Getting redfoots instead of a new leo - advice and thoughts please

Reptilian Feline

Active Member
May 17, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
After the heartbreaking loss of two leo torts from a %&#?* breeder who won't own up to his part of the problem, I decided to put the whole thing on hold. No new leo unless I meet one I like and is big enough to be OK no matter what.

Our local herp shop had a delivery of a large amount of redfoots (some so big they needed to stay in the basement and I never saw them). They looked very nice, but when he got them, I was full on "save my tiny leo"-mode and didn't even think of looking more closely at them. My hubby likes them though, so I've kept the thought of them at the back of my mind.

Yesterday we went to the store to pick up some crickets and mealworms and the tank where I'd seen a group of them was empty of torts. But hiding in the corner of another tank was a very nice looking redfoot. Being friends with the owner has its perks, so me and my hubby opened the tank. The redfoot turned out to be female with a very smooth shell (I guess the growth lines are normal for redfoots). The plastron had some bumps between scutes, but all in all, a very nice looking redfoot with red dots on her legs and yellow markings on her head. She was heavy and active and fairly friendly (a bit shy).

The owner said there was one more hiding in the tank below, so I carefully moved the cork bark away, and found a smaller redfoot. Very friendly, slight pyramiding, but I'm no expert by any means, so it might just be genetics, red dots on the legs, yellow markings on the head. This one is too young to be sexed.

My hubby wants the larger female, I fell in love with the smaller one after whiping off some dirt from his face and petting him on the head, and he just looked at me. They both seem so healthy. The 5 huge ones had been picked up the day before so I didn't get to see them this time either, but I remember how good the group I saw the first time looked. Smooth shells, active redfoots.

I have looked into redfoots now. They seem easier to keep than leos. They don't need a basking spot? Heat can be from a CHE during the day and nighttime temp is like room temp? Humidity is a must, just like for the leos. UVB is needed indoors, but should be limited? I have the 14W 10% UVB tube. If I plants something below it, that would be OK? I was thinking of adding LED grow lights for the plants and for ambient light. They can eat the same plants as the leos, but adding some fruit and veggies is OK? They will also eat things like dubias, earthworms and so on, and will get their D3 from their food (so some salmon is needed at times?).

I've seen a care sheet being mentioned, but the tortoise library was a bit confusing so a direct link to a redfoot care sheet that can be trusted would be nice.

My hubby took some pictures of the redfoots with his phone, I'll add them if needed.

Can they be kept together until I find a third to make a group, or will they be OK being just two?

I never thought that meeting healthy torts like these redfoots would change my mind on getting a leo, but from what I understand, redfoots are really really nice torts, and since it's so hard to find a nice looking healthy leo, then switching to redfoots might be the right decition?