Things you wish you knew before getting a tortoise

RussianRuby

New Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
Mansfield
My tort was a rescue of sorts. I found her dumped in car park in a wet cardboard box near my work. I took her home (because I couldn't just leave her) and we never parted after that.

I had NO idea that:
-She would require a summer and winter home.
-She would need her own dedicated fridge for brummation.
-I would spend every waking moment doing internet research about every aspect of her health, care and happiness.
-She would cause me anxiety! - what's that noise? why are you nodding your head? why won't you take a bath without escaping? Omg is everything a sign of a respiratory infection?
- something so small could poo so much and stink so bad!!!
- the cost of the vets - just worming knocked me back 160 quid.

Also:
- that I would completely fall in love with her and never be parted.
- that I cannot go anywhere without checking out weeds and safe house plants
- that I would laugh so much at all her little habits.
- that I would talk to her all the time and she will stare back at me like she is listening to every word.

They really are great to have around but I would not have bought a tortoise by choice as she is very life limiting and it's stressful getting the enclosure right but I wouldn't give her away for the world. I also wish terrible things on the person who dumped her in a car park to freeze and starve and who gave her a lumpy shell from neglect.
 

Blackdog1714

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Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
2,427
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, VA
My tort was a rescue of sorts. I found her dumped in car park in a wet cardboard box near my work. I took her home (because I couldn't just leave her) and we never parted after that.

I had NO idea that:
-She would require a summer and winter home.
-She would need her own dedicated fridge for brummation.
-I would spend every waking moment doing internet research about every aspect of her health, care and happiness.
-She would cause me anxiety! - what's that noise? why are you nodding your head? why won't you take a bath without escaping? Omg is everything a sign of a respiratory infection?
- something so small could poo so much and stink so bad!!!
- the cost of the vets - just worming knocked me back 160 quid.

Also:
- that I would completely fall in love with her and never be parted.
- that I cannot go anywhere without checking out weeds and safe house plants
- that I would laugh so much at all her little habits.
- that I would talk to her all the time and she will stare back at me like she is listening to every word.

They really are great to have around but I would not have bought a tortoise by choice as she is very life limiting and it's stressful getting the enclosure right but I wouldn't give her away for the world. I also wish terrible things on the person who dumped her in a car park to freeze and starve and who gave her a lumpy shell from neglect.
I forgot about that! My tort has two homes, each made to perfectly match the season. :mad: And here I am with just one house that I have to make do with year round!
 

RussianRuby

New Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2020
Messages
2
Location (City and/or State)
Mansfield
I forgot about that! My tort has two homes, each made to perfectly match the season. :mad: And here I am with just one house that I have to make do with year round!
Sorry made it sound like she had the perfect set up there. I think you probably have one good enclosure whereas I have two not quite adequate enclosures so she doesn't freeze or boil. Every day is a battle with temps and humidity. :)
 

Sa Ga

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
649
Location (City and/or State)
MN
My tort was a rescue of sorts. I found her dumped in car park in a wet cardboard box near my work. I took her home (because I couldn't just leave her) and we never parted after that.

I had NO idea that:
-She would require a summer and winter home.
-She would need her own dedicated fridge for brummation.
-I would spend every waking moment doing internet research about every aspect of her health, care and happiness.
-She would cause me anxiety! - what's that noise? why are you nodding your head? why won't you take a bath without escaping? Omg is everything a sign of a respiratory infection?
- something so small could poo so much and stink so bad!!!
- the cost of the vets - just worming knocked me back 160 quid.

Also:
- that I would completely fall in love with her and never be parted.
- that I cannot go anywhere without checking out weeds and safe house plants
- that I would laugh so much at all her little habits.
- that I would talk to her all the time and she will stare back at me like she is listening to every word.

