A second tortoise?

Darwin16

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Hi everyone, I am currently in search of a bigger vivarium for my Red Foot boy and have also been thinking about getting him a friend. I know red-foots are perfectly happy on their own but I feel there are so many torties out there in need of rescue and that I have the time and ability to care for another. I was wondering what is the best way to do this, a male or female, younger or older, or around the same age as him? Would another species happily live with him or not (he get's fed outside his vivarium so food wouldn't be an issue with two sharing a viv) Also if I was going to share vivarium with another tortie what sie would be best? Anyone have any advice or tips they are most welcome! thank you (My current tortie is a nine-year-old male)
 

JoesMum

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It’s not so much that redfoots are happy alone, it’s that they don’t do well as pairs. Generally speaking tortoises are loners in the wild that meet up to mate and move on.

As with all tortoises, if you introduce a second one then it is a rival for territory and food. This is more easily managed in a very large (outdoor) enclosure with plenty of sight barriers and three or more tortoises. Only two means there’s a bully and a victim. The group needs to be tortoises of similar size with only one male.

You should never mix species. Few other species need the same environmental conditions and diet as redfoots.

Different species evolved to tolerate different pathogens, have different care requirements and different diets. Mixing them is a recipe for one or both getting very sick.

Finally, if you do decide to introduce more tortoises, they must be kept entirely separately in quarantine for at least six months.

You should only ever keep as many tortoises as you have room for separately in any case as there are no guarantees. When/if war breaks out the separation is likely to be permanent.
 

JoesMum

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I am also concerned that your redfoot gets fed outside his viv. A viv is generally too small for a nine year old tortoise. And out of the enclosure your tort is away from the heat, UVB and humidity your tort needs to be healthy.

It’s normal to give a tort food first thing in the morning and leave it there so it can browse through the day - as it does in the wild. Similarly torts need constant access to water.

Your viv is likely too small for what you have without adding more.


Even a small species like a Russian needs a minimum of 4’x8’ floor area. Three Russians would require more than three times that space. The same applies to redfoots.
 

Darwin16

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I am also concerned that your redfoot gets fed outside his viv. A viv is generally too small for a nine year old tortoise. And out of the enclosure your tort is away from the heat, UVB and humidity your tort needs to be healthy.

It’s normal to give a tort food first thing in the morning and leave it there so it can browse through the day - as it does in the wild. Similarly torts need constant access to water.

Your viv is likely too small for what you have without adding more.


Even a small species like a Russian needs a minimum of 4’x8’ floor area. Three Russians would require more than three times that space. The same applies to redfoots.

I'm a little confused by you saying a Viv is generally too small, what would you suggest him to be kept in other than a Viv. He only get's fed outside of it for enrichment as was done at my college where I studied animal care. This is all I have ever seen done and was suggested to us by our reptile vet as a way to monitor his food intake. He has access to water at all times, why would he not?
 

JoesMum

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What is the floor area of the viv that you have? What is the Straight Carapace Length of your tortoise? Here's how to measure it http://www.tlady.clara.net/measure.htm

Tortoises shouldn't need constant monitoring like that. What you look for is steady weight gain over time... Not watching their every move.

A redfoot does need a warm, humid environment and vivs are ideal for hatchlings. Very few are big enough for an older tortoise and you need to construct a larger enclosure for them. What I am trying to say is that what suited a baby doesn't suit an adult.

I am going to tag @Anyfoot, a UK redfoot breeder, in here so he can help out too.

Photos of your enclosure and lighting will help and others to help you further.

As for the water,you would be surprised how many people don't have a water dish. I am pleased you aren't one of them.
 

teresaf

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4x8 is generally the size that is needed.... You can feed them inside your vivarium on a piece of slate and still be able to monitor how much he eats. If it's gone he ate it and if it's half gone he only ate half of it. Lol. There is a lot of new information in the last 10 years that hasn't gotten out to the schools and that is what the tortoise forum is trying to spread the word on. Most folks on here have many tortoises and quite a few have hundreds. Trial and error has led to a lot of new information. @Tom for instance has figured out that pyramiding is due to lack of humidity not overfeeding. That above everything else needs to get out there... Pyramiding made my tortoise top heavy. If he over turns himself he can't fix it. He stuck forever. Lack of humidity causes babies not to thrive. A lot of newbies on this website are here because of their baby tortoise not growing and sometimes, quite often actually, they don't survive.
Given tortoises from breeders on this website they don't have that problem...
 

Darwin16

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I didn't have him as a baby, he is a rescue that I have had for two years. He came with his 3ft vivarium and I am looking to buy him a 4.5ft (actually just found one today) He was kept in this size at a reptile store where he goes for his holidays and I have always been led to believe this was a good size for him (he will one day have a homemade one but as I am at university I don't have the space and availability for it quite yet)
 

teresaf

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Ugh pet stores! They put Russian tortoises in those little 10 gallon tanks and lead people to believe that that's the type of care they need... With ramped bowls(death traps)no less...

They put cats in those little cages along the walls... is that the type of care they need?

Stick with us. Maybe you'll be the one that corrects all the misinformation out there.... : )
 

Darwin16

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Ugh pet stores! They put Russian tortoises in those little 10 gallon tanks and lead people to believe that that's the type of care they need... With ramped bowls(death traps)no less...

They put cats in those little cages along the walls... is that the type of care they need?

Stick with us. Maybe you'll be the one that corrects all the misinformation out there.... : )
Didn't get him from a pet store either, I got him from the breeder who was moving abroad
 

Anyfoot

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Just landed back in uk, still on plane. 1st things 1st, check the tortoise forum. :D:D:D

@Darwin16 what is the length of the carapace of this tort. Measure the carapace in a straight line. Can I see the tort please?
 

TammyJ

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Hi there, Darwin16. I too would like to see some pictures of your tortoise.
I have 2 redfoots, kept indoors in separate enclosures but outdoors both share a very large single enclosure which I am about to make into two, luckily I have the space. One of them is definitely trying to bully the other one already, and they are just a year and 7 months old.
I live in Jamaica in the Caribbean, as I keep telling all the guys here for some unfathomable reason.
 
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