New RT owner looking for some advice!


New Member
Feb 14, 2016
Hey everyone, I've recently gotten a Russian Tortoise from a pet store and was stupid enough to take their words to heart. I've looked around and have tried to gather information, but have a few questions that I would answered. She is about 5" (from one end of the shell to the other), has clear eyes and smooth shell.

Enclosure: I'm currently using a 40 gallon vivarium. Do I need to move her immediately? Also, would it be best to just get rid of the grid roof?

Shell rot?: There is a dry white spot on her shell. I've looked around and it seems I should not be worried unless it's soft/wet. The spot is a few millimeters in diameter.

Diet: I don't have access to much in the way of natural weeds outside. What should I be looking towards in terms of food? Also, how much calcium/d3 supplement should I be adding? The instructions on the bottle are not very helpful.

Substrate: How deep should the substrate be?

Other concerns: Right now she seems to just burrow herself in the substrate under the heating lamp and sit there. Should I be concerned or give it a bit of time? Also, she seems to move a bit sluggish (I don't really have a comparison point here), how fast do they normally crawl?

Thank you for looking!
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Jul 11, 2014
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
Hi. Welcome to the forum. Read the care guides in the Russian section for answers to most of your questions, and a great food list. Please post pictures of the spot for better help on that.


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Sep 6, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Agree with Jodie, the care sheets should help you. The dry spot doesn't sound like anything to worry about. The 40 gallon is too small so when you can a 4x6 or bigger should be built.