three enclosure, I should be able to get the temperature and humidity right (I have done some temperature tests, but I don't have the substrate yet, so they're not finished).

I doubt either enclosure would make much of a difference, but I want everything to be perfect! I have hides, water and food dishes, a basking rock, and about 15 pounds of coco coir on the way (lol). I am also growing like 10 different plants and mixes, so this hatchling will be well fed!

Do you have any advice based on your experience? Right now I am thinking I will just put him straight into the big wooden enclosure, with him only having access to half of it. But if it would be better for him to be in a smaller one for now, I am good with that too.

And as an aside, my plan is to take him outside in a smaller enclosure, probably the rubbermaid bin for the first few months. Just for confirmation, the glass tank would be bad outside, since it overheats?

Thank you so much for looking through all my questions!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,442
Location (City and/or State)
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Hey! I am back again, still preparing for my incoming hatchling. I have been fussing over the housing, and I want some help on deciding the best enclosure for a 3 month old Hermann's hatchling.

1. His juvenile enclosure - It's a 3'x6' wooden enclosure, and I could use half of it to start.
2. A 3'x1.5' glass tank. I have heard very mixed things about glass tanks, so this is the one I am most skeptical about.
3. A rubbermaid plastic storage bin, with base dimensions of 1.5'x1'.

In all three enclosure, I should be able to get the temperature and humidity right (I have done some temperature tests, but I don't have the substrate yet, so they're not finished).

I doubt either enclosure would make much of a difference, but I want everything to be perfect! I have hides, water and food dishes, a basking rock, and about 15 pounds of coco coir on the way (lol). I am also growing like 10 different plants and mixes, so this hatchling will be well fed!

Do you have any advice based on your experience? Right now I am thinking I will just put him straight into the big wooden enclosure, with him only having access to half of it. But if it would be better for him to be in a smaller one for now, I am good with that too.

And as an aside, my plan is to take him outside in a smaller enclosure, probably the rubbermaid bin for the first few months. Just for confirmation, the glass tank would be bad outside, since it overheats?

Thank you so much for looking through all my questions!
I like the space of the open table, but that will be too dry for a baby. The damp coir will also wreck it.

The glass tank would be the best option, but I'd get a bigger one for a 3 month old. The stuff you read about glass tanks is non-sense. Several experienced member here, including me, have been starting babies of all species in glass tanks for decades. There is no problem. The taller sides will help you maintain the needed moderate humidity. Once you add a hide or two, food bowl, water bowl, flat basking rock, and any decorations or plants, there won't be much room to walk around. I prefer 5 or 6 foot x 18" tanks for starting little hatchings. Now I use closed chambers. Those work the best for any species by far.

The little rubber made bin is too small for anything other than your daily soaks. They need a bigger space outdoors. The glass tank will create a greenhouse effect and quickly over heat, so you are correct about that.

Here is more info:
 

LeahK

Active Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
78
Location (City and/or State)
Berkeley CA
I like the space of the open table, but that will be too dry for a baby. The damp coir will also wreck it.

The glass tank would be the best option, but I'd get a bigger one for a 3 month old. The stuff you read about glass tanks is non-sense. Several experienced member here, including me, have been starting babies of all species in glass tanks for decades. There is no problem. The taller sides will help you maintain the needed moderate humidity. Once you add a hide or two, food bowl, water bowl, flat basking rock, and any decorations or plants, there won't be much room to walk around. I prefer 5 or 6 foot x 18" tanks for starting little hatchings. Now I use closed chambers. Those work the best for any species by far.

The little rubber made bin is too small for anything other than your daily soaks. They need a bigger space outdoors. The glass tank will create a greenhouse effect and quickly over heat, so you are correct about that.

Here is more info:

Thank you for the feedback! I have been checking out all of the care sheets, and all the threads I can find with more advice. They have all been really helpful, and I have been trying my best to get everything set up perfectly.

As far as I can tell, the bigger glass tanks will be $400+, which is not really the best option for me right now.

The wooden enclosure is actually a massive antique cabinet I got off craigslist for $30, and I only need it to last 2-3 years, so I am not too worried about destroying it. I will also be lining the whole thing with shower curtain liners. I should be able to insulate the whole thing enough so the humidity stays high, but I will test it to see if that's true or not.

What if I keep him in the smaller glass tank for the first couple months, and then transfer to the larger wooden enclosure (assuming I can get the correct humidity)? I guess I am asking if the glass tank would be large enough for him to make it to 6 months, otherwise I will have to come up with something else.

Thank you again for the help!
 

LeahK

Active Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
78
Location (City and/or State)
Berkeley CA
Oh and I haven't actually bought the tortoise yet - I will be buying it next week, so if none of these options are good, then I can just not get the new tortoise!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
54,442
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Thank you for the feedback! I have been checking out all of the care sheets, and all the threads I can find with more advice. They have all been really helpful, and I have been trying my best to get everything set up perfectly.

As far as I can tell, the bigger glass tanks will be $400+, which is not really the best option for me right now.

The wooden enclosure is actually a massive antique cabinet I got off craigslist for $30, and I only need it to last 2-3 years, so I am not too worried about destroying it. I will also be lining the whole thing with shower curtain liners. I should be able to insulate the whole thing enough so the humidity stays high, but I will test it to see if that's true or not.

What if I keep him in the smaller glass tank for the first couple months, and then transfer to the larger wooden enclosure (assuming I can get the correct humidity)? I guess I am asking if the glass tank would be large enough for him to make it to 6 months, otherwise I will have to come up with something else.

Thank you again for the help!
Depends on the current size and growth rate, but a 36" tank is pretty small. You should be able to find a plain 100 gallon brand new glass tank at an aquarium store for under $200. You can get a similarly sized plastic or metal stock tank at a feed store for under $100. You can find these items used on craigslist for a fraction of the new cost. You can also use a large plastic bin from Walmart or Home Depot for about $20-30. Lots of options.
 

LeahK

Active Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
78
Location (City and/or State)
Berkeley CA
Depends on the current size and growth rate, but a 36" tank is pretty small. You should be able to find a plain 100 gallon brand new glass tank at an aquarium store for under $200. You can get a similarly sized plastic or metal stock tank at a feed store for under $100. You can find these items used on craigslist for a fraction of the new cost. You can also use a large plastic bin from Walmart or Home Depot for about $20-30. Lots of options.
Great, Thanks for the information!
 
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