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tortoisefreak1

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I am thinking about getting a Russian Tortoise(Captive bred of course, not from the pet store)and I am new to tortoises.I have done research and here is my plan.I want to use a 50-gallon storage container with a shallow, large rubbermaid deli container as a water bowl so my tortoise can soak.I am planning on use a 50/50 mixture of play sand and topsoil as substrate and making it about 3 inches deep although i will make it deeper in the corners so he can burrow.I am gonna use a half log for a hide, a reptisun 10.0 for a uvb bulb and a 100-160 watt bulb for heat.I am also gonna take him out a few times a week to let him roam the house free.Does this sound good to you guys?
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Tortoisefreak1:

Please take a moment to start a new thread in the "introductions" section and tell us a bit about yourself.

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

May we know your name and where you are?

If its at all possible, Russian tortoises do much better outside than in an indoor habitat. That should be their main home, with an indoor habitat to be secondary when the weather doesn't permit it to be outside.

Everything sounds ok to me except for the "roaming the house" portion. I'm not an advocate of that. No matter how warm your house is, its never warm enough on the floor for a cold blooded animal. Plus there are too many little things on the floor for him to try to eat and get into trouble with.
 

tortoisefreak1

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Yeah i had plans about building a simple outdoor pen but i was talking about here and now.I will take him outside under close supervison very often if i can't build it. Do you think it would be okay if i just leave him in the cage over the winter and put him in an outdoor pen during the warmer months?
 

chase thorn

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Russians are amazing!! i have not had very good results with the 50/50 mix though...thats just me... and the bulb... the zoomed powersun MVB 100w is a good idea. saves money on light fixtures and bulbs in the long run!... 1 foot from the substrate gives a perfect 95ËšF for basking and about 70ËšF on a cool side(plus it has a free 1 year warranty!) and it is ideal for a 50gal rubbermaid! i do recommend an outdoor enclosure for warm seasons!
 

tortoisefreak1

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[/size][/font][size=medium]Yeah i was considering using the powersun or t rex active uv heat.How long does the UVB last on the powersun because that is my main concern?
 

chase thorn

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tortoisefreak1 said:
[/size][/font][size=medium]Yeah i was considering using the powersun or t rex active uv heat.How long does the UVB last on the powersun because that is my main concern?



Matters on how long it is on per day. i have read most MVB bulbs put out UVB for about a year. i would double check that if i were you though. not much help am i? lol
 

chase thorn

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12 hours. 7 to 7. i am researching now how long the Powersun puts out UVB... i never put to much thought into that! and how to tell when it does stop.
 

tortoisefreak1

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I just read something that says a megaray lasts a year and i know you can use a solarmeter to test the UVB output. I have a feeling a powersun will last a year too.
 

chase thorn

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the main reasons i picked the powersun is because it has an overheat sensor. if it gets to hot, it will power down till it cools a little. if you unplug and plug it in again it will not turn on for another couple minutes to save from burning out. my torts have been way more active since ive been using them.
 

tortoisefreak1

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OK well i think i will use the powersun but what substrate do you use if you dont use the 50/50 mix?
 

chase thorn

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i use Cypress mulch. holds water better and does not mold. humidity is kept at a good level when sprayed and for a while at most. they say not to have to high of humidity for russian, but i have had very good luck with about 45-50%. the 50/50 is scary to me and i do not want to risk impacting.

but please look at other opinions. what do i know? im only 16! :p get some advise from some other more experienced members as well. not all my advise can be up to par for your standards. i may be over the top on some subjects for care. not sure if thats good or bad? i hope i could help!
 

tortoisefreak1

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Yeah i can see what you mean but i don't like to use cypress mulch for reptiles because i feel like its just sticks if not kept properly misted and i feel it would be more difficult for the tortoise to burrow.Thank you very much anyway.
 

chase thorn

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i have them in a 60'x50' fenced in yard with a heated gazebo and a shallow water hole. my dad owns about 100 acres. so we could make it larger or smaller if needed.
 

tortoisefreak1

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Oh i was about to say How does a 16 year old keep sulcatas but it seems you have a pretty nice enclosure for them. Sorry my annoying asking but how large is your russian tort enclosure?
 

chase thorn

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no problem! ask away really! and my russian is just a hair over 4in. he is in a 50gal rubbermaid at the moment. ( its 32"x24"... )
 

tortoisefreak1

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Are you gonna build an outdoor enclosure because im thinking about building one in the spring after my tort is established?
 

chase thorn

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yes i might build one after the winter hits up at my dads house. but it has to be a size to where i can get a screen for it to put on top.i also am wanting to plant alot of greenery inside if i do. here in colorado in my area we have a lot of hawks that fly around... scary!
 
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