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Would glass tank set up work if you put something around it like a wallpaper?

elliotmarie

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2020
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9
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Washington
This is a totally ignorant curiosity based question, I’m new to this and I didn’t know!! I read glass tanks aren’t great for them because of lots of reasons like the heat and that they’ll hurt themselves if they can see out. Would putting a dark paper/wallpaper around the outside of 3/4 sides (front being open so you can see in) work? I only ask because I saw this on a Facebook group I joined *not my photo* and I thought maybe I could achieve it by using paper or something? Like I said I’m not sure. I know the guy I’m getting this week (Small adult Russian tortoise) comes with a 40 gallon glass tank and I didn’t know if there was a way I could turn it into an actual good home? D6B14A18-4B28-4CEB-9227-4232F67E93B7.png
 

ZenHerper

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Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
231
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
The #1 problem with glass tanks is that they are not big enough.

Temperature issues can be addressed with proper equipment, including thermostats.

Paper can certainly be used to line the outside and keep residents from seeing the other side of the fence, so to speak.

But a 40 gallon tank is just insufficient for even a single Russian tort of juvenile or adult size. These animals have evolved to wander large territories (alone), eating and digesting and pooping, rinse, repeat.

Most animals who scale glass walls are likely just desperate for exercise and privacy.
 

Toddrickfl1

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Tortoise Club
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Jan 7, 2018
Messages
3,966
Location (City and/or State)
Ga
I think the idea that Tortoises don't recognize glass is an old myth personally. A 40 gallon breeder, or any tank for that matter is way too small for any tortoise, including a Russian. Tortoises need to to roam. I think this myth comes from the fact that many tortoises in the pet trade are wild caught and then thrown into a small glass tank. When the tortoise is constantly walking around bumping into the glass people just assumed they don't recognize glass. That's just my personal opinion though.
 

jsheffield

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Sep 29, 2018
Messages
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Glass tanks are fine for tortoises, except that in most cases they're too small for the tortoises that they're housing...

Jamie
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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Jan 9, 2010
Messages
47,042
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
This is a totally ignorant curiosity based question, I’m new to this and I didn’t know!! I read glass tanks aren’t great for them because of lots of reasons like the heat and that they’ll hurt themselves if they can see out. Would putting a dark paper/wallpaper around the outside of 3/4 sides (front being open so you can see in) work? I only ask because I saw this on a Facebook group I joined *not my photo* and I thought maybe I could achieve it by using paper or something? Like I said I’m not sure. I know the guy I’m getting this week (Small adult Russian tortoise) comes with a 40 gallon glass tank and I didn’t know if there was a way I could turn it into an actual good home? View attachment 288699
Everyone else already said everything I was going to say.

Glass tank are fine. This is a persistent myth.

A 40 is way to small for a Russian. A 100 gallon tank is way too small for an adult. They need something around 4x8 feet.

What no one has said yet is that those FB tortoise groups are run by lunatics who give bad advice and parrot false ideas. I would stay off of there, or at least just don't ask for, or take, their advice on tortoise care.
 

jsheffield

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Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,674
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
Everyone else already said everything I was going to say.

Glass tank are fine. This is a persistent myth.

A 40 is way to small for a Russian. A 100 gallon tank is way too small for an adult. They need something around 4x8 feet.

What no one has said yet is that those FB tortoise groups are run by lunatics who give bad advice and parrot false ideas. I would stay off of there, or at least just don't ask for, or take, their advice on tortoise care.
FB tort-groups can be a fun place to share and look at pics of tortoises, but that's about it... as Tom said, they're peopled and run by crazy and uninformed people who are happy to spread misinformation and dogma (tort-ma?) which can lead to unhealthy tortoises.

That being said, I'm a member of some tort groups on FB, I just avoid the most outspoken and dogmatic ones, and make a point of making that experience about posting and admiring pics of tortoises.

Jamie
 
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