Western Hermann's Adult Indoor Table Size?

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Missus has tentatively decided on a single male Western Hermann's Tortoise, so we're trying to find a good size for a tortoise table. Like any reptile enclosure, "as large as you can afford, but at least..." It's the "at least" part we're having trouble finding a consensus for. Cases can be made (not by us) for anywhere from 18" x 30" to 4ft. x 8ft. Anapsid.org numbers work out to 18" x 30" which kind of surprised me—they usually come out somewhat larger than recommended minimums.

Has anyone here kept a Western Hermann's, and if so, what size indoor table/enclosure did you have, and was it sufficient?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I never had a Hermann's but I had slightly bigger tortoises and we used sand/water tables for kids as turtle tables...they were about 5' by 3' and 4" deep ...we added boards or plexiglass sides to them so the tortoises couldn't climb out.

They were good because they were waterproof (obviously) and had a drain hole in the bottom. We attached a shallow container where the drainage hole was and that allowed it to be drained and fresh water put in every day. It made a perfect swimming pool for the tortoises.

The rest of the area could be filled with substrate and whatever other cage "furniture" you wanted in there...logs, etc.

They came with a stand so you could store things underneath.

I wish I knew where my photos of them were...ill try to find a photo of one of the tables on line.

This is the closest I could find right now...
https://www.wayfair.ca/Wood-Designs...MIorebwLuP7wIVDZ2zCh2kww39EAsYASABEgIApfD_BwE
 
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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
~$550 (CDN) seems incredibly pricey for essentially a 2'x3' table.
The theory sounds good; I just don't know if the size will be sufficient (you know I always go larger than mins.)

We just can't get a min.—even on the tortoise forum. 🤷‍♂️

Right now we're looking at ~96" x 30" (244cm. x 76cm.) I'd like to cut that length down a bit—still gotta put the MistKing & reservoir someplace—but a happy tort comes first.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you go to a garden centre they may have forms made for ponds that would be much bigger.
I used to buy the water tables at garage sales...so they were cheap and bigger than 2'x 3'.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks, but aren't those for casting concrete? Way too heavy for our great room.

I figured on building one to fit over a std. 96" x 30" folding table we have.

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Right now the plan is to use ½" marine plywood, silicone the joints, cover interior with Flex Seal or pond liner vinyl, and go from there. I figured out a way to slope the floor for drainage that won't show because it'll be covered in substrate.

Collecting lots of ideas from the tortoise forums. (y) :)
 

TayloredExotics

Established Member
I've got Russians (very similar in size/habits) that do well in a 3*4 table. They only seem to use half of it regularly, but occasionally will.get zoomies and do a lap or two, climbing and jumping off of everything for 10 minutes or so. No pacing/bumping into walls like might be expected from too small of enclosures, either
Not sure if you really need to worry about drainage; are you planning on adding water features? If your surface area is large enough, any spills should evaporate relatively quickly. I don't have any sort of drain, and actually have to add water weekly to raise humidity (Coco coir/topsoil mixture). Then again, the entire habitat doesn't need to be too humid as long as there is a good moist hide area
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks. Drainage is probably more of my tendency to overdesign and plan for/against contingencies.
Sources we've been reading say young'ns need high humidity/moisture. We also figure putting in a "pond" (tray with water) so they can bathe & hydrate will likely get most of it spilled into the surrounding substrate. Over time, that could easily rot the wood beneath if there's nowhere for the moisture to go.

I'm rethinking the floor thickness, and if I'm going to Flex Seal it, marine plywood is probably overkill.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wow, I had no idea this was going to be more involved and painful than a dental procedure.
Need a recommended size for a Bearded Dragon? Sure... 48 x 24 x 24.
Need a recommended size for a Chameleon? Sure... 24 x 24 x 48.
What's the recommended size for a little 4"-5" Tortoise? Babble-stammer-stutter-trip-silence. 🤷‍♂️ :eek:

Missus has taken up the mantle, joined a couple/three forums, and gotten no further either.
🪛 it; we're going with the 30" x 96", work in a partial second level, simple "maze" (enrichment), pitch the floor slightly for some drainage, and possibly some plexi covers to hold moisture in. Might have to get another MK starter, 'cuz the misting schedule will be very different.

