First time tortoise owner! :)

Val Henry

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Oct 30, 2015
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Hello. My name is Val and I live in Oregon. My newly acquired tortoise is a Russian Tortoise, approximately 5"...thinking 2-3 years old? He's a male and his name is Shellington (He's co-owned by my 7yr old son:). We recently lost our beloved bearded dragon (Sexy Rexy) to kidney failure. My son decided he wanted to convert the large sliding door terrarium to house Shellington (see picture). He has only been with us a few days, but seems to be doing great (still a little shy).

I did notice that he has two small white (hard like rocks) spots on shell. By researching, I've discovered that these may be mild dry shell rot.

I will keep you posted on Shellington's adaptation to his new home! FullSizeRender.jpg IMG_9748.JPG IMG_9748.JPG
 

Anyfoot

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Hello. My name is Val and I live in Oregon. My newly acquired tortoise is a Russian Tortoise, approximately 5"...thinking 2-3 years old? He's a male and his name is Shellington (He's co-owned by my 7yr old son:). We recently lost our beloved bearded dragon (Sexy Rexy) to kidney failure. My son decided he wanted to convert the large sliding door terrarium to house Shellington (see picture). He has only been with us a few days, but seems to be doing great (still a little shy).

I did notice that he has two small white (hard like rocks) spots on shell. By researching, I've discovered that these may be mild dry shell rot.

I will keep you posted on Shellington's adaptation to his new home! View attachment 154207 View attachment 154208 View attachment 154208
Hi Val, and welcome. Nice looking tort.
What bulbs are you using?
 

Tom

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Hello and welcome Val. You have found a community of tortoise keepers that is passionate about tortoise care. I hope you stick around and become a regular, but in case you don't I wanted to offer some helpful info:

You enclosure looks pretty good over all, but there are three areas that might be a problem for your tortoise.
1. The cfl type UV bulbs can burn reptile eyes and should not be used.
2. The red bulbs can mess with their heads, and those shouldn't be used either. Tortoises have better color vision than we do, so if you can see red, they can see it better. Can you imagine walking around all day and night and having everything look all red? You tortoise shouldn't need night heat anyhow, so your basking bulb should be enough.
3. The hay is no good on a damp substrate like yours. It can mold and that would not be good.

Please ask lots of questions and here is a russian care sheet and some other tips:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
 

Lyn W

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Hi Val and welcome to you, your son and a very handsome Shellington!
This is the best place for up to date information on all species of torts.
Did you remove the sliding glass doors on your enclosure? If so do you have replacement glass/Plexiglas instead to help with the temps and humidity?
Looking forward to hearing all about Shellington.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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Welcome Val....You'll like it here, lots of good information. I'm in Corvallis, if you ever need help, I'm just a road trip away.....
 

Val Henry

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Thanks everyone. We did turn off the red light. Not needed to keep a nice thermal gradiant. The substrate is dr, not moist. It's a 60/40 blend of play sand and top soil. The sand dries it out nicely. We are excited and think we finally got the habitat right! Lol , I hope. We will let Shellington stay outside for short periods of time during the summer. Here's a recent picture (he has been exploring much more , even poking his head out and tolerating pats:) image.jpeg
 

Lyn W

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Hi again Val he really is a gorgeous tort. I'm glad the red bulb has gone, what sort is the other? As Tom said any coil or long thin loop types can damage torts eyes. I use a mercury vapour bulb MVB which provides heat light and essential uvb in one bulb. At night I use a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) run through a thermostat so it is only on when temps drop and switches off when warm enough. This just gives heat but no light as torts need darkness to sleep.

I'm also sorry to tell you that your substrate could cause problems for him. Sand is never recommended by any of the experienced keepers here. Torts are very messy and If they tread sand onto their food and it is ingested then that can cause the gut to become impacted which could be very painful and dangerous for him.

I believe Russians need humidity therefore a substrate that will help provide that, would be better, but if you read the care sheet for them that will tell you everything you need to know about temps, humidity, substrate and diet etc.

