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Indoor housing

It is important to ensure that your tortoise has adequate housing and space to move around and exercise.



It has been shown that tortoises kept in glass vivarium type housing often display high levels of stress, are frequently lethargic and are likely to have higher rates of respiratory, and developmental problems, especially in juveniles, than those housed in well ventilated and spacious accommodation.

A tortoise table is recommended rather than a glass vivarium as they require much more space than most reptiles, allowing them to exercise, reducing the risk of respiratory problems and poor bone development.

Tortoises do not respond well to inadequate housing with poor ventilation and temperature control will result in health problems for your tortoise.

Tortoise Table

Some people have used old wardrobes laid on their backs as successful tortoise habitats. 


Artificial light and heat

All tortoise are dependent on UV-B to make their own vitamin D3. When housed out of doors they will get UV-B rays from basking in the sun, but if your tortoise is housed indoors then you will need to ensure that they have an adequate source of heat and light.

In recent years a new type of lamp has been introduced. This is a self-ballasted UV heat lamp. They have the major advantage of offering high outputs for extended periods and provide a high quality of visible spectrum light, UV-A , UV-B and basking heat all in one source. This kind of lamp will meet all of their needs for illumination and for basking heat.

It is important that a temperature gradient is provided in the enclosure providing a "hot spot" where the tortoise can bask and a cooler area. Tortoises are not active all the time and will often move to a cooler area after feeding.

Make sure that the tortoise cannot fall onto their backs directly under the lamp as this can lead to fatal overheating especially in juveniles.