New owner of Russian Tort and Need Advice

Bublitz497

New Member
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington Wisconsin
Good Evening. I recently purchased a Russian Tort who we named Albus Dumbledore (huge Harry Potter Fans Here). We had a sulcata a few years ago that passed due to health issues. I am new to Russians though. I got a really long and wide Zilla Terrarium, hide out, food, water/soak bowls, cork flat, rocks, turtle bones, lots of different fresh leafy greens to try, different types of dry Tort food, combo lamp, extra heat lamp, zoo med forest floor, zoo med eco earth, and zoo med sand (I read that you do a 1/3 of each for substrate).

The top of the terrarium has 4 screen panels but can all be interchanged with plexiglass. I also plan on covering the bottom so he can not see his reflection. I should say the the Terrarium was recommended by a family owned reptile store that specializes in Torts. Especially because of where we live in Wisconsin and our weather never wanting to cooperate so ours will only go out when we deem it suitable weather wise. 20210517_210102.jpg 20210517_210107.jpg 20210517_204822.jpg

I was wondering about the substrate and also how to put humidity in the enclosure. Also should I be worried that the water/soak bowl hasn't been touched? I did get my Tort on Saturday and tonight was the first night I soaked.

Please let me know.

Thanks
 

jsheffield

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The above link is the best place to start....

Jamie
 

wellington

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Unless you have a hatchling that enclosure is way too small. An adult needs a 4x8 foot minimum.
Your russian should be able to be outside all summer if its not a hatchling. Even some days in spring and fall. They can take temps as low as 60. I'm in Chicago and once the nights stay in the sixties, my russian is outside until the nights in the fall do below 60. Then it's only days outside nights in.

.
 

Bublitz497

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Arlington Wisconsin
Mine doesn't mine the enclosure. I also didn't say I was keeping him in that enclosure permanently. I do not want mine outside all the time and he shouldn't need to be outside all the time. As long as he is happy and healthy that is what I am going for.

I posted for humidity and substrate advice however but thank you for your input.
 

Grace-Sophia

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Welcome to the forum! As listed above the recommended is a 4x8, I have my rescue (who is stunted do to previous inappropriate) who is around 5 inches in a roughly a 5x4 1/2 ft. Tortoises are wanderers and are designed to travel for long trips so they are best fit for the biggest size enclosure you can possibly provide. With that being said, and outdoor enclosure also has tremendous health and well being benefits to your tortoise, fresh air is great for them and the natural heat and uv best suits them. They should also not be kept in full glass settups, this can cause stress, tortoises often do not get the consept of glass and will continuously try to escape which can cause a huge amount of stress. I would also reccomed to get that tort´s encloure to a much higher humitity, they shoud be at around 30%. If you have any further questions please feel free to ask, we are here to help!
 

jsheffield

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Mine doesn't mine the enclosure. I also didn't say I was keeping him in that enclosure permanently. I do not want mine outside all the time and he shouldn't need to be outside all the time. As long as he is happy and healthy that is what I am going for.

I posted for humidity and substrate advice however but thank you for your input.
If you choose not to take the advice that the experienced keepers here on TFO offer, then your tortoise won't thrive.

  • He needs a bigger enclosure, and how could you possibly tell that he doesn't mind the too-small one?
  • He'd benefit from time outside, but it's not necessary
  • The red heat lamp pictured is not acceptable, a ceramic heat emitter is preferable
Again, it would be great if you read the thread that I linked to before, as it has the most current information for helping your tortoise thrive in captivity... if you are unwilling to read, and adopt, the suggestions contained therein or as offered by the experienced members of this forum, you'll likely end up with a sad-story post on here within a year.

This isn't said to be mean or to bully you, but because we've all seen this pattern repeated hundreds of times before, and while you'll survive it, the tortoise never does.


Good luck, keep reading, keep asking questions, keep striving to improve your care.

Jamie
 

Bublitz497

New Member
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Arlington Wisconsin
Welcome to the forum! As listed above the recommended is a 4x8, I have my rescue (who is stunted do to previous inappropriate) who is around 5 inches in a roughly a 5x4 1/2 ft. Tortoises are wanderers and are designed to travel for long trips so they are best fit for the biggest size enclosure you can possibly provide. With that being said, and outdoor enclosure also has tremendous health and well being benefits to your tortoise, fresh air is great for them and the natural heat and uv best suits them. They should also not be kept in full glass settups, this can cause stress, tortoises often do not get the consept of glass and will continuously try to escape which can cause a huge amount of stress. I would also reccomed to get that tort´s encloure to a much higher humitity, they shoud be at around 30%. If you have any further questions please feel free to ask, we are here to help!
Like I said I never said it was a permanent enclosure. But it was recommended for the time being. I will take him outside as much as possible weather permitting.

I did read what was shared. I also read something else By someone name Tom: Thread 'The Best Way To Raise Any Temperate Species Of Tortoise' https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threa...ise-any-temperate-species-of-tortoise.183131/
Which says glass is not an issue.

I am planning in trying to figure out how to combine his terriaum with a Oxbow Enriched Life small animal with play area. I have 2 of these so I plan on using one for outside as well. 71dbaJiCvDL._AC_SS450_.jpg
I am going today to get things to plant for him to eat and graze on. I am just wondering how to get the humidity in to his enclosure. Right now duing the day his enclosure us at between 85-90 degrees on the heat side and 70-75 degrees on the non heated side. I do have him on a day and night schedule 9am-9pm lamps on, 9pm-9am lamps off.

Like I said this is my first Russian Tort I am by no means an expert. But I am not seeing any signs of distress as of now. I am working on everything to make him more comfortable and happy.

Thank you for not being rude.
Welcome to the forum! As listed above the recommended is a 4x8, I have my rescue (who is stunted do to previous inappropriate) who is around 5 inches in a roughly a 5x4 1/2 ft. Tortoises are wanderers and are designed to travel for long trips so they are best fit for the biggest size enclosure you can possibly provide. With that being said, and outdoor enclosure also has tremendous health and well being benefits to your tortoise, fresh air is great for them and the natural heat and uv best suits them. They should also not be kept in full glass settups, this can cause stress, tortoises often do not get the consept of glass and will continuously try to escape which can cause a huge amount of stress. I would also reccomed to get that tort´s encloure to a much higher humitity, they shoud be at around 30%. If you have any further questions please feel free to ask, we are here to help!
 
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