Olga (kleo). Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine
Pets: Central Asian turtles Helga and Zlata
My name is Olya, I am from Ivano-Frankivsk, in Ukraine, nickname on the kleo forum. I have two turtles Helga and Zlata. At first there was only Helga, a Central Asian tortoise, and she lived in an aquarium converted into a terrarium (photo 1). I had seen enough of the terrariums on the forum and decided to make my own.
First I started a topic on the forum and chose materials. Glass is expensive, I thought, maybe OSB? But they assured me that it was unsafe, could emit toxic fumes and advised plywood. Advantages of plywood: environmental friendliness and low cost (if compared, for example, with glass). We paid 190 UAH for a sheet of plywood, that’s about 23.5 dollars. Even for cutting, they paid somewhere 40 UAH. ( 5). Cons: uneven surface and (well, it depends on those who cut it) crookedly cut, I don’t know how to cut glass, but I think it’s better and the surface is exactly smoother. In the future, it is impossible to cram into the bathtub and wash (as I did with my glass terra) the ugly appearance of the plywood itself. And another nuance, plywood is suitable only for those turtles who, according to the conditions of detention, do not need high humidity. If needed, the best, of course, will be glass.
About the size of the terra I’ll say: the bigger the better. If space allows and you can walk around, then do more, because many are not limited to one turtle. My terrarium is 874748 cm (length, width, height). At first I did it under one turtle and did not plan a second, but now two live there.
So, we bought such sheets of plywood (photo 2), liquid nails “Installation” (photo 3), we chose the glue to be as environmentally friendly as possible, this one is water-based.
Tools: a special glue gun (photo 4), a small drill (photo 5), and a screwdriver.
On the board, it will be the bottom (photo 6), first glued, and then nailed a strip on both sides for support (photo 7). Then they glued the side wall (photo 8). In order to tightly fix, they also screwed a corner (photo 9).
When the sidewalls were glued and fixed, they went to the back (photo 10, 11). We planted it (like the lid) on liquid nails, but still fastened them with screws (photo 12). This was still done because the edges did not converge, uneven plywood and crookedly cut.
Now dwell on the lid. There were disputes at the forum. to do it or not, as there will be no normal ventilation. You can not do it, but provided that your house is heated in winter, because the desired temperature from one incandescent lamp will not be, and even if you do not have other animals at home, such as cats, dogs, birds and more. They are very curious and can hurt your turtles. I have a cat at home, so we made a cover. Do the cover at a height of about 50 cm, on the lamp, the floor and soil will go somewhere around 10-15 cm, and the distance from the lamp to the turtle will be 35-40 cm.
Next, we made the second floor (since there were bars). They just took three small planks, spread them with glue, and put another piece of plywood on it (photo 13, 14). The second bottom should be somewhat narrower than the first. you still need to fix the glass.
We glue the rail on which the glass will go on the same mounting glue and insert the glass. This is how it looks (photo 15, 16).
On the sides we do ventilation. We cut two holes, I did not make it opposite, but one slightly higher, the second lower, but approximately in the middle, so that there was no draft.
Then they glued the plywood with a self-adhesive film with an imitation of a tree pattern. You could leave it like that, but somehow it doesn’t look very good. And put in the ventilation. That’s how it looks (photo 17).
We decided to decorate instead of the background with something else inside. The husband said that it would be beautiful if you take the bark of a tree. Dry the bark before use in the oven. They glued it directly to the plywood, with the same water glue as everything, and put the water bottles on top (well, or something heavy) so that everything would stick (photo 18).
For an incandescent lamp, they bought a flower pot to protect plywood from overheating, and screwed (photo 19) a UV lamp under the cover. Both the incandescent lamp and the UV lamp are regulated by such simple switches (photo 20). This is done in order to turn off the incandescent lamp in the heat.
Then they made the floor. We bought a dense oilcloth and glued it onto plywood (photo 21).
Here’s the kind of terrarium we have made with our own hands (photo 22).
After a year, I can say that the crust is just starting to fall off, maybe it was better to fix it, or set the background, everything else is in good condition.
I did not stop in detail on the ground, lamps and other nuances, this is in other sections, I just wanted to show that making the terrarium yourself is not very difficult and very expensive, you can not even buy plywood, but take pieces of old furniture, the main thing. desire for your turtle to live in normal conditions.