Your enclosure experience - what is your best view on Husbandry needs

o.singer1972

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Stow
Hello folks,

I wanted to start a thread on husbandry needs for various of tortoise species like REDFOOTS, HERMANS, LEOPARDS so on....

Many tortoise species exist in the world, with Russian Tortoises, Redfoot Tortoises, and Leopard Tortoises being some of the most commonly kept as pets. Adult size varies with species, and many can live 20-50+ years. Any potential new tortoise owners should research their species of interest extensively, as some grow to be over two feet in diameter, and may require large indoor and outdoor enclosures.

Share your views and photos of your enclosures, I am searching best BIOACTIVE design for my REDFOOTS. I like that Bioactive enclosures are made up of live plants and invertebrates that act as a self-cleaning waste disposal system. Bioactive enclosures are increasing in popularity among the reptile and amphibian-keeping communities due to the convenience they provide. What are the pitfalls of such enclosures? What materials and plants you find hardy and beneficials? What about 'Cleaner crews' like insects/invertebrates like:

  • Springtails
  • Isopods
  • Mealworms
  • Dubia Roaches
  • Earthworms



Lets run with it

Oudi

99436566_10158793162831844_2189732944938008576_o.jpg
 

Yvonne G

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In my opinion, the most important thing about your tortoise's enclosure is to have only one specie in it. I provide a rain forest environment for my Manouria, a savannah for my leopards, a semi desert area for the California desert tortoises and a grassland/forest area for the yellowfoots.
 

Tom

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Hello folks,

I wanted to start a thread on husbandry needs for various of tortoise species like REDFOOTS, HERMANS, LEOPARDS so on....
NEVER mix species. And that enclosure is way too small for even one little tortoise. They also need a visual barrier.

Here is the care for leopards:

Here is the care for Russians and other Testudo:

I haven't done a RF care sheet yet, but its pretty similar to the leopard one, but with no basking lamp, and a little different diet.
 

o.singer1972

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Stow
NEVER mix species. And that enclosure is way too small for even one little tortoise. They also need a visual barrier.

Here is the care for leopards:

Here is the care for Russians and other Testudo:

I haven't done a RF care sheet yet, but its pretty similar to the leopard one, but with no basking lamp, and a little different diet.
For sure

I am past that stage My friends. I know that species should not be mixed unless from similar locale. My Yellowfoot and Reds are separated. Mediterranean torts are in their own element My outdoor enclosure is just for summer needs for short periods ( 1 hour at a time) since I live in Ohio and Climate is unpredictable and cold. My Sulcata and Stars are also Separated in their own enclosures.

I am interested in the science behind husbandry plants for different breeds. Sorry for confusion
 

o.singer1972

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Stow
So Far was I extracted is that : A full Bioactive Enclosure is a merge of Naturalistic Enclosures and Bioactive Substrates.

These allow inverts to break the waste down in to food for the plants to grow. This gives maximum benefit to the animals in the enclosure, from sights and smell of natural live plants, natural humidity creation, substrates that allow a full range of natural behaviours, inverts that maintain the Enclosure and also act as a food source for the inhabitants.

It is possible to go one step further than a bioactive setup. This requires a lot more effort to setup but no more effort to maintain.

This is called a biotope. A biotope is a small environment filled with plants and animals from the same native area. This literally creates a small slice of that area in your home.

The question is Summertime Rose of Sharon and Mallow fulfills my Summertime enclosure needs for Sulcata and Leopards. What about indoors plants? Hibiscus might need much growing lights to thrive. Not sure. Opuntia , Aloe might be hardy. Any thoughts?
 

o.singer1972

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definitely, she was a rescue. came from abusive situation crimson_lotus. I rescue a lot. She is a Macedonian Herman Tort. Smuggled from overseas. She is also blind in one eye but her spirit is strong she comes to 2nd grade to cheer my students. She is a miracle worker 😇
 

crimson_lotus

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definitely, she was a rescue. came from abusive situation crimson_lotus. I rescue a lot. She is a Macedonian Herman Tort. Smuggled from overseas. She is also blind in one eye but her spirit is strong she comes to 2nd grade to cheer my students. She is a miracle worker 😇
yay a rescue :)

I can't help you with bioactive design, unfortunately. I have tried many plants in my indoor redfoot's enclosure but they are always completely destroyed. If you happen to be able to keep a large tortoise indoors for most of the year and also maintain plants in the enclosure, let me know! probably more realistic for hatchlings or for outdoor enclosures.
 

o.singer1972

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yay a rescue :)

I can't help you with bioactive design, unfortunately. I have tried many plants in my indoor redfoot's enclosure but they are always completely destroyed. If you happen to be able to keep a large tortoise indoors for most of the year and also maintain plants in the enclosure, let me know! probably more realistic for hatchlings or for outdoor enclosures.

