Basil's Tortoise Tub
In July 2001, we began to plan for Basil's new accommodation. Despite being only one year old, her terrarium was becoming too small. For her new home we wanted something that was at least six feet wide, so that it would last her a few years or so before a bigger home had to be constructed. We had read about some tortoise-keepers using Rubbermaid containers or cement-mixing basins for this purpose. However, we were unable to find anything acceptable like this, so we ordered a six foot by three foot by ten inch "tortoise tub" from Bush Herpetological Supplies in Neodesha, Kansas (unfortunately no longer in business). The tortoise tub and associated hardware were sitting on a sturdy dining room table (from IKEA). The room had a humidifier that kept the ambient room humidity at about 50%, and an electric oil-filled radiator that warmed the room to about 25 degrees Celsius.
For those wanting to build their own tortoise housing, the Tortoise Trust has provided plans for a simple open-topped tortoise enclosure. An important feature of the Tortoise Trust design is that it is lightweight and modular making it easier to clean — the value of which cannot be overstated.