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The Turtle Room

Because Toronto's climate is warm enough for a tortoise like Basil to be out-of-doors for about a maximum of eight months in the year, the provision of appropriate indoor accomodation is a must. 

When we got Basil from the Reptilia Reptile Store in 2000, she was barely bigger than a Canadian toonie coin (about 24 mm or one inch) and for the first year, a terrarium provided all the space that she needed. However, at the one year mark, Basil had grown to about 10 cm (4 inches) long and the writing was on the wall that she would become uncomfortable in the confines of the terrarium.  Her next indoor home, the 6 ft by 3 ft tortoise tub, provided her with comfortable living conditions for about the next decade until she was too big for the tortoise tub.

Basil's Winter Home

A female adult Redfoot Tortoise is typically about 28.5 cm (11.25 inches) long. They also like to roam. Consequently, Basil's tortoise tub grew to become too small. Her tortoise tub was in a room that was step down from the adjoining room and which made it a suitable place to let her roam. We ripped out the existing wall-to-wall carpeting and replaced it with Marmoleum (a type of linoleum). Adjusting the heights on a shelving unit allowed us to hang a UVB lamp and a ceramic heating element from a bottom shelf. Extra heating was provided by an electric oil filled radiator and humidity is maintained at comfortable (for tortoises) levels by an evaporative humidifier.