Wanted: Indoor enclosure advice

Krista S

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
92
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
I am trying to plan out a new enclosure for my 1 year old Eastern Hermann’s tortoise and am feeling a little overwhelmed. Until now, he has been living in a 3 foot by 1 1/2 foot exo terra glass terrarium. I want to move him into something larger and after researching a lot of different options, I’ve opted for a 150 gallon poly stock tank. It is approx 63” long x 42” wide x 22” high. In his current enclosure I’ve been using a MVB to provide the light, heat and UVB, but for the new enclosure I want to switch to a T5 HO. I have no experience with “basking bulbs” or T5’s, especially for such a large space. I do have a CHE that I used when required for the cold Canadian winter we just had, so I know a bit about them. For context, my tortoise set up is in my spare bedroom and the new enclosure will go there as well. It’s on the 2nd story of my house, in the warmest room I’ve got. The climate here sucks so he can only get outdoors time for maybe 3 months of the year and even at that maybe only half of the days in those 3 months.

Anyhow, here are some questions I have that I would love to have some guidance on, based on your invaluable experience.
  1. Should the T5 run the full length of the stock tank or is it better for it to just cover part of it. If it’s just part of it, should I have it positioned on one end or in the middle?
  2. How many basking bulbs do you think a set up like this will require so that there will be enough floor space that is heated.
  3. Should I use different wattage of basking bulbs so that the temperature tapers off in certain parts of the enclosure?
  4. Will the basking lights provide enough light for this enclosure, or what is the best way to light it up nicely? (I also have programmable multi coloured light bulbs in the bedroom fixture that I use to simulate sunrise, daylight, and sunset so possibly this with the basking bulbs would be enough light)
  5. Based on your experience, what is the best way to hang/suspend/mount a T5 fixture over the stock tank?

I am looking for the most effective and efficient way to provide UV, heat and light without having a mess of cords running everywhere and that’s not a complete eyesore, if at all possible. Any advice is greatly appreciated and if there’s something you feel I’m over looking with UV, lighting or heat, I welcome you to bring that up as well.

I’ve looked at a lot of previous threads and I haven’t found anything that answered questions specific to my scenario, but I apologize if I’ve missed something that does contain these answers. The other unfortunate thing is that a lot of products that are often referred to on the forum are American and I can’t find them in Canada. The exchange rate is brutal right now, so ordering from the US is out...for now anyhow. I had a quote done at the only exotics store (that happens to do custom enclosure builds) within 250 km of where I live and was quoted around $800 to build a “proper” enclosure. Because I don’t know if my little guy is a he or a she yet, and how big he/she will eventually get, this is why I want to go with a stock tank for now. He will be able to live in there for a good period of time and once I get a better idea of how big he will be, then I’ll be willing to invest that kind of money into a proper enclosure that will be sufficient in size. Who knows, maybe his whole bedroom will eventually be converted into an enclosure.

Thanks in advance for your help with this.
 

Krista S

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
92
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Sorry if I wrote too much. If you think I’m over thinking things, it’s ok to tell me that too. I swear we used to be able to edit posted messages, but I don’t see that option anymore.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2020
Messages
96
Location (City and/or State)
TX
Sorry if I wrote too much. If you think I’m over thinking things, it’s ok to tell me that too. I swear we used to be able to edit posted messages, but I don’t see that option anymore.
I think that you can only edit 15 minutes after you post. So sorry no one's replied yet! I'll reply to boost it to the top of the list!
 

Krista S

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
92
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
The new stock tank will be arriving sometime in the next week or two. I would sincerely appreciate if someone could share their recommendation on the length of UV fixture that would be most suitable for the 63x42 inch enclosure. Should it cover the full length or is it better for it to cover just 2 or 3 feet so the tortoise can escape it if they want?
 

Chubbs the tegu

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2019
Messages
3,164
Location (City and/or State)
Ma
2-3 ft fixture will be fine. If u can get her outside for some sun a few hrs a week then u can hold off on getting it until winter.
 

Krista S

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
92
Location (City and/or State)
Saskatchewan
Thank you for your reply and advice. I have started taking him out when weather permits, for an hour each time. So far there’s only been 3 days nice enough to take him out, but that should become more frequent over the next few months.
 

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