Considering adopting my first Russian tort and would love some tips and suggestions!

EOMom

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Hello everyone!

I'm so excited to have found this group! I'm a vet tech and a client recently brought in a pair of Russian tortoises and I absolutely fell in love with the gregarious, outgoing nature of this beautiful animal!! So I did quite a bit of research and the more I read, the more I fell in love and I really think my husband and I would make a wonderful forever home for a tortoise. I'm already a mommy to 8 parrots so I understand long term commitment. ;) A little bit about us: it's just my husband, myself, our birds, 2 macaws, 2 Congo African greys, a Solomon Island eclectus, a blue crowned conure an Indian ringneck and a Senegal, and our old girl Snickers, a nearly 15 year old husky. We don't have human children and never will. Our animals are our children and get treated as such...they are the center of our world.

So, living in Minnesota, obviously an outdoor habitat year-round is out of the question, but one of my questions is (contrary to popular belief) our summers here are very hot and extremely humid. Typically in the 90's with dew points easily in the upper 70's. I've read that the Russians come from the arid climates...would our summers be too humid for them to be outside for extended periods of time? Late spring and early fall when it is drier I'm sure would be perfect. Also, is there a concern about the temperature change from being outside during the day in the heat to coming inside to the A/C? I'm sorry if these seem like silly questions but this is all so new to me and I want to make sure that we do absolutely everything right.

Also, I have found someone local on craigslist that has an 8 year old female they are selling. He absolutely insists that she has a UVB bulb and if the buyer does not bring one with when they come to purchase her, he will insist that they buy one that he has (a brand new one for $20) or he will not sell her. (I, as one who has volunteered in parrot rescues, actually very much appreciate the fact that he truly cares about her well-being more than the money, you know?) He is asking $130 for "Ursula" alone or $150 with the light. Is this reasonable? Or I would much rather adopt one as adoption has always been close to my heart...does anyone know of a place where I could adopt a tortoise in the upper midwest?

Oh, and one more thing...is there a good place to look for 'blueprints' to make a nice turtle table? My little brother just graduated from college and has no plans for the summer...I bet I can hire him to make us a tortoise palace! :D

So, those are the questions that I have atm, but I know I will come up with hundreds more. And please, there is NO advice that is unsolicited!! If there are websites or other threads or anything, please let me know! We are so incredibly excited to add to our family!! :tort:
 

dmmj

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Salutations and welcome to the addicted to ruusians group ( long standing member).
Look around in the enclosure section for different ideas on enclosures, I am always a little wary of people who insist on selling the bri a brac they hjave, but whatever. The russian should do ok outside, jut have plenty of shade.
 

Yvonne G

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That price is quite high. I know you don't want one from a pet store, but I'm saying this for info only - Petsmart and Petco sell them for around $79.95. That's a good price for the light, though. They're about $50 (Mercury Vapor Bulb - UVB and heat in one bulb). If you like the tortoise and don't care about the cost, then go for it. But try to get it a little cheaper.

Welcome to the Forum!
 

Tom

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Here are my tips:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

About the UV: If they are getting some sunshine 2 or 3 times a week, they don't need indoor UV. If they are not getting real direct sunshine then they will need indoor UV, but for $20 its probably one of those coil types. Those can damage their eyes and should not be used. They should have either a long florescent tube type used with a basking bulb, or a mercury vapor bulb by itself. Also, its not so simple as to put this bulb on top and everything is good. It has to be the correct distance from the animal and they have to be replaced frequently. Those people who rely on indoor UV really need a UV meter so they can measure the output of their individual bulb in their enclosure. This is just as important as a thermometer is to tell the temperature. I recommend this one: http://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html

Hello and welcome to the forum.
 
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