Please Help ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿข (Need info on Russian tortoise)

Berri

New Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
West Sussex
That tortoise almost looks more like a Hermann's tortoise than a Russian, but I could easily be wrong. it does not look like a typical Russian to me, but I don't keep Russians (yet! ) :) ๐Ÿ™ƒ
I'm not 100% certain, mostly comparing images and the fact that our tortoise has four toes.
I will try to take some more close up images when I get her out to soak later. ๐Ÿ™‚
 

jeneliza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Messages
529
Location (City and/or State)
burton michigan
Hello and welcome. We are happy to help.

That is a very unusual looking tortoise. Can we get more pics of it? And pics of the enclosure too.

Here is one more thread that will help in addition to the one posted by Chubbs:
[/QUOT
The tortoise is showing an unusual amount of the light yellow coloration. Most Russians have more black on them. Your tortoise is very pretty!

Without a fence around that upper level, the tortoise might fall off and land upside down in the water. I would add a layer of some sort of bark - coco bark, fir bark - over the top of your substrate. Those white bits encourage the tortoise to eat them, and that's not a good thing.
I would remove the bridge till it comes for safety, the color could be from Mary reasons,
I'm not 100% certain, mostly comparing images and the fact that our tortoise has four toes.
I will try to take some more close up images when I get her out to soak late you
[/QUOTE you know what, eastern Herman's tortoises, do have the yellow shell, and less black, you might be right,
 

DesertGirl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
309
Location (City and/or State)
Fabulous Las Vegas, NV
Welcome to the forum. Your tort is beautiful. Very unique. Stay tuned here. These ppl know about torts!!! I have a desert tort so Iโ€™m no help for your variety.
 

ZDR94

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Abergavenny, Wales
She doesn't tend to eat her substrate, even the white bits. I do put a calcium and multivitamin supplement on her food, so maybe that's why, but I will definitely be ordering one of the above suggestions.
I think the enclosure she is in currently is 4x2 or 4x3, it was a hurried purchase as she came to us in a hamster cage with sawdust. It is second hand from someone who was getting a larger enclosure for his tort. We are working on a much larger enclosure for her outside and while the weather has been so nice she has spent a lot of time in a temporary enclosure in the garden. In the meantime, would it be beneficial to her if I made the platform area larger to give her more ground to cover whilst indoors.
Thank you so much for all of your advice. ๐Ÿ™‚
I see you need to change your substrate... I use coco coir from Amazon, itโ€™s a great substrate for tortoiseas it helps with the humidity they need. You buy a brick of it add water and watch it expand. I mix mine with some soil (if you do this make sure the soil is completely natural and free of anything that could be harmful to tortoise).
 

jeneliza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Messages
529
Location (City and/or State)
burton michigan
Hello and welcome. We are happy to help.

That is a very unusual looking tortoise. Can we get more pics of it? And pics of the enclosure too.

Here is one more thread that will help in addition to the one posted by Chubbs:
Very good read, wish I had this information when I got mine, sadly I was told a ten gallon was big enough, haha, on what planted, would a redfoot ever be good in a ten gallon, ( it last week before I realized it wasn't close to big enough and had to get a bigger one now I own , a ten gallon,I don't use, makes a nice Attic decoration,
 

evansmom

New Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Pacifica, CA
I am looking as much information and advice as possible.
My partner has always wanted a tortoise, so his sister got him one as a surprise, which is lovely, but we had nowhere to keep her or anything.
We went and bought a vivarium, heat lamp, UV lamp, food and water bowls. I am hoping this is all okay for her, but I have no experience looking after a tortoise. I have googled as much as I can think of, but advice from other people with tortoises would be wonderful.
We have all fallen in love with her and we want to do what is best for her.
His sister gave us little to no information about her, but from looking things up, I think she is a Russian tortoise that is around 2 years old. This is Tonks (as named by my 7 year old Potter head)
Please be kind, I am really trying ๐Ÿ’œ
View attachment 290258
That does look like a young Russian Tortoise. We have had our Russian Tortoise since he was about that young (since 2005). We live in Northern California. There is a lot of excellent information on http://russiantortoise.net/ The moderator, Joe Heinen, is one of the most astute tortoise people I have found and our vet agreed with a lot of Joe's advice. There is a lot of information about the dietary needs of these tortoises at http://www.russiantortoise.org/russiantortoisediet.htm. I have attached a picture of Evan taken about 4 years ago. He's pretty much full grown.

