how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Use this forum to discuss any aspect of tortoise housing and enclosures. Upload and show pictures of your set ups (enclosures).
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pmorillo1102
Posts: 9
Joined: 22 Oct 2020, 20:40

how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by pmorillo1102 » 23 Oct 2020, 14:37

Hello I am new here and I am wondering if anyone can tell me how big a sulcata enclosure should be. Is there a formula to determine this or is it just as big as possible I have two smaller babies that will be housed indoor but I also have a 5 -7 years old 35-40 lb sulcata who is about 18 inches long by 15 and in the process of building his indoor area for the winter months , his current out door enclosure is 300-400 sqft but because he is going into a garage it will be more like 10x 10 ft with outdoor time when its nice out is this okay ? How do others house there 35-40 lb tortis in the winter months. Thank you

Ps I just got him and this will be our first winter together.

sincerely,
worried torti owner

Bex
Posts: 188
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Re: how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by Bex » 23 Oct 2020, 16:02

Hi, yay another Sulcata owner... I only have one and she’s enough....3!! OMG :D

Check out my overnight heat topic below this one, Lin has put some pics of her enclosure up and I have mine.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Bex

pmorillo1102
Posts: 9
Joined: 22 Oct 2020, 20:40

Re: how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by pmorillo1102 » 23 Oct 2020, 17:32

Thank you so much for the fast response ! I went to this post and went on a rabbit hole of information it was great! and the enclosures done so nice and the torts looks so happy . Sleepy is so beautiful!
So based on the threads its more important that they stay warm for eating and digestion during the winter than the actual size of enclosure but go as big as you can and insultation very important. Not sure if I read but what do you do for uvb/uva support ? I originally purchased a MVP bulb but have read some conflicting info as in they dont last long but also they have potential to burn their shell and uvb output is gone after 3 months.
Also what do you use for a 24 hour heat source. Thank you !
PS currently trying to attach some photos of Dozer :D but file to large

pmorillo1102
Posts: 9
Joined: 22 Oct 2020, 20:40

Re: how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by pmorillo1102 » 23 Oct 2020, 17:41

Here's Dozer! :D
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lin
Posts: 834
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by lin » 23 Oct 2020, 21:25

Dozer is a handsome specemin of a Sulcata. Your lucky but I hope you realise what you have let yourself in for - lol.

Lere is a link to the post Bex was refering to - https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/sit ... =11&t=2082 (Thanks Bex). Hope you find it useful and also here is a caresheet for Sulcata that although was written a while ago is still followed and most of what you ask can be found on there.
Yes, your right, a tortoise does need to bask and keep warm for eating and digestion through all the seasons. Remember these are sub Sarahan species. They need lots of calcium and lots of UVB. One of these kits would be good but you are also correct in thinking the bigger enclosure the better. Tortoises never get smaller. Here is a old photo of mine in their outdoor enclosure that is fully heated and insulated. As you can see this is housing two tortoises and it would not be large enough for three.

This is the sort of UVB setup needed for these bigger tortoises. The combi lamps are not good enough for the amount of UVB these need for that huge heavy shell. - https://www.reptiles.swelluk.com/arcadi ... desert-12/ and on that page there is also the heat lamp is worth investing in.
If there is anything specific you would like help with just give us a shout and we will do all we can.

Lin


[attachment=0]enclosure.JPG_LIN_.JPG[/attachment]
[attachment=1]Enclosure_LIN_0090.jpg[/attachment]
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 202018.pdf
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pmorillo1102
Posts: 9
Joined: 22 Oct 2020, 20:40

Re: how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by pmorillo1102 » 23 Oct 2020, 22:39

Thank you he is very very handsome and sooooo interactive. They are truly amazing creatures . I am licensed Vet Tech and I also have 4 dogs , 2 cats and 2 ferrets 3 sulcatas including Dozer other two are juveniles and over 80 houseplants so I guesss you can say "taking care of the living" is my world. ahaahah Its sooo much work but I wouldn't change it for the World and My husband is just as a maniac as I am. Before we got him I couldn't believe how much work actually goes into having them and I hope that just like you guys people are caring for them appropriately. I looked at the article and super helpful! thank you for attaching that and I love the set up you and Bex have. I will definitely purchase the UVB light strip!. We are building the cover that will go over the enclosure tomorrow so I will definitely update you guys and see what you think. The weather at night has been fine and his outdoor cave is well heated but hoping to get him in early next week as day time temps will be lower. WINTER IS COMING ! :D
THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH! THIS FORUM IS ALOT FRIIENDLIER THAN ANOTHER IM ON ( NO names ) lol

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lin
Posts: 834
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by lin » 23 Oct 2020, 23:05

Thats the trouble with animals, not just tortoises...they are so under our skin.
The T5 kits are really good and put out plenty of UVB and the Sulcatas just love that, to feel the brightness and the heat. Watching them bask makes you go weak at the knees. :roll:

Thanks for your nice words, it really does go a long way with us to know that we are appreceiated, and it gives the team a feel good factor.

