Tortoise Enclosures Outdoors

ValueAquatics are now offering small animal enclosures Rabbit hutches etc., some of the products can be used very successfully as outdoors runs for Tortoise. They are the Apex shelter and run which is suitable for one or two Mediterranean type tortoise, this run offers protection from crows during the day and if pegged down from rats and foxes at night. The run can be moved easily to fresh ground so they do not mess up or foul the area. As most Tortoise love to dig it is best to lay down some chicken wire or 2-3” square plastic garden mesh on the ground first or fit some to the bottom of the run.

The Apex Shelter is 5’ long (1546mm x 570mm x 510mm high).
Hinged door for easy access
Ventilated, raised timber floor in the shelter section.
Fully Treated Timber
Flat Packed for easy assembly with full instructions

The other enclosue available is the Square Rabbit or Guinea Pig Run which is about 4’ square and giving two or three Mediterranean type Tortoise a good area to brows and sun bath in. Again as the Apex shelter peg them down for added security especially at night if you leave them out. Also use the chicken wire or mesh for the bottom.

Top sections easily lifted off
Treated timber
Fox Proof rubber coated wire
Flat packed, easy to follow instructions


Tortoise Table

This is the time of year that your Mediterranean tortoise should be coming out of hibernation, but it is too cold for them to go outside and vivariums are very bad for them. Vivariums do not give the correct temperature gradient nor enough ventilation, this causes lots of long term health problems that will not show for many years and then it is generally too late for anything to be done. The main problem are lung (breathing) problems, congestion etc.

The answer is a Tortoise table this gives the Tortoise the correct temperature gradient form 32°c at the basking spot end and 20°c at the cold end.

ValueAquatics offer the Royce Tortoise table which comes in a Beech finish and measures 1220mm x 600mm x 255mm (48”x24”x10” L.W.H).

This allows for the correct control of the temperature gradient and UV source through a mercury vapour lamp such as the Exo Terra sun glow lamp available in both 125w and 160w.

The tortoise table does not come with the light etc., and will need a light fitting like the Komodo BLACK DOME 21cm ø reflector which comes with all fittings and a 3 pin fitted plug. You will also need a mercury vapour lamp as in the Exo Terra Sun Glo both of which ValueAquatics has in stock.

We recommend the tortoise Trust Forum. It is a very friendly group always willing to help with all aspects of tortoise husbandry.


Tortoise Advice

Q. I have a tiny baby tortoise, and at the moment I am housing it in the plastic bottom of a hamster cage. What do I need to house the tortoise correctly?

A. What you are keeping the Tortoise in is ideal but with something bigger in mind. You do not say which tortoise you have as some require different conditions. I will take it you have one of the Mediterranean ones that are the most common ones sold. If you got it from a pet shop I would suggest you find a good tortoise or at least exotics vet, and have it checked over for worms and parasites.

I would suggest a tortoise table for them as vivariums are not a good idea unless you have one of the more exotic ones that require different conditions. With a vivarium you do not get the correct temperature gradient or enough ventilation. Both of which will lead to long term lung, kidney and liver problems.

To heat the table use a Solar Glo Sun Lamp and a reflecter and clamp. This is set up at one end of the table and gives a hot end for basking and a cool end when it wants to cool down. The ideal temperature is 90-110degF under the lamp this is known as the basking spot. At the cool end it should be 70deg F at least, if it is not do not worry too much as the tortoise will find the correct temperature for itself. Lights should be on for about 10 hours a day. If the tortoise is in a cold room bellow 60F then you will need some heating on at night, Use either an Infra red heating bulb or ceramic heat emitter both of which will require another reflecter or just change the bulbs over allowing them to cool down first, they get very hot also use a thermostat with the Infra Red or Ceramic Heat Emitter and set it to 70F . The Solar glo is a mercury vapour lamp and will not work on a thermostat you adjust the temperature under them by raising or lowering the lamp.

I would suggest that you join the Tortoise trust forum they are a great bunch and very experienced passionate group always willing to help. I am on the group and learn things all the time. They can help you in finding a good vet in your area if nothing else.