New owner of Russian tortoise

Beads86

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Hi all

just wanted to introduce myself. We have just got our first tortoise. A lovely little baby Russian tortoise named Clive. All seems to be going well so far. 5 days in now. He is 1 yr old and after not eating for the first 3 days, he has just started digging into his food since yesterday and I seem to have got him into a little routine. He was very shy at first and seemed a little bored so I’ve ordered some bits and bobs for his table which should come this week but even with having a couple of textures in his bedding and the introduction of a big stone he already seems a little happier. I’ve been bathing him daily at the same time for about 20 mins and then I feed him about 30 mins later. As I said he is in a tortoise table at the min which was built for him by my other half but this is his temp one as we want to give him a bit more room and I think it needs to be a little deeper. We are gonna use his current one as a way to bring him outside in the garden from time to time when it gets a bit warmer.
Any advice for a new owner would be greatly appreciated and lovely to meet you all!

I am already in love with him.

thanks all 🤗
 

Ink

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Welcome to the forum. Please post pictures of Clive when you can.
 

method89

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method89

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You should change the substrate. Those chips won't hold the moisture/humidity the way you need it too. Orchid bark is great for this.
 

Lyn W

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Hi and welcome,
He is beautiful.
Here is the caresheet you need to make any adjustments to his enclosure which will keep him happy and healthy. You may find it contradicts what you've already been told - especially by pet shops who are profit driven and happy to sell unsuitable and unsafe equipment but this is the most up to date advice you'll find anywhere about temps, substrate, humidity and diet etc.


If you can post a pic of the whole of his enclosure you'll get tips on any changes you need to make to keep him safe.
 

Beads86

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Hi and welcome,
He is beautiful.
Here is the caresheet you need to make any adjustments to his enclosure which will keep him happy and healthy. You may find it contradicts what you've already been told - especially by pet shops who are profit driven and happy to sell unsuitable and unsafe equipment but this is the most up to date advice you'll find anywhere about temps, substrate, humidity and diet etc.


If you can post a pic of the whole of his enclosure you'll get tips on any changes you need to make to keep him safe.
hi and thank you! Yes I wasn’t happy with the wood chips so I have got a substrate now and am in the process of mixing it up so he has a few different textures. His enclosure is a little small at the minute but pic is below. My fiancé works for a furniture manufacturer and is getting a bigger table built for him but he seems happy enough for the time being. I want a depper one so I can fill it more and allow him to burrow. I’ve also ordered a slate for him and some plants for when he has more room. I’ve been keeping his light on 8am to 8pm and bathing him too. Any tips would be greatly appreciated
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Any tips would be greatly appreciated
Tips:
Store bought greens are not a good way to go.

You don't need a mix of substrates. You need one of the three safe types, and that's it.

Looks like you might have a mercury vapor bulb? Those are not a good way to go either.

The previously linked care sheet will explain all of this and more. Questions are welcome.
 

Beads86

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Tips:
Store bought greens are not a good way to go.

You don't need a mix of substrates. You need one of the three safe types, and that's it.

Looks like you might have a mercury vapor bulb? Those are not a good way to go either.

The previously linked care sheet will explain all of this and more. Questions are welcome.
Can I ask what is wrong with the Mercury vapour bulb? The care sheet says you don’t recommend but doesn’t say why.
 

Tom

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Can I ask what is wrong with the Mercury vapour bulb? The care sheet says you don’t recommend but doesn’t say why.
1. They cause pyramiding through carapace desiccation because of the type of light they emit.
2. They are expensive.
3. They are delicate. Much more fragile than other types of bulbs.
4. They are unreliable and burn out prematurely sometimes.
5. They can be finicky about which hood/fixture you use them in.
6. Some of them stop producing any UV at all after 2-3 months.
7. Some of them produce eye damaging high levels of UV.
8. One light bulb in one part of the enclosure doesn't adequately light up the rest of the enclosure.
 

Beads86

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You should change the substrate. Those chips won't hold the moisture/humidity the way you need it too. Orchid bark is great for this.
Hi would you say the fine orchid bark is best? Just having a look for when we move him to new enclosure
 

SouthPaw

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Hi! Welcome! Me and my baby Russian (Archimedes) are new here too. Everyone is very friendly and helpful!
oh and yes, fine orchid bark is fine. I know coconut coir is good too. 🙂
 
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