Young Tortoise Indoor Housing Images

Home } Critter Care Index Page } Baby Tortoise Housing Tips } Young Tortoise Housing Images (you are here)

     This page contains images of the style of housing we prefer for our South African Leopard tortoises. It takes a while to load but we felt that this was necessary to preserve the detail of the images for you.

Empty Rubbermaid tub image
     We start with a Rubbermaid™ tub. It is deep enough that the babies cannot get out and still shallow enough that the lights will be close to the babies. In addition they cannot see through the sides and will be less likely to spend time trying to walk out. This size enclosure can easily house 15 baby tortoises.

Tub with dish and pellets image
     We then add a water dish and rabbit pellets or dirt. Rabbit pellets look better than dirt but can cause problems with long term use. They can get moldy and if the babies eat too much of them, problems with improper shell growth can occur. We recommend clean, pesticide free soil from your garden for long term housing. In this case we used an artificial rock style of dish. This allows better traction for the babies. The water dish goes all the way to the cool end. The rabbit pellets are an alfalfa based rabbit food. Don't buy the fancy brands with extra ingredients, the cheap stuff is fine. In this case 3 - 4 pounds (1.3 - 1.8 KG) of pellets created a layer 1/2" (12mm) deep.
Make sure they can climb into water.
     Be sure to check to be sure that your baby can climb into and out of the water dish.
Complete setup
     This is the complete setup. We like two Vita-Lites or other 5% UVB lamps to increase UV exposure. The lamps are on for 10 - 12 hours per day. Note the heat source at one end and the water at the other. Since the rooms where we house babies are kept at a uniform 83° F (28° C) temperature we have both the lights and the heat source on a timer. A room that gets cool at night should have the heat source on 24 hours per day. To properly adjust the heat source: wait until it is fully heated then place your hand under it where the top of a baby tortoises shell would be. The amount of heat that you feel should be the same gentle warmth as a sunny day in the summer. It should never feel hot! Raise or lower the heat emitter until it is right. Be sure to come back in a while and check it again. This picture shows a wire enclosure for the heat emitter. The solid metal ones are also OK to use.

This page last updated October 28, 2002

Exotic Enterprises - Tucson, Arizona

Home } Critter Care Index Page } Baby Tortoise Housing Tips } Young Tortoise Housing Images (you are here)
Copyright © Exotic Enterprises - All rights reserved.