The minimum size of the terrarium for one turtle is up to 12 cm. 60 x 40 x 40 cm. The larger the turtles or their larger. the more space they need. Usually the minimum size of the terrarium is calculated based on 4-6 sizes of the turtle (the width of the turtle to the width of the terrarium, the length of the turtle to the length of the terrarium). You can approximately calculate the required size of the terrarium in the calculator on the site.
Material and shape of the terrarium
Terrarium for a turtle is usually a short, long and wide enclosed box with ventilation holes. The length of this box is usually greater than the width and height, which are often approximately equal. The height of the terrarium should not be more than 45-50 cm (soil depth 10 cm, lamp height 12 cm, height from lamp to tortoise 20-25 cm).
The most commonly used material for a terrarium is glass or wood. You can also use non-toxic impact-resistant plastic and plexiglass. Only the side through which you will deliver the turtle and give it food can be transparent. It is important to note that turtles sometimes do not see glass transparent walls and beat with shell on glass. Then it is better to seal part of the walls with a beautiful terrarium background.
The shape of the terrarium is usually a rectangular box. Terrariums usually have sliding / opening or removable door / glass magnets. The height of the side of the terrarium under the glass should be at least 10-20 cm, so that a sufficient layer of soil could be poured into the terrarium, and the turtle could not get out.
Sometimes terrariums are made two-story or with elevations.
Where to buy a terrarium?
Types of Terrariums
1. Corral on the floor
The temperature of the house should be more than 26 degrees year-round lamp above the pen. A section of the floor in the corner is selected, covered with a piece of linoleum or laminate, enclosed with an open fence. Soil is poured into the corral, houses, lamps are installed. In this pen you can start several large land turtles. You can enclose with a wooden fence, the height of which should exceed the length of the turtle in 2-3 p. least.
2. Open type terrariums
It can be a former glass horizontal aquarium, a large plastic container or a wooden box. An open terrarium does not hold humidity and temperature well, therefore it is not very suitable for keeping tropical and forest turtles in an apartment. But with an open terrarium, it’s easier to place lamps and clean.
3. Closed terrariums
They better keep temperature and humidity, protect the turtle from other pets and children, and prevent the turtle from escaping.
Cardboard boxes cannot be used as a terrarium (get wet), bird cages (the rods overheat from the lamps and can burn the turtle, and the turtle’s paws can get stuck between the rods).
The location of the terrarium, as well as the number of turtles that will live in it, must be selected in advance. It is better to count on 2 individuals, in addition, we must remember that turtles grow, so the terrarium should be "for growth".
The best room for them is the north side or a dark room. The fact is that the bright sun, penetrating into the room, heats the terrariums closed on all sides so strongly that the ventilation openings that are provided for by the design cannot resist overheating. The temperature in the terrarium can rise to 40 ° C, which threatens death for many animals. For the same reason, you can not use attics and attics to place terrariums. Even air conditioning cannot save rooms from overheating.
Owners of cottages can be recommended to use semi-basement or basement facilities to house the collection, but with good hydro and thermal insulation. Otherwise, during floods or after heavy rains, you will have to deal with pumping water out of the cellars.
A place for a terrarium can be found even in a small room: in a small wall, near a deaf door, on a wall (with a small mass of the structure). However, it is not recommended to combine terrariums, especially wet ones, with television or other equipment and computers. Water accidentally entering them can damage them or cause a fire.
The easiest way to place one terrarium. If there are several, you will have to make a rack. The material from which it is made depends on the size and type of the terrarium. If it is small, then wooden structures are quite suitable, otherwise you will have to use a steel corner or a rectangular pipe. Cold-loving species are placed on the lower shelves, heat-loving on the upper shelves. If necessary, the shelves are additionally insulated with foam sheets. It is better if terrariums for cold-loving and for thermophilic animals are in different rooms. (based on the book by A. Gurzhiya)
Temporary / Quarantine
For temporary quarantine, a spacious plastic container is suitable. Above it, at a height of about 20-25 cm, fix the ultraviolet reptile lamp and the 40 or 60 W incandescent lamp so that it illuminates half the area of the container. To check that the turtle is healthy, place an absorbent diaper or paper towels in place of the ground so that you can track the bowel movements of the turtle. As a shelter, you can put a house or a bunch of soft hay.
Ventilation and climate
No matter how large the ventilation in the lid, it will not be able to provide good ventilation of the terrarium and will not be effective. In order that the air would not stagnate, additional ventilation (flowing) is needed. If ventilation will be opposite to each other. There will be no good air circulation, but a draft. Flowing ventilation is best done large on top and small on the front wall of the terrarium or on the sides of the terrarium, but always one at the top, and the second at the base of the soil, substrate.
You can control the humidity in the terrarium with the same ventilation, for this it is enough to have an idea of how it works: the more inlets (this is the front ventilation) and the outlets (this is the upper ventilation), the less humidity in the terrarium, in order to achieve an increase in humidity, it is enough reduce the number of inlets, and partially reduce the outlet openings, the same principle works and to reduce humidity, only in this case it is necessary to increase the inlet and outlet openings in the ventilation.
For heating in tortoise terrariums usually do not use thermal cords and thermal rugs, but use an incandescent lamp up to 60 watts. Bottom heating can be harmful to the kidneys. An incandescent lamp is located in one corner and forms a warm zone where the turtle warms up and takes food, and a tropical bathing place is placed for tropical turtles. In the opposite corner, where the light of the lamps does not reach, there will be a cool zone, there you need to install a house. Usually in a warm corner, the temperature should be around 28-32 C, and in a cold one. 22-24 C. The night should also be 22-24 C.
How to heat a terrarium at night?
If the apartment is cold, then a ceramic or infrared heater (lamp) can be used for heating.
What is the temperature gradient in the terrarium and why is it needed?
Turtles, being reptiles, regulate body temperature due to external sources of heat and coolness. In nature, they can choose for themselves whether they can get out in the sun to bask or relax in the cool shade of bushes and trees. In the terrarium, it is also necessary to create a warm zone (sunny) and cool (shadow). To do this, the heating lamp is installed in the corner of the terrarium and heats about half the bottom area, so the temperature in this zone will be 30-33 C. In the opposite corner, where there is less heat and where the turtle’s house / shelter should be located, the temperature will be 24-26 WITH.