Heat rocks and heat mats

cheerios586

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Hi, was just wondering if placing a heat rock and mat in an inside enclosure for my Russian Tortoise is a bad thing? I know my Yoshi seems to enjoy them; but, I don't want to damage her shell. Thanks a bunch! Cheryl
 

Tom

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Hi, was just wondering if placing a heat rock and mat in an inside enclosure for my Russian Tortoise is a bad thing? I know my Yoshi seems to enjoy them; but, I don't want to damage her shell. Thanks a bunch! Cheryl

Those are not recommended. Too much risk of a burn. Your tortoise should be heated from over head. Here are a couple of threads that explain it all:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
 

cheerios586

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Those are not recommended. Too much risk of a burn. Your tortoise should be heated from over head. Here are a couple of threads that explain it all:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
Thank you! I have overhead lights and heat lamps, I just bought a
Those are not recommended. Too much risk of a burn. Your tortoise should be heated from over head. Here are a couple of threads that explain it all:

https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Hi and thank you! I have overhead lights and heat lamps and I just purchased a Ceramic Heat Emitter for night because her enclosure has been too cold 70.2 degrees eeck. Will she not judge whether it's too hot or would she overheat herself? I have them turned down on medium and they emit temperatures approximately 85 degrees. Oh! Also, she seems a little constipated or possibly slightly dehydrated. However, I give her a 10-20 min soak everyday to every-other day. I've tried pumpkin and cucumber. She has water provided all the time and takes drinks during her bath, still her feces is pretty firm and will only go when bathed. Should I worry and try something different? or should I continue the way I am and continue to watch for signs of strain and/or diarrhea?
 

JoesMum

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Thank you! I have overhead lights and heat lamps, I just bought a

Hi and thank you! I have overhead lights and heat lamps and I just purchased a Ceramic Heat Emitter for night because her enclosure has been too cold 70.2 degrees eeck. Will she not judge whether it's too hot or would she overheat herself? I have them turned down on medium and they emit temperatures approximately 85 degrees. Oh! Also, she seems a little constipated or possibly slightly dehydrated. However, I give her a 10-20 min soak everyday to every-other day. I've tried pumpkin and cucumber. She has water provided all the time and takes drinks during her bath, still her feces is pretty firm and will only go when bathed. Should I worry and try something different? or should I continue the way I am and continue to watch for signs of strain and/or diarrhea?

Hi

It is very common for torts to poop when they’re bathed - in fact it’s normal. I wouldn’t be concerned. Poop should be pretty firm. It’s a sign that they’re getting plenty of fibre.

In order to help you best, we would benefit from seeing pictures of your enclosure and lighting.

Your tortoise needs to be able to bask at 95-100F. 70F at night isn’t a problem for an adult Russian at night - they prefer it cooler. Babies need temperatures to stay around 80F apart from under the basking lamp.

Your tort should be eating weedy and leafy greens and getting soaks of at least 20 minutes in warm water. Soaks should be daily if you are concerned about hydration/pooping. Do it first thing in the morning before your tort has warmed up properly and feed straight afterwards.

It will benefit from a tiny sprinkle of calcium powder on food three times a week - no more as you can overdo it.

It can’t digest sugars properly - they cause digestive and kidney problems - so sweet foods like fruit (including pumpkin), tomato, carrot and bell pepper should only be fed very sparingly and very occasionally if at all.

Cucumber and lettuce contain little fibre and and few nutrients so should also be fed sparingly.

Write a list of things that grow around you and those that you can buy and look them up on The Tortoise Table Plant Database for suitability to feed. If you can’t identify a plant, post a photo in our Plant ID section and someone will help.
http://thetortoisetable.org.uk/
 

cheerios586

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I give her calcium w/D3 about 3 times/wkly. I am having a heard time getting her to eat turtle grass. I bought her some and it's mixed with all sorts of plants and flowers, but when I even sprinkle it on her food, she decides not to eat that day. Do I have her spoiled? Do I try and wait her out and see if she will eat it if I only provide that for a few days? I don't want her to get malnourished or go hungry. Here is pics of her enclosure. 20171025_100219.jpg 20171025_100236.jpg 20171025_100247.jpg
 

JoesMum

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Riussians aren't grass eaters like Sulcatas. You will probably never introduce "turtle grass" (whatever that is) to the diet.

Your substrate looks very dry. It should be damp, but not wet.

