Horsefield driving me to insanity


Active Member
Jan 11, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Birmingham Alabama
First order of business is to treat sand like a predator and keep your tort FAR away. I would also invest in a temp gun for the basking spot, they are pretty cheap. As for growth, they almost never grow at the same rate. Follow the dietary advice for your age of tort and all will likely be fine.


New Member
Aug 5, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Stoke On Trent
I will do, my coconut coir is on its way so as soon as it is delivered I will get it changed.

Could anybody please be so kind and show me a photo of their current tortoise enclosure/vivarium? The temp has dropped here in England so I am looking at ways to adapt my tortoise table as a matter of urgency to allow the heat to stay in better, however I am interested to see somebody else’s set up. Is it true that tortoises become stressed in a vivarium due to the glass?

Again, I can’t thank you all enough for your help


New Member
Oct 10, 2018
Location (City and/or State)
Wantage UK
Another question regarding the substrate, I’m looking online for the coconut coir, is like a compost for planting? Does it need to be a specifically for tortoises product, i.e treated in some way? I’ve found blocks of it on amazon but says you mix it in some way? Sorry to sound like somebody that has no clue, but I don’t want to get it wrong
Hi KayAlfGeo I’m in Wantage UK, I did not trust the coco coir I found on line did not have additives in it for gardening, it is cheaper on line but I got mine from Pets at Home in blocks, each block is dried out & needs to be mixed with water, I used warm water as the best way to mix this is by hand & your hands get pretty cold after a few blocks, you will be amazed how much water you need for each block, drop a block into a bucket and just pour a couple of litres of water over it leave it for a few minutes & start mixing. If your not aware this is the husk of coconuts shredded up (not the shells) when our tortoise Lightning goes outdoors as he is at the moment I add this to peat & use it for my vegetable & flower growing, when I need it for his table I will buy some more. I did notice that your water dish is plastic, even with your stones in one side it will be a bit difficult for him to get out being plastic, best to use a terracotta plant saucer, I sunk mine down just above the level of substrate so that lighting could walk easily into it. Not sure if everyone will agree but I placed a piece of slate roof tile under his basking lamp so when he moves onto it he has a slightly warmer underside than the cold substrate.
Lightning we believe is maybe 30 years old, we got him from a rescue locally, so you will have your guy for a long time.
Russians love to dig & climb so be ready for holes all over his home & when you get him outside holes in the ground, lightning will stretch his back legs so his head is down & start digging when he has had enough he will stop with the front of his shell completely below the top of the soil, they do this to regulate their body temperature to keep cool or warm up.
Sorry about all this got a bit carried away.
Forgot the most important thing welcome to the forum, I have looked at other sites & they are no patch on this one.
Good luck with your young Russian.

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