Red-Footed Tortoise Enclosure

Red-footed tortoises are outgoing, energetic tortoises known for their eye-catching shell coloring and markings. They are popular pets as they are relatively easy to care for. However, it is very important that you set up the right habitat set up. This article will describe all you need to know to construct the best red foot tortoise enclosure.

red footed tortoise enclosure

Red-Footed Tortoise enclosure

A Red-Footed Tortoise enclosure should be at least 6 square feet. It should have a basking area, as well as a dark room for sleep and rest.

Below I have gone into detail for everything you need to know in order to make the perfect red-footed tortoise set up.


If you have a baby or juvenile red footed tortoise, your enclosure should be at least 5 square feet. Your tortoise needs plenty of space to crawl around and be stimulated. The enclosure’s walls should be strong enough to prevent them from escaping.

A great option is this tortoise enclosure.

It is important to know that red-footed tortoises can reach up to 13 inches. When your tortoise reaches adulthood (after six years), it will likely require more space to roam. If your tortoise reaches a length of 8 inches, you should upgrade to a space that is at least 12 square feet.


substrate for red footed tortoise

You should make sure to line the bottom of your tortoise’s enclosure with a substrate or bedding. Since red-footed tortoises like to dig, I suggest that you use either dirt, cypress bark, or coconut fiber.

For my red-footed tortoise, I use this coconut fiber substrate.

You can learn more in my guide on the best substrate for a red foot tortoise.

To prevent mold and excessive bacterial growth, change the substrate at least once a month.

Basking light for red-footed tortoise

basking spot for red footed tortoise

Tortoises require UVB light exposure in order to process calcium. If you keep your tortoise in an outdoor enclosure, they will get UVB from the sun. If they are kept indoors, you should get a UVB light.

I personally use this light fixture for my red footed tortoise.

The lightbulb should be at least 12 inches away from the ground. I suggest that you position the light so that it is in the corner of the enclosure.

If you don’t have a basking light, it could cause tortoise shell pyramiding.

Water dish

While you don’t need a food bowl, it is important that you have the proper tortoise water dish. It should be shallow and easy for your red-footed tortoise to access.

Because red-footed tortoises soak in their water dishes and drink from them, the size and depth of your water dish should be determined by the size of your tortoise. Provide a shallow water dish with enough room for your tortoise to soak.

Plants for red footed tortoise habitat

For plants, you can choose either live or fake plants. Below are some of the best plants for a red-footed tortoise habitat:

  • Aloe
  • Lemon balm
  • Jade plant
  • Plantain
  • Spider plant


red footed tortoise house

Red footed tortoises are curious pets that like to be stimulated. For this reason, I definitely suggest you add a variety of objects and toys for them to explore. A couple easy additions are a log house, and some flat rocks to help mix up the texture of the ground.

Dark room

red footed tortoise enclosure room

Along with a large, open space, I suggest that you provide a covered dark room for your red-footed tortoise. This will give them a place to rest and to get away from the light. You can put some leaves or plants in this room to give them something to play with.

Temperature and humidity

Red-footed tortoises require high humidity (60 to 85 percent). To increase humidity, you can add sphagnum moss to the enclosure. The temperature should not fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit or rise above 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider constructing an outdoor red-footed tortoise enclosure if you live in a hot and humid climate. Most red-footed tortoises prefer to live outside if the weather permits.

If your environment is cold, arid, or otherwise harsh, you’ll need to build an indoor red-footed tortoise enclosure and try to mimic the appropriate conditions.

Outdoor enclosure for a red-footed tortoise

If kept outside, a sturdy, escape-proof enclosure is needed for a red-footed tortoise. It is important to provide a shady area densely planted with vegetation for a cool retreat. Furthermore, the enclosure’s walls should be about 16 inches high and extend a few inches below ground level to prevent your red-footed tortoise from digging and escaping.


Hopefully, this article has assisted you in creating the ideal red foot tortoise enclosure and habitat. There are numerous factors to consider when caring for a tortoise, but we can confidently say that it is well worth it in the end. Good luck!

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