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What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? Keeping a pet tortoise is ensuring that they are well – housed in an environment that feels like their natural habitat in the wild. What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? You have to prepare an ample space in your house where they can roam around; as they get older and set up a terrarium with all the basic necessities they need in order to grow happy and healthy.

Environment for Your Sulcata

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? You have to compare your baby sulcata tortoise with a real life baby. They’re like little toddlers walking around and investigating things; they’re curious and they basically wanted to learn how to get along with other species and deal with life. With that being said you have to ensure that the habitat you set up will provide their environmental needs and is not dangerous for them. If you have a collection of other sulcata tortoises; there’ll be times that you see them flipping over lying in the back of their shells just like toddlers; so you have to also ensure that all the ornaments or cage decorations you place inside the enclosure are easy enough for them to get in and out of.

DIY Tortoise Habitat

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? When it comes to housing a sulcata tortoise, you have to keep in mind that they like to be in a solid structure where they can’t see through. Compared to turtles; tortoises will totally spend their time pacing the glass so it’s important that you put them in an enclosure or tank where they cannot see through. If you want other people to easily view your pet or if you’re going to buy a glass terrarium, it’s probably better if you black out the rest of the enclosure’s sides and only leave one clear side of the glass.

Tortoise Table

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? This is the reason why a wooden tortoise table is ideal especially for land dwellers like the sulcata tortoises, you can search online for tortoise table ideas; and you can even buy and assemble a wooden enclosure from pet stores. If you’re sort of a craftsman, why not form your own tortoise table and design a do – it – yourself terrarium? This can somewhat save you a few bucks and you can create it in a specification of your choice.

Wooden Bookshelves

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? Another option is to turn old wooden bookshelves. Just clean them up, turn them on the side and make sure that the bottom part is strong and intact because that’s obviously where you will put all the substrate and cage materials for your tortoise. Ensure that it doesn’t fall off or have any holes where your baby tortoises can sneak through.  If you do that you can easily save money and time rather than building one yourself.

Plastic Tub

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? If you don’t prefer wooden enclosures; but still want to save money or you don’t have the time to shop for terrariums, you can easily purchase a cheap wide plastic tub or mixing tubs from your local home depot.

These tubs can be a perfect alternative for glass terrariums because they are open. This is the major advantage of these open tubs because you can easily lift it up, its light since it’s made out of plastic; and you can easily place it outside your house so that your baby tortoises can get some natural sunlight, though you may need to put a screen to keep them safe from birds or other predators. Make sure to also remove it if the weather becomes bad outside. Tubs are suitable nursing enclosures for hatchlings at least for the next 6 months.

Basking Materials

Basking your sulcata tortoise is very important for the development of its shell; so make sure that you provide them with the lights and heat they need for them to have basking options within their enclosure. You can choose from different kinds of basking light since there are lots of products out there that provide bright lights which could help your tortoise and fit inside your enclosure.


What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? There are different types of heating equipment including a ceramic heater which could provide a lot more heat and could easily heat up a larger space or big enclosures; another one is called halogen bulbs which are good to develop your pet’s shell. You can also purchase a rheostat because it can also aid in regulating lighting temperature inside the enclosure.

One of the basking options is called a ceramic heater this kind of heating equipment will obviously not give off any light because it only provides nothing but pure heat, this may not be suitable if your enclosure is a Rubbermaid tub. It works best for tanks or glass terrariums. Ceramic heaters are lasts for a long time and can be beneficial because sulcatas prefers a humid surrounding.

Halogen Bulbs

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? The next option for basking is halogen bulbs; this kind of equipment is could be very hot and very bright for your pet tortoise. This is also suitable for baby sulcata tortoises because it’s safer.

If you purchase a low wattage bulb, you can just have two or three of it, and put it over a section of the cage providing your pet with a basking zone. The downside is that halogen bulbs tend to break easily if it is moved too much. However, buying two or three of these halogen bulbs is better than just purchasing one thick bulb; this is because a thick bulb can create a hot spot or even burn your pet whereas the three bulb spread across a portion of the enclosure is much more ideal in providing the needed temperature in the basking area.