Love your response , Thank you crimson_lotus
 

queen koopa

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yay a rescue :)

I can't help you with bioactive design, unfortunately. I have tried many plants in my indoor redfoot's enclosure but they are always completely destroyed. If you happen to be able to keep a large tortoise indoors for most of the year and also maintain plants in the enclosure, let me know! probably more realistic for hatchlings or for outdoor enclosures.
Agreed, these big a** tortoise destroy any plant you try to set them up with.
 

pawsplus

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I gave up on plants in my adult redfoot's indoor enclosure years ago. As others have said, she just plowed them down. Right now there is a large (3 foot) palm in there--those hold up pretty well. The outdoor enclosure has lots of plants because those can be larger and sturdier.
 

Sandy W

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Oct 9, 2020
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Scotts valley CA
Hello folks,

I wanted to start a thread on husbandry needs for various of tortoise species like REDFOOTS, HERMANS, LEOPARDS so on....

Many tortoise species exist in the world, with Russian Tortoises, Redfoot Tortoises, and Leopard Tortoises being some of the most commonly kept as pets. Adult size varies with species, and many can live 20-50+ years. Any potential new tortoise owners should research their species of interest extensively, as some grow to be over two feet in diameter, and may require large indoor and outdoor enclosures.

Share your views and photos of your enclosures, I am searching best BIOACTIVE design for my REDFOOTS. I like that Bioactive enclosures are made up of live plants and invertebrates that act as a self-cleaning waste disposal system. Bioactive enclosures are increasing in popularity among the reptile and amphibian-keeping communities due to the convenience they provide. What are the pitfalls of such enclosures? What materials and plants you find hardy and beneficials? What about 'Cleaner crews' like insects/invertebrates like:

  • Springtails
  • Isopods
  • Mealworms
  • Dubia Roaches
  • Earthworms



Lets run with it

Oudi

View attachment 309816
I would love a thread on desert tortoises - i need all the info i can get ! Always looking for new ideas to keep my tortoises happy and healthy
 

AmandaTX

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Dec 17, 2019
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I haven't heard much on bioactive tortoise enclosures. However, here in Houston (and online) We have the Bio Dude, a herp retail store that specializes in all things bioactive. With their guidance, I've set up crested gecko and bird poop frog systems that are totally self sustaining at this point - at least waste wise!

The Bio Dude has an online blog with lots of info on bioactive set ups and has multiple YouTube videos. They do not deal in anything tortoise, so keep in mind all information is related to other reptiles. https://www.thebiodude.com/
 

crimson_lotus

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I have heard some owners on here have roly polys/isopods in their enclosure for poop patrol. springtails are generally more of a pest and multiply too fast...I wouldn't have them in an indoor enclosure.

When I first met my tortoise, there were so many springtails under her enclosure substrate. Apparently no one ever cleaned it. They did not help with cleanliness, I can assure you.

I have heard nothing of roaches or mealworms. Earthworms make a nice snack if the tort can find them :)
 

jensem17

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I have isopods and spring tails in a fully planted set up for my baby Russian tortoise. So far everyone/thing seems happy and thriving.

The plants around the perimeter are edible but not his favs. The ones in the middle require replacement every now and then. For his adult enclosure I plan to keep them in their pots, and rotate them.

Here's a shot of one the isopods on poop duty.
 

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Maro2Bear

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Agreed, these big a** tortoise destroy any plant you try to set them up with.
The best thing is to grow some Pothos in hanging baskets and them tail/hang down into the enclosure (assuming it’s open top). Most torts like to nibble on the tips. If they nibble too much, it’s just up & out of reach.
 

crimson_lotus

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I have isopods and spring tails in a fully planted set up for my baby Russian tortoise. So far everyone/thing seems happy and thriving.

The plants around the perimeter are edible but not his favs. The ones in the middle require replacement every now and then. For his adult enclosure I plan to keep them in their pots, and rotate them.

Here's a shot of one the isopods on poop duty.
nice enclosure!
 

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