Tortoise Tank 3.0A! – Building My Buddy A New ‘Forever’ Home

A post with an interactive 3d model. Herman’s newest home, hopefully forever. Asking the guys from @Cornel’sWorld to build it.

^ Please Click on the image to see the 3d model ^
(Scroll in and out, click to drag)


I’ve been mucking about by using Sketchup again. Sketchup which is a 3D/CNC/CAD printer-style program allowing you to design in 3D and send for review and such prior to it being CND’d or 3D printed into reality.

I’ve spent Friday night and this afternoon designing a tank for my Hermann’s Tortoise- which in theory will last for his lifetime.  His current tank is 8’x4’x3′, may be too boring for him.  It’s also surprisingly difficult to clean.

Since his tank sits at 32 Degrees Celsius and 70-85% Humidity at all times, we have decided that PVC is the best way to go. Very easy to clean, won’t get damaged as easily and will be significantly lighter than the current tank.

More interestingly though, I’ve been in contact with Greg West from Cornell’s World in Calgary.  I’ve watched their show “Scaled” and think they may be the right group to bring Herman’s newest idea for a home to life.
I’m hoping I can also get Lucas from the show(/shop?) to chime in as he seems exceptionally knowledgeable about all things reptile/amphibian and may have some ideas for me. Impressively, Jason is seemingly also a geyser of knowledge.

The Top Portion (center)

The overall plan is to have a top HOT section with some sort of pebble or rock decor (hopefully to assist with his claws) with a set of sliding plexi or glass doors. I am also trying to get an info panel on the right side for sensors as well as a fan on the left to move some air around for him. His food and water will be here.

There will be a door on the top to access lighting, heat lamps and such.  Cable management will go out the back and into a cable channel.

I was also thinking of looking into what kind of plants would not be toxic to him to place inside.

A trap door is also located here- so we can block his access while we clean the lower level and don’t have to worry about him going for a stage dive.

Probes will be strategically placed throughout the entire enclosure.

The Lower Level (left side)

The lower level consists mainly of the ramp, excess coconut husk, some sort of reptifog system and led lighting.  This will be his COOL spot.  It will be heated by dual 40W heat panels on either side. Again, I would like some sort of plant that he could eat as he wanted.

I am researching what grit of sandpaper or similiar will be acceptable to give him grip, dull his nails without hurting him or damaging his shell in any way.

The lower level will also have underside ‘Soft Close’ drawer rails so we can access the whole enclosure from the top of the ‘drawer’. His ramp should have 1/16″ space between the lower and top sections.

The plan is to also have the panel wiring run out the back, twice- through both walls, into a cable channel (flex?) and then the UPS which is housed in the bottom cabinet.

The Bottom Cabinet (right side)

Front facing dual doors will allow me to hide some of his supplies as well as have a home the wiring to go.  The UPS will be stored here. The bottom cabinet has 5″ castors to allow easy movement as needed- carpet or floor.

I like that this will still end up being a very large enclosure, but modular so that it could be relocated easily.  I incorporated this thought into the design from the beginning.

The Delay

We had a rough holiday, having to put down one of our Dogs as well as some other large unexpected expenses.  I don’t think we will ever really get over losing him though- he was our first jackass pet together.

Finances are tight, but we are recovering.

Here’s Herman.  😉

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