I don’t know how I can make my tortoise feel better

johann.kp

New Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Surrey British Columbia
hi I currently have an approximately 5 year old male Russian tortoise. I have had it for the last five years but I have never properly educated myslef on how to take care of it properly. I am going to make a new terrarium for him that is much bigger about 5 ft long 3 ft wide. What should I put in there? Is there anything I have to do about the heating? And if so what temperatures should I put it I have a proper light but I recently read I needed two different type. I really want him to have a better lifestyle and money is not a issue. Also what should I use for the bedding should I have a place where he can climb? There are so many questions and if someone more knowledgeable can just give me the basic info I would appreciate it so much
 

VJRDuran

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Brooklyn Park
hi I currently have an approximately 5 year old male Russian tortoise. I have had it for the last five years but I have never properly educated myslef on how to take care of it properly. I am going to make a new terrarium for him that is much bigger about 5 ft long 3 ft wide. What should I put in there? Is there anything I have to do about the heating? And if so what temperatures should I put it I have a proper light but I recently read I needed two different type. I really want him to have a better lifestyle and money is not a issue. Also what should I use for the bedding should I have a place where he can climb? There are so many questions and if someone more knowledgeable can just give me the basic info I would appreciate it so much
Can you post pictures of what the current enclosure looks like and share more about what care/diet you have given your tortoise to this point?
Until you get posts from others, please feel free to read information found here. https://www.tortoiseforum.org/#tortoise-topics.11
 

johann.kp

New Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Surrey British Columbia
this is the current enclosure and I give him a diet of dandelions and dandelion weeds and if there are not any in my back yard I give him romaine. I normally sprinkle some protein there as well image.jpg
 

Minority2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
1,059
Location (City and/or State)
Tortoise Hell
this is the current enclosure and I give him a diet of dandelions and dandelion weeds and if there are not any in my back yard I give him romaine. I normally sprinkle some protein there as well

You definitely need to read and follow the guidelines in this thread. The guide will answer nearly 90% of all your questions:

This is a good example of a small enclosure housing an adult tortoise. The tortoise has absolutely nowhere else to go but to stay directly right below the basking bulb. Chances are that your enclosure's ambient temperature levels are probably low which is why the tortoise has no choice but to stay in that spot to gather warmth. This tortoise deserves a 8ft x 4ft enclosure.

The substrate level is far too low for a burrowing tortoise. A minimum of 4+ inches is recommended.

Neither the water or feeding dish is any good. Definitely not heavy or hard enough to help passively trim the tortoise's beak and claws. Terracotta plant saucers is what you need.

Diet should definitely be improved. Offer more variety of flowers, broad leaf plants, and succulents. You can buy seeds, dried foods, and all that other stuff from any tortoise online retailer.

Where did you buy the tortoise? Was it already an adult when you purchased him or her?
 

VJRDuran

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Brooklyn Park
Thank you for the pictures. Please note: My daughter (and I )are new tort owner/caretaker as of April. Here is what we have learned along the way.
1) Tortoises need soaking. Give them a soak two to three times a week in an opaque (not see-through) dishpan type container. Warm water (about 95 degrees) up to their bottom scoot. This will help keep them hydrated and allow them to eliminate.
2) Torts don't understand glass. If they can see through it they can go through it. Make sure their enclosure is solid so they can't see through it. Minimum indoor should be at least five feet long by three feet wide.
3) Variety, Variety, Variety... Torts love a variety of food. Our tortoise loved dandelions this spring but turns his nose up at them now. There are many websites that tell what is good for a tortoise and what isn't. I often refer to this site: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/plant-database/#.X0fz7shKiUl
4) Outside is best but... If you can't get your tortoise outside a T5 UVB light will work. Also, a basking light that maintains a heating area of 95-98 degrees is good.
5) Substrate. There are a lot of opinions regarding the substrate and you will have to make the decision that you feel is best for your environment. We use a mix of coconut cor and orchid bark.
6) Humidity is good for preventing pyramiding. We spay the enclosure every morning. In addition, we keep a damp "Scooter towel" draped over the support rod or our repurposed bookcase.