Evan the Russian Tortoise.jpg
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
84,815
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I'm not 100% certain, mostly comparing images and the fact that our tortoise has four toes.
I will try to take some more close up images when I get her out to soak later. ๐Ÿ™‚
Don't bother, it's a russian for sure!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
48,486
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
That does look like a young Russian Tortoise. We have had our Russian Tortoise since he was about that young (since 2005). We live in Northern California. There is a lot of excellent information on http://russiantortoise.net/ The moderator, Joe Heinen, is one of the most astute tortoise people I have found and our vet agreed with a lot of Joe's advice. There is a lot of information about the dietary needs of these tortoises at http://www.russiantortoise.org/russiantortoisediet.htm. I have attached a picture of Evan taken about 4 years ago. He's pretty much full grown.
Hello and welcome. Most care sheets outside this forum are just dead wrong. Dead wrong as in dead tortoise wrong. I clicked on your link and read Joe's site and I was pleasantly surprised. He's wrong about a couple of things, but most of it was spot on and excellent. I can't remember ever reading a care sheet outside this forum and not disagreeing with at least half, if not most of it.

Here are the two things I noticed when reading Joe's care sheet:
  1. Sand substrate. I've met Joe. He's been around for a very long time. In the old days we all used to recommend sand or sand mixes for substrate. We now know better, but some of the old timers are still doing it and still recommending it. It causes impaction over time. No amount of sand should be used as indoor substrate under a tortoise. And no peat either.
  2. The "Hatchling Care" section is excellent over all, but there are two issues that are related to each other. He says that hatchlings sometimes have a big yolk sac when they hatch and they should be left in the incubator for up to a week while it absorbs. Then he says that it can take two weeks or longer for them to start eating and they are living off of the yolk sac at this time. Both of these statements are wrong. They eat some of their substrate while they are still stuck in their egg with only their head sticking out. Presumably to inoculate their gut and get their digestive flora and fauna going. Mom's leave some feces in each nest as they lay the eggs for this purpose too. All the tortoises that I've ever hatched of all species do this, and all of them start nibbling on everything around them even while they are balancing atop their bulbous yolk sac. I find it takes 7-10 days for them to start pooping, and their first few poops have incubation media in them. For this reason they should be pulled from the incubator IMMEDIATELY upon hatching and moved to a brooder box (Plastic shoe boxes) with no substrate or with big grape, mulberry or plantain leaves for substrate. If left in the incubator all this time, they eat too much of the incubation media. The 7 to 10 days while they absorb their yolk sac, close up the umbilical scar, and learn what to eat, should be spent in a warm humid brooder box. I leave the brooder box either in the incubator or I use my big bird brooder box so they can see day and night changes. They begin feeding immediately upon hatching, with or without a yolk sac. I surround them with food during this time, so that everything they nibble on is edible. This is also the time to introduce them to all sorts of different weeds leaves and flowers and get them eating everything.
Thanks for the link.
 

jeneliza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Messages
529
Location (City and/or State)
burton michigan
Okay, I don't keep Russian's, I am confused on the color difference this one has, I know why redfoots, differ, not that I have seen thousands of them but most I have seen are not this yellow and have alot more black, not that it's a beautiful tortoises, it is, but I am really interested in what is the reason behind this color difference
 

Russiantortylady

Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Messages
80
Location (City and/or State)
Vermont
If you have alot of questions about coloring you might want to contract Randy @ tort stork, he can really tell you anything you would like to know about this tort.
 

Professor Brenda

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2019
Messages
208
Location (City and/or State)
Pflugerville, Texas
Keep reading, learning and asking questions. Be aware Russians are good climbers and diggers, so protect them from falls off of areas they can climb. They also fight with each other so never get this guy a "friend". Listen to the people on here. They are fabulous.

You are doing great.
 
Top