Do Tortoises Require Ventilation

Do Tortoises Require Ventilation? The If’s and the How’s

At times there are little things as tortoise owners we may overlook that affect our tortoise overall health. Something that we all take for granted is the fresh air we breathe, but how vital is fresh ventilated air to our tortoises.

Tortoises require ventilation to give them a good amount of well ventilated fresh air. Without it, there is a risk of their enclosures harboring nasties like air bourn parasites, dust, and other irritants. That can get in your tortoise eyes and lungs, leading to the poor health of your tortoise.

With that said, tortoises require heat and humidity to function at their best and offering them this while providing them with ventilation can be a challenge. When making changes to our tortoise’s required ventilated air, we must be careful that we don’t invertedly dramatically change the enclosure’s heat and humidity.

Best Way To Offer Ventilation in Vivariums

Vivariums are one of the go-to enclosures for people looking to keep tortoises; however, a vivarium is one of the more enclosed designs. So, you need to keep this in mind when you are thinking about the best enclosures to keep your tortoise.

Commercially built vivariums should be much better constructed than some you see on the internet made by individuals. Wall vents and other items should be included to offer better airflow, and commercially built vivariums should offer. They are more likely to provide this if they are made to keep tortoises.

Ventilation is a little harder to get with vivariums due to their design. However, they can be better suited to a tropical tortoise. As they like high heat and humid conditions and achieving this is much easier with a vivarium.

That is not to say tortoises that originate from subtropical and Mediterranean places will not suit a vivarium. It will, however, require a few extra steps to allow your tortoises to be most comfortable. Due to the heat vivariums offer, it would be wise to offer your tortoise moss in their hide. It will allow them to dig down and cool off just as they would in the wild.

Good practice to follow if you are using a vivarium would be to open the lid a couple of times per day. You are likely to open the vivarium during the day anyway due to water changes or offering food. What opening the lid does is flushes out any stale air and allows fresh air into the vivarium.,

Keeping Mold Out of Vivarium

One big problem vivariums can give you is mold. All the stale air combined with the warm, humid environment are perfect conditions for mold. Keeping up a regular cleaning of your vivarium should keep it at bay, but lack of cleaning and mold will soon be upon you.

The best way to keep mold out of the vivarium is to take action before it appears. So, we need to discover what brings mold to your vivarium well; we know the problem’s heat and humidity. With the heat and humidity, you can get water droplets or condensation on the inside of the vivarium.

When you see a build-up of condensation, I will make it a habit to wipe this off as this is what the mold will use to grow. Following this simple tip will, in most instances, keep mold out of your vivarium. With the act of opening your vivarium to clean the condensation, you are adding ventilation, another benefit.

Best Way To Offer Ventilation in Tortoise Tables

If you don’t want to worry about ventilation, I would recommend getting a tortoise table over a vivarium.

They do come with some problems that vivariums don’t have; for instance, tortoise tables are harder to keep warm. Subtropical species will best suit a tortoise table as they require a lot less heat than Mediterranean tortoises. However, this doesn’t mean that Mediterranean tortoises are not suited to vivariums. No, they will be fine on a tortoise table. It just may require you to take extra steps to keep the table warmer.

One thing you have to give a thought about is the tortoise table open nature. If you have little children or pets such as cats, then a tortoise table may not be a great idea. You can now purchase tortoise tables with removable lids. They will cut down on the benefits of their open nature but safety first. If you have other pets, I would seriously consider a vivarium over an open tortoise table.

Due to how they are built with tortoise tables, there is no need to worry about opening lids throughout the day. Unlike a vivarium to offer fresh air, a tortoise table will continuously be open to the atmosphere.

Vivariums need much more cleaning to keep mold away, but with that said, that doesn’t mean you can neglect cleaning a tortoise table.

Outdoor Ventilation is Best

Without any dought the best place to offer your tortoise the best ventilation is outside in the fresh air. There are other benefits to being outside for your tortoise. As they are more likely to be offered much more room to roam outdoors than any enclosure can offer, whether vivarium or tortoise table. A tortoise that is allowed to roam in a secure backyard freely is likely to feel more satisfied with life. With the added benefit that they have access to the best ventilation in the great outdoors.

We should try to offer our tortoises when the weather permits the maximum time possible outside. It is the most natural place for your tortoise to be, and offering them a hide in your yard and plenty of space will have them loving life.


Choosing an enclosure that offers your tortoise the best ventilation is critical, but there are other factors to consider. Your spices and your surroundings are going to have a significant bearing on your decision.

As a tortoise owner, I always try to offer my tortoise outside time for the year’s maximum possible period. I try Allowing them to have the freshest of well-ventilated air and seem much happier for their time outside.