A vet tec! Wow, No wonder you have so many pets (I bet some of them are rescued from work) 8-)

We really will look forward to updates (and photos) and its also great to hear we are friendlier than others :lol: :lol: :lol: . We do aim to be. :P
Speak soon
Lin

Bex
Posts: 188
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 19:37

Re: how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by Bex » 25 Oct 2020, 08:30

Oh wow Dozer is adorable!! They are very amazing animals and I had absolutely no idea what I doing until I found Lin & Nina, they have been amazing 8-) (Speedy was a gift that fitted in the palm of my hand!)

I have a bit of a zoo too... 2 tortoises, 2 dogs, a beardie, fish, guinea pig etc...always something to do!

My outside house is being made taller next spring, it really isn’t high enough now she’s been in there a week or so, we’ve had a cpl of incidents and I won’t keep her in there overnight yet! It’s all trial and error until you find what’s suitable I think.

Look forward to your updates and hope all works out for you.

Bex

pmorillo1102
Posts: 9
Joined: 22 Oct 2020, 20:40

Re: how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by pmorillo1102 » 28 Oct 2020, 16:06

Hey guys update ... this weekend we greenhoused his enclosure which so far has kept his enclosure 15 degrees above outside temp which we are pretty happy with but it is not done. We are adding in one more light and another heater for the really cold days when its in single digits. We are also insulating the garage wall this weekend( you can see on one of the images and adding an outlet for safety reasons. SO far he loves it and seems comfortable. We also ordered T5 light for uvb support just waiting for it to come in the mail. Hsi curent heat lamp is just a 150 watt flood bulb from Tractor Supply ...More to come.

P.s this weekend also came with the surprise of acquiring a female 5 year old Sulcata. The pet store :roll: we got our tortis from, recently has lost their license my husband questioned in our minds why so we decided to take a drive by and they were open even though they were supposed to be closed and let us in and told us of her . I initially said no until I saw she was n a 4 x 5 ft enclosure with 2 other males. They bother were huddled together while she was alone to the side and dirty. I couldn't say no so we took her and apparently dozer and her were previously housed together. shes slightly smaller than him and is currently in our spare bedroom not with him. They have interacted outside and ate along side eachother. Now my dilemma is keeping that as pairs together. I DO NOT INTEND TO BREED IAM VERY MUCH AGAINST THIS ACCROSS THE BOARED . IV heard of people freezing eggs if they do mate ? is this wrong ? WE have the means currently to keep them separate and in the future have plans already in place to build a separate enclosure on out 1.5 acre lot but obviously keeping them together would be technically easier and only considering this because they were previously housed together . I have ready many things on this being a big no no understandably for the stress on the female but I have also read some people having a positive experience and wondering your take on this. Thanks guys!
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pmorillo1102
Posts: 9
Joined: 22 Oct 2020, 20:40

Re: how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by pmorillo1102 » 28 Oct 2020, 16:08

In addition to dozers enclosure will be adding a plastic barrier for his cave but had issue finding something thick enough to actually keep heat in the cave with the heat mat , any suggestions there . Thanks ! also dont mind the dog crate thats what he would go to sleep in while in the house :D

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lin
Posts: 834
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: how to determine how big an enclosure should be

Post by lin » 28 Nov 2020, 17:04

:o :o :o I cannot believe that both Nina and I was not alerted of your post pmorillo1102. It was sent during October when something was up and we was not getting notifications of any posts coming into the forum. I cannot apologise enough.

The housing looks to be coming along nicely. Do you have any more updated we could see...Especially of Dozer and his new found friend. Oh my, I can honestly say you deserve a medal taking on a beauty of a lady sulcata and I am so thankful you were there to do this. I hope the other two went to a safe place.
I kept a male and female together. they didn't fight and he was always following her around but he always knew never to cross that invisible line she made - :lol: I think you mase the right choise and regarding any egg's. I used to dig up and leave any I had for the fox (some might say thats not right but they fed a wild animal and also the magpies would eat them). Other than that I would break them and bin them. That way they could never hatch no matter what.

Again I do apologise for the delay, its so embarassing and hope you get back to us with an update and name for your female.

Lin

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