Horsfield doesn't move or burrow

Ben7

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Hello everyone, I bought my Horsfield tortoise on Sunday and he has begun to settle into his new indoor enclosure. Apparently he is approximately a year old. I have provided a substrate of organic topsoil in a hope to allow for burrowing and a comfortable surface and am using a UVB tube light across the whole enclosure with a 100W heat lamp providing heat for one half of the enclosure. The hot end is at 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the cold end generally stays around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, I never see Elvis stay in the cooler end, unless he is going for a quick walkabout to get food - he stays in the hot end night and day (although at night the heatlamp is turned off and the soil stays at 70 degrees). I was wondering if this was normal and if there was anything I could do to encourage him to move around more without prompting with food. My second concern was that I haven't seen him burrow at all. I've heard that horsfields are particularly prone to burrowing, but, although my substrate is soft and deep enough, he hasn't taken to doing it - I was wondering if this was simply because of the temperatures being regulated at the surface that he has no need to burrow, or if there was another reason, and if so I was hoping to know if there was anyway I could encourage him to burrow more. Thank you very much for all your help, from Ben.
 

wellington

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Do you have a hide for him? Water, humidity? Being so new, they tend to act a little out of sorts until they get used to their new surroundings. I would bump up the day time temp on the cool end to about 75-80. Let it drop only at night. My russian is very active with warmer temps. @Tom can help more.
 

dmmj

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Not every tortoise burrows. True most russians are champion burrowers, some are odd ducks like yours (quack)
 

Gillian M

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A very warm welcome to the forum.

Do not forget that torts take time and a lot of time to adapt to a new place, enclosure, environment and so on. How about posting some pictures, so as to enable the experienced members to help you? In the meantime you could read caresheets and different threads.
 

Tom

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If he tends to hang out mostly on the warm side, that is an indicator that he wants it warmer. Try giving him what he seems to want and then observe the behavior.

Could be your substrate too. I don't like top soil. There is no way to know what it is. Could be toxic plants or plants sprayed with toxins before they were composted. No thanks. Try coco coir or orchid bark instead.
 

Ben7

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Thank you for all your feedback. I have tried raising the temperature, and now it is just above 95 Fahrenheit on the hot end. I do have a hide, rocks and water, but he still won't go to the cold end, in his hide or burrow at all. I'm most surprised at the fact he hasn't burrowed once, even though it's what Horsfields are renowned for. Thanks.
 

Tom

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Thank you for all your feedback. I have tried raising the temperature, and now it is just above 95 Fahrenheit on the hot end. I do have a hide, rocks and water, but he still won't go to the cold end, in his hide or burrow at all. I'm most surprised at the fact he hasn't burrowed once, even though it's what Horsfields are renowned for. Thanks.

Ben, show us a pic of your enclosure and lets see if we can give you some better tips.
 
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