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Burrowing! Help

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by Yoyotort, Jan 11, 2019 at 9:29 PM.

  1. Yoyotort

    Yoyotort New Member

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    hello! so my Russian Tortoises has been burrowing in his cypress mulch substrate. I know Russian torts tend to burrow but I just want to make sure it is safe for him to burrow all the way under head and everything! I’m worried it will get in his eyes or he won’t be able to breath properly and such. I’ve only had him a day or two and he has never been in substrate of any kind before. Right now I’m just letting him do it but it makes me nervous I’m probably overeacting tho I would just like some conformation that this is safe for him.
  2. Okapizebra

    Okapizebra New Member

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    Russian torts love digging! It's in their nature. He's probably scared being in a new home and is doing what makes him feel safest. Give him some more time to adjust. :)
  3. Yoyotort

    Yoyotort New Member

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    I’ve been leaving him to do his digging because I would think he is over whelmed. Thanks for responding!
  4. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member

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    Greetings.

    Just make sure your temperatures are accurate and u are following information provided in the care guides. If it’s too cold your guy won’t explore but will dig down into the substrate.

    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/

    • Heating and lighting: If your tortoise gets regular sunshine for most of the year, you do not need any artificial indoor UV. An hour outside a couple of times a week is enough to meet their UV needs, but more is better. If your tortoise must live inside all the time, then I recommend long tube style florescent UV lights or mercury vapor bulbs. No reason you can't use both. Since my Russians do get sunshine all year, I just use 65 watt incandescent flood bulbs from the hardware store to meet my heating needs. I hang my fixture over one end of the enclosure and raise or lower it to get a basking spot of around 100. I hang my lights over a flat piece of slate or sandstone, which spreads the heat out a bit and allows them to get some safe belly heat while they bask. This can be used in conjunction with a long florescent UV tube, if needed. I don't use any other heat for Russians, and I let the temperature of the rest of the enclosure fade to room temp away from the single heat source. In most cases night heat for Russians is not necessary. Night temps in the 60s are fine as long as they can warm up the next day. If your Russian is trying to hibernate as fall approaches and you don't want it to, upping your temps (including the night temps), lengthening the days on your light timer and brightening the enclosure with more lights, are all ways to help convince them to stay up. For most Russian tortoises of any age, its really that simple. Put a 95-100 degree basking spot on one end for 12-14 hours a day and that's it.
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