Hello Everyone! I have a lot of tort questions :)

Selkie1993

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Summerville
Hello Everyone!

My name is Kai, and I am currently doing research on buying a captive-bred tortoise. I have searched through many adoption agencies close to me with no luck. A little about me:
- I LOVE animals! I have a rescue cat, 2 african clawed frogs (one is 20 years old) and a three year old beardie :)
- I love reading, gardening, baking, sewing, and caring for the environment.

Here are my questions:
1) What are the pros and cons of buying an adult Russian tort or baby Russian tort? ( I am interested in getting a male for smaller size)

2) I'm having trouble finding a good enclosure. From my research, I know they cannot be in a glass enclosure. Would this work?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRY6X58/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20


3) I was told by a friend who has a Russian tortoise to use this lamp. Is this okay?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RQRCDXK/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

4) Substrate: friend uses a mix of sand and coconut coir. What is your opinion on this?

5)Lastly, if someone could provide an exact checklist of what I need to acquire before searching for a tort, I would really appreciate it :)


Here are my babies:

(the tortoise isn't mine LOL. This is when I went to Gatorland and met an amazingly adorable aldabra named Dean!!)
 

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Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,289
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hello Everyone!

My name is Kai, and I am currently doing research on buying a captive-bred tortoise. I have searched through many adoption agencies close to me with no luck. A little about me:
- I LOVE animals! I have a rescue cat, 2 african clawed frogs (one is 20 years old) and a three year old beardie :)
- I love reading, gardening, baking, sewing, and caring for the environment.

Here are my questions:
1) What are the pros and cons of buying an adult Russian tort or baby Russian tort? ( I am interested in getting a male for smaller size)

2) I'm having trouble finding a good enclosure. From my research, I know they cannot be in a glass enclosure. Would this work?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRY6X58/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20


3) I was told by a friend who has a Russian tortoise to use this lamp. Is this okay?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RQRCDXK/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

4) Substrate: friend uses a mix of sand and coconut coir. What is your opinion on this?

5)Lastly, if someone could provide an exact checklist of what I need to acquire before searching for a tort, I would really appreciate it :)


Here are my babies:

(the tortoise isn't mine LOL. This is when I went to Gatorland and met an amazingly adorable aldabra named Dean!!)
Hello and welcome. Your babies are wonderful.

You have been getting the usual wrong info, and so has your friend. I'm glad you found us BEFORE it was too late.

Your questions:
1. If you get a baby, you will get to raise it and watch it grow up. Finding a CB adult will not be easy. Be aware that pet stores will lie to you about this. They will tell you their tortoises are CB or "farm raised". They aren't They are wild caught. DOn't buy from a pet store. Buy from a breeder. @Carol S and @HoosierTort will sell you a well started healthy baby.
2. Glass enclosures are fine for babies, but too small for adults. That whole glass tank thing you've read about is a myth. The one you linked is no good for any tootsie species at any age. It is too open for a baby, and cannot stand up to the constant damp substrate that is necessary for a baby, and it is much too small for an adult.
3. No. That lamp is not okay. It will cause pyramiding in a growing baby, and its wrong for an adult for many reasons.
4. Sand should never be used as tortoise substrate. It is a skin and eye irritant and serious impaction risk. Coco coir is great for babies. Use a thick layer, keep it damp by dumping water into it periodically, and hand pack it firmly. Fine grade orchid bark works best for adults.
5. This can't be done. There are too many variables. Every enclosure is a custom job. You must learn and understand what you are trying to accomplish, and then custom tune YOUR enclosure to meet those goals.

Here is a breakdown of the four heating and lighting essentials:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
Here is the current and correct care info. I recommend you read through this at least twice, and then please feel free to ask lots and lots of questions. Please also share it with your friend. Bad care info and product recommendations are everywhere out there, and your friend found the usual wrong info.
 

jeff kushner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2020
Messages
1,429
Location (City and/or State)
North of Annapolis
WTTC .......no one has responded to your questions, because Tom has answered them...........you are more fortunate than you could possibly know right now.,....and that's pretty cool.

Hang around and one day you'll say "jeff, I know what you meant now"....LOL


jeff
 

Team Gomberg

IXOYE
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
7,873
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Oregon
Hello Everyone!