Reach out to https://www.tortoiseforum.org/members/tom.3441/ and to others who have far more knowledge than I do.
The attached picture is the enclosure we put together for Scooter.

20200812_115321.jpg
 

johann.kp

New Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Surrey British Columbia
You definitely need to read and follow the guidelines in this thread. The guide will answer nearly 90% of all your questions:

This is a good example of a small enclosure housing an adult tortoise. The tortoise has absolutely nowhere else to go but to stay directly right below the basking bulb. Chances are that your enclosure's ambient temperature levels are probably low which is why the tortoise has no choice but to stay in that spot to gather warmth. This tortoise deserves a 8ft x 4ft enclosure.

The substrate level is far too low for a burrowing tortoise. A minimum of 4+ inches is recommended.

Neither the water or feeding dish is any good. Definitely not heavy or hard enough to help passively trim the tortoise's beak and claws. Terracotta plant saucers is what you need.

Diet should definitely be improved. Offer more variety of flowers, broad leaf plants, and succulents. You can buy seeds, dried foods, and all that other stuff from any tortoise online retailer.

Where did you buy the tortoise? Was it already an adult when you purchased him or her?
thanks for the response we bought him from an owner that had him for two years. It was about 2/3 when we got him
 

johann.kp

New Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2020
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Surrey British Columbia
can anyone here who has a good tortoise enclosure send a picture of one? i Have a avb lamp but I don’t know how to regulate temp. I am deffenilty going to make /buy a enclosure that is at least 6ft long
 

method89

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
May 15, 2019
Messages
1,386
Location (City and/or State)
Malverne, NY




Read all of these and then start changing your husbandry accordingly and you will have a happy tort.


There are plenty of great enclosures on the forum. You just need to search for them.

@Markw84 makes a great enclosure.

animal plastics also does great work.

but if you feel like being handy you can build it out of plywood or pvc sheets or you can use large aquariums
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
91,831
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Get two Christmas Tree Storage Bins (mfg'd by Iris), cut out opposing ends and tape them together end to end. They are about 4' long, so now you will have an 8' long enclosure:

1598553627459.png

Because your tortoise is full grown, you won't need to use the top.

Then make some sort of stand - maybe something like this:

light stand e.jpg light stand g.jpg

You can decorate it any way you like, but lots of sight barriers throughout the enclosure make it feel bigger to the tortoise because he can't see the whole space in one glance.
 

VJRDuran

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Brooklyn Park
can anyone here who has a good tortoise enclosure send a picture of one? i Have a avb lamp but I don’t know how to regulate temp. I am deffenilty going to make /buy a enclosure that is at least 6ft long
See the picture I posted above Also... this picture shows our repurposed bookcase. We found this at the thrift store for a few bucks, and my husband added the top frame and lid as well as built the stand which also serves as the bottom of the enclosure. Note: this picture was taken just before we got Scooter so there have been some changes, most notably the lights. We now have a T5 UVB instead of a condensed. We also have a daylight spectrum LED for added lighting.

20200401_230045.jpg
 

VJRDuran

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Brooklyn Park
Thank you for the pictures. Please note: My daughter (and I )are new tort owner/caretaker as of April. Here is what we have learned along the way.
1) Tortoises need soaking. Give them a soak two to three times a week in an opaque (not see-through) dishpan type container. Warm water (about 95 degrees) up to their bottom scute This will help keep them hydrated and allow them to eliminate.
2) Torts don't understand glass. If they can see through it they can go through it. Make sure their enclosure is solid so they can't see through it. Minimum indoor should be at least five feet long by three feet wide.
3) Variety, Variety, Variety... Torts love a variety of food. Our tortoise loved dandelions this spring but turns his nose up at them now. There are many websites that tell what is good for a tortoise and what isn't. I often refer to this site: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/plant-database/#.X0fz7shKiUl
4) Outside is best but... If you can't get your tortoise outside a T5 UVB light will work. Also, a basking light that maintains a heating area of 95-98 degrees is good.
5) Substrate. There are a lot of opinions regarding the substrate and you will have to make the decision that you feel is best for your environment. We use a mix of coconut cor and orchid bark.
6) Humidity is good for preventing pyramiding. We spray the enclosure every morning. In addition, we keep a damp "Scooter towel" draped over the support rod or our repurposed bookcase.
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
5,547
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Here's instructions for building your own...

