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  1. mini_max

    Help diagnosing a spot on shell

    Hi, i noticed our Russian tortoise has a dark green spot on his shell. The shell is not soft to the touch or raised there. But I see a line that looks like a surface scratch near by. Could the green be a bruise? He's been really active and feisty lately... Plastron is in good condition...
  2. mini_max

    Burrowing too much

    It's been a long time since I last posted! Our Russian, Max, is now approximately 4 years old. We live in Alberta, Canada, so he has been living in a large outdoor enclosure for the past few months, and will resume life indoors by the end of September. He has a heated hide in his outdoor...
  3. mini_max

    Plastron Problem, please help diagnose

    What is going on on the lower left where it has turned white? And what do I need to do about it? About the tortoise - 2-3 year old Russian living in an indoor enclosure on a orchid bark coco coir mix. 100 basking down to 79 in outer corners. Eats grocery store greens, mazuri, weeds and safe...
  4. mini_max

    Mercury vapor bulb buzzing sound

    Hi! My new 125 watt mvb is making a really annoying hum/buzz that makes it sound like my ears are ringing whenever I'm near the enclosure. Does anyone know, is this normal for the higher wattage bulbs, or is it my fixture, or the bulb itself? Thanks.
  5. mini_max

    Gender help

    I understand sexual maturity occurs somewhere between 4 and 6 inches. "Max" is a little over 4. To those more experienced than me, does it still look too immature to call, or is it a female?
  6. mini_max

    Distance of mvb to basking spot?

    I recently purchased a new mvb. I decided to down the wattage to 100, but I'm finding I have to lower the fixture to achieve the right basking temp. How close is too close? His bulb is sitting about 12" from the substrate. I am concerned because I'm noticing some pinky marks on his...
  7. mini_max

    Staying outside in late summer/fall

    Hi, this was our first summer with our Russian tortoise in an outdoor enclosure. While the days are still warm, the nights are cooling off, and some days are too. I can't believe how much he loves living outside so I'd like to keep him outside as long as possible. For the most part I think he...
  8. mini_max

    Aphid consumption an issue?

    Eeek! I just noticed that the petunias I've been feeding Max (a Russian) are totally aphid infested. He has absolutely eaten some/many aphids. Is this a big deal? He loooooooves petunias and his outdoor enclosure has so many planted in it.
  9. mini_max

    Ok not to soak?

    I have a healthy Russian tortoise who is somewhere between 1 and 2 years old. He has always been soaked. Right now it's usually a few times a week. We are about to go on holidays and will be gone for 9 days. Could he go this long without a soak without it causing him much harm or stress...
  10. mini_max

    Safe vines

    There is a spot in my outdoor enclosure begging for a climbing vine. Do any avid tortoise gardeners know of a safe variety?
  11. mini_max

    Final update - Max's outdoor digs

    Can't seem to get the whole thing in one shot... And here he is eating it... And climbing it...
  12. mini_max

    Moisture/humidity for outdoor enclosure

    Max (russian) is now living full time outside. I'm new to outdoor tortoise keeping and I'm wondering if I need to be concerned about humidity out there. Aside from having some moist soil/bark/sphagnum in his hide (which he is still refusing to use without intervention), it's pretty warm and...
  13. mini_max

    How to make my tort sleep where I want him to?

    Today's first venture into the new outdoor enclosure was a success. He was active from 8:30 in the morning and just was putting himself down about half an hour ago! Which is a huge difference for him. We had a little rain shower and I tried putting him into each og his hides, but he wouldn't...
  14. mini_max

    Heated bowl vs heat mat

    I am thinking of sinking a heated pet bowl into the dirt in my outdoor hide. Max likes to burrow, and it should keep the dirt in the bowl a bit warmer right? It is that or an outdoor small pet heating mat. Thoughts? @Yvonne G , your name comes up in a lot of heat mat threads. What do you think?
  15. mini_max

    Heating outdoor hide is causing me grief!

    I just took the temp in my outdoor hide and it was 55. I expect it could have been a few degrees cooler at the coldest point of the night. Max isn't in it yet. Is this too cold? My initial plan to suspend heated cable didn't work out:(. I mean it worked, but the cable emitted this horrible...
  16. mini_max

    Headless basking

    Anyone else find it creepy looking when their tort basks with all limbs way out, but head all the way in?! Not a fan.
  17. mini_max


  18. mini_max

    Heating outdoor hide

    For our russian's night hide we have built a hill covered in layers of dirt and sod. We will be putting a small igloo type plastic hut in the hill. He's only going to use this enclosure in summer so it will never get that cold...maybe high 50s on some unusually cold nights at the very worst...
  19. mini_max

    Progress on outdoor enclosure

    Still working on it, but this is how things are shaping up so far. That is a hide dug into the hill. There is also a heated cat house coming. I can't wait to get him in there!!!
  20. mini_max

    Suggestions on how to cover this

    In the name of making Max's new outdoor enclosure aesthetically appealing, I insisted on this curvy shape. Now I realize that it's going to be a pain to cover. I just want to keep predators out - where we are, I think the main concern will be birds. But, at the same time I want to access it...