What bulbs do you have? It looks like you have a compact UVB bulb - these can cause Pro with tortoise eyes
 

Tom

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Thank you! I have overhead lights and heat lamps, I just bought a

Hi and thank you! I have overhead lights and heat lamps and I just purchased a Ceramic Heat Emitter for night because her enclosure has been too cold 70.2 degrees eeck. Will she not judge whether it's too hot or would she overheat herself? I have them turned down on medium and they emit temperatures approximately 85 degrees. Oh! Also, she seems a little constipated or possibly slightly dehydrated. However, I give her a 10-20 min soak everyday to every-other day. I've tried pumpkin and cucumber. She has water provided all the time and takes drinks during her bath, still her feces is pretty firm and will only go when bathed. Should I worry and try something different? or should I continue the way I am and continue to watch for signs of strain and/or diarrhea?

Your enclosure looks great!

  • Russians need a night temp drop. 65-70 is fine. 55-60 will work too.
  • Your substrate looks dry. I would run it a bit more damp. Not wet. Just a little damp.
  • Soaking daily or every other will keep your tortoise plenty well hydrated. 3 times a week is more than enough for an adult russian.
  • Russians are not grass eaters. They usually won't eat even fresh tender young grass, and the will almost never eat dry grass hay. I would pull that out of there and give the rest to someone with a sulcata. :)
 

cheerios586

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Your enclosure looks great!

  • Russians need a night temp drop. 65-70 is fine. 55-60 will work too.
  • Your substrate looks dry. I would run it a bit more damp. Not wet. Just a little damp.
  • Soaking daily or every other will keep your tortoise plenty well hydrated. 3 times a week is more than enough for an adult russian.
  • Russians are not grass eaters. They usually won't eat even fresh tender young grass, and the will almost never eat dry grass hay. I would pull that out of there and give the rest to someone with a sulcata. :)
Thank you, I wet down her substrate...I have only been doing it once a week was afraid she would get shell rot if I kept it wet all the time. I took out the heat mat and the bad light we never turn on, I've purchased a ceramic heat emitter that will replace it. As far as food goes, I change up her food all the time, but romaine lettuce or red lettuce seems to be a staple, that and the bell peppers (she loves them). I do provide her with difference squashes and carrot tops, turnip tops, choy, butternut squash is her fave. I'll stop feeding her the fruits so much, tho. Attached is a pic of the turtle food I was talking about that she won't eat. Yoshi's food.jpg
 

Tom

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Thank you, I wet down her substrate...I have only been doing it once a week was afraid she would get shell rot if I kept it wet all the time. I took out the heat mat and the bad light we never turn on, I've purchased a ceramic heat emitter that will replace it. As far as food goes, I change up her food all the time, but romaine lettuce or red lettuce seems to be a staple, that and the bell peppers (she loves them). I do provide her with difference squashes and carrot tops, turnip tops, choy, butternut squash is her fave. I'll stop feeding her the fruits so much, tho. Attached is a pic of the turtle food I was talking about that she won't eat.

  • The trick with the substrate is to keep it a little damp but not wet. You'll need to constantly add water, but how much and how often varies with the enclosure and the season. If it gets too dry, it will be dusty which is not good for your tortoise or your house.
  • The diet you are using needs improvement. Grocery store greens lack fiber, have a low calcium to phosphorous ratio, and are often low in calcium. Best to use other things like weeds, grape, hibiscus and mulberry leaves, spineless opuntia pads and certain flowers. Skip the text in this thread and scroll down to the food suggestion list: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/for-those-who-have-a-young-sulcata.76744/ If you must use grocery store foods, favor endive and escarole and stay away from the lettuce and bell peppers. You'll also need to amend the grocery store foods by adding something to them. The herbal hay you have there is great for this, but it will take some time for your tortoise to get used to it. Cut up some of the favorite greens, like the lettuce and bell pepper and wet the pile. Then crush up a toy amount of the herbal hay and sprinkle it on top of the pile. Mix it all up thoroughly. Only use a tiny pinch at first. Keep doing this day after day until the tortoise eats the mix, and then gradually add more of the new stuff. Don't worry about it if the tortoise decides to not eat for a day or two. Soak on those days to stimulate appetite and keep the tortoise hydrated. ZooMed Grassland tortoise chow is good for this purpose too. Introduce it the same way. Just soak a tiny broken piece of one pellet to start with.
 
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