Newbie saying hello!!

abi87

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Hi everyone, I'm Abi from the West Midlands in the U.K and I shall be picking up my tortoise this week, I've already built his home I've just got to contain my excitement until he arrives with us. I've been reading various articles, and have got a lot of advice from the shop owner regarding the calcium intake and uv lighting etc, I was wondering if you guys could share any tips on the dietary needs? The amount you feed them? What's the best veg, weeds etc? Any advise would be hugely appreciated!!

Thank you in advance
 

Yvonne G

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Welcome, Abi!

Please be advised that pet stores give advice that is going to net them a sale or profit. You're better off getting your advice from us.
 

abi87

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Hi everyone! Thanks for the warm welcome! My apologies, I should of mentioned my tortoise is a horsfield :)
 

JoesMum

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Hi everyone! Thanks for the warm welcome! My apologies, I should of mentioned my tortoise is a horsfield :)
Now we can help :)

A Horsfield is commonly known as a Russian and they're active little torts that need lots of space. They also love to dig and climb and are outstanding escape artists.

Keep your tort in an enclosure at all times - don't let it roam your home and never let it outside unless it's in a secure enclosure otherwise you will lose it!

We are fortunate to have outstanding species experts on TFO who are working hard to correct the outdated information frequently given out by pet stores and, sadly, by some breeders and vets too.

Please read the following

Beginner Mistakes
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Russian Tortoise Care
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/

Your tort's diet is leafy greens which you may need to supplement with pellets like Komodo in the winter months.

Your tort can't digest sugars properly- they cause digestive and kidney problems - so fruit, tomato, pepper and carrot should be avoided... Fed very sparingly and very occasionally at most.

You should sprinkle a tiny pinch of calcium powder on food 3 times a week. A cuttlebone will help with beak maintenance and further aids calcium intake.
 

JoesMum

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This is a list of suitable greens that's commonly shared. Most plants can be found in the UK.

The Tortoise Table Plant Database (link below) is your friend for looking things up for suitability.

If you want to buy seed to grow your own in pots, I recommend The Shelled Warriors Shop

Here's a list of suitable greens

Look them up on The Tortoise Table Plant Database if you're not sure what they look like.
http://thetortoisetable.org.uk/site/plant_database_14.asp

Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:
There are soooooooo many...
Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard
 

abi87

New Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
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This is a list of suitable greens that's commonly shared. Most plants can be found in the UK.

The Tortoise Table Plant Database (link below) is your friend for looking things up for suitability.

If you want to buy seed to grow your own in pots, I recommend The Shelled Warriors Shop

Here's a list of suitable greens

Look them up on The Tortoise Table Plant Database if you're not sure what they look like.
http://thetortoisetable.org.uk/site/plant_database_14.asp

Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:
There are soooooooo many...
Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard

That's absolutely brilliant, thankyou ever so much for your advise!! It's really helped! I'm currently testing the temperature on my lamp and have got it to 30 degrees, would you recommend a certain safe temperature?
 

JoesMum

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That's absolutely brilliant, thankyou ever so much for your advise!! It's really helped! I'm currently testing the temperature on my lamp and have got it to 30 degrees, would you recommend a certain safe temperature?
You need 35C directly under the basking lamp.

The best way to measure it is with a temperature gun type thermometer like this
 

Gillian M

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A very warm welcome to the forum. :)

Please post pics of your tort and his enclosure. This would enable us to help you/give you advise more easily. ;)
 

bouaboua

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Hello and Welcome ! ! ! ! ;););)
 

abi87

New Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
13
That looks like a proper thermometer, I've got a standard flat one at the moment so I'll invest in one of those. With regards to your table, what have you got as your feeding station? And have you got any plants or a bridge in yours?
 

abi87

New Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2016
Messages
13
A very warm welcome to the forum. :)

Please post pics of your tort and his enclosure. This would enable us to help you/give you advise more easily. ;)

Hi Gillian! Thank you for the welcome :)
I'm currently setting up my tortoises home at the moment and getting the temperature right for him, I'll be bringing him home in two days!!! So so excited!!! I'll post pictures of him once I've got him home :)
 

Lyn W

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Hi abi there are plenty of members from the UK here and you are in the right place to get fantastic advice from very experienced keepers worldwide.
I use slates and terracotta saucers to feed my tort on as this helps keep the beak trimmed.
Don't waste money on expensive pet shop dishes these can be too steep and dangerous, in that your tort can flip backwards and drown. Terracotta plant saucers are much cheaper and safer. If you sink it level with the substrate your tort will have better access to it. A digital temp gun is invaluable for spot checking and keeping an eye on your 4 temps
Also don't let the pet shop talk you into buying coiled uvb bulbs, they have been known to damage tort eyes and although the manufacturers may have corrected the fault there is still old stock about, so it's too risky to gamble with your torts eyes. I use a mercury vapour bulb (MVB) which gives heat, light and essential uvb in one bulb - Pets at Home sell Arcadia D3s from about £39. but they are available on Amazon too. I use mine in a ceramic holder with a wide dome (£25 The Range) It is better to hang the bulbs and ceramic heat emitters (CHE) etc rather than use the clamps that come with them as these have been known to fail and can be a fire hazard.
It is also easier to adjust the temps by raising or lowering the bulb. If you look at the Enclosures thread you will find lots of great ideas there.
 

Gillian M

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Aug 28, 2014
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Jordan
Hi Gillian! Thank you for the welcome :)
I'm currently setting up my tortoises home at the moment and getting the temperature right for him, I'll be bringing him home in two days!!! So so excited!!! I'll post pictures of him once I've got him home :)
Look forward to seeing pics. :D
 
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