Now if we could find a way to sex these little darlings when they're still small... :rolleyes:
 

TayloredExotics

Established Member
Sounds like your going to have a happy, spoiled chelonian! I don't personally mist, as watering the substrate seems to provide enough humidity, especially paired with a sphagnum filled moist hide. That might be a good idea for a hatchling/younger tort, though. Do you know the age you're going to get?
How deep of a substrate are you planning on? I know my Russians use every inch of the 10" I give them for burrowing and entertainment. Might be difficult to find babies if they're big on digging, though 😄
Sorry, no advice for sexing. Is there a particular sex you're hoping for, or just curious? Do Hermanns males have the same raped tendencies as Russians? I know females can also lay infertile eggs, just like chameleons, though it is less common.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sounds like your going to have a happy, spoiled chelonian!
That's the plan. We try to provide oversized (larger than min. recommended) enclosures for all our reptiles. :)

I don't personally mist, as watering the substrate seems to provide enough humidity, especially paired with a sphagnum filled moist hide. That might be a good idea for a hatchling/younger tort, though. Do you know the age you're going to get?
One that's definitely male. A lot is still flexible depending on the requirements of the species. As with many reptiles, a lot of conflicting info. from different sources, including the forums.

How deep of a substrate are you planning on? I know my Russians use every inch of the 10" I give them for burrowing and entertainment. Might be difficult to find babies if they're big on digging, though 😄
Whatever is necessary. I don't have all the details yet (Missus is keeper of the data—her tort. 😁

Sorry, no advice for sexing. Is there a particular sex you're hoping for, or just curious? Do Hermanns males have the same raped tendencies as Russians? I know females can also lay infertile eggs, just like chameleons, though it is less common.
Don't know what you mean. Yes, females lay infertile eggs, and AFAIK, common in the species.
Missus doesn't want to deal with that or the strain it may put on the tort.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you get the tortoise from a breeder directly...ask what temperature they were incubated at...if it's about 90 or 92F there's a good chance it's female...

84.5 to 86.9 degrees usually results in males.
Temperatures in between will be mixed.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah, we got that. It's the in-between part that we'd like to find a way around.
Again, with beardies & chameleons—no problem. You know what you're getting, and you can verify it fairly easily. Unfortunately (for sexing purposes), tortoises don't have hemipenes. :(
 

TayloredExotics

Established Member
Don't know what you mean. Yes, females lay infertile eggs, and AFAIK, common in the species.
Missus doesn't want to deal with that or the strain it may put on the tort.
Yeah, for reptiles/birds the egg laying aspect is often overlooked. Glad you guys thought ahead!
Male Russians sometimes get a bit... aggressive, and/or frustrated, around breeding seasons. Usually happens right after you pull them out of the fridge for the winter. I don't know if Hermanns have that same tendency, but not all males do it anyway. Plus it shouldn't happen until maturity, so likely a ways into the future.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah, for reptiles/birds the egg laying aspect is often overlooked. Glad you guys thought ahead!
Male Russians sometimes get a bit... aggressive, and/or frustrated, around breeding seasons. Usually happens right after you pull them out of the fridge for the winter. I don't know if Hermanns have that same tendency, but not all males do it anyway. Plus it shouldn't happen until maturity, so likely a ways into the future.
Bearded Dragons do after brumation—ask anyone on the beardie thread.
I'm expecting similar from the panther.

We're not terribly concerned about handling a tort that maxes out at 4"-5".
 

TayloredExotics

Established Member
Bearded Dragons do after brumation—ask anyone on the beardie thread.
I'm expecting similar from the panther.

Wait, can panthers brumate? I need a bigger fridge in that case 😄

We're not terribly concerned about handling a tort that maxes out at 4"-5".

That's fair, they're never going to have the destructive power of a sulcata or aldabra. My dude usually just head bobs at my partner for a few weeks; he's really laid back. One of my friends had a male that rams into stuff (feet, furniture) as a courtship ritual for a month or two, and spends that whole time nipping toes and getting REALLY friendly with shoes... He's a bit of a pain
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wait, can panthers brumate? I need a bigger fridge in that case 😄
No, and you don't put beardies in a fridge when they do brumate.

That's fair, they're never going to have the destructive power of a sulcata or aldabra. My dude usually just head bobs at my partner for a few weeks; he's really laid back. One of my friends had a male that rams into stuff (feet, furniture) as a courtship ritual for a month or two, and spends that whole time nipping toes and getting REALLY friendly with shoes... He's a bit of a pain
Beardie bobs so much we thought of renaming him—"Bob."
Other than that, he tore around his enclosure—up & down & round & round, leaving a path of destruction in his wake. Nothing he can hurt (except the dozen plants he ate/stomped/tore up) or that can hurt him.

It's easier than second guessing what a puppy might get into/destroy—that's why Dog invented crates.
 

TayloredExotics

Established Member
Other than that, he tore around his enclosure—up & down & round & round, leaving a path of destruction in his wake. Nothing he can hurt (except the dozen plants he ate/stomped/tore up) or that can hurt him.
Haha, he sounds adorably destructive. The tortoises seem to do similar; the only plants I put in are ones I have many clones of and am willing to sacrifice, and they stay in pots so they're easier to switch out
Edit: forgot half my words 😁
 
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