I'm very seriously considering a Russian Tortoise as a new addition to my family. Right now I have a 55 gallon aquarium that I'm a bit lost on how to best set up for my unaquired new friend. Due to the climate that I live in I'll be able to set up a small outdoor "playpen" but the large and main enclosure will have to be indoors. I've read a lot of threads so far but I'm struggling to pull all the information together in a way that makes sense to me. I know that aquariums aren't ideal for tortoises but from what I understand they can work if executed properly. Fogging or covering the glass is a must. I also want to do something multi level to add space. I wish I could do a bigger aquarium/ enclosure but I just don't have the room. The second level won't be so large that it needs its own complete substrate layer or lights, just a space for exploring. Maybe a platform with a ramp (with safety sides) on the cool side of the enclosure? Is there a way that I could combine that with a hide away for him/her? My other concern is humidity. I've read a lot about proper humidity and it seems like a Goldilocks situation. Glass aquariums from what I understand stay more humid? I live in the rocky mountains of Colorado and it's very very dry here so I'm considering that a bit of an advantage. I also am mind boggled by the temperature shift idea. I understand the importance of a basking area - flat rock, heat lamp/ubv lamp. Is there a specific heating assistant that anyone would recommend to hit those higher 90+ degree temperatures? Also how do you maintain a temperature that high on one side of the enclosure while keeping the other side significantly cooler? Is that something that a platform and shelter would help or hurt? I have a good grasp on the 12 hours on 12 hours off light scenario. I'm just trying to whittle down the finer details to make sure my future little turtle friend will live his/her best life. I also can't find a specific water dish height. Obviously it depends on the size of the turtle but how high should the water level on his/her shell? Is there a particular brand/shape/type of dish that works best? How often do I need to completely change out the substrate vs. a basic waste removal? (I know to change water and food supply daily if not more than once a day) I also would love some tips on garnishes if you will. Ways to decorate that are appealing to look at but also beneficial for a tortoise. This was a lot but I really want to be a good tortoise mom. I had a box turtle when I was a kid who got bit by an ant in his outdoor space and didn't survive the resulting infection. I don't remember much about caring for Bob. Just that I loved him very much. Now that I'm an adult I want to do the best I can for my little friend whenever I decide I've gotten everything prepared for him/her. I want to set up and maintain the tank tortoiseless for a couple weeks to make sure I have it down before I put a little friend in it.