Hi! New to tortoise world.

raleej337

New Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
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5
Location (City and/or State)
Vacaville, CA
Hi there! We are new to the tortoise world. We acquired a new Russian tortoise last June 16. We came up with the decision of picking up one few days before. I actually been wanting to have one for a long time now. At first the plan is to have a small enclosure in our garage using 40 gallon breeder tank since I have a spare tank I used as temporary fish holding tank few months ago. The day we pick our RT, we've decided to do an outdoor enclosure. It is not a big space only measures 3'x6' but hopefully in the years to come I can build a bigger one. My son named her "Mochi". She is actually his pet so he has the privilege to name the RT. I have been reading from this forum before finally decided to sign up to be a member. I am happy to find this forum because from the past few days i have been learning a lot from reading different posts here. Aside from the RT, we have a 210 gallon reef tank, 30 gallon betta fish sorority tank and three cats.

Anyway, here is Mochi and her enclosure: image3.jpeg image1.jpeg image2.jpeg
 

Mr. Extra Scute

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Jun 20, 2021
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Dracut
That looks like more than enough space for you RT. Everything looks good other than I don't see much sunlight but that is probably because its later in the day and the substrate, Russian/Horsefield tortoises like it on the drier side and your substrate looks to be majority soil which can hold a lot of moisture. I suggest you mix in some repti bark or some more mulch. Other than that everything looks great!
 

raleej337

New Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Vacaville, CA
That looks like more than enough space for you RT. Everything looks good other than I don't see much sunlight but that is probably because its later in the day and the substrate, Russian/Horsefield tortoises like it on the drier side and your substrate looks to be majority soil which can hold a lot of moisture. I suggest you mix in some repti bark or some more mulch. Other than that everything looks great!
Thanks!

I have ordered some orchid bark to top the soil. It is sunny from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on that part of the backyard.
 

Krista S

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Saskatchewan
Welcome to the forum! Mochi is very cute 🥰. Russians definitely need a lot of space to wander, so if you are able to make the enclosure larger in the future that would be excellent. Generally for a full grown, which she appears to be, the recommended minimum sized enclosure is 4ft x 8ft. I think she would be even happier if you are able to add some sight barriers, such as some tortoise safe plants to break up the space some more. They like to have lots of hiding places to feel fully comfortable.

I‘m sure you've probably already seen the most recent care sheet thread in your travels around the forum, but incase you haven’t, here’s the link.


Do you take Mochi in at night or do you have a heated night box to lock her up in to keep her safe?
 

raleej337

New Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Vacaville, CA
Welcome to the forum! Mochi is very cute 🥰. Russians definitely need a lot of space to wander, so if you are able to make the enclosure larger in the future that would be excellent. Generally for a full grown, which she appears to be, the recommended minimum sized enclosure is 4ft x 8ft. I think she would be even happier if you are able to add some sight barriers, such as some tortoise safe plants to break up the space some more. They like to have lots of hiding places to feel fully comfortable.

I‘m sure you've probably already seen the most recent care sheet thread in your travels around the forum, but incase you haven’t, here’s the link.


Do you take Mochi in at night or do you have a heated night box to lock her up in to keep her safe?
Thank you Krista!

I am in the process of making a heated box base on Tom's design. Actually I PM'd him and got an answer to my questions about the box. I leave her outside in the night inside her current hide. For the past few days since we got her our night temps are in the low 60's and day time is in the low 100's. I am also planning on putting some safe plants in her enclosure but can't decide which one yet. Slowly adding some barriers, looking at other enclosures and choosing which will be good for her enclosure size.

Yes I have read the care sheet and even coming back again and again if I am getting confused on things I have been reading. There are so much to learn and I don't want to mess up and kill a beautiful creature.
 

Yvonne G

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Clovis, CA
Welcome!

Actually, 60 at night is ok for a Russian tortoise. As long as there's shelter for the tortoise to go into at night it doesn't need the heated night box. Then in the winter, it will brumate, so you still won't need a heated night box.
 

raleej337

New Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2021
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Vacaville, CA
Welcome!

Actually, 60 at night is ok for a Russian tortoise. As long as there's shelter for the tortoise to go into at night it doesn't need the heated night box. Then in the winter, it will brumate, so you still won't need a heated night box.
Thanks @Yvonne G !

The heated box will be for the nights when our temps dropped below the 60's, though it is very seldom I just wanted to be in a safe side that my tortoise doesn't get confused and to have a stable night temps. You know how messed up the CA weather is, one minute it is warm the next minute it is cold or the other way around....rain is questionable.
 
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