My name is Kai,
Welcome Kai!
It's refreshing to encounter someone still in the research phase rather than after they've acquired a tortoise, invested $$ in all the wrong things and then get upset when we point that out. Although many of us "shoot straight" it's not meant to be mean or hurtful to the human. It's meant to be a voice for the tortoise. :) :tort:
Here are my questions:
1) What are the pros and cons of buying an adult Russian tort or baby Russian tort? ( I am interested in getting a male for smaller size)
Baby pros: confirmed captive bred- known age- adorable when small!!- supporting local hobbyist- not supporting wild-caught pet trade- you have years until you need a larger enclosure

Baby cons: more expensive (but not like crazy expensive)

Adult pros: You already know male/female- know the size- purchase cost is less

Adult cons: Wild caught adults can come sick, laden with parasites and end up costing you more in care- you free up a spot in the store for the next wild caught specimen to fill- you don't know the age- you have to start with a huge enclosure from the get-go


2) I'm having trouble finding a good enclosure. From my research, I know they cannot be in a glass enclosure. Would this work?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRY6X58/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20

DIY is almost always the way to go. I don't know where Summerville is but if you can, house the adult outdoors. So much better for them and easier on you, too

If you are raising a baby, you can get a large front opening terrarium and you'll get many years out of that.
3) I was told by a friend who has a Russian tortoise to use this lamp. Is this okay?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07RQRCDXK/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20
I didn't use these types of lamps on any of my tortoises. I preferred incandescent light bulbs over rocks and would lower or raise them to achieve the temperature I wanted in my basking spot. I always had outdoor enclosures (even for babies) to get UV naturally. Babies may not have spent all day outdoors, but an hour here or there a few times a week.
4) Substrate: friend uses a mix of sand and coconut coir. What is your opinion on this?
A lot of people don't like sand & when I pictures a children's sand box, I'd say no to that, too. However, I'm personally not opposed to some sand in the mixtures when it's done by people who take their substrate composition seriously. But that's not most people. Basically, don't bother adding it unless becoming a soil scientist sounds like a new appealing hobby.
5)Lastly, if someone could provide an exact checklist of what I need to acquire before searching for a tort, I would really appreciate it :)
Some of my must haves included:
-terra cotta saucers for food and water. They are low sided making it easy for a tortoise to walk in and over.
-digital thermometer/hydrometer combo with 24hour high/low recordings
-digital thermostat to regulate my ambient heat source
-CHE with a ceramic based socket to create the proper ambient heat
-plastic tote that could double as a soaking tub and travel carrier

I am a fan of naturally decorated enclosures. I want them to look like little patches of nature indoors. So my list also included:
-rocks under the heat lamp for belly warmth while basking
-rocks to surround plants or break up line of sight
-driftwood or logs to create additional sight barriers and obstacles to walk around

I've used fake plants and real plants before. I've read many stories about tortoises trying to eat fake plants. I never encountered that. But mine were never just thrown on the ground.

I've used real plants in 2 ways:
I've had reptile safe/edible plants potted in the substrate in their pot with rocks around them. They were out of reach from the babies and didn't get eaten.
I've planted edible clippings for them to eat and then I'd replenish.

Hope some of this helps!
 

Selkie1993

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Summerville
Hello and welcome. Your babies are wonderful.

You have been getting the usual wrong info, and so has your friend. I'm glad you found us BEFORE it was too late.

Your questions:
1. If you get a baby, you will get to raise it and watch it grow up. Finding a CB adult will not be easy. Be aware that pet stores will lie to you about this. They will tell you their tortoises are CB or "farm raised". They aren't They are wild caught. DOn't buy from a pet store. Buy from a breeder. @Carol S and @HoosierTort will sell you a well started healthy baby.
2. Glass enclosures are fine for babies, but too small for adults. That whole glass tank thing you've read about is a myth. The one you linked is no good for any tootsie species at any age. It is too open for a baby, and cannot stand up to the constant damp substrate that is necessary for a baby, and it is much too small for an adult.
3. No. That lamp is not okay. It will cause pyramiding in a growing baby, and its wrong for an adult for many reasons.
4. Sand should never be used as tortoise substrate. It is a skin and eye irritant and serious impaction risk. Coco coir is great for babies. Use a thick layer, keep it damp by dumping water into it periodically, and hand pack it firmly. Fine grade orchid bark works best for adults.
5. This can't be done. There are too many variables. Every enclosure is a custom job. You must learn and understand what you are trying to accomplish, and then custom tune YOUR enclosure to meet those goals.

