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Can Russian torts be kept outside in Florida?

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by Lucky The Tortoise, Apr 21, 2019.

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  1. Lucky The Tortoise

    Lucky The Tortoise New Member

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    Lucky's fine in his current setup (it's a bit small and I plan on making it bigger now that I have room) but I was also considering moving him outside. I'd need to pull up the grass and weed frequently but other than that, I wouldn't have problems keeping him outside since I have a big yard with lots of flat space. I also have a dog, but she's not very bright and a simple wall would be enough to keep her out of the enclosure (and she doesn't go near the area I plan on putting the enclosure in either.) I already keep him inside so I could bring him in if need be. I have lots of bricks, pots, wood, fertilizer-and-pesticide-free-topsoil and tortoise-safe plants that I could make the enclosure with already on hand. I need to know if the temperature and humidity are alright to keep Russians outside in Florida.
  2. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    Yes he would be fine outside. Make sure you make it escape proof and predator proof. I put hardware cloth under the enclosure to keep mine from digging out and also the same on top to keep predators out and keep him in. This is what I did. I later added another 4x8 section with a heated house in it.

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  3. Lucky The Tortoise

    Lucky The Tortoise New Member

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    Thank you! I need a little extra wood, but other than that, I have everything I need to make an enclosure. We're going to the pet store tomorrow, so I'll get any extra supplies I need and break ground outside my bedroom window. Would aloe be a good idea to put in? I have a lot of aloe already growing, but it's the spiky variety and the last time I tried getting him an aloe plant, he stripped it bare in a week. I also have various bean plants, african violets and might be able to get dandelions.
  4. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    I planted some testudo broadleaf seeds in long containers and switch them out. I put in a variety of herbs in pots to use for shade. I knew he wouldn’t eat them. He likes hiding under them. I also dug up chunks of weeds from my yard and transplanted them into his enclosure. One side of his enclosure is completely covered in them now. I’ll try and remember to take a pic of his enclosure now. It’s very different. Mine doesn’t care for aloe but if yours does, plant it.
  5. TriciaStringer

    TriciaStringer Well-Known Member

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    It’s pretty hard to find him sometimes because it is so overgrown but he loves it. I included a pic of the planter that I swap out. It is a great seed mix and just keeps coming back over and over again.
    We are moving and at the new place, I’m going to position his heated house so his ramp gets the first sun in the morning.

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  6. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I don't know what the night temps are like in Florida so you may need a heated house for him to recharge in on cooler days etc. See what the caresheet recommends for temps.
    Also check what weeds you have before they are pulled up, they may be a good food source. I don't know if beans are suitable - have a look at www.thetotoisetable.org.uk. Aloe has a laxative effect on some torts so maybe too much isn't a good idea.
    Russians like to dig and tunnel under barriers if they can't climb out, so make sure you make the ground level edges of his enclosure tort proof too.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  7. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I like to have an indoor enclosure AND an outdoor enclosure. Use the indoor one for night and unsuitable weather, and use the outdoor one when the weather is nice. I would start with short excursions to the great outdoors. Maybe an hour or two for the first few times, and gradually build up to more time.This sort of acclimation period should help with your humidity. Once he's used to it, your climate is great for them.
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