How do I build a house for my tortoise?

It's not a water turtle and therefore doesn't need to be in a water tank. Plus I don't want a tank for her? What alternatives could I have?

Madkins0077 years ago
A simple indoor tortoise house can be made from plastic tubs- depending on how large the tortoise is and how much humidity it needs. Red-foot, Yellow-foot, Hinge-back and Burmese Tortoises, as well as North American Box Turtles want high humidity, so you need to take that into account.

A basic tub would be a 30-gallon or so tub. Most people prefer the translucent 'Sterilite' versions. Put about an inch of substrate in it (plain cypress mulch is good for most species, as well as being cheap).

Make a hide by taking another small plastic tub- food container, shoebox, etc. and putting the lid on. Cut a hole in one side big enough for the tortoise to enter. Most tortoises benefit from humid hides, so put a humidity bag in there as well (sew a handful of long-fibered sphagnum moss (Mosser Lee brand, for example) in a linen bag.) Soak the bag and hang it in the hide. position the hide in a warm part of the habitat.

Heating the habitat depends a lot on your local temps. If the room it is in is about 80ish, all you need to do is to create a small hot spot. if the room is cooler, you will need to heat the entire tub to about 80 and then heat one area to about 88-90ish.

A 'ceramic heat emitter'  (CHE) is a safe and effective way to heat the tub most of the time. A heat lamp may be used as well, but needs to be turned off at night while a CHE can be left on all of the time.

If you have a humidity-loving species, dampen the substrate and partially cover the habtiat to trap the temps and humidity inside. Make sure you still allow plenty of fresh air, though.

This covers the basics. You will also need a feeding surface, a good water dish, etc. Thermometers, timers, thermostats, and so forth make your life easier, and there are many other ways to accomplish the basic idea.

For more help, try http://www.tortoiseforum.org
it it important to consider what type of tortoise you have to determine the size of the tortoise enclosure but a good option to consider would be a tortoise table or depending on where you live and the size of your tortoise an outdoor enclosure as do some tortoises get to be over 100 lbs! you may want to try this http://exoticpets.about.com/od/tortoises/qt/tortoiseindoors.htm I hope this will help good luck with the little gale or guy