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Old 03-21-2008, 09:23 PM   #1
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JJ the Desert Tortoise

Among my many dogs and one betta, I also have a desert tortoise. My summer project is to set up not 1 but 2 new terrariums for him (possibly also setting up a community fish tank, but we'll see. . . ). An indoor one and an outdoor one, and any advice you can give is welcome.


About JJ: He(?) is a 5 year old desert tortoise, and his shell is about 4 inches. He has a mini log in his current home which he loves to sleep under. I have a playful lab-mix who thinks he might be snack, so he's not read for an unprotected terrarium yet. His staple diet consists of romaine lettuce, alfalfa hay, and a grassland tortoise food. He also likes bananas, raspberries, and strawberries for treats. When I've taken him outside, he's also eaten grass (bermuda?) and some sort of small purple flower.


The Indoor Terrarium:
This is going to be an under-the-bed storage toe(aprox. 1 1/2 ft x 3 1/2 ft or so) as its inexpensive and really only meant to be temporary until he's large enough to fend for himself. I'd like to put just plain potting soil in it to try and grow some food for him. I'm also planning on setting up a lamp so he has a warm areas and some good size logs/hiding places. I'm planning on planting the following in this: bermuda grass, clover, spurge, globemallow, geraniums, and pansies. Supplement with spinach, carrots, broccoli, green beans, and peas; and occasionally apple, avocado, banana, berries, or some melon.

The Outdoor Terrarium:
A round kiddy pool filled with plain potting soil and planted with the same things as the indoor. This will also have chicken-wire cover to keep out the dog, cats, or anything else that can hurt JJ. This would also have lots of hiding places and shady ares for him to relax in.

Any suggestions?
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:58 PM   #2
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I don't know too much about them, but I would suggest some kind of liner in the kiddie pool (a blow up one or hard plastic?) since the turtles I have seen have claws and might rip up the softer blow up pools.
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:09 PM   #3
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One of the hard plastic ones is what I'm planning on since it seems a bit more sturdy.
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:27 AM   #4
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Just wanted to update to say that I'm super excited that I may be able to begin setting up at least one terrarium as early as next month!
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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What a totally fun and super neat project. I bet JJ will be in tutle paradise. I like the pansy idea as they grow fast and are really inexpensive.
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:56 PM   #6
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Thank you! I'm excited to start and hope that I can soon. I'm just waiting for my mom to move so that I can start after all the "fun" of helping her move and unpack. . . I'm planning on posting pics once I get the terrarium up and running.
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