 

Golden Greek Tortoise 567

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
1,764
Location (City and/or State)
Colorado Springs,CO
Thank you for the pictures. Please note: My daughter (and I )are new tort owner/caretaker as of April. Here is what we have learned along the way.
1) Tortoises need soaking. Give them a soak two to three times a week in an opaque (not see-through) dishpan type container. Warm water (about 95 degrees) up to their bottom scoot. This will help keep them hydrated and allow them to eliminate.
2) Torts don't understand glass. If they can see through it they can go through it. Make sure their enclosure is solid so they can't see through it. Minimum indoor should be at least five feet long by three feet wide.
3) Variety, Variety, Variety... Torts love a variety of food. Our tortoise loved dandelions this spring but turns his nose up at them now. There are many websites that tell what is good for a tortoise and what isn't. I often refer to this site: https://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/plant-database/#.X0fz7shKiUl
4) Outside is best but... If you can't get your tortoise outside a T5 UVB light will work. Also, a basking light that maintains a heating area of 95-98 degrees is good.
5) Substrate. There are a lot of opinions regarding the substrate and you will have to make the decision that you feel is best for your environment. We use a mix of coconut cor and orchid bark.
6) Humidity is good for preventing pyramiding. We spay the enclosure every morning. In addition, we keep a damp "Scooter towel" draped over the support rod or our repurposed bookcase.

Reach out to https://www.tortoiseforum.org/members/tom.3441/ and to others who have far more knowledge than I do.
The attached picture is the enclosure we put together for Scooter.

View attachment 304564
The tortoises don’t understand glass thing is a myth. Tortoises understand it just fine. The reason you see tortoises scratching glass is mostly because the enclosure is too small. If you had a 300 gallon tank, then the tortoise would be fine. (It depends what type of tortoise though, if it’s a sulcata bad bad bad bad things will happen.)
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,310
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
2) Torts don't understand glass. If they can see through it they can go through it. Make sure their enclosure is solid so they can't see through it.
This false and has been disproven for decades. Glass tanks are fine for tortoises, as long as they are big enough. The problem with most glass tanks is that even big ones are too small for anything but a baby, but they are great for starting babies.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,310
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
See the picture I posted above Also... this picture shows our repurposed bookcase. We found this at the thrift store for a few bucks, and my husband added the top frame and lid as well as built the stand which also serves as the bottom of the enclosure. Note: this picture was taken just before we got Scooter so there have been some changes, most notably the lights. We now have a T5 UVB instead of a condensed. We also have a daylight spectrum LED for added lighting.

View attachment 304577
Those fixtures need to be replaced with ceramic based ones, and the clamps should be removed and discarded. Hang all the fixtures from over head.
 

VJRDuran

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
45
Location (City and/or State)
Brooklyn Park
NOTE: in my comment above:
Note: this picture was taken just before we got Scooter so there have been some changes, most notably the lights. We now have a T5 UVB instead of a condensed. We also have a daylight spectrum LED for added lighting.
 

Jodipg82

Member
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
97
Location (City and/or State)
Oviedo
Those fixtures need to be replaced with ceramic based ones, and the clamps should be removed and discarded. Hang all the fixtures from over head.
My first thought was 'killer clamp lamps'
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tom

New Posts

Top