how to keep a tortoise entertained

avocado_fresh111

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So I'm getting a Russian tortoise pretty soon and I was going through the things I need to get for his enclosure. I got all the basic things (substrate, heat light, uvb light, water dish, hide) but what other things can I put in or toys or something to keep him entertained?
 

Yvonne G

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Most tortoises don't need entertaining, but I've seen a few younger ones climbing up on their half log hiding place, diving off the front of it only to climb back up and dive off again and again. Male tortoises like to 'hump' something turtle-like - a small rock, a shoe, etc. You can put the food in a clip and hang it instead of laying it on the feeder. Hide bits of food all over the enclosure so he has to go looking for it.

Basically, make the enclosure interesting, not just a big wide open space. Put in sight barriers so he has to actually go out and walk around them in order to see more of the enclosure. How boring it must be to wake up in the a.m., look out his door and be able to see his whole world.
 

Cathie G

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So I'm getting a Russian tortoise pretty soon and I was going through the things I need to get for his enclosure. I got all the basic things (substrate, heat light, uvb light, water dish, hide) but what other things can I put in or toys or something to keep him entertained?
My little guy does like kind of thick but flat rocks to sit and look pretty on. The other day he had pushed some food over to it and was stretching his neck down to eat from his perch on the rock. It was sooo cute. But I always make sure he can't use his furniture like monkey bars. They don't call a Russian an escape artist for nothing.
 

smarch

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Most tortoises don't need entertaining, but I've seen a few younger ones climbing up on their half log hiding place, diving off the front of it only to climb back up and dive off again and again. Male tortoises like to 'hump' something turtle-like - a small rock, a shoe, etc. You can put the food in a clip and hang it instead of laying it on the feeder. Hide bits of food all over the enclosure so he has to go looking for it.

Basically, make the enclosure interesting, not just a big wide open space. Put in sight barriers so he has to actually go out and walk around them in order to see more of the enclosure. How boring it must be to wake up in the a.m., look out his door and be able to see his whole world.
Mine does the whole “diving” off his log bit, though it looks more like a painful face plant to me, but he keeps doing it. Franklin is also a bit of an interior decorator and goes under his log, stands real tall and walks around with it to move it.
 

Maro2Bear

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Make your enclosure bigger and bigger and bigger than you think you need. Things like water dish, slate rock, a few boulders & plants & a log hide really subtract from available surface area available. So, nice very large enclosure, with varying levels of proper substrate, safe plants, safe rock/hardscape areas, a few different hides, sight blockers....all add to your tort’s enjoyment & entertainment. Variety in food too! Don’t feed the same boring food every day, spice things up.
 

Tom

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So I'm getting a Russian tortoise pretty soon and I was going through the things I need to get for his enclosure. I got all the basic things (substrate, heat light, uvb light, water dish, hide) but what other things can I put in or toys or something to keep him entertained?
What size and age tortoise? What size enclosure? What type of UV bulb? What type of water dish? Where did you get your tortoise set up advice and products?
 

avocado_fresh111

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What size and age tortoise? What size enclosure? What type of UV bulb? What type of water dish? Where did you get your tortoise set up advice and products?
I haven't gotten everything yet, but I'm getting a 6 month-1 year year old tortoise from Tortoise Town. 5 1/2 by 2 1/2 foot enclosure, 10.0 uvb light (probably zoo med?), a low-sided terracotta bowl for water, I will be using a flat rock or piece of slate for food and probably basking too. I'm going to be using coco coir and orchid bark for substrate. I got my advice from here, youtube, the internet, compared a lot of different opinions, and went with what seemed to be most widely agreed on. I'm not sure how quickly I'll be able to get the rest of the things I need with everything closing right now, but I should might be able to order most of it online.
 

1289Gabe

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I haven't gotten everything yet, but I'm getting a 6 month-1 year year old tortoise from Tortoise Town. 5 1/2 by 2 1/2 foot enclosure, 10.0 uvb light (probably zoo med?), a low-sided terracotta bowl for water, I will be using a flat rock or piece of slate for food and probably basking too. I'm going to be using coco coir and orchid bark for substrate. I got my advice from here, youtube, the internet, compared a lot of different opinions, and went with what seemed to be most widely agreed on. I'm not sure how quickly I'll be able to get the rest of the things I need with everything closing right now, but I should might be able to order most of it online.
I would get the enclosure online, but try to get most things at a store so you can feel, see, and decide what you want, not just order it online.
 

Tom

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I haven't gotten everything yet, but I'm getting a 6 month-1 year year old tortoise from Tortoise Town. 5 1/2 by 2 1/2 foot enclosure, 10.0 uvb light (probably zoo med?), a low-sided terracotta bowl for water, I will be using a flat rock or piece of slate for food and probably basking too. I'm going to be using coco coir and orchid bark for substrate. I got my advice from here, youtube, the internet, compared a lot of different opinions, and went with what seemed to be most widely agreed on. I'm not sure how quickly I'll be able to get the rest of the things I need with everything closing right now, but I should might be able to order most of it online.
I'm glad you posted. Don't buy from TT. They have gotten lots of bad reviews, and the breeders they buy from to re-sell don't start their babies correctly. In all likelihood, they will be selling you a wild caught adult. You typing that line here may have just saved you from a horrendous experience. Buy from someone who starts their babies correctly and soaks every day. Check with @Carol S and @kanalomele
Both start their babies exceptionally well, and all of their babies thrive.

All your stuff sounds good and I only see two thing to comment on. 1. No need to mix substrates. Coco coir is safe, but its too messy unless we are talking about a baby. I use the orchid bark alone once they are 3-4 inches. It works the best. Use at least a 3-4 inch layer of it. 2. The only UV bulbs that are any good are the HO types. Don't use a cfl or an mvb.
 

Stacedan88

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My wee guy is a Russian he loves to climb too, he has only done the diving off of things a couple of times, so I 3d printed him a double sided ramp for him to climb on, he loves it. It keeps him entertained and active for a while, I didn't want him getting bored and lazy so made things for him to climb. He will walk up one side and down the other then turn round and do it again. Also made him some very low bars (they are ground level and only about 3cm high) for him to climb over as his is still little
 

1289Gabe

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My wee guy is a Russian he loves to climb too, he has only done the diving off of things a couple of times, so I 3d printed him a double sided ramp for him to climb on, he loves it. It keeps him entertained and active for a while, I didn't want him getting bored and lazy so made things for him to climb. He will walk up one side and down the other then turn round and do it again. Also made him some very low bars (they are ground level and only about 3cm high) for him to climb over as his is still little
Can you show us a picture?
 
Joined
Mar 7, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Salisbury
So I'm getting a Russian tortoise pretty soon and I was going through the things I need to get for his enclosure. I got all the basic things (substrate, heat light, uvb light, water dish, hide) but what other things can I put in or toys or something to keep him entertained?
you don’t really need much else, but you could add some plants (if fake make sure your tort doesn’t eat them, mine never has)
You could add mayb something for him to climb on like some rocks and mabey a section of deep substrate for digging?
 
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