Habitat - Indoor :: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

Turtle tank setups and other indoor configurations.

Post Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:41 pm   Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

Hey everyone,

So I finally accepted that I can't build a decent platform and purchased the glasscages 'condo' or add on. After a brief hiccup, where I received a cracked ramp, they quickly sent me a new one. Although I've now put everything together, I had a few questions for anyone using something similar or really anyone else who might have suggestions:

1. The platform and ramp are both plexiglass, which doesn't seem like an ideal platform for him. Is this okay, or should I be looking for something to stick on top of it. If yes, do you have any suggestions of material that could work and be good for him? I think I once read about turf somewhere, but I was wondering if that would be safe, especially if he bites at it or pieces come off. As I mentioned, the ramp itself is also plexiglass, and I've attached a picture. Will this be okay for him to slide down/to climb up, or should I be adding something to the ramp as well?

2. It's only been a couple of days, but he has yet to climb up himself. I've put him up there twice just to see how he reacts, and he's basked both times. At what point, should I worry if he isn't getting up there himself? I've previously tried a floating platform, and threw it out when he didn't approach it for weeks. This was definitely more pricey, and so I won't be giving up. Is there anything I can do to make it more appealing?

3. Up until this point, I have used a 50 watt basking lamp. In purchasing the add on, I failed to consider how much closer his basking spot would be to the lamp. Whereas before he was about 9-10 inches below it, he is now about 6 inches from the lamp. Will I need to look for lower wattage?

I'm sure there is information for that third question in these forums/on this site, and I apologize for including it, but thought I might include it just in case. It's answers to the first two that I'm most curious about.

Thank you either way!

Alex
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:20 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

You should try as is, without further modification. I've always though some thinner pieces of acrylic/plexi and a rubber liner (like the drawer liners from IKEA) are pretty good and should hold up. I would not use fake turf or reptile carpeting as that should be out of water. I have seen some fake grass that looked pretty good.... not sure how well they worked.

I'd try luring him up there with food/treats. After a few times, you and he should know how well he gets up there.

Have you measured the basking temps? If you can't raise the lamp and it's too warm, then you will need a different wattage or try a different fixture. Also make sure he's not too close so that he could accidentally come in contact with it.
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:36 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

Hi Steve,

Thanks so much for the reply. He hasn't come down since i put him up this earlier today, even once the lights went off. Not sure if he's afraid of sliding down the edge. I'll measure the temperature tomorrow. He stayed under the heat lamp most of the day today. As a result, I just noticed some thin layers from his shell are peeling on the outer edges, and theres a bit of white on the back of his neck. I'm not sure if this is a burn? But I will keep the heat lamp off tomorrow, until I can figure it out.

He definitely isn't close enough to make contact with the lamp.
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:10 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

The white on the skin is probably either some loose, shedding skin or some minerals from his water. Both are normal. Thin, translucent layers shedding is also normal and actually a good sign.

Was he an aggressive basker before?

I also forgot that some people have tried non-slip grip tape (the kind used for bathtubs) on their basking ramps.
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:38 am   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

He seems to have gotten used to the new set up fairly quickly afterall. Sleeps on the ramp and now climbs up and off even when I'm around. I think I'll still look to add the rubber liner, so that he doesnt just slip around on the platform, and maybe even the grip tape.

I'm also going to look into a weaker bulb or lamp for the heat lamp. I measured the temperature under the heat lamp, and it's close to 90 Fahrenheit. The top of his shell would be about 2 inches closer to the lamp, so it would be even hotter.

Thanks a lot for the suggestions!
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:02 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

How big is your turtle? If he has room to move around up there, then I think the temps are fine.
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Post Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:35 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

His shell is probably at about 6 inches, in diameter. The top of his shell would probably only be about 4-5 inches from the heat lamp. I was concerned because the package of the 50W bulb seems to say that at about 4 inches from the lamp, the temperate would be over 122 Fahrenheit. Unless I'm reading the packaging wrong, which is very possible. I've attached it just in case.

The platform is very big and he has more than enough room to walk away from the light, however, it concerned me that he stayed underneath it the entire day.

Thanks again for the replies!
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:50 am   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

If thats the case, I would look for a smaller wattage or a flood-style lamp.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:32 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

Turtles are excellent climbers, and determined too. That ramp should be fine as long as you keep the water level up. In fact, the ramp that I've been using for years now has less 'grippyness' then whats in the picture.
As for the light, I use the same one, also about 6 inches away from my res's shell. While my res likes to climb the elevated corners of her basking area mostly, she does spend hours under the light all streched out. If your worried, put your hand under the lamp for a bit, then move your hand to about 4 inches away. It should feel warm not hot. Also something to keep in mind, while the temp directly under the 50w bulb might reach 122f/50c, the ambient temp around the bulb/basking area will not.
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:49 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

If you use an infrared temp gun you can get a pretty accurate measurement. I've routinely measured parts of them in the upper 90's on their basking platforms.
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:17 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

This is an older pic, around 2012 I think. That same bulb was in the fixture behind her and was about 4inches away from the top of her shell when she was under it. Temps on the platform directly under the bulb were about 86f/30c and about 95f/35c closer to the bulb. I don't think I ever saw temps at 100f/38c. Ignore the 'white' on the shell, it was just glare from the lights. IRL her shell is a dark brownish and black color.
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 12:34 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

Does she ever tip over and dive into the water :)
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:38 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

That is impressive balance hahah. I've set up the lamp above the ramp, and so there isn't direct heat 4 inches away. He seems to love the platform, the the point where he won't get back in the water and just basks all the time. Is there a point at which this should concern me?
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Post Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:56 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

Does he go back in after the lights go off? Is this new behavior?
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:54 pm   Re: Glasscages condo - outfitting the new tank

He's always liked sleeping above water, but he does go in at some point once the lights go off. He might be making up for lost time. He's never had a platform that was fully out of the water unfortunately until now, and so that might be it?
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