I also found the Beginners Mistakes thread useful as it saved me making the same, possibly expensive, mistakes that others have made. The Enclosures thread is also great for ideas.
www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is a great website for identifying tort safe plants for enclosures and diet.
Hope that helps
Best wishes.
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Hello, Val, and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum to you, your son and Shellington.
Here is the thread Lyn mentioned.
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
Also have a read of http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...or-other-herbivorous-tortoise-species.107734/
and http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
for lots of great information on your species.
Take particular note of substrate advice and humidity.
Sand and dry conditions are not recommended in modern tortoise care, the Russian is not a desert species and needs humid conditions.
See also http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/closed-chambers.32333/
and http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-end-of-pyramiding.15137/
for more good advice.
It's a lot of reading, I know, but well worth reading to help provide optimum conditions and care for lovely Shellington.
 

Gillian M

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A very warm welcome to the forum, to you, your son, and your cute tort! :tort:

Please read different threads as well as care sheets, which will help you deal with your tort. ;) And DON'T hesitate to ask ANY question when in doubt or in need of help, and good luck! :D
 

Val Henry

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Hi again Val he really is a gorgeous tort. I'm glad the red bulb has gone, what sort is the other? As Tom said any coil or long thin loop types can damage torts eyes. I use a mercury vapour bulb MVB which provides heat light and essential uvb in one bulb. At night I use a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) run through a thermostat so it is only on when temps drop and switches off when warm enough. This just gives heat but no light as torts need darkness to sleep.

I'm also sorry to tell you that your substrate could cause problems for him. Sand is never recommended by any of the experienced keepers here. Torts are very messy and If they tread sand onto their food and it is ingested then that can cause the gut to become impacted which could be very painful and dangerous for him.

I believe Russians need humidity therefore a substrate that will help provide that, would be better, but if you read the care sheet for them that will tell you everything you need to know about temps, humidity, substrate and diet etc.

I also found the Beginners Mistakes thread useful as it saved me making the same, possibly expensive, mistakes that others have made. The Enclosures thread is also great for ideas.
www.thetortoisetable.org.uk is a great website for identifying tort safe plants for enclosures and diet.
Hope that helps
Best wishes.


Thank you! We have a reptile spot light for heat and now a coil reptisun for UVB/UVA. He doesn't need head at night...doesn't fall below 65 in our house. Russians should be kept in below 60% humidity.... I appreciate the info on the sand. I will research and evaluate, then make an educated decision. I appreciate the advice!
Thank you!!!
 

Val Henry

New Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2015
Messages
7
Hello, Val, and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum to you, your son and Shellington.
Here is the thread Lyn mentioned.
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
Also have a read of http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...or-other-herbivorous-tortoise-species.107734/
and http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
for lots of great information on your species.
Take particular note of substrate advice and humidity.
Sand and dry conditions are not recommended in modern tortoise care, the Russian is not a desert species and needs humid conditions.
See also http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/closed-chambers.32333/
and http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/the-end-of-pyramiding.15137/
for more good advice.
It's a lot of reading, I know, but well worth reading to help provide optimum conditions and care for lovely Shellington.
Thank you!
 

Lyn W

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Thank you! We have a reptile spot light for heat and now a coil reptisun for UVB/UVA. He doesn't need head at night...doesn't fall below 65 in our house. Russians should be kept in below 60% humidity.... I appreciate the info on the sand. I will research and evaluate, then make an educated decision. I appreciate the advice!
Thank you!!!
Hi Val, The coil and long thin loop type bulbs are well known for being dangerous to the torts eyes - and I believe even causing death, so please search those too and see what other members say. There are few members who will tell you otherwise. There may be exceptions to the rule but would you really want to risk your torts health to fond out?
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Thank you!
Hopefully of some help.
I agree with the 'sand is bad' point, and would add that, unfortunately, those coil bulbs are known to have caused damage, blindness and even death in tortoises and even when they don't often do not produce enough UVB. Take it back , if you can, and purchase a strip UVB light or MVB bulb that provides heat, light and UVB all in one.
 

Jacqui

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I would add in more soil to the substrate mixture, plus mix it well and it should be fine.

Nice when the tortoise is a family thing. :) Sorry about Sexy.
 

Val Henry

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Oct 30, 2015
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Would the Powersun 100w be appropriate? We have bulb fixtures in our his habitat and hate to have to purchase the mounting for the strip UVB bulb...
 
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