Tortoise Table

Use this forum to discuss any aspect of tortoise housing and enclosures. Upload and show pictures of your set ups (enclosures).
laurat
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Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 11 Apr 2018, 20:24

I’m surprised I’m not ticking the days off on my calendar!

laurat
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Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 14 Apr 2018, 13:13

Well ... it’s alllllll done whoop!!
The bearded dragon is now in the vivarium we were using for Vera and Vera is now the proud owner of a tortoise table!
Feel free to let me know what’s right/wrong! Nina does the probe look right? I can’t seem to get directly below the bulb, just off set a little.
Currently, as you can see, he doesn’t care about anything other than his belly ‘food food food!!!’
And please forgive the mess, he is such a scruff when it comes to his water dish!
I’m just waiting for the plastic plants to arrive and then that’s the decoration done!
Now, one question; the heat mat I ordered which I intended up fit to the inner roof of the bedroom department for over night temps was too big so I can’t fit it. Because Vera has been on a ceramic heater clicking on and off 24hrs a day for 5yrs (including overnight), will he be ok with no heat at night now?
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Nina
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by Nina » 14 Apr 2018, 20:01

So sorry to be late in responding to this post -- the sunshine meant that I've been in the garden all day (along with Doris and Dolly) and doing lots and lots of tidying up of beds, cutting the grass, etc., and have only just settled down to the computer.

Well, all I can say is 'mission accomplished'! It looks absolutely great. The light is in the right position at one end of the table, the substrate looks good, it's good to have pebbles around the water bowl (lol although they don't seem to be keeping the substrate out -- you could try more pebbles, plus it gives him a different texture to walk on).

I'll bet the bearded dragon is very happy in his new viv, and I'm sure that Vera will be happy in his table. It will be interesting to see if he actually uses his sleeping area -- mine don't like theirs that much. He will be absolutely fine with no extra heat at night, and when that light comes on in the morning, he'll wake up and head towards it and bask -- which is just what the torts in the wild do when the sun comes up.

That thermometer should be fine. LOL - of course my high tech solution with the end of a chopstick taped to the side of the table and then extending directly under the lamp with the probe dangling from it is so much better -- I can't think why it hasn't caught on (must be that most people just don't have any spare chopsticks lying around). :roll:

Just one little question -- I can't tell from the photo how high the sides of the table are. It wouldn't be possible for Vera to climb out if he was standing on is hind legs, would it? I'm sure not but just thought I'd ask.

I hope Vera has a great first night in his new palace!

Nina

laurat
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 14 Apr 2018, 20:24

Hola! Thank you for your reply! Glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the sunshine. Eeeeeee Nina I’m laughing at your post. I’m definitely going to be investing in a chop stick - my local Chinese takeaway is sure going to donate hee hee!!! That blumming thermometer probe has had me driven round the bend allllll day. Where it currently is to the side of the heating area it’s reading between 25 and 27 degrees but if I pull it across and hold it at Vera’s shell height directly below the bulb for maybe 30 seconds it’s hitting 31.9 degrees.

The table height is 10inches. Vera can’t climb out. Believe me when I say he has done nothing but attempt it all day! He ‘just’ can’t reach the top, however I have a solution; I’m thinking of buying some chicken wire to pop across the top so if and when he does grow a little bigger he can try all he likes but he ain’t getting out :) and it’ll keep our 6mth pup out when he grows a bit bigger which won’t be long.

Frankie (bearded dragon) is absolutely loving her new home. She’s been fleeing about all day in it and there’s a shelf in there too so she’s been perched up on that thinking she’s the bees knees, she’s definitely the queen of her castle.

I’ll try adding some more pebbles. I don’t know how many times today I’ve had to change that blumming water. It’s ended up each time that the bowl has just been a mud sludge, not even any water, there’s been that much soil. Good job I popped 20kg in there!!!!

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Nina
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by Nina » 14 Apr 2018, 22:19

It's amazing isn't it. Your thermometer probe is probably only an inch or two away from the centre of the circle of light from your lamp and it's about 5 degrees different. Think of what the difference must be for those people who have one of those little round thermometers stuck on a wall 6 or 7 inches away. Your probe will be fine where it is though, and now that you know the difference in temperature you can compensate.

Good idea about the chicken wire to keep your puppy out. None of your photos made it through, but I'd love to see the pup and Frankie if you have time. It sounds like your family's menagerie is growing fast!

