We all know the set of items necessary for the full life of a cat or dog in our house. But what if the family council decided to have a land tortoise in the apartment? What conditions does she need for a happy life and how to provide everything she needs? To make and equip a terrarium for a land tortoise is quite simple if you have all the necessary materials and tools.
Size and materials
The classic terrarium for a land tortoise is a square or rectangular box made of glass, plastic, wood or plastiglass.
Do-it-yourself terrarium for a land turtle does not have to be made entirely of glass. Like any living creature, home reptiles want to hide from daylight or their own master. Therefore, use ready-made schemes of terrariums, where glass is combined with plywood, and also to create a convenient design, you can use plexiglass or impact-resistant plastic.
To make the pet’s home easier to clean, we recommend making one of the walls removable – with magnets or grooves. To prevent the turtle from climbing out of the terrarium during cleaning, it is necessary to think over the sides with a height of 20 centimeters. And what should be the area of the house itself? The calculation should be done based on the number of turtles and their size. For one land tortoise, which does not grow more than 15 centimeters, you can build a box with a minimum area of 0.5 square meters. m. Most often choose sizes 60x40x50. You should not be guided by the size of a reptile of a young age – it will grow very quickly and it may be uncomfortable in a small space.
What can replace a terrarium for a turtle
Many owners of land turtles want to make a house for them with their own hands. To do this, they improve ready-made designs and often such a solution justifies itself. Here are some examples of how to start creating a home terrarium:
- Can be separated a small portion of the turtle’s living room. It is worth considering the location of this pen – in the corner, away from the batteries and carefully protected from drafts. It is worth considering that the temperature in the room should be regular, within 26-28 ° C and you will have to take care of the additional lighting system. On an indoor flooring, you need to put an unnecessary piece of laminate or wallpaper, pour gravel, sawdust or hay. Do not forget to protect the turtle with a low fence so that it could not run away and hide.
- Instead of a terrarium you can put your favorite family in an old waste tank with a flat bottom. It is desirable that a cover with the possibility of placing a UV lamp, as well as ventilation holes, be attached to it.
- Plastic container large size can become a temporary abode of a land pet. You will also need to think through a heating and lighting system so that the turtle does not get sick.
- Plain wooden box – An excellent solution, but it will have to be improved a bit. Firstly, you have to remove one of the walls, replacing it with a transparent panel. Secondly, drill a few holes.
How to make a turtle house with your own hands
If you want to make a temporary or permanent home for the turtle is not at all a problem. It is important to have the skill to work with the tool and the desire to create a beautiful and comfortable house for the reptile. We offer you two options – temporary made of cardboard or permanent made of waterproof plywood.
If you did not have time to prepare for the appearance of a turtle in your house, then take a large box of cardboard (the height of the walls should be at least 30 centimeters). Using a clothespin or other device, fix the lamp with a 30 W lamp on the box or put a table lamp next to it.
At the bottom, you can put an isolon mat or several layers of warm coating. The finished house, temporary housing for the turtle, should be placed higher – drafts and hypothermia are possible on the floor.
To create a high-quality house for a turtle from waterproof plywood, make an understandable and competent sketch. We recommend that you focus on the box, the height of which is 25-30 centimeters. In this case, the width and length parameters of 80×50 cm will be optimal. Prepare five parts:
- Bottom 80×50 centimeters – one detail.
- Back and front walls 80×25 centimeters – one piece of glass and one of plywood.
- Side walls 43×25 centimeters – two pieces.
All blanks should have machined, smooth edges. On the working surface (table) we place the lower part of the terrarium (bottom). We gently glue the side walls with universal glue. The next step is to add the last wooden part to the structure, fix it with glue. At this point, you should definitely check the reliability of the connection. Instead of universal glue, you can use a liquid nail sealant or self-tapping screw.
For the construction to last a long time, it must be fixed with the help of corners and screws. To prevent the reptile from injuring itself against protruding metal parts, it is imperative to decorate them.
Having assembled and secured the three parts of the improvised terrarium, we supplement the glue relief box with a glass panel.
After completing the assembly of the product, it must be checked for cracks or holes. After a day, when the glue dries, you can start sealing compounds – use aquarium silicone glue. If this is not done, dirt will enter the cracks and the structure will not last long.
To a home-made terrarium you need to attach legs. They can be made from improvised materials – screws and bottle caps. To prevent plywood from leading, install five legs.
Now you can decorate your home with lamps, flooring and a lid – the house for the land tortoise is ready!
Where to put a terrarium for a turtle
It is advisable to buy or make a terrarium for reptiles "for growth" with your own hands. If now you have only one small pet, he will soon grow and take up more space. A pair of turtles may well bring replenishment – this is worth considering.
Thinking over the location of the box with the turtles, choose the coolest and shaded rooms. In the summer heat, the sun’s rays in a brightly lit room can heat a small space to 40 ° C, which will lead to the death of the animal.
Do not place the box in the attic or attic. The turtles will feel best in the basement, where a good waterproofing system is thought out. If the owner lives in the apartment, then it is necessary to place the terrarium away from the windows, near a blank wall. You can fence off a living area with false or some kind of furniture.
With a special love for turtles, several terrariums may appear in your home – both large and small. To make all residents feel comfortable, put a special metal stand. Shelves dividing terrariums, It is advisable to make foam insulation. Cold-loving species of land turtles are usually placed on the lower tiers, and heat-loving ones are higher. But it’s better if you separate them and create your own living conditions for each group of reptiles.
In order for the turtle to feel good, not sick, and to please all members of the family, it is necessary to create favorable living conditions for it. Let’s decide how to correctly fill the terrarium.
The lid will protect the reptile from the attacks of other inhabitants of the apartment – for example, cats. In addition, it is on the cover that you will attach the lamp, so the material for this part must be chosen carefully. Most often it is glass or metal.
If we are talking about lighting, then we can recommend a regular 60 W bulb. It must be placed in such a way that it does not touch the walls without creating overheating and a fire hazard. Angle which heats the lamp, will be used by the tortoise for eating, swimming and relaxing. The temperature in this place should not exceed 30 ° C, and in the rest of the terrarium – within 23-26 ° C. In the coldest and shaded place it is worth installing one or several shelters – a purchased or home-made house, a hollow snag, part of an clay pot, half a coconut.
It is worth installing an ultraviolet lamp. Keep in mind that the distance from the floor surface to the lighting fixtures must be at least 30 centimeters so that the turtle does not get burned.
One ventilation hole must be located on top, for example, on the side wall. You can do one more near the floor on the opposite wall. This will achieve the desired oxygen supply, stable air exchange, elimination of unpleasant odors.
The soil is poured in a high layer, 3-5 cm. Small particles cannot be used as coatings – reptiles can swallow them. So that put sand away, crushed gravel, small substrates. Sharp objects are also dangerous: expanded clay, gravel, shavings. Land turtles feel good in terrariums, where the floor is covered with large sawdust, hay, and rounded pebbles. If the turtle does not like to bury itself in the ground, then you can put paper or napkins.