Suitable lining for an enclosure

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Lucy206
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Joined: 27 Feb 2018, 16:53
Location: Norfolk, UK

Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by Lucy206 » 27 Feb 2018, 17:14

Hi!
I have a horsfield tortoise called toby who has an indoor enclosure, im finding anything im using to line the enclosure the water is soaking through so keep changing it.
What is the best material to use please?

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by Nina » 27 Feb 2018, 17:27

Hi Lucy,

I think a lot of people find that the heavy rubber sheeting used for lining outdoor ponds works well, and you can buy that at aquatic centres or garden centres with an aquatic section or online. Something like this? https://tinyurl.com/ychtp8o4 I haven't used it myself (the person who made my table lined it with something different, and I'm not sure what it is, but I don't think that it is as strong as pond liner because my Horsfields have scratched through it in a couple of places).

If you google pond liners there are loads, and then I assume you would cover the bottom of your enclosure and then also run it up the sides to a bit above where your substrate would come (and then attach it to the sides of your table (assuming the sides are wooden) with an industrial stapler or a hammer and those 'u' shaped nails that are like staples. LOL, not sure if I'm making this very clear, so hopefully someone else will come along and explain better.

Nina

Lucy206
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Joined: 27 Feb 2018, 16:53
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by Lucy206 » 27 Feb 2018, 18:58

Thanks nina!
I wouldn't have thought to use pond liner, only thing im worried about is.. even if its not exposed to heat directly, does it warm it up? If that makes sense.


At the moment hes in a medium wooden house, as hes poorly at the moment and need to keep an eye on him. But will be making a new enclosure as i would love to make a raised area for him and this place has great ideas that are swirling in my head.

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Nina
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Re: Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by Nina » 27 Feb 2018, 19:10

Hi Lucy,

Good question about the pond liner, and I'm not sure -- I'll make some enquiries. Presumably it will be all covered in his substrate though, so it wouldn't be so exposed to heat directly. And of course Horsfields are a burrowing species so they like a substrate that is deep enough for them to bury themselves in, if possible. I'll let you know what I find out.

Re the wooden house that he is in -- I can't quite picture that. If he is in a wooden house, how is he getting his light and heat, and his UVB? Do you have a photo of his current set-up? It might be that it only needs a bit of tweaking to get it right. I'm sorry he isn't well (and I'll bet the cold weather we are having isn't helping any), but hopefully he will be better soon. If he is on antibiotics for whatever his problem is, then you do want to make sure that he is kept nice and warm, as otherwise the antibiotics aren't as effective.

Cheers,
Nina

Lucy206
Posts: 6
Joined: 27 Feb 2018, 16:53
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by Lucy206 » 27 Feb 2018, 19:46

When i say house, i mean an open top wooden box so he can get his heat and light.

And yes the liner would be covered by the subtrate but as he likes to dig, i wonder if the lining would be exposed or even close to the surface if it will maintain the heat.

Yes hes managed to get a lung infection, so hes on antibiotics and been told to bathe him 3 times a day and my house is kept warm as possible.
I will try and post the set up.

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Nina
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Re: Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by Nina » 27 Feb 2018, 21:47

Hi Lucy,
Ahh, now I see what you mean -- he is essentially in what we call a tortoise table, which is great. And it sounds like you are doing everything right to get him fit and well again, and I hope he recovers soon.

Re the liner. I think that Helen uses pond liner in her tortoise tables, and I will ask her about them re exposure to heat. I shouldn't think that if the pond liner is exposed to the heat from a lamp that it would get damaged or melt or give off dangerous fumes or anything. When you ask if it would maintain the heat, do you mean would it absorb the heat and be too warm for the tortoise to stand on (in the same way that we wouldn't put a heat mat under a tortoise)? I'm sure Helen wouldn't use them if that were possible, but I'll check and let you know what she says.

Lin has said that some people use Lino as a liner (but presumably your question about heat would apply to that too).