They really are great to have around but I would not have bought a tortoise by choice as she is very life limiting and it's stressful getting the enclosure right but I wouldn't give her away for the world. I also wish terrible things on the person who dumped her in a car park to freeze and starve and who gave her a lumpy shell from neglect.
AMEN!!! ❤❤❤❤
 

Celeste78

New Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
7
How fast they are when they are little start at one side of the yard 10 minutes on the a completely side & what amazing hiders they are lol
 

Crush da Baum

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Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
517
Location (City and/or State)
Brooksville
  1. Closed chambers instead of open tops.
  2. Tortoises need huge amounts of room, much more than other types of reptiles or pets.
  3. No cfl UV bulbs.
  4. Pet stores usually sell unnecessary, sometimes detrimental and overpriced products and give terrible tortoise care advice. My apologies to the few exceptions, but you are a rare breed.
  5. No colored bulbs.
  6. No "spot" bulbs.
  7. Use a thermostat to control ambient temps.
  8. Avoid grocery store produce in favor of better items found for free.
  9. Using Mazuri as a supplemental food is good.
  10. Don't overdo the calcium supplementation.
  11. Too much time outside is bad for babies.
  12. The vast majority of tortoise species are NOT "desert" animals. They need water and at least moderate humidity. Especially as babies.
  13. Is will never be cheap or easy to house giant species in climates with freezing winter weather.
  14. Never mix species or allow them to have contact with each other, or each other's stuff, or each other's spaces.
  15. Tortoises should not be kept in pairs.
  16. Tortoises don't get lonely and other tortoises are not seen as "friends'.
  17. Tortoise do NOT get all their water from the food they eat. Babies of all species should be soaked daily.
  18. Letting tortoises roam free in the house or yard is a mistake. Eventually, it is likely to cause the tortoise's death or loss. It doesn't matter how close you intend to supervise. Use an enclosure.
  19. If the tap water is safe for you, its safe for your tortoise.
  20. Most breeders do not start babies correctly. When you find one that does, spread the word. Daily soaks, humid environment, mostly indoors, a WIDE variety of foods, etc... Don't support the ones who are doing it wrong.
  21. Be aware that most of the "research" you do will lead you to old, out-dated, incorrect info that has been parroted for decades and is based off of incorrect assumptions about how they live in the wild.
I have an enclosure that they are in almost always but when I go to the room where they are in, I block the entrance with boxes and let them roam around the carpeted room. Is this okay. I live in Florida and our house isn't cold.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Jan 9, 2010
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Southern California
I have an enclosure that they are in almost always but when I go to the room where they are in, I block the entrance with boxes and let them roam around the carpeted room. Is this okay. I live in Florida and our house isn't cold.
No. Its an accident waiting to happen. So many things can go wrong and we've seen so many tortoises get sick, injured or dead from this practice... Just keep the tortoise in its safe enclosure and make the enclosure big enough to meet its needs.
 

Dennis S

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Joined
May 4, 2020
Messages
19
Location (City and/or State)
Reno
Ok only had my Russian for a month, had an American Box Turtle years ago, so far minor differences, poop is close to same what gets me is the amount that such a small creature can eat, I go and forage weeds for him, atm, mallow, dandilion and plantain, still learning oh and clover sparingly even though it seems to be a favorite of his, ultimately I put in three to four hand fulls a day for him, he eats all that is put in,
 
L

LasTortugasNinja

Guest
I’m shocked at how quickly I learned the weeds of my neighborhood. Also shocked when I find myself asking friends & family if they use any pesticides or herbicides, and if not, if they mind if I bag that lump of clover or mallow. I get some... interesting... looks from family.

even better... my wife calls me and says she sees a clump of mallow at a friends’ house and wants to know if I want it! Lol
 

Sa Ga

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Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
649
Location (City and/or State)
MN
I’m shocked at how quickly I learned the weeds of my neighborhood. Also shocked when I find myself asking friends & family if they use any pesticides or herbicides, and if not, if they mind if I bag that lump of clover or mallow. I get some... interesting... looks from family.

even better... my wife calls me and says she sees a clump of mallow at a friends’ house and wants to know if I want it! Lol
Totally! NEVER thought I would be able to tell one type of leafy green from another, let alone diffr kales!
 

Chimi

New Member
Joined
May 29, 2020
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Necochea
Hi guys! :)

I'm new here and I don't have any tortoises (yet!). I have been doing my research for about half a year, but I want to as knowledgable as possible before bringing a tortoise into my life.

Title of the thread explains it all really. What are some things that you wish you knew before bringing a tortoise into your life? What are some unexpected things you faced, despite all your research?

