My new Russian tortoise

skiltonimogen

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Joined
Jun 18, 2021
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Norwich
Hi everyone! I got my Russian Tortoise 2 weeks ago yesterday so it’s now 15 weeks. I think I’m totally paranoid about the tortoise as I am completely new to this and I am basically asking if he seems to look okay, I was worried as he sleeps a lot then found out baby torts sleep up to 22 hrs, since I got his new enclosure a week ago he’s burying down a lot more than usual, so much so that sometimes I can’t even see him, is this normal?
 

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Sarah2020

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Lyn W

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Jul 22, 2014
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Hi and welcome.
There is a lot of old and incorrect information still being passed on by pet shops, some breeders and even some vets who aren't tort specialists, but the care sheet linked above by Sarah is the most up to date you'll find anywhere and if you follow that as closely as possible your tort will thrive.
Pet shops are also notorious for selling unsuitable and unsafe equipment because they know very little about tort care so their recommendations are based on profits. Many of us have ended up with the wrong substrate, hazardous steep water dishes and bulbs that burn tort eyes etc. so if you post a picture of his enclosure you'll get good feedback to make sure your tort stays happy and healthy.
You'll find www.thetortoisetable.org.uk very useful in finding tort safe foods and they also have things like record sheets for weight and growth.
 

Armadillogroomer

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Jul 15, 2019
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268
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OK
Adorable!

Yep, let your baby dig! It's normal for there to be only a short window in the morning to handle and soak them before they go back to bed. So if you go to school/work during the day, it can be disappointing to not get to see your tort some evenings. But as they grow, some weeks they will be more active than others.

If you don't mind a dirty tort, having 5 to 6" of organic soil (no white pellets) under the layer of bark will let them burrow more naturally and it also can help hold in some humidity, which is important for little ones.

Babies like to have a lot of cover to hide under, so if you don't have plants in the enclosure, that could be one reason they are hiding too. Fake plants are okay, or you can cross-reference the Tortoise Table site that Lyn linked to purchase organically-grown plants from a seller.
 

Yvonne G

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Welcome to the Forum!

Tortoises don't like change, so when they're moved to a new home they usually hide for a week or so. Eventually he will understand you are the food god and nothing bad is going to happen to him, and he'll come out and start exploring (relocation stress). Take him out every day and set him in front of the food then quickly step out of his sight.
 
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