Here is a breakdown of the four heating and lighting essentials:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.
Here is the current and correct care info. I recommend you read through this at least twice, and then please feel free to ask lots and lots of questions. Please also share it with your friend. Bad care info and product recommendations are everywhere out there, and your friend found the usual wrong info.
 

Selkie1993

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Summerville
Hi there!! Thank you for encouraging me to ask questions. I would hate to mess something up just because I missed some research.



A used the breeder list on this site and found several sources for a baby Russian tort. Very excited!



1) You mentioned glass enclosures are okay, which is excellent! Are front opening terrariums okay? And what size do you recommend for a baby? What is a good humidity for babies so it doesn’t cause shell rot/ respiratory issues or mold in the substrate?



2) I know you mentioned some stuff later on about heating, but since I’m new, do you mind sharing some links of what exactly is good for a baby?



3) About ambient temps: So I have a bearded dragon, and I know they have a temperature gradient to regulate their body temp. Do tortoises need an overall warm temperature as opposed to a gradient?



Lastly, thank you for the care sheet! I’m going to check it out and come back with more questions 😊
 

Selkie1993

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Summerville
Welcome Kai!
It's refreshing to encounter someone still in the research phase rather than after they've acquired a tortoise, invested $$ in all the wrong things and then get upset when we point that out. Although many of us "shoot straight" it's not meant to be mean or hurtful to the human. It's meant to be a voice for the tortoise. :) :tort:

Baby pros: confirmed captive bred- known age- adorable when small!!- supporting local hobbyist- not supporting wild-caught pet trade- you have years until you need a larger enclosure

Baby cons: more expensive (but not like crazy expensive)

Adult pros: You already know male/female- know the size- purchase cost is less

Adult cons: Wild caught adults can come sick, laden with parasites and end up costing you more in care- you free up a spot in the store for the next wild caught specimen to fill- you don't know the age- you have to start with a huge enclosure from the get-go




DIY is almost always the way to go. I don't know where Summerville is but if you can, house the adult outdoors. So much better for them and easier on you, too

If you are raising a baby, you can get a large front opening terrarium and you'll get many years out of that.

I didn't use these types of lamps on any of my tortoises. I preferred incandescent light bulbs over rocks and would lower or raise them to achieve the temperature I wanted in my basking spot. I always had outdoor enclosures (even for babies) to get UV naturally. Babies may not have spent all day outdoors, but an hour here or there a few times a week.

A lot of people don't like sand & when I pictures a children's sand box, I'd say no to that, too. However, I'm personally not opposed to some sand in the mixtures when it's done by people who take their substrate composition seriously. But that's not most people. Basically, don't bother adding it unless becoming a soil scientist sounds like a new appealing hobby.

Some of my must haves included:
-terra cotta saucers for food and water. They are low sided making it easy for a tortoise to walk in and over.
-digital thermometer/hydrometer combo with 24hour high/low recordings
-digital thermostat to regulate my ambient heat source
-CHE with a ceramic based socket to create the proper ambient heat
-plastic tote that could double as a soaking tub and travel carrier

I am a fan of naturally decorated enclosures. I want them to look like little patches of nature indoors. So my list also included:
-rocks under the heat lamp for belly warmth while basking
-rocks to surround plants or break up line of sight
-driftwood or logs to create additional sight barriers and obstacles to walk around

I've used fake plants and real plants before. I've read many stories about tortoises trying to eat fake plants. I never encountered that. But mine were never just thrown on the ground.

I've used real plants in 2 ways:
I've had reptile safe/edible plants potted in the substrate in their pot with rocks around them. They were out of reach from the babies and didn't get eaten.
I've planted edible clippings for them to eat and then I'd replenish.

Hope some of this helps!
 

Selkie1993

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Summerville
Hi there and thank you 😊 I really love and care about animals, and would never want my husbandry to be neglectful, so I’m glad for all the tips and help!



1) I am thinking baby is the way to go too! Is it okay to handle babies or let them supervise free roam?



2) I would probably do a DIY later down the road, but what do you recommend for a baby in terms of a terrarium? How many years would it last?



3) Not gonna be a soil scientist LMAO! I believe Tom said coco coir is best to use for a baby.



