If you are thinking of bringing a tortoise home, there are certain conditions that you must guarantee so that they can develop and have a full life. Reptiles in general and specifically, land tortoises, need some basic things that allow their growth and good health.
Care of the land tortoise
Having a tortoise at home will not require sophisticated care, but they will need a terrarium with the necessary amenities. Be aware that a tortoise can live up to 100 years with proper care, so this is a long-term commitment.
Another characteristic of these little animals is that you can let them roam freely around the house and walk as they please. In fact, adult tortoises may be better off outdoors and eating natural herbs to their heart’s content. This is provided that the environment has an adequate temperature and that the habitat is safe.
The terrarium is the space that will become your turtle’s home. It should be at least 50 centimeters wide by 75 centimeters deep and about twenty centimeters high. This may be sufficient at first, but remember that you will need to enlarge it as it grows and gains in size.
As a general rule, the terrarium should have enough space for the tortoise to move around freely. It can be four times longer and twice as wide as the tortoise. It should be placed near a window so that it can receive direct sunlight, but away from drafts. In case it cannot receive direct sunlight, it must have a lamp with UVB radiation.
In the terrarium you should put a bowl with water about three centimeters deep. This is because the turtles will drink water from there, but they will also bathe whenever they want. Therefore, the bowl should have low rims that allow easy entry and exit. It must also be heavy enough so that it cannot easily tip over.
The terrarium should also have a food bowl and a thermometer to ensure that the temperature is correct.
The terrarium substrate can be some moisture retentive material such as coconut bark, dry grass or hay. The use of gravel or sand is not recommended because they could ingest it. It is good for the terrarium to have soil areas for the tortoise to dig in. Edible plants and herbs are also suitable, as they will help supplement your diet.
Something that cannot be missing inside the terrarium is entertainment. Yes, turtles need space to play and explore. You can place logs, stones and ramps. This can create unevenness that can be used for entertainment.
Finally, the terrarium should have a space for the tortoise to rest. This will require a dark place away from view. It can be a little house, a small cave or even an overturned flowerpot.
Image courtesy of https:tarotymagia.net, all rights reserved.