- 1. Why turtles need their own home
Exotic reptiles, such as turtles, need special conditions that must be created for their full and comfortable life at home. It is possible to make a terrarium for a land tortoise with your own hands from various materials. There are several suitable options for animal houses, and you can design them yourself.
1. Why turtles need their own home
Heat-loving land reptiles can’t just walk around human housing, because such walks pose a danger to them. There are specific explanations for this:
- the animal needs a secluded place, and even in the terrarium it should be created like a burrow. otherwise the reptile will behave uneasily and experience stress, which will affect its health;
- in an apartment, a reptile can easily collide with all kinds of obstacles and damage its carapace and other parts of the body;
- dust and food debris that have fallen on the floor and eaten by an animal can cause digestive problems, and even poisoning;
- the habit of digging a hole for itself is inherent in reptiles by nature, and it cannot be deprived of this;
- in the terrarium you can recreate the natural conditions in which this animal lives, which will help the turtle adapt faster, fully grow and develop;
- drafts and cold air can also cause illness in a pet.
All this leads to the only right decision. to take care of building a house for a reptile, but for this you need to know what requirements are put forward for such a design.
Basic requirements for terrarium for turtles
In the manufacture of the design, one should remember about some of the nuances that are important for the health and normal functioning of turtles:
- young individuals reaching a length of 10 cm will require a container with a volume of at least 50 l, from 10 to 15 cm. 80 l, for adult turtles from 25 cm, an area of 120-150 l is required;
- for species who love heat, it is better to build a house of wood material, the rest is suitable for plastic;
- in a cold room, the walls of the terrarium can be additionally insulated with foam;
- the material for creating a terrarium should be natural, without chemical additives, if plastic is used, it must be of high quality;
- the design must necessarily have sides 20-30 cm high;
- for a shelter house, the optimal dimensions are 60x40x50.
The finished product is best placed in the northern part of the house. the shaded rooms of the basement or in the basement, well protected by hydro and thermal insulation. The turtles will receive the light and heat from the heating lamps, but they will be safe from the penetration of direct rays that can lead the animal to overheating and death.
1.1. Construction Options
Terrarium for land turtle can be built in the form of various designs using a variety of materials.
You should find out what is best for the animal:
- The traditional habitat is a wooden square or rectangular box, spacious enough for the reptile to move around.
- The plastic container is comfortable enough for the animal, but due to the material it can be difficult to install lighting. because for this, ordinary incandescent lamps are used that can damage the plastic.
- Plastic cages for rodents are a similar option for keeping a turtle.
- The usual large aquarium for fish. This is a good option, and the design will be easily equipped with the necessary devices.
- You can select a shelf in the sideboard with glazed doors, but the process of creating such a niche is quite time-consuming.
- A paddock built on the floor is not the best solution. Such a design should be protected from drafts, have a high side so that the reptile could not get out. It will also require warming the bottom and maintaining the optimum temperature in this place.
The pros and cons have materials for the manufacture of structures:
- Natural wood is an environmentally friendly material that is safe for the animal. However, such structures are too heavy, given that they will have to be periodically removed and cleaned. They are quite unattractive in appearance. True, there are factory products that are quite light and equipped with decorative elements.
- Plastic is a durable and lightweight material, which is also convenient for maintenance, but you should choose a high-quality, non-toxic product.
- A fully glass terrarium is usually not done. Due to the fact that the reptile does not see such an obstacle, it can be injured, therefore, as a rule, only one part of the structure is made of glass, for this purpose it uses special plexiglass. Feeding is carried out through this panel, but even it needs to be draped with a special background.
- Practical and convenient in all respects are designs that combine wood and glass.
Such a comparison of materials suggests that it is best to make a terrarium for a land tortoise, using the advantages of different materials.
1.2. Do-it-yourself terrarium for a land tortoise
If you need to build a temporary shelter for the turtle until the terrarium is purchased or is in the process of being created, you can use a dense cardboard box with a wall height of about 30 cm. The bottom of the structure is lined with foamed polyethylene, known as the material for thermal insulation. Instead, several layers of warm cloth are suitable. Such a house needs to be placed higher above the floor surface so that the turtle is not disturbed by drafts. You will also need to fix a lighting fixture with a lamp power of not more than 30 watts on the box.
If a serious construction is planned, then the house for a land tortoise can be made of plexiglass and high-quality plywood with moisture-resistant properties. First you have to draw a diagram of the future turtle dwelling. The front part will be glass.
Materials and tools that you may need:
- saw and hacksaw on glass;
- glue (preferably a special gun);
- adhesive for aquariums on a silicone basis;
- lining made of plastic to cover ventilation openings;
- thin narrow boards with prepared recesses for inserting glass;
- corners for the sides of the terrarium.
Also, to equip the structure inside, you should prepare a lighting fixture, a feeding trough and a drinker, a swimming pool for reptile bathing, measuring instruments (a thermometer and a device for measuring humidity), linoleum to the bottom and suitable soil.
Phased production process will take place in the following sequence:
- all prepared parts are grinded and trimmed before starting work, as they must have smooth and perfectly even edge surfaces. the tightness of the structure depends on this;
- optimal workpieces of parts: bottom. 80×50 cm, side walls. 44×25 cm, front wall. 80×50 cm;
- the bottom part should be laid on the table and the side walls glued to it;
- after that, the rear wood panel is glued (an alternative is liquid nails or sealant);
- angles are added that will be held with the help of screws. they will give the building greater strength and stability;
- at this stage, it is necessary to decorate any protrusions, and in particular corners, which are usually made of metal. this will protect the reptile from injuries;
- then you can start fixing the front glass panel. here again you will need to use the silicone, aquarium glue, necessary to prevent leaks.
You should carefully inspect the structure and check for any unwanted gaps. they should all be carefully patched. If there is no stand, you can attach legs to the terrarium if you wish. The building is equipped with a lid if there is a need for it and the life of the reptile can be threatened by other animals living in the house. Since lighting will be attached to its inner surface, you should think about materials such as metal or glass. they are the least susceptible to fire.
Next, the terrarium should be equipped with the necessary interior:
- the back panel is usually covered with a picture of nature inherent in the habitats of the pet;
- a heating lamp is installed at a height of 25 cm;
- as soil at the bottom is a layer of sawdust, hay, at a distance from the turtle house are flat pebbles;
- the feeder and the drinking bowl should be placed away from lighting;
- shelter for a reptile is made in the form of a wooden box or use a suitable clay pot for home plants;
- You can also build a higher platform where the pet will warm up.
In fact, the most difficult part in making a construction with your own hands is the installation of lighting devices. If they are not placed correctly, this can not only damage the material of the lid and panels, but also cause injury to the turtle.
An important point is the provision of the premises with a ventilation system. One hole is enough for a fresh air flow to enter the microenvironment. In theory, it is drilled in a tree at the stage of preparing all the details, and only then it is decorated with a partition.
It is quite possible to make a terrarium for a land tortoise with your own hands, but do not forget that you will have to clean it daily, constantly monitoring the condition of a small ward. Such care will save him from many troubles and illnesses, and also, prolong his life.