Nina

laurat
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 14 Apr 2018, 22:43

The temps are crazy and yes, those stick on ones are scary, doesn’t bare thinking about. I’m really surprised my temps are spot on. I’ve made no adjustments, this is first time at doing the height of the bulb. I thought I’d have a few trial and errors, but none.

Well, Vera hasn’t used his bedroom. He is fast asleep tucked up in the corner on the basking side. He must have himself prepped in position ready for when the light goes on in the morning!

Oh, menagerie I certainly do have. There’s Vera (as you know), Frankie the bearded dragon, Matilda the house rabbit and Shelby the Rottweiler puppy. We got him in January after our beloved chocolate Labrador, Rusty passed away in December at 15yrs. I’ve attached some photos in a separate post, hope they come through! I just love animals!!

laurat
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 14 Apr 2018, 22:45

Photos Part 1
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laurat
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 14 Apr 2018, 22:46

Photos Part 2
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laurat
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Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 15 Apr 2018, 05:54

Well, first night in the palace went well. He woke up this morning when the light went on and is now sitting under his bulb probably contemplating his plans for how he can trash his table again today (goodness knows what he will think when the plants go in).

Now normally, in the vivarium he is up from about 4am (wakes himself up) with the lights not going on until 5.30am. Not this morning. He woke to the light!

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Nina
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by Nina » 15 Apr 2018, 08:26

What beautiful animals -- thanks so much for the photos! Frankie's home looks brilliant -- set up so nicely, and he really seems to be enjoying it too. I think Matilda is absolutely gorgeous -- how old is she? And what a lovely puppy (lol, what a big puppy) Shelby is -- and he looks really sparky and intelligent. Aww, what a handsome dog Rusty was -- you must miss him so much. It's put such a smile on my face this morning looking at your animal family.

I don't have a dog, but seeing your two made me want one! It's good that you are going to put the chicken wire over Vera's table, as we always say that dogs and tortoises should never be left alone together. It's an odd thing, but we know of many dogs who have lived happily with a tortoise for years and years and not paid much attention to them, and then one day for some reason they decide that the tortoise is a chew toy and can inflict terrible damage. It happens every year, and is certainly not the dog's fault, so supervision or protection like your chicken wire is advisable.

I'm off to plant some more seeds, and to pot up my chilli pepper seedlings -- I'm a big chilli pepper fan and am growing eight varieties this year. The sun yesterday has give me some motivation to get out into the garden and start doing things, one of which will be to clear out the tortoise enclosure . I have some ornamental grasses growing in there and they have seeded themselves everywhere, so I need to dig some up to make room for Doris and Dolly.

Take care, and give Vera a tickle under the chin from me.

Nina

laurat
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 15 Apr 2018, 08:42

The sun definitely brings motivation and if the weather forecast is right then this coming week is going to be beautiful so that will definitely keep you in the garden and make Doris and Dolly happy little lovelies!

Matilda is 2.5yrs. She’s a beauty and so fluffy and cuddly. She’ll do anything for a snuggle. Frankie is 2yrs and as already mentioned Shelby is 6mths (and growing too fast)!

Yeah, animals can be funny and so unpredictable but as animal parents it is our job to be prepared for this and add caution wherever necessary. Some people don’t but I love my menagerie too much (as you do) to ever let anything happen so will always do everything I can in order to keep them all safe.

Enjoy the sun. I’m so jealous of your ‘green fingers’ - would love to be like that. I used to be but then my neighbour moved in with a cat and no matter what I planted or where I planted the damn thing dug it up or toileted all over it (and still does). See, animals, some of them are just horrors!

laurat
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 15 Apr 2018, 15:50

... and all pimped up with slate now around the water dish!
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Nina
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by Nina » 15 Apr 2018, 16:56

Oh my goodness, that looks like a little tropical paradise with those plants and things. I call that a job well done! You must be really pleased and Vera will absolutely love it! I can't remember -- does she have an outdoor enclosure in the warmer weather?

Nina

laurat
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 15 Apr 2018, 17:04

You know what it is Nina, other than sleeping all night, he has not stopped once since I put him in the table yesterday lunchtime!

