Horsfield enclosure idea

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howsons
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Oct 2020, 11:10

Horsfield enclosure idea

Post by howsons » 31 Oct 2020, 10:28

Hi all

I have a Horsfield called Turbo who we rehomed from a school. I need to make a new enclosure which i want it to be cool too so it fits with our taste and furniture. We are getting it made from scaffold boards that have been waxed outside and I will put water based poly on the inside with a pool liner up to 12 cm for soil sand substrate.
I have attached a pic with side view and top view. The only room he can go in means he needs narrow and long hence 60cm x 210cm, with a ramp to go up to feeding area (thanks Nina I stole your design :D ).
Does this look ok? I have basking bulb which will go far right side and will get uvb strip as big as I can - not sure about a holder yet, may have to build one onto inside of enclosure with a chain to adjust.
On a different note I've heard on other forums of people boiling their soil to get flies out, churning it and then putting it back.... Is that not making it too wet for the tort, or is it ok?
Last question is in spring I will make an outdoor enclosure but I don't want him sleeping out there - we have foxes, badgers and even with a lid I will worry so as long as he gets some sun in the day can I bring him back inside in evening?
Thank you!
Suzanne
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Nina
Posts: 1460
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Horsfield enclosure idea

Post by Nina » 31 Oct 2020, 11:30

Hi Suzanne,

Let's see what others say, but I think your design looks really good, and a good size for him too. Your upper level at 30cm deep looks fine. Mine is 45cm and it is way more than they need, and I would reduce the size if I could. And of course the area underneath mine is much too big for them (they actually prefer to wedge themselves into a small space when they sleep), so I think that if you wanted to, you could reduce the depth of your sleeping area by a couple more centimetres and he would still have plenty of space to eat on top and enough space to sleep underneath -- but it is also fine as it is.

At 210cm you might have to have another lamp a bit further down the table (but see how it goes). To hang the lamp you can always just make and upside down 'L' -shaped arm that is screwed onto the outside (or inside) of the table, and hang the chain from that. Just make sure that the arm is tall enough to enable you to raise the lamp higher to reduce the temperature in the table if it gets too hot. In this article from our website, if you scroll down you can see photos of the table with arms for the heat/light bulb and also for the UVB strip. In this table the UVB strip goes across the table, but I prefer mine to go the length to get a bit more coverage (but it really doesn't matter which way it goes -- just do what is easiest for you. https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/tor ... 51HQFCnyNI.

Re the UVB strip. It can be fixed to the side of the table if the sides are high enough (but I think that means they might need to be higher than you've planned (I think the minimum height is about 12" and when they are new the height is something like 15" or 20", but it will be specified in the manufacturer's instructions). Also as the tube gets older you can lower it a bit. I think they usually have a wire coming from each end of the tube (haven't looked at newest ones lately), but I have two arms on my table so I just wrap the cords around the top of the arms and then the light hangs down between them. I also have all my lights on timers so that they come on and go off automatically in the morning and night.

I don't think I would ever bother to boil my soil! What sort of flies are you talking about? Occasionally if you have plants planted in the substrate you will get these irritating teeny tiny flies called fungus gnats. They live in damp soil, but if I ever get them I just hang one of those sticky fly strips above the table and they go in no time. Other than those you shouldn't really have any flies.

Re outdoor enclosures. I feel the same as you. I have an outdoor enclosure with a hutch that has a doorway that comes down as a ramp, or that goes up to close if you want to lock them in at night. But we get foxes and rats too, and I'm not happy with leaving mine out all night, so I bring them in every night. It's probably not ideal for the tortoise, as by the end of the day they have happily snuggled into wherever they plan on sleeping, but I think it's safer and it doesn't seem to have done them any harm.

Do send photos of the work in progress, and I think Turbo will thrive in this new palace you are making him!

Nina


> Thank you!
> Suzanne

howsons
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Oct 2020, 11:10

Re: Horsfield enclosure idea

Post by howsons » 31 Oct 2020, 11:57

Thank you Nina!
I will check out those light fittings. I think we will do similar and get a Y shaped bracket for them inside then use the chain.
I wanted this enclosure to be ok for him as he grows. Horsfields get to about 25cm is that right? So I wanted enough room in the top floor for him, and I agree to a smaller sleeping space. Knowing him he will just sleep somewhere else 😆
The flies came with the soil I think, little tiny ones. I have posted some sticky strips but I wondered why people do this soil churning ..I suppose it cleans the poo out too if you can't spot it!
Thanks for the advise about outdoor enclosure, I will bring him in at teatime so he has enough time to settle to sleep! I do let him out in the wildlife garden at the back too supervised so he can have a good walk.
There is so much to learn, bit it's fulfilling!!
Thank you
Suzanne

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lin
Posts: 833
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Horsfield enclosure idea

Post by lin » 31 Oct 2020, 12:55

Looking good to me too Suzanne. We will need photos when finished of course and of happy tortoise in situ - lol.

Lin

howsons
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Oct 2020, 11:10

Re: Horsfield enclosure idea

Post by howsons » 31 Oct 2020, 14:19

Yes I will post some!

Thanks x

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Nina
Posts: 1460
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Horsfield enclosure idea

Post by Nina » 31 Oct 2020, 15:54

I think adults are usually between 15cm - 25 cm, but most don't grow much larger than 20cm and they do differ -- just like people do. My Dolly (who is 11 years old) is 17cm, but Doris (who is 17 or 18 years old) is only 15cm, and they are both probably close to their maximum size now. So that is the general range, and females tend to be a bit larger than males.

Nina x
howsons wrote:
> I wanted this enclosure to be ok for him as he grows. Horsfields get to
> about 25cm is that right? So I wanted enough room in the top floor for him,
> and I agree to a smaller sleeping space. Knowing him he will just sleep
> somewhere else 😆
>

howsons
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Oct 2020, 11:10

Re: Horsfield enclosure idea

Post by howsons » 31 Oct 2020, 16:15

😄😄 thanks! I will look at the measurements and make the top floor as small as possible. Want him to have enough room for stomping arround!
Poo been sent to vets and he has a checkup next Friday!
Suzanne x

howsons
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Oct 2020, 11:10

Re: Horsfield enclosure idea

Post by howsons » 01 Nov 2020, 10:13

Hi
Please can you check this is fine, I was going to get the largest? Have it going diagonally across the enclosure, hung from L brackets.
https://www.reptiles.swelluk.com/arcadi ... desert-12/

Can you get a uvb tester so you know when the bulb is going?

Thanks
Suzanne

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Horsfield enclosure idea

Post by Nina » 01 Nov 2020, 11:52

Yes, that looks excellent to me, and it comes with a reflector too, which is great. Yes, you can get UVB meters, but I think they are pretty expensive. I've always wanted one, but I have a really good reptile shop near me and I take mine in and he tests it for me, so I haven't bothered to buy one.

Looks like you're making really good progress on this project!

Nina xxx

howsons
Posts: 13
Joined: 04 Oct 2020, 11:10

Re: Horsfield enclosure idea

Post by howsons » 01 Dec 2020, 12:31

Hi

Well it was finally finished after a lot of stress and people letting me down with the wood!
i can finally sleep at night, hope you like it!

let me know of anything that needs changing! It's 2' x 7' - room would not allow it to be wider!
Turbo seems to love it anyway, made sure there was enough to climb on!

Thank You
Suzanne
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