UVB Bulb

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? Your pet will also need UVB bulb. It’s very important equipment for basking especially if you won’t have the time to expose them under the sun every morning. These bulbs will simulate the sun’s heat.

After purchasing those lights and heating equipment, you can have two options when it comes to its set up. The first is that you can choose to buy a lighting bulb and UVB bulb and attached it to a fixture located on one side of the enclosure so that your pet can have an area where they can bask in. The second option is for you to buy a single lamp that will provide lighting through the entire enclosure then attached the same UVB bulb in your fixture and place it on one side so that your pet tortoise can have both options available – the light and the heat. 


What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? You should opt to purchase reptibar type of substrate because it can stay dry and can also be moist if you have other pet turtles that are semi – aquatic. You can also take organic potting soil and mix it together to create a substrate. Reptibar substrate is not something that your sulcata tortoise will nibble on so you don’t have to worry about impaction, just make sure that you don’t mist it since most tortoises likes dryer surface. It’s also easy to spot clean because you can easily scoop your pet’s poop; it’s also very neat looking.

Water Dish

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? The first thing a baby tortoise need is water. It doesn’t matter if a tortoise is from a desert or a jungle; you have to make sure that you provide with clean water for your young sulcata tortoises. It’s highly recommended that you purchase shallow water bowls because if you buy water dishes that are deep; or big enough for their size, they can accidentally flip over and if you don’t notice them they can definitely die since they’re not aquatic species like turtles.

Don’t fill up the water bowl too deep; just place an amount where they can easily put their heads under to drink and a dish that they can get out of if in case they flip on their backs to avoid drowning.

Food Dish

You can buy different kinds of food dish that comes in many sizes; and colors from pet stores or you can save money by purchasing a flower pot dish made out of clay. You can easily get it at hardware stores or local home centers for a very cheap price. You have to keep in mind that, just like the water dish; the food dish/bowl is also shallow where your baby tortoise can conveniently access.

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? The advantage of using a clay or rough type of food dish is that it could develop your tortoise beak or mouth because as it eats in the dish; it can naturally scratch off its excess beak. If you use plastic or stainless food dishes; it can cause problems because they are not being fed on something hard which can cause problems since their beak will become too long or overgrown. If this happens you might need to use some trimming device to cut off the excess beak which can be quite an unpleasant experience for your baby sulcatas.

Misting and Soaking

Just do a light misting once or twice a day to replicate dew in the morning; or the moist they experience in their natural surroundings. Even if sulcata tortoises are from deserts, it’s important that they stay hydrated. 

Plastic Enclosure for Soaking

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? This is optional if you want to soak your sulcata tortoise, you can do these at thrice a week; especially if you live in a warmer location. Just fill it up with a bit of water and let them soak there for about 10 minutes. If you want to know if you’re tortoise is sufficiently hydrated; once you soak it sometimes they will expel a white toothpaste gooey looking substance on their rear end, don’t be worried because that’s actually an indicator that they are hydrated.

If you see this white stuff in a more powder form, you may need to soak them more and keep them really hydrated because that means that they are holding off moisture inside of its body; this is their survival tactic in the wild if they cannot find water in the desert, now since you took on the responsibility of keeping them, it’s now your job to make sure that they are well – hydrated and not be stressed out in their environment.

Hiding Areas

What are the housing materials for sulcata tortoise? If tortoises are not provided with a humid hiding area it tends to make their shells go much rougher. What you can do is to provide a humid hiding spot where they can bask or burrow. You should provide them with spag moss (something that you can buy in a pet store or something that is placed for indoor plants). What you should do is to soak the spag moss in some water, squeeze out the excess water; and place it underneath the hiding area or cave.

This will provide a humid area that your tortoise can enjoy. When it comes to purchasing a hiding area, you can choose from several designs found in pet shops, just make sure to adjust the size as your tortoise gets bigger over time. If you’re in a tight budget, what you can do is to get a boot of a tree or some sort of log where your sulcata turtles can go under, don’t forget to put the moist spag moss inside so that you can make a realistic replica of their natural environment. Just put it all there and allow the animal to seek it out within the enclosure, they will pretty much use it to bask or nestle in which is perfect for their overall shell covering.

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