Hello from pa

harnish1102

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
HoneyBrook, pa
Hello everyone! We are new to the tortoise world. We have done lots of research and decided on a Russian. We went to 5 different pet stores in our area and decided on 1 from PetSmart because he looked healthy. Clear eyes, nothing coming from his nose, shell looked great, they said he was eating and moving around. We had him for 4 days and we couldn't get him to eat at all, he wouldn't move all day (which they told us was normal)… he just didn't seem right. I took him back today and now I'm on the hunt for a new family member.... any help for us would be great. We live in pa and we are being told by everyone we call to go to a reptile show to purchase one. We don't want to end up with the same experience. Should we order online or try to find a breeder?
 

harnish1102

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
HoneyBrook, pa
we just aren't sure how to find one. There are places to purchase online but aren't sure if they are reputable or not
 

Pistachio's Pamperer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
409
Location (City and/or State)
Tri-cities, Tennessee
https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/breeders-list.64666/#post-612356

A Yvonne post. For your question.

I purchased from a local pet store, a rescue of sorts. Long story.

I know a lot of people have posted their praises for Carol, so she might be someone to talk to. ((not showing
any preference as I haven't dealt with these folks, just stating what I have seen)).

This is also not a great time of year to ship so don't know if you might find one of the forum folks
that might be more in your area for a meet.

-Meg
 

MPappagallo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
369
Location (City and/or State)
Myrtle Beach, SC
Hello everyone! We are new to the tortoise world. We have done lots of research and decided on a Russian. We went to 5 different pet stores in our area and decided on 1 from PetSmart because he looked healthy. Clear eyes, nothing coming from his nose, shell looked great, they said he was eating and moving around. We had him for 4 days and we couldn't get him to eat at all, he wouldn't move all day (which they told us was normal)… he just didn't seem right. I took him back today and now I'm on the hunt for a new family member.... any help for us would be great. We live in pa and we are being told by everyone we call to go to a reptile show to purchase one. We don't want to end up with the same experience. Should we order online or try to find a breeder?
 

MPappagallo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
369
Location (City and/or State)
Myrtle Beach, SC
If you can get one from a breeder or reptile show, you are usually better off. if you don't have that option in your area, check out the breeder list on this forum for some safe options. Russians are a great type of tortoise to start with! They are sturdy and personable, and they stay small as well. best of luck to you!
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
14,724
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Hello everyone! We are new to the tortoise world. We have done lots of research and decided on a Russian. We went to 5 different pet stores in our area and decided on 1 from PetSmart because he looked healthy. Clear eyes, nothing coming from his nose, shell looked great, they said he was eating and moving around. We had him for 4 days and we couldn't get him to eat at all, he wouldn't move all day (which they told us was normal)… he just didn't seem right. I took him back today and now I'm on the hunt for a new family member.... any help for us would be great. We live in pa and we are being told by everyone we call to go to a reptile show to purchase one. We don't want to end up with the same experience. Should we order online or try to find a breeder?


Welcome. Lets go back to the issues you experienced with the tort you only had for a few days. It’s very normal for a newly arrived tort in your care to honker down, dig in,, and not eat. who knows where they came from, how they were cared for, etc....then they are sent “home” with you. They need time to settle in and feel safe. What kind and dize of enclosure did you set up? Lights, heating, substrate? Did you give it a nice warm water soaking?

Try to examine your initial set up, and post some pictures of your enclosure. Remember, it takes time for a newly arrived tort to “settle in” and feel safe.

Good luck!
 

Blackdog1714

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
4,673
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, VA
I am by no means saying she is the one to go with, but definately a good suggestion. Unboxed Sept 27, 2018 last weighed on December 6, 2019 growing so well!
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0952.JPG
    IMG_0952.JPG
    1.7 MB · Views: 4
  • IMG_0964.JPG
    IMG_0964.JPG
    2 MB · Views: 4
  • IMG_2303.JPEG
    IMG_2303.JPEG
    3.2 MB · Views: 3

jsheffield

Well-Known Member
Moderator
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
3,128
Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
Welcome to TFO!

I live with a Russian Tortoise (among others) and love his size and personality and curiosity and hardiness... I would highly recommend the breed.

I was lucky enough to find mine as a rescue through a simple Craigslist search but would suggest that you go with one of the breeders discussed/suggested by people here on TFO.

Read the threads in TFO's Russian forum and come back at us with any questions you have.

Good luck!

Jamie
 

harnish1102

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
HoneyBrook, pa
Welcome. Lets go back to the issues you experienced with the tort you only had for a few days. It’s very normal for a newly arrived tort in your care to honker down, dig in,, and not eat. who knows where they came from, how they were cared for, etc....then they are sent “home” with you. They need time to settle in and feel safe. What kind and dize of enclosure did you set up? Lights, heating, substrate? Did you give it a nice warm water soaking?

Try to examine your initial set up, and post some pictures of your enclosure. Remember, it takes time for a newly arrived tort to “settle in” and feel safe.

Good luck!
the enclosure is 6ft long by 2 ft wide. We bought a zoomed heat lamp i believe it was 75 or 100 watt with uva/uvb. for substrate they told us to get reptibark since that's what it was currently on and we soaked him in warm water 2 times a day because his front legs were scaling a bit so we weren't sure if he could be possibly dehydrated. we bought the grassfed pellets and dehydrated veggies they said he was eating and he wouldn't touch it so I offered him spring mix greens and he did take a couple of bites. He would just lay for more than 12 hours at a time with his head hanging out. We really wanted to keep trying with him but with our suspicion we didn't want to chance it and not be able to get our money back. They just told us that Russians aren't really that active so it was normal behavior
 

Blackdog1714

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
4,673
Location (City and/or State)
Richmond, VA
What are your temperatures? Are you using a laser heat gun? Warm to my hands is 120 degrees and way too warm for my two torts!
 

harnish1102

New Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
4
Location (City and/or State)
HoneyBrook, pa
we didn't test under the lamp. the cool side of the tank was 72. we got one of the dual temp/humidity like we were told
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
14,724
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
the enclosure is 6ft long by 2 ft wide. We bought a zoomed heat lamp i believe it was 75 or 100 watt with uva/uvb. for substrate they told us to get reptibark since that's what it was currently on and we soaked him in warm water 2 times a day because his front legs were scaling a bit so we weren't sure if he could be possibly dehydrated. we bought the grassfed pellets and dehydrated veggies they said he was eating and he wouldn't touch it so I offered him spring mix greens and he did take a couple of bites. He would just lay for more than 12 hours at a time with his head hanging out. We really wanted to keep trying with him but with our suspicion we didn't want to chance it and not be able to get our money back. They just told us that Russians aren't really that active so it was normal behavior

So...being told Russians “aren't really that active, so it was “normal” behavior” is a bit suspicious to me, not really good advice from your Pet shop either.

The other thing that pops out to me is this - “we got one of the dual temp/humidity like we were told”. Are you talking the temperature gauge.? If so, those are notorious for being very very inaccurate, plus it depends where you mount it. Digital temp/humidity gauges from AcuRite (HomeDepot or Lowes) are so much better and you can put the probe right at tort level.

Post some pix of your enclosure. I’m thinking your original Russian was probably good to go, but needed some time to settle in.
 
Top