New RT owner here, need reassurance..

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wpeltola

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Hi guys, I've been following these forums (along with others) for a long time and just recently decided to take the plunge and purchase a RT. I've spent the last three months reading everything I can find on the little guys and purchasing equipment that came recommended on these forums. Here is my current setup

- A single Zoo Med Tortoise House (will purchase another in the future and link them together)
-A Zoo Med PowerSun UV (85-90 degrees in the shot-spot - 65-70ish on the other side)
- Zoo Med Mini Deep-Dome Lamp Fixture
- Mulch/Sand - Coir mixture for Substrate
- XL Half Log as an extra hide - Extra Large Groovy Jacuzzi for water - smallish flat food bowl

I wont go into food, but I have a good mix of greens to feed him and some decent Flukers calcium dust. I ordered some TNT yesterday. I'll take some pics this evening when I get out of the office this evening

I picked up a little male from Petsmart yesterday evening and before taking him home, I had their in-house vet do a complete exam and de-worming. It took a little over two weeks for them to complete the tasks and I was fine with that. One of the managers at our local Petsmart was pretty knowledgeable of RT' and I was rather impressed with his dedication to the little tort and making sure I received a healthy tort. In the end, he had a clean bill of health and I took him home last night. he has bright eyes, clean sinuses, great looking skin and a very nice looking shell with no signs of issues at all. He also has a nice long tail that is clean.

Before looking at Petsmart, I went to Petco and was very unimpressed with their staff, the small aquarium they kept TWO RT's in and other aspects of the store. While Petsmart is a national chain, I believe their quality control, staff training and prices are several steps better than Petco.

At the store, he was very active in his enclosure, was climbing all over everything, ate like a horse and loved life. Yesterday morning, he had a good soaking at the store before I arrived to bring him home. When I got him home and set him in his emclosure, he looked around and made a beeline to the half log to hide in. That is pretty much where he has been the last 15 hours. He wont eat right now and just wants to hide.

I've read several forum posts around here that indicate I should just leave him alone for a few days and let him adjust to his new surroundings, but I would life to hear it from you guys for my situation and just get a little reinsurance I assume when he gets hungry enough, he will come out and search for food... It's been less than 24 hours, so it's pretty premature to raise alarms, I'm just a nevious new RT owner

On a side note, I have the wood and space picked out in my back yard to plan to build an outdoor enclosure as well.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to comments and/or questions. I'll post up some pictures later this evening Thanks guys and I look forward to becoming a long term contributing members to these forums!

- Bill
 

Blakem

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Seems like you have a nice setup! From what I've learned on this forum, the bigger the setup the better. Russians are happier when they have space to romp around. They are also VERY good climbers, I consider mine an acrobat. You might learn that they do not like water. They are fun little guys! Good luck Bill and welcome!
 

wpeltola

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Blake m said:
Seems like you have a nice setup! From what I've learned on this forum, the bigger the setup the better. Russians are happier when they have space to romp around. They are also VERY good climbers, I consider mine an acrobat. You might learn that they do not like water. They are fun little guys! Good luck Bill and welcome!

Thanks for the warm welcome, sir! Boris has plenty of room to run around and explore. I'm hoping that when he gets over the shock of being in a new environment, he will be a very happy little tort :)

- Bill
 

Momof4

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Congrats on your new little friend. Sounds like you did a lot of research beforehand which is great. That is really cool that PetSmart did the vet exam for you. I had no idea they did that. What state are you in?

I would personally leave him alone for a few days. Just put food in his dish and walk away. I bet in no time he will be all over the place. We love pictures & keep us posted on your outdoor enclosure as well. We love sharing ideas.
 

wpeltola

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Momof4 said:
Congrats on your new little friend. Sounds like you did a lot of research beforehand which is great. That is really cool that PetSmart did the vet exam for you. I had no idea they did that. What state are you in?

I would personally leave him alone for a few days. Just put food in his dish and walk away. I bet in no time he will be all over the place. We love pictures & keep us posted on your outdoor enclosure as well. We love sharing ideas.

Thanks for the kind comments! I live in southern Indiana. Petsmart has a very good animal-return-policy, so they make sure their in-house vet works hard at sending out healthy animals :) The store was clean, very helpful staff and clean cages. I really checked them out very well.
 

Laurie

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Hello and welcome Bill :)

Our little Tina also came from Petsmart. She went to the vet shortly after we purchased her and is in good health thus far. I think we got lucky to get such a good looking (ok, I'm partial) healthy tort. I wouldn't be worried that he isnt eating yet, give him some time to settle in. Its perfectly normal. Pretty soon, he'll be out and about.