AND, I’ve succeeded with the probe! I got a bit of bendy wire, wrapped it around the probe’s wire and voila, bent it underneath the bulb and that is where it’s staying - another mission accomplished. At the moment, under the bulb at his shell’s height it is exactly 32 degrees!

The prettiness lasted all of, ooooo, shall I say 5mins - he has trashed the place! Still getting a lot of soil in his dish so that’s going to be work in progress unless I add more slate. I’ve tried sinking the dish in, nope, and at the moment it is standing on top of the soil with the slate around it.

Yeah, he has an outdoor enclosure for the summer. I’ve attached some photos. That one is at home. I’ve another similar at the caravan for him too!
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Nina
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by Nina » 15 Apr 2018, 17:31

Wow - his outdoor enclosure looks superb - have you thought of hiring yourself out as an architect/personal shopper for the tortoise-keeping community? I really like that, and it just goes to show what you can do if you don't have a garden available -- lots of people could take inspiration from that.

Ha, ha re the wire -- very clever (obviously not as technologically sophisticated as my chopstick solution, but it will have to do :D ).
I would try and make sure it doesn't get much warmer than 32, and you might find with the hot weather we are due to have this week that you will have to raise the lamp a bit so that it doesn't get too warm. Will the arm your lamp is hanging from allow you to do that?

Yes, tortoises love to trash their homes. It's the same thing with planting real plants in their enclosure. If it is something they like to eat then all your work of buying or growing it and planting it is gone within about ten minutes when your tortoise eats it to the ground. I've had some luck with ornamental grasses, as they don't fancy those as much, but after a while they will even eat those -- or pull them up by the roots just to enjoy the destruction of them. What if you put the water bowl in the corner -- I don't expect that would make much difference, but it might mean that he can only trash it from one side.

Nina

laurat
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Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 15 Apr 2018, 17:37

HA, hiring myself out, hilarious Nina. Our back garden is patio and decking, we don’t have any grass so I thought the enclosure would be great. It works really well and Vera loves it. The mesh top on it is basically what I’m going to make for the indoor tortoise table.

Yes, the L arm for the lamp on the tortoise table does adjust. I’ve got the screw driver already on standby in case it needs lowering this coming week as I’ve checked our forecast and towards the end of the week it’s going to hit 19 degrees so possibly it may need lowering. I’ll keep a check on it.

They’re right dirty beggars. I hate to imagine what they’re like in the wild. Ugh!

Rachel Benvie
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by Rachel Benvie » 15 Apr 2018, 22:12

Herbie's Great Escape
My Hermann at 11 cm long and hatched 2012, spent the latter part of last year planning his great escape from his tortoise table. I watched him attempt it with his piece of bark at the back, the lid to his sleeping quarters slightly open, and some useful looking cables nearby. He was almost there and then fell on his back and in the manner of a cat had a quick look around to make sure he was unobserved and then trundled off pretending nothing had happened...When a few hours later I discovered his table empty it was no surprise but a little like when I discovered my son as a toddler wandering around the house having climbed out of his cot. I have to say, neither attempted it again! I enclose some photos. The table is 21.5 cm deep.
Rachel
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laurat
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 15 Apr 2018, 22:19

The little terror!!!!!

I’ve got nothing round the perimeter so fingers crossed he can’t do this, but he won’t soon anyhow as I’m going to get some chicken mesh and make a wooden frame for it to place over the top of the table!

HA, I say ... it’ll be Laura 1 - Vera 0!!!

:)

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Nina
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Re: Tortoise Table

Post by Nina » 15 Apr 2018, 22:27

Ha, ha. Thanks for posting that, Rachel. LOL, Rachel and I have been trading stories tonight about our tortoises' great escapes -- heart stopping stuff, and it's amazing how clever they are, and how they can climb vertical surfaces with bodies that weren't exactly designed for that!
Your chicken wire is going to be horizontal on top of your table, Laura -- but look what can happen when chicken wire is vertical:
https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/278308451947428150/

Nina

laurat
Posts: 80
Joined: 19 Mar 2017, 14:46

Re: Tortoise Table

Post by laurat » 15 Apr 2018, 22:31

Oh good golly, you’re right ... tortoises are way toooooo clever. When Vera was in his vivarium, he managed to opened the door, how he slid it along I do not know, but he did and we hunted high and low ... he was only tucked up in his shell amongst the wires behind the tv!

That was the first and only (so far, touch wood) escape!!!!!

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