Which Room to Keep Russian in ?


New Member
Dec 24, 2013
We recently acquires a Russian Tortoise. She is in a big fish tank, we have 3 sides covered, she has a pool and a log to hide under. I had her in the living room but wasn't sure if the activity would be good so we put her in my sons room. Now I feel bad like she might be lonely.

What is best for her? Thanks!


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Feb 11, 2011
The tortoise will adjust to the daytime activity; but at night it needs to be quiet and dark with temperatures that drop down into the low 60's to low 70's range. So which room will fit those needs best?

How large is your Russian? When young the fish tank maybe OK because it can provide a more humid environment. But for a 4 1/2" or larger tort you need at least a 3' x 6' area. The bigger the better.

For daytime, your enclosure should have a basking spot the reaches 95 degrees. And the cool end should be close to 75 degrees to allow your tortoise to self regulate its internal temperature.

If you can post pictures, the forum will be happy to offer suggestions.

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Actually, to answer your last question, what is best for a Russian tortoise is to live outside in a large, well-planted and safe habitat. If that's not possible, then a large indoor habitat will just have to do. Russian tortoises are wanderers, covering lots of territory in their daily walks in search of food. This is hard-wired into them. They get pretty stressed out when confined to a small (to them) aquarium. Remember, aquariums are measured for the amount of water they hold, and this includes how high the sides are. A tortoise needs lots of floor space, not tall sides.

If you provide your tortoise with a large habitat that has a few sight barriers, such as plants, rocks, driftwood, maybe even a small fence across half of the middle, there is no reason he wouldn't be perfectly happy in the living room. Some tortoises seem to enjoy watching their people. But if your living room is busy after dark, then it would be a good idea to cover the habitat to give him some quiet time.


The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 9, 2010
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Russians are very accepting and adaptable. Either room will work, but I agree that you need something much bigger, and an outdoor pen for decent weather is great too.

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