Nina

Lucy206
Posts: 6
Joined: 27 Feb 2018, 16:53
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by Lucy206 » 28 Feb 2018, 02:41

Hey nina,
And yes! Im still trying to get round the wordings used for tortoise bits lol.

And yes absorb the heat, i dont want him to get burnt from the heat. He likes to dig and sometimes it exposes some of the side. I have lino tiles placed under the soil but it soaks up the water and makes it hard to clean which is why i need alternatives.

Ive been told to keep his table as basic as possible and all wood out until hes well, so ive used a cardboard little house in the corner for tonight and hoping to get either a plant pot or bit of slate in it instead, hoping it might be better for him?

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Nina
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Re: Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by Nina » 28 Feb 2018, 10:01

Hi Lucy,

A wooden table is perfect. I hadn't realised that lino tiles would absorb the water -- they shouldn't do -- but if they are tiles then maybe the water is leaking through the cracks in between them where they join up. I was thinking more of a solid sheet of lino or pvc material that you could cut to fit.

I really don't think he could get burnt, even if the liner did absorb the heat, unless it was directly under the lamp and the lamp was too hot (in which case the tortoise would get burnt first). You want to aim for a temperature of 30C directly under the lamp and at the height of a tortoise's shell (a thermometer on a nearby wall will give you a false reading as it will be much lower than the temp under the lamp.

The cardboard box should be fine for now (although a bit of a fire risk if your lamp was to blow and hot bits fell on it (but that rarely happens). A plant pot is fine, or you can use one of those bendy log thingys that you can buy for guinea pigs -- like this https://www.viovet.co.uk/Classic-Rustic ... ls/c15326/ or you can also buy solid bits of curved log (they like to climb on them too -- have attached some photos of one of mine climbing on hers, but they do sleep in them too). Anything will do really, but I wouldn't put slate in it, as they do like to bury themselves in substrate for the night. And don't make it too big, as I find they like a small cozy space to sleep in.

I just realised that you might find our articles on indoor enclosures useful. Here is the general article on tortoise tables that mentions lining: http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tort ... r-housing/

and here is one for an indoor table that talks specifically about using pond liner or something called visqueen: http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tort ... se-tables/

These are both in the Care section of our website http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/ , so have a look around there, as there might be other articles of interest to you.

Nina
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Lucy206
Posts: 6
Joined: 27 Feb 2018, 16:53
Location: Norfolk, UK

Re: Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by Lucy206 » 28 Feb 2018, 18:29

Hi nina!

Ive tried lino tiles and sheets and still managed to leak through so the pond liner which im close to buying will be ideal. Thank you for that link.

The cardboard box is not under a lamp and doesnt get hot as its in the cooler area.

I have 2 thermometers at tobys shell height so hes warm but not too hot or cold.
He does have the folding wooden log but was told to take it out while hes ill.

As the snow has closed most shops and driving a car out is impossible will have to wait to get some bits for him. Snow really makes the uk halt. Lol.

Lucy.

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Nina
Posts: 487
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by Nina » 28 Feb 2018, 22:40

It sound's like you're doing everything right and have got all under control, Lucy! I do hope your little tort recovers quickly.

Yes, this cold spell is terrible! LOL, but I was telling someone tonight that on telly, on The One Show, they skyped this evening with a lady in Siberia. They told her that it was -3C at 6 p.m. in London and asked her what temperature it was in Siberia. She told them it was -34C. They then asked how cold it had to get before they closed the schools, and she said it had to fall below -40C to close primary schools and below -48C to close other schools. So I guess that means that we are officially wimps! :o :o

Nina

MichaelCoela
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Suitable lining for an enclosure

Post by MichaelCoela » 04 Jul 2018, 16:32

This enclosure would only be good as a temporary enclosure for a hatchling in my opinion if you moved both lamp/heater? to the same end. My biggest concern would be the lack of a good temperature gradient, meaning your tortoise wont have anywhere to cool down effectively. You would be better off getting your table sorted first, then get your tortoise.

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