Wanting a second opinion for my tortoise table design

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brissontonial
Posts: 2
Joined: 08 Sep 2017, 15:42

Wanting a second opinion for my tortoise table design

Post by brissontonial » 08 Sep 2017, 15:49

Hi guys,

I've recently bought a horsefield tortoise (female) and I have a second hand table which I'm using at the moment. It's fairly small and so only really good for the first few years. I want to build a larger tortoise table that will suit it for the rest of its life (I'll also be putting it outside in the garden over summer).

I've come up with the following design and just wanted a second opinion if its suitable or not. It's 1m long, 0.45m wide over two storeys. This is so it fits nicely between my welsh dresser and fridge in the dining room!

The top floor will be removable for cleaning/maintenance and I imagine the spotlight/basking light being on the top floor in the larger area. My main concern is whether the ramp is too long (in two directions). I know horsefields are climbers, but is this ok? its because I the ramp is 1:4 slope and it needs to get to a height high enough for a second level, while providing enough depth for a deep substrate for them to bury and dig in! (I put in some "windows" to let some light in the bottom level). The ramp is 170mm wide.

Appreciate any comments anyone has!
Thanks
Briss
Attachments
Top Floor.JPG
Ramp without top floor.JPG
End view through window.JPG

brissontonial
Posts: 2
Joined: 08 Sep 2017, 15:42

Re: Wanting a second opinion for my tortoise table design

Post by brissontonial » 08 Sep 2017, 15:52

I should add: in order to get the ramp high enough (350+mm) to the second storey, it has to be 350x4 =1400mm long.. hence the U-Bend ramp with a small landing half way up...

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lin
Posts: 536
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Wanting a second opinion for my tortoise table design

Post by lin » 08 Sep 2017, 15:57

Hiya.
The table is looking good but I am worried about the light levels on the ground level of the unit. It looks like it would creat a lot of darker areas and it might induce a lot more sleeping for the tortoise.

I think when Nina gets home in a bit she will send you a pic of the one she has made with a higher level and ramp but the only darker area is under the feeding level that is on there. Its very nice, large and should be easy to do and could be made a little smaller to accommodate your space.

Lin

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Nina
Posts: 805
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Wanting a second opinion for my tortoise table design

Post by Nina » 08 Sep 2017, 19:36

Hi Briss,

Congratulations on your new Horsfield, and that's great that you're going to make a table. I do understand your space constraints, but 1m isn't a huge space for a fully grown Horsfield. The second level does help though. I used to use a rabbit/guinea pig cage that was 4' long and 2' wide, and I built a ramp in that up to a second level that was as wide as the cage, but only about 7" or 8" wide.

Here's a link to a page with the sort of cage I used: http://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/small_pet ... abbit_cage Mine was one of the 120cm ones, but they also come in 140cm and 160 cm. I didn't use their plastic shelves, I just built an upper level as an upside down 'U' with a ramp leading up to it. It's good to cover the ramp with something like roofing felt to give them a bit of traction, but they are quite good climbers.

Lin is right about having the dark space underneath. You will find that your tortoise will only use it to sleep, and might be encouraged to sleep more than necessary, so it's sort of wasted space, as tortoises don't like large areas to sleep in (they prefer something small and cozy.
A couple of years ago I thought my old cage was becoming too small and I had a new table built for my two Horsfields, and it's 7' long and 23"' wide, but I'm not implying that you need to build something that large! The ramp to the upper level is 2' long, and the upper level is 8" above the floor of the table and is 18" x 23" -- and I wish I'd made is smaller, because the 'sleeping space' underneath is far bigger than they need and is just wasted.

Here are some photos of it in various stages of being built. The ramp is removable, as is the floor of the upper level, to make cleaning easier, and the whole thing is lined with a thick rubber pool liner thing, to stop moisture seeping into the wood (although it's make of marine ply I think, so it's pretty moisture resistant anyway. i'm afraid they are coming up in the wrong order, so you probably want to look at them from the bottom up.
Nina

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IMG_9495 [Desktop Resolution].JPG
IMG_9953 (Copy).JPG
IMG_1863 (Copy).JPG
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Sharontieks
Posts: 2
Joined: 12 Apr 2019, 23:12

Wanting a second opinion for my tortoise table design

Post by Sharontieks » 22 Apr 2019, 05:30

My husband is making me a tortoise table for my herman could someone please help me I would like to have a lamp that is both heat and light together, how high does it have to be and what wattage is best ?thankyou.

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Nina
Posts: 805
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Wanting a second opinion for my tortoise table design

Post by Nina » 22 Apr 2019, 07:58

Hi and thanks for contacting us. Before I answer your question, I ought to say that some spam was included at the end of your message, and I have deleted as much as I could (it had to do with captchas), but I couldn't delete a link that was at the very end of your post and would warn all people reading this site not to click on that link (which has XEvil in it).

Now to your question. There is no set wattage or height for your lamp because what you are aiming for is to get a temperature of around 30C directly under that lamp, measured at the height of your tortoises shell. This temperature can vary greatly, depending on the temperature of the room it is in, so you need to be able to raise and lower that lamp to get the right temperature. For example, in the heat we have been having over the last two days, I have had to raise my lamp very high (it is 80W, but I also have a 100W lamp that I use), or it would have been too hot in the table, but on cold days I have to lower the lamp to get the right temperature. Also, that lamp should be at one end of the table (not in the middle), so that there is a range of temperature in the table, going from about 20C at one end to about 30C at the other end, and the tortoise can then walk in and out of warmer and cooler areas to adjust his body temperature. I think most people use bulbs that are around 80W or 100W, but depending on the set-up sometimes a lower or higher wattage bulb can be used.

I hope that helps.

Nina

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