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Pimped up balcony enlosure

Posted: 13 May 2020, 11:02
by Kimberley
Hi :D

I've pimped up my balcony enclosure to make it more useful in different weather types. I live on coast in the Netherlands and our weather varies so much, 1 day it's 30 celsius and the next day 18. There can be a difference of 10 to 15 degrees celsius in 24 hours.

I've extended the greenhouse, put a small baskingspotlamp in and got an extra piece of plexiglass that let's uvb through. The 2 pieces of plexiglass both let 90% uvb through. It's used for greenhouses and tanbeds. I've used growbags to put the substrate in (8 inches of cococoir and cocohusk). The temps are great, it's 13 celsius outside, but inside it's 19c, 31c and 21c in different spots.

When the weather is great, everything comes off and it's just open. Or I just take 1 plate off and leave the rest. He's in it right now, but a little scared and hiding, it's new ofcourse but it'll be fine!

Re: Pimped up balcony enlosure

Posted: 13 May 2020, 12:07
by lin
I can't believe just how fantastic you have made this Kimberley. It just goes to show with a bit of thought and a great imagination we can have the perfect temps no matter what country we are in.
A huge well done to you, you should be so proud of yourself.


Re: Pimped up balcony enlosure

Posted: 13 May 2020, 15:55
by Nina
Wow! Congratulations from me too -- it looks fantastic, and not only nice for tortoises but really pretty to look at too. Is that a rug in the central area (grey and white pattern)? Does he go there, and what happens if he wees or poos on it?

I hope lots of people look at this thread and get some inspiration for making their own enclosures on a balcony or patio. Thanks Kimberley!


Re: Pimped up balcony enlosure

Posted: 13 May 2020, 16:44
by Kimberley
Thanks Lin and Nina, I'm also happy with it!

The rug is a piece of the old balcony rug I had. I have a new one on the other side. It lets water through. He walks on it and sometimes lays under the ramp on it behind the campanula. Pee stays on top for a bit and then seeps through. Water goes through immediately but their pee is a little bit thicker of course. Poop just stays on, it's usually quite firm. You just pick it up and wipe the rug. Or hose it down or whatever.

I'm not sure what he likes best, the rug or concrete, or he likes it both. I'll probably take it out and see if I can figure it out. Would be nice if he could tell me.

I'm also way more tough love😉 I don't feed him anymore, he has to collect it himself. He has 2 big tubs of tortoise mix weeds (1 upstairs and 1 downstairs), a pansy with lots of flowers, a geranium with flowers and lambslettuce, all home grown and easy access. He can reach the campanula on the ramp. Other things are still growing. He eats cuttlefish bone everyday, he likes it and I see him eat from it. He has a lamp when its cold. He gets his uva and uvb from being outside and I weigh him every week. I also soak him multiple times a week.

He is still picky, he came this way, but also because I gave in alot. But now he has everything he needs, if he doesn't want to eat them, well too bad, then he goes hungry😏

It is ok to do this right?

Re: Pimped up balcony enlosure

Posted: 24 May 2020, 15:30
by Nina
Hi Kimberley,

I'm so sorry but I have only just seen this post from 13 May! For some reason I've not been receiving notifications of many (but not all) new posts, and it's driving me crazy. So I sat down today to look at all of the posts on the Forum and am finding quite a few that I have missed.

Your tough love approach is absolutely right -- and mirrors what his life would be in the wild. Tortoises tend to live in areas where food is scarce for much of the year, and they are also in competition with other animals for it, so they often have to walk long distances to find food, and the act of tearing it apart and pulling it up from the ground is good for their muscles and beaks. So you are giving him as authentic a life as any tortoise could have on a balcony in a country where no tortoises are naturally to be found -- the same as we try to do in England
:D :D

I tihnk he is very lucky to have found a home with you, and I'm sure that he will thrive in your care!


Re: Pimped up balcony enlosure

Posted: 24 May 2020, 17:17
by Kimberley
Hi Nina,

I've sent you a private message.