New housing for leopard tortoise

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Re: New housing for leopard tortoise

Postby Mac » Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:45 pm

Stuart wrote: Delighted to see that the IR thermometer records a ground temperature of 18*C outside the unit, and nearly 24*C inside it! Tortoise was warm (didn't think to measure) when I put her out, but half an hour so later she's nearly 30*C

Actually I suspect that on a full-sun day (rare!) it could easily become too hot, so am already thinking of modifications for ventilation (controlled, somehow, so I don't lose too much heat?)

Photos to follow when I can sort out my failing camera/phone devices.

That is impressive Stuart. Can you add a cool room somehow? Perhaps use tinted plastic at one end or something. Hope you get the camera going soon.
Making a wild Hermann as happy as possible after he was captured wrongfully from his home country in the 60s and later found crossing a road here in the South East of England.
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Re: New housing for leopard tortoise

Postby Stuart » Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:25 am



I didn't manage to get the Lumisol sheeting as tight as Iwould have liked...only came across some detailed instructions on fitting polytunnel covers after I'd finished the job, but it will do.

[BigJoe, note the "inside" logo printed on the material! - I need to find a way of removing this, actually, without damaging the sheeting]

I'm thinking about making a suitable framework so that I can insert a door at one of the ends - at the moment I have to tilt the whole thing to put the tortoise in or get her out at the end of the day...I'm thinking that a similar frame built at the other end would allow for the fitting of a ventilation window? Obviously one can't just cut a panel out of the Lumisol...Fitting some wooden frameworks at the ends would also give me a chance to re-tighten the sheeting, I'm hoping]

The unit is intended as temporary , daytime only housing, so is just sitting on grass - no landscaping etc. It's not too heavy to be moved around to different areas (to save the lawn and to provide fresh grass), and is an improvement on the previous glazed cold frame, which was a) a bit small and b) didn't permit the passage of UV.

There aren't enough sunny days here to use a cold frame plus an open pen for direct sunlight...but this way the tortoise can be outside and warm enough (without extra heating) even on duller days, and browse/graze as she prefers to do.
I may have to run a cable and suspend a ceramic heater and/or a basking light to extend the use of the polytunnel into the autumn, as general temperatures drop, or I could admit defeat and keep her inside.
I've no idea where I might store the polytunnel over the winter... :(
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Hermanns (old female and 6 home-bred offspring), iberas (two), kbn (rescue), leopard, horsfield (rescue), stars (2 - long term loan), red-eared sliders (5)
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Re: New housing for leopard tortoise

Postby Bigjoe » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:13 pm

Stuart I'm going to give this a lot of thought over the weekend,looks good and I think this could be modified to suit your requirements ,away at the moment so have lots of time to get my thinking head on...I like this frame system you have,could you if poss pm me the cost
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