Tortoise Habitat Checklist (Supplies List)

In this post we are going to answer the question; what set up do I need for my Tortoise? To provide the best care for your tortoise, you’ll need to create a suitable habitat that mimics its natural environment. Here’s a list of essential components for a basic tortoise setup:

Tortoise Habitat Checklist

Here is the list of things you will need to care for tortoises.

1. Enclosure

For hatchlings that are less than 4 inches, a 4 x 8ft enclosure is recommended. In this type of enclosure you can house a few baby tortoises together without any problems. For an adult a 10 x 20ft enclosure will work great.

Rockever Tortoise House
  • Best for tortoises
  • Easily assembled at home
  • Different size and color options

2. Substrate

Sterilized top soil is by far the best and safest substrate to use in your tortoise enclosure. Make sure the soil is sterilized and contains no fertilizers, pesticides that can potentially harm your tortoise. Top soil also helps in maintaining proper humidity levels.

Zoo Med Reptile Bark Fir Bedding
  • Suitable for burrowing
  • Made from natural fir bark
  • Can be washed and reused

3. Heat – Basking lamps

Tortoises need a heat source to stay healthy. A basking lamp is a must for tortoises. We recommend a 120 or a 150 watt halogen floodlight without the passive infrared sensors.

Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0
  • Well-designed compact build
  • Reliable and durable
  • Great UVB output

4. Thermostat

While tortoises love heat but too much heat can leads to many problems. That’s why you need to install a digital thermometer inside the enclosure to keep the heat level under control. Purpose made dimming thermostat works on auto once setup. It will turn the heater on and off based on the temperature and heat level.

110V Thermostat Heating Temperature Controller By Inkbird
  • Simple to use
  • Can display in Centigrade or Fahrenheit
  • Calibrated quickly and easily

5. UVB lamps

Tortoises need UVB to process calcium and maintain a health shell. Purpose made UVB bulbs are available in almost all pet stores online and offline.

Zilla UVB Fluorescent Desert T8 Light Bulb
  • It can last for up to 12 months of continuous use
  • Great for enhancing colors
  • It’s only at 15 watts, making it safe even for long periods of time.

6. Ceramic heat emitter and pulse thermostat

Ceramic heat emitter is needed in places where the temperature drops during the night times. It will help in maintaining an ambient temperature during the night without giving out any light.

We highly recommend using the ceramic heat emitter with a pulse thermostat as its surface can get dangerously hot.

Ceramic Heat Emitter 80W Che Bulb Reptile Heat Lamp
  • High Heat Efficiency
  • Ideal for reptiles, amphibians
  • Perfect heat radiation

7. Calcium and vitamin D3 powder

Calcium and vitamin D3 are an essential part of the tortoise diet. It help in preventing MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease) and softening of shell in tortoises.

Royal Pet Supplies Inc Zoo Med Reptile Calcium
  • Highly bio-available source of calcium carbonate
  • Free of harmful impurities
  • Safe levels of Vitamin D3

8. Hot humid hide

The hot humid hide helps in the prevention of bumpy shells. You should put this hid somewhere near the basking area so it stays warm at about 25 Celsius.

Penn-Plax Reptology Shale Step Ledge for Aquariums & Terrariums
  • Realistic appearance and texture
  • Safe for Reptiles and Fish
  • Super Simple to Clean

9. Tortoise water dish

You will need to put a shallow dish in your tortoise habitat. It should be big enough for the tortoise to sit in bit not very large where they can get drawn.

Wontee Tortoise Food Water Dish
  • Made of 304 stainless steel
  • The feeding tray has no sharp parts
  • Dual-purpose bowl for food and water

10. Water spray for your tortoise table

You will also need a water spray bottle so you can regularly spray down the soil inside the enclosure.

Adjustable Empty Spray Bottles for Cleaning Solutions
  • Tight seal that will prevent any liquids from dripping out.
  • The nozzle easily adjusts from the spray to the mist setting
  • Can be used for other things such as hair, garden, and plant care

11. Tortoise table decoration

Tortoise love plants where they can hide, especially baby tortoises. Adding a few plants to your tortoise enclosure will make it look more natural and attractive. If you want to use real plants, make sure they are also safe to eat just in case your tortoise tries to taste some.

Exo Terra Artificial Plant, Reptile Terrarium Decoration
  • Extremely realistic replicas of real plants
  • Creates natural hiding spots for tortoise
  • Ideal for use in more sterile set-ups
  • Use in those spots of the terrarium where real plants cannot thrive or survive

Remember to research the specific needs of your tortoise species, as different species may have unique requirements. Consulting with a reptile veterinarian or experienced tortoise keeper can also provide valuable guidance in setting up a suitable environment for your tortoise.

Filled under: Turtles and Tortoises

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