I'm new! And Brand New to Tortoises :)

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ranapipiens89

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Hi everyone, I am ranapipiens89, you can call me rp89 if you want, lol. I'm brand new here and I'm really super excited to be here. You see, I've wanted a tortoise ever since I became interested in reptiles when I was like 8 years old. I could never find or afford any and would sometimes placate myself by "adopting" box turtles from the road, in efforts to save them from danger... I would keep them a few days to be sure they're okay and then release them in my backyard, which was snuggled up against a beautiful forest. Well I finally became independent from my parents, I moved in with my wonderfully understanding BF and I finally got my tortoise! It's a little 6 month old baby from Texas, I bought it online and had it sent to me. I took it to the vet and it weighs 71 grams, is a little pyramidded but otherwise fantastic, spunky and voracious. Currently it's housed in a small 20 gallon storage tote. It contains i's half-log hide, a heat lamp, a uvb lamp, a water dish, some orchard hay, a small bowl of "pet greens" which is oat and wheat hay grass, which is free growing. It also has a food dish with tortoise pellets, moistened. Every other day it gets fresh baby greens mix (minimal to no lettuce) and also gets soaked for 15 minutes. Anyway, that's all I know to tell, so HI!
 

Skyler Nell

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Woo I'm the first to welcome you to the forum!
You'll find out so much information on here!
It's great :)
We'd love to see pics!
 

Yvonne G

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Hi RP89!

Welcome to the forum!

What kind of tortoise did you get?
 

dmmj

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Welcome to the forum, I got my first RES at 8, what type of tortoise is it?
 

ranapipiens89

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:rolleyes: How could I forget! It's a russian tortoise, and it's a very very beautiful little baby... Still haven't thought of a name yet, of course am trying to find one that's a little ambiguous since I don't know the gender of it. I'm not good with names, lol.

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Sorry they have to be so small, I took them with my phone and if they're any bigger, they're really ugly, lol.
 

Yvonne G

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This little baby has been kept pretty dry. Is there a place in your habitat where you can provide some moisture for him to be in? Like moistened sphagnum moss inside a hiding place? What tells me this is the raised places on his back (carapace). This should be smooth. Its not harmful, just cosmetic, and it gives him some character, huh? Very cute little Russian tortoise, and one of my favorites!!
 

tortoisenerd

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Welcome to the group! Its very rare for Russians to get pyramided, even in dry conditions. I's guess the breeder was feeding a very bad diet (high protein?). If you can't get him to eat the grass mix (most Russians don't like grass, but love broadleaves), the good lettuces, greens, weeds, and edible chemical free flowers. Small amounts of cactus, butternut squash, pumpkin, and Mazuri and/or Grassland is great. Any baby greens or spring mix has lettuce in it. Pick out any spinach or chard in it (sometimes I even find it when its not listed--so learn to identify it), as both are high in oxalic acid, which binds to calcium and can cause stones. I wouldn't feed any other pellet type foods besides Mazuri or Grassland--if it has color to it--is junk. Feed a pure calcium supplement daily for hatchlings. What kind of UVB bulb? The tube bulbs are basically useless, and the coil ones are dangerous. What you want is a Mercury Vapor Bulb. Make sure you have hides in different parts of the enclosure in different temperatures. I'd feed a hatchling daily and let it eat as much as it wants as long as it has plenty of space to exercise (you shouldn't need to let it out to exercise, that means your enclosure is too small) and you feed a good diet (junk pellet diets are high calorie and cause accelerated growth). You probably need a water dish that is easier for the tort to climb in and out of. If your Petco has the one with stairs, Groovy Jacuzzi in the XL, that is awesome (although it won't fit a tort over 4 inches, but by then they can manage better). I like slate tiles for food as they wear down the beak and nails and give the tort more space to eat without having the substrate mix with the food. Lips on dishes are hard for them to climb. If you pile that hay up more it makes a great hide (they won't usually eat it, but my tort loves to hide in it!).
 

ranapipiens89

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tortoisenerd said:
Welcome to the group! Its very rare for Russians to get pyramided, even in dry conditions. I's guess the breeder was feeding a very bad diet (high protein?). If you can't get him to eat the grass mix (most Russians don't like grass, but love broadleaves), the good lettuces, greens, weeds, and edible chemical free flowers. Small amounts of cactus, butternut squash, pumpkin, and Mazuri and/or Grassland is great. Any baby greens or spring mix has lettuce in it. Pick out any spinach or chard in it (sometimes I even find it when its not listed--so learn to identify it), as both are high in oxalic acid, which binds to calcium and can cause stones. I wouldn't feed any other pellet type foods besides Mazuri or Grassland--if it has color to it--is junk. Feed a pure calcium supplement daily for hatchlings. What kind of UVB bulb? The tube bulbs are basically useless, and the coil ones are dangerous. What you want is a Mercury Vapor Bulb. Make sure you have hides in different parts of the enclosure in different temperatures. I'd feed a hatchling daily and let it eat as much as it wants as long as it has plenty of space to exercise (you shouldn't need to let it out to exercise, that means your enclosure is too small) and you feed a good diet (junk pellet diets are high calorie and cause accelerated growth). You probably need a water dish that is easier for the tort to climb in and out of. If your Petco has the one with stairs, Groovy Jacuzzi in the XL, that is awesome (although it won't fit a tort over 4 inches, but by then they can manage better). I like slate tiles for food as they wear down the beak and nails and give the tort more space to eat without having the substrate mix with the food. Lips on dishes are hard for them to climb. If you pile that hay up more it makes a great hide (they won't usually eat it, but my tort loves to hide in it!).

I'll try to answer most of your questions. The pellets I am using are Grassland tortoise pellets. I did have the hay piled up more, but he does that smooshing and spreading by himself, by eagerly chomping and digging for the grass, he actually does love the grass, I was surprised. I don't know what his diet from the breeder was, but considering how he has such an affinity for bright green food, I'm sure it was some kind of lettuces and greens. He does get food daily, the pellets and grass are available all day every day, the greens I provide every other day, I don't want him to get fat, I know russian love to chow down constantly because in their natural habitat they only have a limited feeding/active period. The uv bulb I am using is a tube, but I could buy a megaray, I was concerned about buying one because I didn't know if the tub would melt from it. The water dish is a tad small, but he was a bit larger than I was told he would be, I was told he'd be a hatchling, so I got all smaller supplies, but it turns out he is definitely not newly hatched. His food dish is made of some sort of rock-like material, it's not plastic like his water dish, so i think it will be similar to a slate. He gets soaked for 15 minutes every other day. I will get him a larger water container, maybe a plant tray or something. Also, I do give him calcium powder with every meal
 

pongpagong

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WeLCOME to the forum!!!! good thing you have joined the forum..your tortoise has pyramiding..you will learn a lot here..welcome !!!
 
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