Thanks for reading,
Jacob
People I knew who had tortoises told me that they were animals that you just left alone and occasionally give food to, otherwise they were good on their own. I got a tort and in the first 3 months of having it I went to the vet (my miracle worker) for an entire month. Thank God I could save my beautiful tort. And after that yes, I discovered that yes, you can leave them alone and be a neglecting owner. But if you are willing to be a good responsible owner then what I wish I knew is that tortoise need A LOT of care. You are going to love being a tort owner. They are the best.
 

leothetort27

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Joined
May 20, 2020
Messages
28
Location (City and/or State)
Toronto
Hi guys! :)

I'm new here and I don't have any tortoises (yet!). I have been doing my research for about half a year, but I want to as knowledgable as possible before bringing a tortoise into my life.

Title of the thread explains it all really. What are some things that you wish you knew before bringing a tortoise into your life? What are some unexpected things you faced, despite all your research?

Thanks for reading,
Jacob
Hi guys! :)

I'm new here and I don't have any tortoises (yet!). I have been doing my research for about half a year, but I want to as knowledgable as possible before bringing a tortoise into my life.

Title of the thread explains it all really. What are some things that you wish you knew before bringing a tortoise into your life? What are some unexpected things you faced, despite all your research?

Thanks for reading,
Jacob
Hey Jacob! tortoises make great pets, they are pretty docile and gentle creatures that do not require a crazy amount of care. However, tortoises can live for a very long time and depending on the species they require a lot of space. I have a Greek tortoise and I think he is the perfect breed of tortoise to keep as a pet as they do not grow
Hi guys! :)

I'm new here and I don't have any tortoises (yet!). I have been doing my research for about half a year, but I want to as knowledgable as possible before bringing a tortoise into my life.

Title of the thread explains it all really. What are some things that you wish you knew before bringing a tortoise into your life? What are some unexpected things you faced, despite all your research?

Thanks for reading,
Jacob
 

Nikki888

New Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
16
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hello!
I am new here, and I would like a tortoise. That is why I am here, on a tortoise forum :))))
But as a responsible person, I am trying to collect info about them, firstly, in general.
But my first question is this: Can they be emotionally attached to you?
Thank you for the replies and have a great day!
Kisses😘
 

Srmcclure

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Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
1,226
Location (City and/or State)
Oklahoma city
Hello!
I am new here, and I would like a tortoise. That is why I am here, on a tortoise forum :))))
But as a responsible person, I am trying to collect info about them, firstly, in general.
But my first question is this: Can they be emotionally attached to you?
Thank you for the replies and have a great day!
Kisses😘
No, not in the way you think. You WILL be the food God though.
 

haydog_99

Active Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2020
Messages
140
Location (City and/or State)
Rocklin, CA
1. Buy only from a breeder directly that you are sure has raised your hatchling correctly, hatchlings raised in a dry environment will likely cause you heartache
2. Use a fully enclosed enclosure to ensure you can maintain humidity and heat
3. Get your enclosure set up and dialed in before you order your hatchling
4. Make sure you have your enclosure setup with a Ceramic Heat Emitter on a thermostat to keep the temperature steady at night (don't let it drop below 80 Fahrenheit)
5. Get a SolarMeter to check your UV levels, UV is very important and you won't have any idea what the output is without the meter
6. Use a substrate the maintains good moisture, no store bought topsoil or sand
7. Read the care sheets on this site for the type of tortoise you plan on buying before making the purchase
8. Depending on what type of tortoise you plan on getting, ensure you have the required space, inside and out, before buying
9. Supplement their diet with Mazuri
10. Make sure you give your tortoise a variety of food, they can get very picky with what they eat if they don't have a variety. Mine gets a variety and is still very picky about what he eats
11. Use a stone or terracotta as a plate to feed your tortoise to manage their beak
12. Don't panic when your new hatchling doesn't eat for a day or two when they arrive
13. Don't panic when your tortoise doesn't poop every day
14. Don't handle your hatchling too much when they first arrive, they are not good with change and get very stressed
15. Just take a breath, it will all be OK
 

Srmcclure

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Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
1,226
Location (City and/or State)
Oklahoma city
:D Food God - so funny!
but nothing more? like missing me after some time I don't turn up..?
Not really lol. They don't really form those types of attachments. They just know, 'hey, thats the lady that brings the good stuff!'
But WE grow very attached very quickly and the cuteness factor makes up for it.
 

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