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Can Russian torts be kept outside in Florida?

Lucky The Tortoise

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Florida I guess
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.
 

TriciaStringer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
1,120
Location (City and/or State)
Louisiana
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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Lucky The Tortoise

New Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2017
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Florida I guess
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.
 

TriciaStringer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
1,120
Location (City and/or State)
Louisiana
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.
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.
 

TriciaStringer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2018
Messages
1,120
Location (City and/or State)
Louisiana
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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Lyn W

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5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
18,316
Location (City and/or State)
UK
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.
 
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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
46,209
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
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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