New horshfield owner

nishi_kpatel

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Jun 14, 2021
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London
Hi I am a new owner of a horshfield tortoise, I have done a lot of reading and looking in to tortoises before I bought Shelly ( my 4 year old named him ) . I just want to see if there was any tips or information that I might have missed that other owners have found that helps . Thanks in advance
 

KarenSoCal

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Welcome to the forum!
The best way to start off is to read our care sheet for Russians (that's what we call them in the US). How big is Shelly? Is he a baby, a young adult, an adult? If you tell us where you got him, maybe we can help with that.

Read the sheet, then come back with all your questions. We're here to help!

 

nishi_kpatel

New Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
London
Welcome to the forum!
The best way to start off is to read our care sheet for Russians (that's what we call them in the US). How big is Shelly? Is he a baby, a young adult, an adult? If you tell us where you got him, maybe we can help with that.

Read the sheet, then come back with all your questions. We're here to help!

Hi thanks for this will have a look today and I am sure I will have question. Shelly is a year old and was bought from a pet shop in Essex’s .
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome,
The link form Karen is the most up to date caresheet you'll find anywhere and your tort will really benefit if you can follow that as closely as possible. There is still a lot of old information circulating about tortoise care but thankfully animal welfare for them has moved on.

Pet shops are also notorious for knowing very little about tortoise care and often sell unsuitable and unsafe equipment because they are profit driven (steep water dishes that can be a drowning hazard,round dial type thermometers /hygrometers that aren't very accurate, substrates that are too dry or dangerous if ingested, and coiled cfl type bulbs that damge tort eyes. )
So if you post a picture of Selly's enclosure and the lamps you are using you'll get good feeback if there's anything you need to change or add to make sure she is as safe and healthy as possible.
We've all made mistakes starting out, but thankfully this forum is here to help us put things right before any damage is done.
 

nishi_kpatel

New Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
London
Hi and welcome,
The link form Karen is the most up to date caresheet you'll find anywhere and your tort will really benefit if you can follow that as closely as possible. There is still a lot of old information circulating about tortoise care but thankfully animal welfare for them has moved on.

Pet shops are also notorious for knowing very little about tortoise care and often sell unsuitable and unsafe equipment because they are profit driven (steep water dishes that can be a drowning hazard,round dial type thermometers /hygrometers that aren't very accurate, substrates that are too dry or dangerous if ingested, and coiled cfl type bulbs that damge tort eyes. )
So if you post a picture of Selly's enclosure and the lamps you are using you'll get good feeback if there's anything you need to change or add to make sure she is as safe and healthy as possible.
We've all made mistakes starting out, but thankfully this forum is here to help us put things right before any damage is done.
Soon as I am home will send over the pictures if you could help me on the right path that will be great !
 

jsheffield

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Welcome to TFO!

I've found better information and more helpful people here than anywhere else on the internet.

Read that careguide linked to above, then ask any questions you have.

I live with 4 Russian Tortoises, and think they're wonderful!

Jamie inCollage_20210610_110947010.jpg
 

nishi_kpatel

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London
Hi attached is the photos of Shelley’s table and what bits I use for him , hopefully it’s all the right bits . Thanks for the advice in advance
 

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nishi_kpatel

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Location (City and/or State)
London
Few more
 

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Lyn W

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Hi again,
There are a few things you need to change or amend to give Shelly the best home.
The caresheet will give details of the best type of enclosures for young torts.
Open tables make it difficult to control heat and humidity. You could get a mini portable greenhouse to fit over the table which will help with those. If conditions are too dry, her shell will start to pyramid. Large vivs are generally used for hatchlings/babies. You'll need a hygrometer to check the humidity levels- there are some which do temps and humidity.

The substrate you are using is too dry for a Russian. They like a mosit (not wet) substrate that is deep enough for them to dig in. Coco coir covered with a layer of fine bark orchid is often recommended, but see the caresheet. I've not used Tortoise Terrain but if it is sandy that could cause problems for her by irritating eyes, skin and if it gets on her food it could the gut to become impacted which is very painful and could be fatal.

Is that a MVB bulb in the holder? (heat, light and uvb in one?) They are convenient but have been found to dry and damage shells so aren't recommended anymore. A T5 HO uvb tube with a seperate flood basking bulb would be better for her, with a CHE run through a thermostat for night heat and extra heat (especially in winter). Do you have an outdoor enclosure for some short, supervised outside time ?

The water and food dishes would be easier for her to access and exit if sunk level with the substrate. Terracotta plant saucers are cheaper and safer for her to self soak in.

The pellets are Ok occasionally but shouldn't be the main diet- she seems to enjoy the leafy greens and there are lots of lovely free leafy weeds available at the moment but make sure you pick them from chemical and fume free places. I can see calcium on the food but only use a small pinch a couple of times a week.

I lnow thats a lot to take in but Shelly will thrive if you follow the carsheet and make the changes.
Please ask as many questions as you like there's alwasy somene around to help.
 

nishi_kpatel

New Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
London
Hi again,
There are a few things you need to change or amend to give Shelly the best home.
The caresheet will give details of the best type of enclosures for young torts.
Open tables make it difficult to control heat and humidity. You could get a mini portable greenhouse to fit over the table which will help with those. If conditions are too dry, her shell will start to pyramid. Large vivs are generally used for hatchlings/babies. You'll need a hygrometer to check the humidity levels- there are some which do temps and humidity.

The substrate you are using is too dry for a Russian. They like a mosit (not wet) substrate that is deep enough for them to dig in. Coco coir covered with a layer of fine bark orchid is often recommended, but see the caresheet. I've not used Tortoise Terrain but if it is sandy that could cause problems for her by irritating eyes, skin and if it gets on her food it could the gut to become impacted which is very painful and could be fatal.

Is that a MVB bulb in the holder? (heat, light and uvb in one?) They are convenient but have been found to dry and damage shells so aren't recommended anymore. A T5 HO uvb tube with a seperate flood basking bulb would be better for her, with a CHE run through a thermostat for night heat and extra heat (especially in winter). Do you have an outdoor enclosure for some short, supervised outside time ?

The water and food dishes would be easier for her to access and exit if sunk level with the substrate. Terracotta plant saucers are cheaper and safer for her to self soak in.

The pellets are Ok occasionally but shouldn't be the main diet- she seems to enjoy the leafy greens and there are lots of lovely free leafy weeds available at the moment but make sure you pick them from chemical and fume free places. I can see calcium on the food but only use a small pinch a couple of times a week.

I lnow thats a lot to take in but Shelly will thrive if you follow the carsheet and make the changes.
Please ask as many questions as you like there's alwasy somene around to help.
Hi thanks so much for the fed back will get on to this straight away ! I do have a bit of kit that tells me the moister and temp I also have a heat mat that comes on during the night for Shelly to keep warm . I have ensured that the substrate isn’t toxic and is used for tortoise, I will start to spray every day to make sure it’s moist and we have made sure it’s deep enough for him to have a good did around . I will need to check the bulb and get back to you what it is . I do take him out side when I can but no enclose yet on my list to buy . I have a thermostat that is set to make sure the cool areas stays cool is that they best way to have it ? Thanks so much again
 
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