Tortoise Vivarium Reviews and
Part Two - Geko vivarium
One - Jon Coote Tortoise Starter Kit
Three: Tortoise Table habitat
have reported concerns about this type of tortoise accommodation
before, for example in our comprehensive indoor
housing article, but recently we undertook a very detailed series
of measurements and conducted the most comprehensive tests and
reviews ever carried
out on the different types of indoor habitat available for tortoises.
The second part of
this report is now available, and it discusses our findings on the Geko
wooden type vivarium with sliding glass doors. We encountered not only
problems with performance and quality, but also discovered some
critical safety hazards.
THE FULL TEST REPORT HERE
PDF Reader 6.0 or above required)
are two immediate and major concerns with this product. Both concern
- The electrical safety of the product is the worst we have
ever seen. We believe that it is totally unacceptable. The failure to
fit appropriate fuses, failure to use cable grips, and hot metal in
direct contact with wires carrying 230 volts while lacking adequate
heat sheathing is astonishing. This type of defect could result in
death to the user and risk of fire.
- The very poor level of documentation supplied was also
unacceptable. A product like this, supplied to its target market of
beginners to reptile keeping, needs adequate, clear instructions on how
to install it and how to operate it safely. The lack of such
instructions with regard to the heat mat, basking lamp and UV tube were
particularly worrying. Failure to get this right can result in the
injury or death of a tortoise, and certainly with regard to the heat
pad, a real danger of fire if overheating occurs. It is inexcusable not
to include sufficient instruction on appropriate use.
overall design of the vivarium also gave rise to a number of more
- There is extremely poor airflow through this unit. This
results in severe overheating occurring within a short space of time
and a completely unsuitable environment for the maintenance of any
- The extreme temperatures noted are completely unacceptable
and could rapidly prove lethal. These are the highest temperatures
(over 70 degrees Celsius) we have ever recorded in any vivarium.
- These defects are both inherent in the fundamental,
closed-box design and are likely to be common to all units of this
general type and size fitted with similar lighting and heating
- The supplied temperature controller is difficult to operate
and fails to control the environment adequately.
- The supplied substrate is in our opinion, not safe or
appropriate for the maintenance of tortoises.
- The UV-B levels achieved are inadequate to ensure
satisfactory Vitamin D production.
our opinion, in its present state, this vivarium is completely
unusable. It needs a fundamental re-design. As a minimum, the basking
lamp needs to be further away from the floor, and the whole issue
of airflow/ventilation/convection needs to be properly
addition, the issue of electrical safety, quality control and
inadequate instructional material also needs to be urgently reviewed.
the light of this, we now recommend that YOU SHOULD NOT PURCHASE OR USE
ANY HABITAT OF THIS DESIGN. If you have purchased this particular
model, we urge you to get it checked by a qualified electrician and to
contact Trading Standards.
(c) August 2009 Tortoise Trust