Brand new...and trying to learn

TMK1971

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
So, I have been sort of thrusted into this ownership thing.
I do like pets and animals, so it isn't a bad thing.

My wife is a teacher and one of her kids brought in a tortoise in a very small glass tank. It wasn't doing well and the student didn't know what to do and needed to get rid of it.

Skip to me doing some research on line...and luckily finding this place.

I believe it to be a Russian Tortoise about 8 to 10" long. Unfortunately the shell is soft and it has a beak. I believe they were only feeding it lettuce.
Last weekend I built an outdoor enclosure. It is about 6 feet long and 4 feet wide. 3 of the four walls are part of my house, so they are solid. The third is wire mesh but I have put rocks up and the tortoise does not try to climb. There is also a wire mesh top, some ceramic heat lights over a basking spot, edible plants (Kale, Sage, Cabbage, and some collard greens) planted. I have been dusting them with vitamins and he is really enjoying the kale. Yes, all are pestiside free. The ground is a sand dirt mix, more on the dirt side. I also have a nice hole built with for a hiding spot.
The sun hits 3/4 of the enclosure from about 11am to 2pm...it creeps in so there is more sun through out the day. I would say from 10am to 3:30pm on at least 1/4 of the area. My house overhangs the whole enclosure...and I hope to keep him out there full time eventually.
I bring the tortoise in a night and put him in a 40 gallon tank with heat lamp. I do not want him to hibernate yet...I know he isn't strong enough yet.
I live in So. Cal...so it isn't that cold but a thermometer probe in the hiding drops down to 56 degrees in the middle of the night (I checked because I wanted to know). Again, at this time the tortoise is inside our house and warm.
I have dogs...no way they can even get close to "it". Also some fish, leopard geckos, three young boys (probably the hardest of all my pets to raise).
So, I am on a long journey to get this tortoise back to health...open to suggestions. I do not want to take him to the doctor, so yell all you want. I will nurse him/her back to health on my own.
The first time I put it in the enclosure, it hid in the corner. Only 5 days later and it is walking around and eating the plants.
Oh, I have also given it two soaks in warm water and both times it pooped. I could go on for a lot longer but this is my first post and well...
Good day! Thanks for reading if you made it down this far.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,030
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Tsk, tsk, tsk...Everything but your name! Oh well, I guess I can call you T, huh?

So, Welcome to the Forum, T!! I'm glad for the tortoise's sake that you found our little happy group.

I'd like to see pictures of your new animal, and I'll bet his beak is overgrown. You can file it with a Dremmel tool, or you can take tiny bites off the edge with a toe nail clipper.

I'm glad to see the tortoise is out in the sun. It takes sun to make that shell hard - well, sun and calcium.

In my opinion, tortoises belong outside. Good job!
 

TMK1971

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
T will work. I did also put a cuttle bone but it hasn't touched that yet. I need to get some calcium. I have some for my leopard geckos but it has D3 in it and since this one is in the sun...I really need to name it. I will tonight when my boys get home. Anyway...do I need to file it, that seems crazy. I will get some pictures (I like taking pictures) soon and then figure out how to upload them. Then we can go from there...thanks for your response, Yvonne. The name it Tim, by the way.
I am feeling a bit disappointed Grampa has given me his standard welcome yet...guess I will wait.
 

Saleama

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2013
Messages
1,501
Location (City and/or State)
Irving Texas
I planted some sweet potato vines in with my guys and they LOVE it. After about two weeks I went from 4 five foot long bushy vines to four 5 inch long leafless stumps. They left the pansys and suculents alone and only took small bites of the ice plants. They love to climb and wander around so if you put some hills and stepping stones around s/he will like that. Sounds like you got a great start! Welcome oon board and be very careful! Many people find that the first tortoise is like a gateway drug. Once you get one, you seem to aquire more and more.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,030
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
TMK1971 said:
I am feeling a bit disappointed Grampa has given me his standard welcome yet...guess I will wait.

I'm sure he'll be along shortly! He's very welcoming of new members.

I don't use calcium with D3 either.

Some of us use either tinypic.com or photobucket.com to post pictures that show up nice and big right in the post - you don't have to click on them to make them larger. Either place is a free download. You make an account then add your pictures to your account there. Then you copy/paste the
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
39,497
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
Hi Tim! *waves* Welcome to our world. :D Sounds like this tortoise was very lucky your wife brought him home. Sounds like he has gone from a very low life style, to a very high standard. :)
 

TMK1971

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Here is the sick lil' guy...hope this works
tortoirse-4.jpg
[/URL][/img]
and
tortoirse-5.jpg
[/URL][/img]
his eyes are bulging, he is not in good shape but hopefully that will all soon change. I think I can do it.
 

TMK1971

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
and his now day time home, sooner or later his full time home with obviously with some more information from all of you and more research...
tortoirse-8.jpg
[/URL][/img]
tortoirse-3.jpg
[/URL][/img]
tortoirse-1.jpg
[/URL][/img]
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
39,497
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
For sure it is a Russian and a pretty one. If I am seeing right, it's on sand? Pure sand like that is a big worry as it could lead to impaction risks. :(
 

TMK1971

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I started out with sand over the dirt...I really cleaned the dirt and the area that I built the enclosure in had sat dormiate for years...so no fertilizer or anything in the area. I guess it was in waiting for the tortoise, really. Then I decided to put sand in the enclosure...then read that wasn't good. So I mixed it with the dirt...but left a little where the entrance to the hide was. I made sure where it ate had the dirt and sand mix with more dirt.
I have a feeling I should mix the sand at the opening as well...is that what you advise? Anything else...I am open to suggestions.
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
39,497
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
Me, I would be mixing it all until the sand is no more then 15%, less even is better. One of those better safe then sorry things.
 

TMK1971

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
OK, thanks...I mixed the sand in real good, almost all dirt. I will work on it some more later. Need to get back to working!
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,030
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
You've done a great job of providing the tortoise with a nice habitat. You're right about the eyes. Poor thing really looks sick. I hope you can pull him through. I'm too lazy to go back and re-read your posts - has he eaten? I'm so glad that you have this tortoise, and have found our Forum.
 

TMK1971

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Yvonne G said:
You've done a great job of providing the tortoise with a nice habitat. You're right about the eyes. Poor thing really looks sick. I hope you can pull him through. I'm too lazy to go back and re-read your posts - has he eaten? I'm so glad that you have this tortoise, and have found our Forum.

Yes, surprisngly, he has eaten. Mostly Kale. He has pooped as well...in the water soaking and also a few in the habitat. Keeping fingers crossed.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,030
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Well, if he eats, that's half the battle. Maybe a little soothing ointment for his eyes is in order. There's an over the counter product called Vetericyn that is very soothing. Or even a soothing saline rinse. You can buy saline solution in the contact lens section at the pharmacy. But the first product I mentioned would be better.
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
10,893
Hello TIm welcome to the TFO from AZ sorry have had internet problems all morning . And yes Tim your do ing great with your new RT . May God bless it with a very long life
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
89,030
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Finally! I was beginning to worry that you were snubbing Tim! :p
 
TortoiseSupply.com

New Posts

Top