I'm currently researching some tortoise species to buy and looking for tortoises that can tolerate these conditions. Also, something that is medium - small. I currently have some knowledge on these tortoises (Sulcata, Russian, Red Foot, Leopards, and Hermans) I live in the suburbs of Minnesota where weather is bipolar (weather here can be hot and sunny or hot and cloudy, windy and cold, or windy and hot. Last winter, there was barely any snow up here, it all melted after 2-3 days because the temperature was still too warm) My backyard isn't too big but it's not small. My mom has a garden set up on the perimeter of the backyard, and my room is dry. I also have the 2nd largest room in my house (I live in a rambler). I have a dog, it's not big (chiuaua mix with dachsund). It rarely ever bites or barks and is rather hyper. The basement is rather large but it's dirty. Temperatures are cool (around low 60's). It's also got some moisture but not so much that water covers the pipes. The kind of tortoise I'm favoring for is a Hermanns. They don't need a lot of moisture, they're small, and can be kept indoors. But my peeve is that they have an instinct to burrow, a lot (from what I've read). What are your other suggestions? QUESTIONS: Is it bad for a tortoise to eat its own poop? How do you heat up the hiding area? Can the basking bulb heat the hide area? Do you mix sand and dirt and then put substrate on top? When do you clean your substrate? How exactly do you build a tortoise table? Can you post some sites to diy bookshelf tortoise tables?