desert turtle cage terrian

what should i put in my desert turtles cage?

Comments for desert turtle cage terrian

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Jan 27, 2010
by: The Greek Tortoise Guild

In creating a home for your turtle, your goal should be to recreate to the best of your ability the natural habitat from when your turtle species originates. So, unless you collected your turtle from the wild, you will probably have to do some research. I would start with the IUCN as they have very thorough, scientific and reliable information on (among other things) many kinds of chelonians. If you have the turtle's scientific name or even common name then I would put it into the search field on this page:
If, however, you don't know anything more specific about its species than "desert turtle" you will have some trouble finding specific information. So if all you have is a generic name then I can at least give you some generic advice:
He needs a low humidity environment to avoid respiratory troubles (this is probably the most important single characteristic of his home). I have found a sandy/gravely substrate to work well for my Greek Tortoises. I also have several course (because they can't get up anything smooth) rocks that form a hiding spot and climbing surfaces to help them get exercise, stave off boredom, and keep their claws from growing too long. Most [terrestrial] tortoises and turtles like to dig some and like to climb some. Russian Tortoises are known for their love of digging just as Greek Tortoises are famous for their climbing. So chances are that your "desert turtle" will probably like to do one or the other at least a little.
Other basic essentials are a UVB light source, a basking light, a night light or other night-time heat source that will keep his home warm but now quite as hot as during the day, a water dish (even though he may not seem like he uses it much, he needs to have it available), and a food dish. Beyond these essentials I would also recommend a heating pad and the other features that I described above. It's also important to keep in mind that everything in his home is liable to be pooped on. So consider what it will be like to clean any item that you put into his home.
This is probably more than you expected (or wanted) but I wasn't sure from your question what exactly you already have or don't have, so I decided so err on the side of caution.
Let me know if something is unclear or if you have any other questions by replying to this post or by asking me directly on my blog at
Good luck!

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