Tips for enclosure?
Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:39 PM
The place I have moved to has a large balcony that I can have an enclosure on. I want to get a carpenter to make an enclosure for me, and was wondering what dimensions I could give him. Here are some things about my turtle and what I am looking for:
1 Eastern Box Turtle, Male (really pretty fire-red markings)
I would like a tray that pulls out where I can easily dump out old bedding and replace it with clean, new bedding.
I also would like it on wheels.
I'm a new teacher and don't really have a lot of money to spend on a 300 dollar or so cage, but I do invest what I can in the well being of my little turtle. So, when he asks what dimensions I'll need for the turtle, what should I tell him?
Also, where could I get REAL plants that my turtle will eat and enjoy? I've tried transplanting weeds and things like that in the cage I have (yes, I do have heat, UVA, and UVB lamps) but they always die... I thought maybe it's the tropical soil I use, but I'm hesitant to use real soil or fertilizer-rich soil from hardware stores because I don't want my turtle to be poisoned. So what is the safe thing to do in this instance? I'd like to try some "test planting" in my current cage while I have the enclosure built.
Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:36 PM
For an either an inside or balcony enclosure you can leave them in the pots and submerge the pot in the substrate. Watering the plants help keeps the area more humid. If you are using a balcony, outdoor plants will do better with natural light. Use the soil you find works and is safe for your tort.
They always say with size, as big as you can make it. Sort of depends on the size of your tort (length of shell). 6'x3' is nice, but again, the size of your tort would help calculate that. If you plan ahead, make it large enough to accommodate an adult.
Also, if out on the balcony, make sure it doesn't bake, but has part in shade, depending on where you live.
Not being a carpenter, can't help much with the drawer, but sounds like an interesting idea.
Make the height of the sides at least twice the length of your tort.
Also, if outside, protection from birds/predators, etc., might be needed, but not necessarily.
Edited by lynnedit, 31 August 2011 - 09:39 PM.
Posted 01 September 2011 - 03:57 AM
Posted 01 September 2011 - 04:17 AM
I've looked at the bookshelf idea, but with the balcony I have, it wouldn't work so well. I'm on the second floor, so I need something I can dump out really easily, since I'll have to take out the tray, take it downstairs, and then dump it near a drainage ditch.
So, about 6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and probably 2.5 feet tall or so. The bookshelf does seem like a very cost effective design, but I'd like something that I can use for a few years and take around with me if I move. Since I live in NC (where the EBT is the state reptile :-) ), it gets kind of cold in the winter, so the wheels will help when I need to bring him inside on those cold nights it gets below 50.
Also, Lynn, that page doesn't seem to work. I get a 404 error when I try to view it. The server says the page cannot be found.
Thanks for your help!
Edit: The balcony is on the second floor, as mentioned. Do hawks prey on turtles? Probably the only thing that could get him would be a hawk. It would be rather hard for a raccoon, possum, cat, etc to crawl up, since the side of the building is brick with the balcony about 15 feet up in the air.
Edited by HerpDerp, 01 September 2011 - 04:24 AM.
Posted 01 September 2011 - 07:24 AM
Have you seen this care sheet for boxies (hope it works)
and click on 'database' for different categories. You can also email them if you have specific plant questions. (if that link does not work, it is 'The Tortoise Table', you could google it).
Regarding size/cleaning; what about lining up some trays side by side (cat litter trays, smaller rectangular storage containers), perhaps 4-5-6, and having the carpenter build a frame to enclose them? then you can remove individual trays and have various different substrates/plants. I didn't think this up,but it is a neat idea. For shade, you can have a hinged lid covering 1/4 or so on one side.
Calculate the width so it can get through your patio door to bring inside if you need to (to move it, etc.).
You could just have bird netting on the balcony railing over the enclosure. that would be enough to deter a larger bird.
Edited by lynnedit, 01 September 2011 - 07:24 AM.
Posted 01 September 2011 - 04:54 PM
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