Russian tortoises

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LasTortugasNinja

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Instead of the blue light over the hide, I'd recommend a ceramic heat emitter, if needed. For most temperate zone reptiles, you need a basking light with temps from 90 to 120 degrees & uvb, a "warm zone" in the 80s (usually via a CHE), and a cool area in the mid to high 70's. Usually I place a hide in each region. Also, much shallower and bigger water bowl. Most reptiles like to bathe. Even desert and savannah species.
 

silverbird

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I see that everyone else is singing the praises of Russian tortoises. They are very active, stay relatively small, and are inexpensive compared to most other tortoises. They are a great first-time pet/tortoise for beginners and are very hardy.
 

herpivore

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Apr 12, 2020
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If a tortoise is stuck on certain "greens", try chopping up their food into bite-size pieces, and mixing the pieces. The tortoise will probably grab a mouthful and get a little of everything. They do need a variety, and they also should not be eating "the white part of lettuce". It's good for hydration and that's about it - not really any better than iceberg lettuce. If a tortoise already has a water dish and gets regular baths/soaks, I cut out the "rib" of each leaf when I feed them grocery store greens.
Try chopping up (chemical-free) lawn grass, or put a handful of dried grass hay (Oxbow or Kaytee are acceptable) in a blender or food chopper, or cut into tiny pieces with a knife or scissors, then soak in water til the hay is soft, then mix that in with their chopped greens. That will help increase fiber and lower protein - both critical elements in most tortoise diets.
 
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KronksMom

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I can't believe how much personality fits into my little boys body! It seems like his whole goal in life is "gotta go fast!" He loves to climb to the peak of my knees, then slide down them towards my lap, pulling one front leg in & using the other to push himself faster if he slows down at all. He also loves going for walks. Since we don't have a secure yard, we take him out on a leash. People always assume they're slow, but that's definitely not the case! Another thing he loves is getting his head scratched. He will push so hard up into your hand, his whole head out, it's just so cute :) He's definitely a little love bug. He'll fall asleep with his head on my hand while I rub his butt. I had no idea tortoises could be so loving before Kronk. IMG_20200325_154841.jpg IMG_20200323_115605.jpg 20200218_124640.jpg 20191221_123623.jpg
 

KronksMom

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If your tortoise is an adult and you can see him regularly go into his water dish and drink water, than you may not need to. Otherwise, it is a good idea. There's really no harm that can come from giving them a bath once or twice a week. Because tortoises absorb water through their cloaca, it is a good way to help them stay hydrated even if you don't see them actively drinking while they're in the tub.
 

Sa Ga

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Nov 19, 2019
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MN
I can't believe how much personality fits into my little boys body! It seems like his whole goal in life is "gotta go fast!" He loves to climb to the peak of my knees, then slide down them towards my lap, pulling one front leg in & using the other to push himself faster if he slows down at all. He also loves going for walks. Since we don't have a secure yard, we take him out on a leash. People always assume they're slow, but that's definitely not the case! Another thing he loves is getting his head scratched. He will push so hard up into your hand, his whole head out, it's just so cute :) He's definitely a little love bug. He'll fall asleep with his head on my hand while I rub his butt. I had no idea tortoises could be so loving before Kronk. View attachment 291455 View attachment 291458 View attachment 291459 View attachment 291460
If I could give 1000 😍's I would!
 

FireFlyLady

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Feb 25, 2020
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Bloomington Indiana
Great tortoises that are very hardy, cool to watch, that love to eat, and are very active. My russian tortoises favorite flower above all else is clover. They have never turned it down. Their second favorite is hibiscus and dandelion. They love the white part of romaine lettuce, and it is super cool watching them forage weeds like a wild tortoise.
I wish my Russian would forage!! When mine goes outside he just runs from one side of the yard to the other....in not 100%sure he likes to go outside but I take him ☺
 

MichaelL

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Ocala, Fl
I wish my Russian would forage!! When mine goes outside he just runs from one side of the yard to the other....in not 100%sure he likes to go outside but I take him ☺
I have noticed that they don't like to forage on just a lawn of grass. Mine forage in an area that is more sandy, with green weeds everywhere and little grass. More like their natural environment
 

jUMPSu1t

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Nov 11, 2018
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Los Angeles
Lol. My Russian has not been hardy and doesn't like to eat ANY of those (clover, hib, or dandy). But, she was a rescue who came with some issues, so she's been a little more TLC and $$$ than is to be expected.

I will say that she's been worth EVERY penny and I love her more than I ever thought possible for an animal!

View attachment 291228 Morla napping on my chest as I watch YouTube. ❤❤❤❤
Wow, you let your tortoises out around the house? My tortoises are scared of new places and will usually poop the first time they find one, so if Crystal sat on me, a few seconds later I'd have poop on my shirt. Morla looks adorable, how old is she?
 

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