4) Thank you for the brief list! What is a CHE? And do you have any links for the specific items you mentioned, such as the digital readers?



I agree on the natural setting, so I definitely appreciate that 😊 In terms of being outside, I would probably let the tort outside in the spring on my screened-in patio like I do for my beardie. In the winter, it can be kinda cold and in the summer is extreme heat.



About the fake plants: LOL my bearded dragon nipped at fake plants when he was a baby so I’m totally terrified of using fake plants.
 

SinLA

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Apr 19, 2022
Messages
471
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
This is dense, but really do read it. Its a LOT of info, but will help a lot. Main thing is look to the future, once its an adult (and you won't know if you get a baby if its boy or girl) do you have the space you need for it. They need a LOT of space (4' x 8' is recommended)
 

Selkie1993

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Summerville
This is dense, but really do read it. Its a LOT of info, but will help a lot. Main thing is look to the future, once its an adult (and you won't know if you get a baby if its boy or girl) do you have the space you need for it. They need a LOT of space (4' x 8' is recommended)

I'm in the process of reading it now and making a checklist of things to buy BEFORE getting a tort :) I'm okay with space. Unfortunately, my 10 year old goldfish recently passed, so this left a huge empty spot in my house that I'd like to fill with new life :)
 

SinLA

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Joined
Apr 19, 2022
Messages
471
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
Also those tortoise boxes are not good. Too open for a baby, too small for an adult. I currently use two "put together" as a nightbox, but you'd need 5-6 of them linked together, it prob would be cheaper to find someone to make one (or try to make a double-stacked one)
 

Selkie1993

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Summerville
Also those tortoise boxes are not good. Too open for a baby, too small for an adult. I currently use two "put together" as a nightbox, but you'd need 5-6 of them linked together, it prob would be cheaper to find someone to make one (or try to make a double-stacked one)
Yes, I found this out earlier! Since I plan on getting a baby to start with, I am going for an enclosed terrarium
 

Selkie1993

New Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2022
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Summerville
@Tom @Team Gomberg

Hi there! I utilized the article you provided along with supplemental material from Reptiles Magazine and the starter book by E.J. Pirog.

Can you confirm if this is a good list of products? I apologize that it's long, but I just want to make sure I'm getting the right stuff, especially with the substrate, tank, and heating/UV elements.


Heating/ UVB

Tank:

https://www.chewy.com/repti-zoo-glass-reptile-terrarium/dp/249972



Basking:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-65-Watt...e-Dimmable-Flood-Light-Bulb-3-Pack/1001349670



LEDs: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CC1X5YJ/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20



UV: https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/en...t-10%-uv-light-bulb-71280.html?fmethod=Search



CHE:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/en...eramic-heat-emitter-59814.html?fmethod=Search

Does this need a separate fixture?



Temperature gun:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/IDEAL-ID-SGL-10-1-Infrared-Laser-Tester/5000025791



Hydometer/Thermometer:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/en...eter-and-hygrometer-65039.html?fmethod=Search

Accessories:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/ha...t-wood-reptile-hide-65675.html?fmethod=Search

Humid hide





Burrow:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/ha...e-decor-55904.html?cgid=500116&fmethod=Browse





Terra cotta plates:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/4-33-in-Terracotta-Clay-Plant-Saucer/1000712420





Substrate:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/su...r-reptile-substrate-15021.html?fmethod=Search



Specialty food:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/fo...and-tortoise-food-5131435.html?fmethod=Search



Cuttlebone:

https://www.petsmart.com/bird/groom...uttlebones---2-pack-54258.html?fmethod=Search





Mineral supplement:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/fo...tamins-and-minerals-71995.html?fmethod=Search
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,289
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
@Tom @Team Gomberg

Hi there! I utilized the article you provided along with supplemental material from Reptiles Magazine and the starter book by E.J. Pirog.

Can you confirm if this is a good list of products? I apologize that it's long, but I just want to make sure I'm getting the right stuff, especially with the substrate, tank, and heating/UV elements.


Heating/ UVB

Tank:

https://www.chewy.com/repti-zoo-glass-reptile-terrarium/dp/249972



Basking:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-65-Watt...e-Dimmable-Flood-Light-Bulb-3-Pack/1001349670



LEDs: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CC1X5YJ/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20



UV: https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/environmental-control-and-lighting/bulbs-and-lamps/arcadia-euro-range-desert-10%-uv-light-bulb-71280.html?fmethod=Search



CHE:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/en...eramic-heat-emitter-59814.html?fmethod=Search

Does this need a separate fixture?



