Southern box turtle?

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torilovestorts

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Hi. I have a russian tortoise & I am in the process of upgrading his enclosure. My friend is trying to get rid of her southern box turtle? Is there a chance I could put him with the russian tortoise after I upgrade his enclosure? I'd put him in the enclosure my tortoise is in currently, but I don't have the lights yet. Or would it be okay if I kept them together until I could get some lights? & also, how different is taking care of a box turtle from a russian tortoise?
 

GeoTerraTestudo

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torilovestorts said:
Hi. I have a russian tortoise & I am in the process of upgrading his enclosure. My friend is trying to get rid of her southern box turtle? Is there a chance I could put him with the russian tortoise after I upgrade his enclosure? I'd put him in the enclosure my tortoise is in currently, but I don't have the lights yet. Or would it be okay if I kept them together until I could get some lights? & also, how different is taking care of a box turtle from a russian tortoise?

Box turtles are terrestrial pond turtles, so they are rather different from true tortoises. Boxies typically like the water a bit more than tortoises, and their diets are different, too. Tortoises are essentially herbivores, while box turtles are essentially omnivores. Whereas your Russian's main diet is forbs (leafy weeds and greens), your box turtle's diet should be a mix of forbs, fruits, mushrooms, earthworms, insects, and occasionally meat.

As for keeping them together, it's usually considered a no-no to mix tortoise species. Two species might have different environmental requirements, but not necessarily. The two might fight, but that's not always the case, either. However, two tortoise species might hybridize, and that should be avoided. Finally, housing tortoises from different parts of the world together might result in disease contagion, illness, and even death.

It's thought that the same rules generally apply to mixing tortoises and box turtles. Hybridization is not an issue, because even if torties and boxies were to try and mate (unlikely), no offspring would be produced. Also, environmental requirements may or may not be different, and behavioral compatibility might be okay, too. As for diseases, some might be transferred but not others. Viruses might have trouble making the leap, but bacteria, protozoa, and worms probably can be transferred between box turtles and tortoises.

So, as a general rule, it's best to keep tortoises and box turtles in single-species enclosures.
 

torilovestorts

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She's keeping it a tank like you would an aquatic turtle. With no ubv no lamps nothing. Can they be together just long enough until I can get a UVB & basking lamps? & if they don't fight can they just stay together?
 

GeoTerraTestudo

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torilovestorts said:
She's keeping it a tank like you would an aquatic turtle. With no ubv no lamps nothing. Can they be together just long enough until I can get a UVB & basking lamps? & if they don't fight can they just stay together?

That's too bad. However, even if you were to house them together, you'd still want a quarantine period of several months to make sure they were healthy and not likely to infect each other. I would house them separately.
 

torilovestorts

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I'll keep them separate, & just take the box turtle outside to let him get some ubv.
 

Saleama

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torilovestorts said:
I'll keep them separate, & just take the box turtle outside to let him get some ubv.

Good idea. Even if you keep him in a box with some light for a day or so he would be better off.
 
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