Sunday, October 2, 2016

Larger Tortoise Terrarium

Tammy the Tortoise spent the Spring and Summer gorging on our well-watered grass this year, and grew too big for our current terrarium:

Getting a new glass terrarium is prohibitively expensive. We decided to build a new one from scrap wood.

Brianna and I talked over some design ideas, and then Brianna took the lead on the build, doing all the measuring and cutting, with me supporting her. We did most of it in one afternoon while Lincoln napped.

There's a 25W silicone-pad heater under the left end of the plastic liner. A spare desk lamp is repurposed with a incandescent heat bulb, and the white fluorescent fixture is a special UV lamp to Tammy gets the desert-like radiation needed for a healthy shell.

The lights and heater are controlled by a Quirky Pivot Power Genius power strip, which has two smart outlets. These outlets are on a pre-programmed schedule (but also have voice and smartphone control), and I added an LED indicator light to show when the heating pad is on.

Eventually I would like to have some sort of presence sensor, so the terrarium shuts down when Tammy is out in the yard. I haven't nailed down how I want to do that yet, though.

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