Rescued 2 Russians last week :)

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Filbert

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Hello there fellow tortoise friends :)

I had just rescued 2 Russian Tortoises from a couple who didn't want to care for them anymore. The little guys are 10 and 13 years old from what I'm told, but they're still pretty small only about 5 inches or so. I heard that if they stay in the tank they don't get much bigger is that right?

I used to have a desert tortoise years ago that was unfortunately mistreated when left in the care of a friend when I left for a week :( I miss the little guy but now I finally have some wonderful little Russians torts. However I have a few questions about them.

I was told they are both male but I'm almost certain at least 1 is a female since the bottom of her is not curved. Also I noticed that one of the torts tries to mate with the other tort, well thats what it looks like to me, but he gets her from the wrong side, ie his bum goes on her face instead of her bum. The other owners said that if they were both different sexes there would probably be babies by now....is that true? if a male/female havent mated in 10 years does that mean they won't ever?

Also I read that you're supposed to feed russians once a day and leave the food in the tank for a half hour or so and then take it out because of some harm it does to the shell(or something like that). But whenever I give them food they dive into it and eat like crazy and eat it all. Am I feeding them too little? Should I feed them more than once a day?

Also I was told by the last owners to give them crushed up tums with their food as a calcium supplement. Is tums okay? They've been eating it for 10 years so I'm assuming if I continue on it will be okay. And I also read that russians like to eat weeds. Are any weeds okay? I dont think they've ever had weeds before. I know all they were fed was romaine lettuce with occasional other greens, and something carrots and strawberries. But I have weeds in my backyard I could give them if I could.

I also read the you're supposed to "soak" your tortoises for about half an hour everyday. Is that true? I know for a fact that the last owners did not soak them. I've noticed they don't drink too much either. Since I've had them for about week I know at least one of them went into the water dish once.

And my last question is their smell. When I take them out of their tank they smell kinda bad. Is there anything i can do about that? They are currently in an aquarium with potting soil, a little water bowl and one of those guinea pigs igloo things that they love, as well as a basking light.

Sorry this is kinda long but I just want to make sure I give these little guys a great home. I've read some of the threads already posted but haven't found all the answers yet.

Thanks very much for your time and have a great day :)

p.s. i was thinking about building some sort of enclosure outside for them in the next year or so(if I get the okay from the mother that is :p) but since they've been inside a tank they're whole lives could they still become outside turtles? And will they ever grow bigger? thanks again :)
 

Josh

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Hi Filbert
Welcome to TFO! I'm glad you've taken interest in giving your tortoises the best possible care. You've already made one giant step in the right direction. From here, I'd personally recommend you start your research with this caresheet Russian Tortoises @ Chelonia.org
It provides a good foundation of information. The caresheet specifies good dimensions for tortoise tables. You'll want to avoid glass tanks and confined spaces. Your tortoises won't be happy when their growth is stunted by a small living space!
 

jenrell23

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Hello and welcome to TFO
Females can get up to 10" males stay smaller 5-6", Males don't necessarily have curved plastrons, post some tail shots and we will let you know what sex, Russians love to climb on each other, mine are always climbing over each other. They are little piggies, mine also devour there food, I also keep hay in there enclosure at all times. I am not sure about the tums, and some weeds are ok. www.russiantortoise.com has lists of weeds and plants they can eat, you definatly want to put variety into there diets, but stay away from the fruits. Carrots are ok on occasion. I soak mine 3 times a week and leave water in there enclosure all the time. You can put them on aspen, which will help w/ the smell, also you really want to move them from a tank as Josh said, if anything a 55gal rubbermaid tub, or a tub for christmas trees. Just make sure they can't see out. Another one I use is rabbit cages they really long ones, they work to. Besides being able to see out in the tank, the ventalation in them is not that great. But your starting out right, asking questions!! CAn't wait to see picks. Also you want to add another light to there enclosure, you need a uvb bulb plus the heat lamp.
Don't worry about to much in a post, we are all learning and the only way to do that is ask questions, so bring them on..:) Don't worry, they will enjoy being outside when you get them an enclosure, but for now try to get them in the sun as much as possible.






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wayne.bob

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it's great you rescued them!!!!! don't worry about asking long questions because it is the only way you will get proper answers.

remember, we are always here to help.
 

Filbert

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Hey guys,

Just wanted to say thanks for replying to my questions :) I tried soaking the little guys for a bit today but boy did they hate it. I think they got really made at me :/ But if its good for them then they're gonna get it. I'm working on getting one of those rubbermaid tubs in the next few days or so and hopefully an outdoor enclosure in the next couple of months(if I get the okay from the mother of course). I put them outside today and they sure loved that. So now I know once they're done with they're "bubble bath" they can go outside if they're good and maybe they won't hate me so much :p

I'll be posting pictures as soon as I get my camera working.

Thanks again and I hope all is well with everyone :)
 

cvalda

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YAY for you! Congrats and I hope to see pics soon!
 

jenrell23

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I soak mine in buckets they can't see out of, they love to soak! they definatly love being outside more. just waiting on 60's at night and they will be back out in there home. Can't wait to see pics.
 

Filbert

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Hi guys,

I have another few questions. One of the turtles seems to "hiss" everyone once in awhile. Maybe its a sneeze? And his eye is a little red. They both seem to occasionally rub their eyes with thier feet. I'm a bit worried. I went to petsmart and got some repti turtle eye drops by zoomed(which they hate). I was wondering if anyone could give my any tips or suggestion fo what I might do to help them. I've been feeding them romaine lettuce and they eat it all up. And I occasionally stick some carrot and strawberries in(but I'm gonna stop with the strawberries because I read somewhere that they weren't very good.) I'm also on the hunt for some dandelions and I will be moving them from their tank to one of those rubbermaid box thing soon but wondered if the eye thing was something I shold be really concerned about. The original owners said they were healthy and they only had an eye problem once and the vet told them to give them crushed up tums in they're food and they were fine. My old DT used to "hiss" like this one too and he was okay. And I used to give him the same drops in his eyes and he was fine. Help?

Also if any arizonians know any good affordable reptile vets please let me know. I used to take my DT to petsmart but they don't take reptiles anymore.

Thanks again.

P.S. pics coming soon :)
 
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