Temperature gun:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/IDEAL-ID-SGL-10-1-Infrared-Laser-Tester/5000025791



Hydometer/Thermometer:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/en...eter-and-hygrometer-65039.html?fmethod=Search

Accessories:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/ha...t-wood-reptile-hide-65675.html?fmethod=Search

Humid hide






Burrow:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/ha...e-decor-55904.html?cgid=500116&fmethod=Browse






Terra cotta plates:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/4-33-in-Terracotta-Clay-Plant-Saucer/1000712420






Substrate:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/su...r-reptile-substrate-15021.html?fmethod=Search



Specialty food:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/fo...and-tortoise-food-5131435.html?fmethod=Search



Cuttlebone:

https://www.petsmart.com/bird/groom...uttlebones---2-pack-54258.html?fmethod=Search





Mineral supplement:

https://www.petsmart.com/reptile/fo...tamins-and-minerals-71995.html?fmethod=Search
This is a really good start. Here are my comments:
1. I've never used LEDs like that, but they are the right color and it should work.
2. Wrong UV. Get the Arcadia 12% Pro T5 Kit and run it on a timer for about 2-3 hours a day.
3. I wouldn't use the pet store thermometer. Instead, get one from the hardware store or online.
4. The food is a good way to add fiber and variety to grocery store greens, but it will take time to get the tortoise to like and eat it. Its worth the time. Start out by soaking one tiny little broken piece of a pellet and mixing that with the day's greens. Add more and more over a period of weeks or months.
5. I don't know that mineral vitamin supplement, so can't comment on it one way or the other. I use Repcal for calcium twice a week and Reptivite for vitamins once a week, in tiny amounts.I also use MinerAll occasionally.
6. Yes, you need another fixture for the CHE, and a thermostat to run it. If your house stays above 60 degrees in winter at night, you really don't need night heat.

The rest look pretty good. That tank will last about a year or two at most.
 

Team Gomberg

IXOYE
10 Year Member!
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
7,873
Location (City and/or State)
Southern Oregon
1) I am thinking baby is the way to go too! Is it okay to handle babies or let them supervise free roam?

I handled my babies as needed. I handled 1 baby more than others (my current leopard, Levi) and he was never stressed by it. To this day he is extremely social (territorial lol)

2) I would probably do a DIY later down the road, but what do you recommend for a baby in terms of a terrarium? How many years would it last?

Exoterra makes some large, front door opening glass vivariums. I couldn't say how long it would last you because I have never started with a baby russian. I did house a stunted adult Egyptian tortoise in their 40gal one though. BUT it wasn't his full time enclosure. He had a large outdoor pen, too. So the smaller indoor space was mostly nights and cold days.

3) Not gonna be a soil scientist LMAO! I believe Tom said coco coir is best to use for a baby.

Yes. coco coir is great once you get the consistency down

4) Thank you for the brief list! What is a CHE? And do you have any links for the specific items you mentioned, such as the digital readers?

CHE = Ceramic Heat Emitter

I agree on the natural setting, so I definitely appreciate that 😊 In terms of being outside, I would probably let the tort outside in the spring on my screened-in patio like I do for my beardie. In the winter, it can be kinda cold and in the summer is extreme heat.



About the fake plants: LOL my bearded dragon nipped at fake plants when he was a baby so I’m totally terrified of using fake plants.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
23,050
Location (City and/or State)
UK
Hi and welcome,
Lots of great advice here. Most tort problems are caused by us - by things we do or don't do for them so if you follow everything you've been given your tort should thrive. Don't hesitate to ask as many questions as you like, everyone here is happy to help you get things right.

It's not good to let your tort free roam around the house even if supervised because it only takes a second for things to go tragically wrong. There are so many hazards e.g. it's colder at floor level, there could be dust bunnies, human or pet hairs or small items that could be a choking hazard; cleaning chemicals, the risk of getting stood on and kicked or crushed in doors. Dogs are also a danger when they get spooked by the tort and attack it or think it's a chew toy - there are too many sad stories of trusted pets who have injured or killed torts. So it's best to give them their own safe dedicated space.
 

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