Does my Russian hate me?

Laura49

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Feb 1, 2018
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Bangor, Northern Ireland
Your right his tank isn't big enough I knew that, his is 4ftx4ft with a smaller 4x2 second story. That's why I've been letting him out to get some exercise. I thought I was doing the right thing. I went to my local pet shop that sells them for advice and they are selling them in 3ftx2ftx18" vivs and said to me that's all they will ever need and then had a go at me because of my table being a table and being and I quote "too big"! It's a little hard to see in the photo but that's his house.
 

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Laura49

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Feb 1, 2018
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Bangor, Northern Ireland
For short periods of time it is ok. Do so slowly and don't leave him there for very long since it does make it difficult to breath.
If you want us to verify that he is indeed a male, a good picture of the underside of his shell showing us his tale would be needed.
Put him on his back today, he struggled for an eternity! He can't seem to right himself.
Your right his tank isn't big enough I knew that, his is 4ftx4ft with a smaller 4x2 second story. That's why I've been letting him out to get some exercise. I thought I was doing the right thing. I went to my local pet shop that sells them for advice and they are selling them in 3ftx2ftx18" vivs and said to me that's all they will ever need and then had a go at me because of my table being a table and being and I quote "too big"! It's a little hard to see in the photo but that's his house.
 

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TechnoCheese

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Lewisville, Texas
Your right his tank isn't big enough I knew that, his is 4ftx4ft with a smaller 4x2 second story. That's why I've been letting him out to get some exercise. I thought I was doing the right thing. I went to my local pet shop that sells them for advice and they are selling them in 3ftx2ftx18" vivs and said to me that's all they will ever need and then had a go at me because of my table being a table and being and I quote "too big"! It's a little hard to see in the photo but that's his house.
Actually, his table isn’t too bad of a size!
Sadly, pet stores usually give out nothing but wrong info. It’s a shame that they don’t do research or learn about their animals.
 

Gmoran

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Jan 30, 2018
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Pa
I agree with Technocheese. 4x4 with a 4x2 second level is a good size enclosure for a single Russian. Also, your tortoise probably associates your hand with food. He may see your hand and think you have food for him. My hermanns will come running when he sees me putting my hand in his enclosure.
 

6strings

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May 31, 2019
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Put him on his back today, he struggled for an eternity! He can't seem to right himself.
Hi Laura, yeah, your enclosure is nice. What are the sides and bottom coated with? It looks almost like that heat shrink stuff used on model planes. Looks nice.

BTW, my Horsefield (Russian) is outdoors in a garden area that is around 60 square feet, but I swear he pretty much stays in one area about 4ft x 3ft and rarely ever ventures out of that. Eats, patrols and sleeps within that 4 x3 area. Soil is the same throughout the entire enclosure, same plants all over, same sun exposure as far as I can tell. It is making me re-think the needs of a single tortoise. Not that I need to decrease the existing enclosure - he can have it all - but perhaps a single Horsefield tort really does not need a huge area if the needs are all met? This is an adult male I rescued - the previous owners got it from Petsmart originally, so it is probably wild-caught.

What do the experts think? I am almost thinking I can split the 60 sq ft area into two separate 30 sq ft areas and get the CB Hermann's tortoise I have been wanting. What is the minimum size you folks use for a single Horsefield or Hermann's outside? Assuming that the needs are met correctly.
 

dmmj

The member formerly known as captain awesome
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Looks male ( a little small don't tell him :)) but male, as for enclosure size inside or out bigger is always better. A russian in the wild has a territory of several square miles. They are hardwired to patrol. Looking for females and interlopers.
 

Samantha Graham

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May 6, 2014
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I'm a first time tortoise owner, I got Norman off a buy and sell site about a year ago and the previous owner told me he was about 3 but she wasn't sure as she had bought him from the same site a year before that. Everything has been going great (I think) until about 2 weeks ago, now every time he sees me he runs ( and yes, I mean runs) at me with his mouth open, if my fingers are in getting his bowl or changing his water he bites me. And it's sore! What happened? What have I done wrong? Is it a time of year thing? Is it an age thing? Is he sick?
My Russian did this for the first time a few weeks ago when I trimmed his toe nails, I don’t think he liked having all four feet done in one sitting. I realised he was sleeping too much because I’d moved his enclosure around and he was getting too hot under his lamp, hence he hadn’t trimmed his nails naturally in his outdoor enclosure. Since realising the mistake in his enclosure, his nails and beak are naturally kept trim and I haven’t had to diy them. He’s a much happier tort when he can look after these things himself through ambling in his outside enclosure.
 
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