Going Bioactive

Mothteeth

New Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
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3
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
So, I have a pair of Russian Tortoises male and female (they live in a large indoor bin enclosure and have never fought and just left each other alone and have been incredibly docile for all the years I've had them. I do have an old backup glass terrarium as a backup though) and I plan to go bioactive. I was wondering what plants, soils, and bugs would be ideal for a bioactive enclosure with them. I've heard isopods, springtails, and pothos ivy for frogs but have not really seen much about bioactive Russian Tortoise setup.
 

TechnoCheese

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Feb 20, 2016
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4,100
Location (City and/or State)
Lewisville, Texas
Your tortoises definitely need to be separated. Your enclosure is too small for one, let alone two, and their aggression can be hard to spot because of its subtlety. I assure you, they do not get along. Your tortoises require a minimum of 8x4 feet each, and there is no tank or tub big enough.

give these a read-


Russian Tortoise Care Sheet https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Russian-Tortoise-Care-Sheet.80698/

Beginner Mistakes https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/

bioactives are difficult for tortoises because they trample and eat any plants before they can grow. It’s better to have plants in pots that drape down, like spider plants, Pothos in small amounts, optuna cactus, grape vines, some ferns, and wandering jew. Tortoisesupply.com sells great seed mixes, like the broadleaf testudo mix. The best “bioactive”, however, is a large outdoor enclosure.
 
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LasTortugasNinja

Guest
Springtails and isopods both do really well with torts. I have a colony in my tort enclosure and they help clean up after his messes.
 

Mothteeth

New Member
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
Your tortoises definitely need to be separated. Your enclosure is too small for one, let alone two, and their aggression can be hard to spot because of its subtlety. I assure you, they do not get along. Your tortoises require a minimum of 8x4 feet each, and there is no tank or tub big enough.
I have them in an enclosure comprised of multiple 50 gallon bins duct taped together to make a big enclosure. I have 3 bins as their enclosure at the moment. I am quite sure it's big enough and I intend to go bigger with a final fourth bin if I get the chance.
I can't go outdoors as I live in an apartment for the time being and also the future worry of predators.
I am very often around them as my bird is super curious and loves watching them but doesn't like doing things without me. I have never ever seen them fight or mate or anything even similar. The worst thing I've seen is Thumper climbing over Camy when she's buried.
 

MichaelL

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Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
647
Location (City and/or State)
Ocala, Fl
I have them in an enclosure comprised of multiple 50 gallon bins duct taped together to make a big enclosure. I have 3 bins as their enclosure at the moment. I am quite sure it's big enough and I intend to go bigger with a final fourth bin if I get the chance.
I can't go outdoors as I live in an apartment for the time being and also the future worry of predators.
I am very often around them as my bird is super curious and loves watching them but doesn't like doing things without me. I have never ever seen them fight or mate or anything even similar. The worst thing I've seen is Thumper climbing over Camy when she's buried.
I guess just keep being watchful then.. It may/ probably will happen eventually so be prepared.
 
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LasTortugasNinja

Guest
have been incredibly docile for all the years I've had them.
I've only had a Russian for a few months, but "docile" is not what I'd ever call him. He's constantly moving, climbing, digging, or eating. What are your temps & lighting conditions?
 

Mothteeth

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Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Massachusetts
I've only had a Russian for a few months, but "docile" is not what I'd ever call him. He's constantly moving, climbing, digging, or eating. What are your temps & lighting conditions?
I meant docile as in he's never bitten anyone or anything. He really likes to move around and climb on his hides and hills.
He bulldozes his veggies and digs fine. The only times he's not moving is when he's napping or at night.
I have a few heat lamps for them , I couldn't tell you what kind as im not home to check. I also can't check the temperature but the usual room temperature is 65-75 so they should be okay.
 
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