Laura
 

Talka

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The tortoise house might be a bit small for a grown Russian, since they do love their space, but since you plan on linking 2 eventually and live in an outdoor-friendly state, I think you'll do just fine. Russians might take a while to acclimate. Several of them take months before they aren't scared of humans any more. They're so cute though, so friendly. You're gonna have fun. :D
 

Tyrtle

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Welcome! We are also relatively new to Torthood.

We have had our two RTs for about a month now and they spend the majority of their time under the half-log. I'm either still waiting for this "acclimation" or this is just the way they are. Remains to be seen. I know they come out to bask a bit in the morning and their eating habits are inconsistent, but I always put fresh greens out for them should they suddenly decide to venture forth.
 

lynnedit

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Your plans sound good, including linking 2 Zoomed enclosures together, also setting up an outdoor enclosure! Make sure he has a small dog house or shed or Rubbermaid to retreat to in bad weather.

The worming process can make them a bit queasy, so it may take awhile. He is in a new place and will hide for awhile until he makes sure it is safe, which is smart!

You might soak him in warm water up to the bottom of his shell daily for 10-15" to keep him hydrated for a week, then 1-2x per week or as needed. Otherwise, leave him alone. Once he figures out he is safe, you won't be able to stop him. Make sure he has a basking area of around 95F but can also cool off to around 70F, even the 60's at night.
 

wpeltola

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Great ideas everyone, thanks for the advice and warm welcome!

lynnedit said:
Your plans sound good, including linking 2 Zoomed enclosures together, also setting up an outdoor enclosure! Make sure he has a small dog house or shed or Rubbermaid to retreat to in bad weather.

The worming process can make them a bit queasy, so it may take awhile. He is in a new place and will hide for awhile until he makes sure it is safe, which is smart!

You might soak him in warm water up to the bottom of his shell daily for 10-15" to keep him hydrated for a week, then 1-2x per week or as needed. Otherwise, leave him alone. Once he figures out he is safe, you won't be able to stop him. Make sure he has a basking area of around 95F but can also cool off to around 70F, even the 60's at night.

Hi Lynn, Thanks for the great information! He's a nice little guy and just needs time to relax, I believe. I gave him a nice 15 minute soak last night. Boris is still very nervous about everything and kept pulling tightly into his shell (expelling air, which sounds like a hiss, but it's not). I'm honestly thinking about just leaving him be for a day or two before another soak and any interaction at all. How does this plan sound to everyone? I'll just make sure he has fresh greens and water.

Thanks!!
- Bill
 

Snapper925

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Sounds like Boris is in great hands!:)
Once he is well settled in, if you didn't know already, We all love pictures!:D
 

lynnedit

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wpeltola said:
Hi Lynn, Thanks for the great information! He's a nice little guy and just needs time to relax, I believe. I gave him a nice 15 minute soak last night. Boris is still very nervous about everything and kept pulling tightly into his shell (expelling air, which sounds like a hiss, but it's not). I'm honestly thinking about just leaving him be for a day or two before another soak and any interaction at all. How does this plan sound to everyone? I'll just make sure he has fresh greens and water.

Thanks!!
- Bill

That sounds fine. I think it is important to watch and learn from your tort. If he seems more shy, then your instincts are probably right. Won't hurt him to skip a soak or two with access to greens/water.
 

chris1810

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I know how you feel i have had my RT for over a week now and all he does is sleep,does not really come out alot.
I bath him let him,he has a run in the back garden ,feed him diffrent greens.He has a big tortoise table half wood chippins and half top soil a uv and basking light and still does not want to play..It must need some time to settle in.
 

wpeltola

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Thanks again everyone for the great comments. We're a little past the first week of having Boris and he's starting to come around, (very slowly) but I can tell it's going to take some time. He's still pretty nervous, but that is understandable. He won't eat out of my hand yet, but he's a pig when things are placed in his food bowl :)

Joe, I've been following your care and diet sheet closely, so I know Boris is getting great care. He seems to like his new TNT dusting on his food every other day as well.

I wish I was home more to interact with Boris during the daytime.. His active time seems to be between 10:00am - 4:30pm ,, I work from 8-5 :-\ :-\ On the upside, my wife (who is retired) enjoys watching him redecorate the surroundings in his table and try to walk the walls. He's quite the climber, always trekking up over his large half-log and trying to do the spider-man climb up the side of the table :) I'm thinking about setting up a live "Tortoise Cam" at home this evening so I can tune in during the day and watch him when he's most active. I work on computers all day, so setting this up would be a breeze. I'll post the URL when it's done incase you guys would like to check him out :D

Yesterday evening I brought Boris out to the back yard for the first time and let him roam for a while. I took some pics and wanted to share them with you guys. Let me know what you think and have a great day!!!

- Bill

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