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Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Cleopatron, May 8, 2018.

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  1. Cleopatron

    Cleopatron New Member

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    Hello forum!

    I recently just picked up a (4.5 inch) russian tortoise at a reptile convention. I'm ashamed to say he was an impulse buy. I went there for a crested gecko/ leopard gecko and came out with Maui. I was really interested in tortoises as a teen(especially redfoot) but in college I moved into a townhouse with no fenced backyard and tucked the thought away and got a Roasy Boa named Sinbad. 4 years later (present)I get a baby bearded dragon and get bit with reptile fever I guess, cause 5 months later I'm looking for another!

    At the convention I brought along my boyfriend, which was mistake #1. The whole entire time he's telling me stories of his old tortoise (who wandered away after gardeners left their fence open 2 times) and that spark the long lost flame of my tortoise love. So, we wander around, me becoming more indecisive as the hour goes on, and finally stop at a place selling Russians and Redfoots. I ask if they were WC they said yes, so I moved on.

    Stop #2 was another breeder with a lot of Russians in a tote. I asked if they were WC and he jumped around the question. Saying that they could be because they're easy to breed. I was put off by his evading so I continued looking at the cresties next to them. My boyfriend on the other hand was wiggling his finger at one of the Russians, who was trying his hardest to climb over the others to get to the moving appendage. Next thing I know I hear "congratulations it's a boy" and now I have a Russian tortoise in my home...

    [​IMG]

    So his current setup. It's a kiddie pool with 85% topsoil, 15% sand. I'm using a 150 watt PowerSun(other suggestions?). He has access to some walk room outside his pool gated off. Only reptiles in this house, so no kids or dogs or cats. I have calcium powder and reptile vitamins from my beardie. I'm about to get him a cuttlebone soon though.

    [​IMG]

    Personality wise, he is very fearless and inquisitive right off the bat! On the ride home, he let my boyfriend rub his head, and got handfed dandelions. He has no issue with handfeeding at all. However in the morning, he's scratching at his poolside. When I bring his breakfast he stops. Is something wrong there? Or does he just want food?
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  2. Eduardo Hernandez

    Eduardo Hernandez Active Member

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    Congrats on your new tort!

    How big is his total enclosure? For Russians, even though they are very small they still require a larger enclosure. I like at least 8x4 feet, but if you can go bigger even better!

    You may want to check out our care sheet in the Russian section if you haven't already, the breeder most likely gave out some wrong info on their care.

    By the way, he does look wild caught to me. Captive bred tend to not have their shells as scratched up.
    TechnoCheese likes this.
  3. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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  4. Cleopatron

    Cleopatron New Member

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    Hi, Thank you! So the blue tub is 3ft by 3ft in diameter. The whole area that is caged off for him is 10 feet by 9 feet. But the tub I only where the dirt and lamp is. I could buy another tub for him and use that one to grow his plants and put is food in.

    Thanks I will read them! The "breeder" just said that he eats weeds in your backyard. So, I'll defiantly study them. I have him eating dandelions, mustard greens, kale, a little bit of fruit a week, and these other weeds (name escaped me).
  5. Eduardo Hernandez

    Eduardo Hernandez Active Member

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    No fruit please! Their stomachs can't digest the sugars, unfortunately.
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  6. Cleopatron

    Cleopatron New Member

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    Oh no! Okay, I must of read a general tortoise care sheet. Since we're on the topic of food. I now just read to feed him every other day?? And only as much as he can eat in 20 minutes. Is this true? And also, is that just once for that day?
  7. Eduardo Hernandez

    Eduardo Hernandez Active Member

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    Where did you read that? Russians are grazers, they need to have a pretty constant amount of food. As long as their enclosure is big enough, they won't get obese or gain too much weight. Just put down a good amount of food in the morning. If you see he ate it all by the afternoon, put an even bigger pile the next day.
  8. Cleopatron

    Cleopatron New Member

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    Okay that's what I've been doing! Whew. I don't know if I'm allowed to post links so I'll post a screenshot
    [​IMG]
    There was more to the conversion, where multiple forum members were agreeing and altering it a little. Good to know! Thanks a lot for the help Eduardo!
  9. Melis

    Melis Well-Known Member

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    Welcome! There is a lot of inaccurate info floating around the web. Stick to this forum for the best info for your new baby!
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  10. Eduardo Hernandez

    Eduardo Hernandez Active Member

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    Yes, please stick to this site only! There is a lot of misinformation out there, unfortunately.
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  11. Cleopatron

    Cleopatron New Member

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    Yikes! Okay, thanks guys will do! I'm so thankful for this forum. I already learned so much. Thanks also for being friendly, I know it must be frustrating haha.
  12. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Make sure to read those links. Most of your questions will be answered on there :)
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  13. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    You will find www.thetortoisetable.org.uk very useful to help ID plants and learn whats safe.
    Russians are great escape artists and can dig and climb easily so be careful if you put him in the garden.
  14. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I was told to think of his shell as an upturned bowl and feed that much, but if he wants more give more, if he leaves some feed less, so let the tortoise be your guide.
  15. Cleopatron

    Cleopatron New Member

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    I've heard some crazy stories about some torts climbing or digging ventures! Thanks, I will definitely keep that site handy for my tort.
  16. rnchick74

    rnchick74 New Member

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  17. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Welcome to the Forum!
  18. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Regarding other turtle and tortoise sites: Always be open-minded. It's good to get other opinions. The reason I stay with THIS forum is because some of our members have experimented with different ways of caring for tortoises and shared those experiments here with us - the good and the bad. Some sites just repeat the old methods. Read all you can then take away from it what works for you. You want to learn what the tortoise needs in order to THRIVE, then try to duplicate that any way you can.
  19. Viola B

    Viola B Active Member

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    This forum is awesome and has great help.
  20. Ray--Opo

    Ray--Opo Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Welcome to you and Maui. Get rid of the sand in the substrate. It can cause impaction. Use coco coir with cypress mulch on top. Or any substrates you read here.
    Have fun with your new friend.

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