give me the dirty truth...

bethxyz

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Hi, I'm still researching the best species of tortoise for me, hoping for a medium sized creature. I live in Pennsylvania, and have plenty of outdoor space for those months where the weather permits outdoor accommodations. However for when weather does not permit, talk to me about the dirty honest truth about tortoise messes. Assuming I'm a responsible adult (I am) who can clean tortoise poop daily and swap substrate as needed, what sort of mess I'm I preparing for? Can someone with a leopard, red-foot, or elongated (any any medium sized friend) talk to me about how much effort it is to make sure my house doesn't smell like zoo. I was reading something about a leopard tort pooping about as a small pony. Sort of makes me think smaller may be better. Thanks for any input :)
 

wellington

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I have leopards. When mine was small, I had one at that time, he lived in the house. He always pooped in his water, made it kinda easy for clean up. With one leopard, I don't think it will smell bad at all as long as you clean up poop and clean dishes and any food it may have dragged around. When it's an adult, you can always house him outside in a heated shed.
 

SarahChelonoidis

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My juvie elongated has a daily poop roughly the size that a small dog would make. It's impressively large for the size creature that excretes it. Thankfully, it almost always defecates in its daily bath, making clean up trivial. Even when I miss them, they aren't particularly bath smelling most of the time - more earthy than anything - and they hold together nicely (when not pooped in the water) so they're easy to pick up with a paper towel.
 

DawnH

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Well, I have a juvenile sulcata so I don't know how much help I'm gonna be but poop clean up is pretty easy. You see it, you scoop it up. Done. Right? What is NOT easy is when your tort decided to walk through said poop. Every freakin' day. All the time. ALL. THE. TIME. He is not known (really, no sulcata is) for going around things...lol
 

lisa127

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I live in the Cleveland area and I keep a redfoot tortoise indoors most of the year due to our weather. As Dawn above says, the problem is when they walk through it. Other than that, I don't think it's that big of a deal.
 

Careym13

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My Leopards aren't that big yet, but they still have pretty big poops for their size. I just spot clean whenever I see droppings and that keeps the smell almost non-existent.
 

Tom

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If you soak daily, a practice recommended for any baby of any species, they will poop in the soak water and there will never be any poop to clean up in the enclosure. Regular soaks for any adult indoor tortoise in winter are also a good idea and will keep the poop to a minimum inside the enclosure.

Also, tortoise poop is pretty innocuous. It doesn't have all that strong of a smell (compared to omnivore or carnivores) and is fairly easy to pick up and remove.

The bigger consideration ought to be how large of an area can you provide and still achieve the correct temperatures and humidity.
 

Kapidolo Farms

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Something to consider is what many people call a bio active substrate. For tortoises you have your indoor substrate at about four inches deep, less works but is harder to maintain. Then you include isopods, pill bugs, rolly pollys. For tortoises like elongated and redfoots those small insect-like ( they are not really insects) guys become food and provide a clean up service (poop and any left over bits of food). I have some Forsten's tortoises (very much like elongateds) and they have a hobby all day of digging around and eating the isopods. The cool thing is the isopods will eat all the poop. They are for the most part only 'out and about' when dark. They have such small end gentle mouth parts they can't hurt a neonate.

You can but them online, or at reptile shows, some pet shops may have them. Will
 

Yvonne G

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...and don't forget, what goes in, comes out. If you're feeding a tortoise that eats animal protein, the poop smells much worse than a tortoise who only eats vegetation. I think the exception to this rule is the Russian tortoise. In my experience, their poop is pretty smelly.
 
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