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Indoor tortoise

Discussion in 'Tortoise FAQs - New and need help?' started by Tort1419, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. Tort1419

    Tort1419 Active Member

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    hello everyone, I am thinking about getting a tortoise but he can't stay out for the winter months and during the summer months there is too much rain. I have decided to get a tortoise that lives just fine indoors year round, don't worry I have the space, and I want to do whatever it takes to make him happy. What species do you guys recommend
  2. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    To be honest all torts do better if they get to go outdoors.

    Wet isn't a problem as long as it's not prolonged or cold. I assume you do see the sun sometimes. Where do you live?

    A tortoise can live for 50 years or more and needs plenty of space as they are quite active.

    It goes without saying that the smaller species need less space. But even my Greek has grown to over 10 inches in the 45 years we have owned him.

    I recommend you start learning about tortoises by reading this thread http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
    Tidgy's Dad likes this.
  3. Gillian Moore

    Gillian Moore Well-Known Member

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    A very warm welcome to theforum.

    I have read time and once again that Russian torts are the best for beginners.

    Please read the threads as well as care sheets that will definitely help you. and do not hesitateto ask ANY question.

    Wishing you the best of luck whatever tort you choose. Don't forget to post pics and keep us updated.
    Tidgy's Dad likes this.
  4. Tort1419

    Tort1419 Active Member

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    I am fourteen and mature for my age and I hope I don't sound rude and immature but I have read tons on tortoises, and I live in Indiana, the winter is out of the question and in the summer it rains and by rain I mean it downpours, I just don't want him to get sick. The only thing I don't know is about having an outdoor enclosure.
  5. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    At fourteen years of age you have a lot to think about. A tortoise will be your pet for the next 50 years or more. That's probably longer than you can imagine.

    What will happen when your family goes on vacation... or even away for the weekend? Who will care for your tort? It can't be put in kennels like a dog or cat and it can't be taken with you as they don't travel well and don't handle change well. You will need someone who knows how to look after the tort in your home when your family are not there.

    You are in school at the moment, but not far from moving on to college and then getting your first home and job? You can't take the tortoise to college, so your family will be in charge, but it's your pet not theirs.

    When you get your first home will you have space in a small apartment to accommodate a tortoise? - we are talking an enclosure that is a minimum of 4'×8'

    Who is going to pick the leafy green weeds that your tort will need daily to eat? Who will do it when you're not there for the reasons above.

    You cannot know the answers to these questions, so it is VERY important that you discuss all the implications with your parents. At present they probably think a tort is curte and haven't had chance to think things through themselves.

    A tortoise is not a cheap pet to keep. The lamps and heaters, electricity substrate and enclosure must all be paid for ... and the lamps need changing on a regular basis... again who will pay? Do you have a vet locally who is qualified to treat torts? Vet bills can be very high indeed with a tort as they are not as common as dogs and cats.

    I am not telling you that can't have a tortoise only that they require a lot of time, money and space and it is something that your family must understand as completely as you. You don't want to have to put the tort out for adoption because your family has realised they have taken on something that doesn't work for them.
    Steven H and Tidgy's Dad like this.
  6. johnsonnboswell

    johnsonnboswell Well-Known Member

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    It's still worthwhile to have an outdoor enclosure for those good days, even if there aren't so many. Make a dry "house" for it in the enclosure and be prepared to bring it in and out.

    Your parents may want to join us, too. They will be taking care of your tortoise when you leave home, go to college, travel, etc.
  7. Tort1419

    Tort1419 Active Member

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    Yea a few months ago I wanted a tortoise but then told myself no because what happens when you go to college. That is my biggest worry, I don't want to burden my parents with my tortoise. Trust me I don't want to hurt the animal, unless j find a solution for that I am not going to get one. Now let's say I do find a solution, what's so bad about keeping him indoors year round
  8. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    A hatchling can be kept indoors for a while full time, but they are much harder to care for... and of course babies grow up. Many pet store torts in the USA are wild caught and so they are not babies and they need outdoor space for at least part of the year.

    Great Britain, where I live, isn't exactly known for its warm and dry weather at any time of year, but people manage to get their tortoises outdoors in the summer months. Russians and Greeks are among the easier species to care for. There are several people from northern US states on here who will hopefully see this thread in the next few hours who can help you too,
    Kristyh119 likes this.
  9. Tort1419

    Tort1419 Active Member

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    Well I could have an outdoor enclosure that is also inside would that be good so whenever it rains he can come and live inside or he can go inside whenever he wants
  10. G-stars

    G-stars Well-Known Member

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    Nothing wrong with keeping tortoises indoors all year long. There are many successful keepers here who have great results doing it that way. IMO though I feel it's more natural outdoors IF we have that species ideal climate.

    I would look into Russians, they hibernate during the winter time if you decide to do that.
  11. Tort1419

    Tort1419 Active Member

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    I'm think Russian but I don't want to hibernate him, so it is ok to keep them indoors all year round, I'm going to provide for him a variety of plants growing around his enclosure, and have the right temperatures to him and I think he will be just fine, besides more effective uv days from the sun, what is different from outdoor enclosures from indoor
  12. G-stars

    G-stars Well-Known Member

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    If you choose not to hibernate him just keep the temps warm all year round. Problem is size of the enclosure. The bigger the better. I believe for a Russian the minimum is 4x8.
  13. G-stars

    G-stars Well-Known Member

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  14. Tort1419

    Tort1419 Active Member

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    Don't worry we have a lot of space in our basement I can make an even bigger enclosure than 4' by 8'
  15. G-stars

    G-stars Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear that. Than by all means go bigger. Your tortoise will appreciate it. Read the link I posted, it's a good care sheet for Russians.
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  16. Tort1419

    Tort1419 Active Member

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    Ok thanks to everyone
  17. johnsonnboswell

    johnsonnboswell Well-Known Member

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    It could be fine. I've heard horror stories about tortoises that were neglected because the owners just didn't spend any time down in the basement.
  18. fern4

    fern4 Member

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    I live in Minnesota. I feel your pain about the weather....
  19. Sheldon the russian tortoise

    Sheldon the russian tortoise Active Member

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    I live in southern Louisiana. Down here we get some RAIN! When it gets bad I bring Sheldon into his indoor cage. I put him outside as much as possible though. Your indoor cage must also be a minimum of 6x4.
  20. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Its good to have an indoor enclosure for most of the time, and an outdoor one for fair weather.

    Indoor incandescent bulbs produce tremendous amounts of IR-A which is extremely desiccating to their plastrons, which can contribute to pyramiding. Outdoor sunshine is a much more natural way to warm your tortoise. Allowing them access to sunshine, exercise in a large pen and some grazing is good thing. Sure you can keep them alive indoors only, but outdoor is good for them.

    You will need to look into and learn about indoor UV strategies. It can work, but you'll need to learn the pros and cons of each of the alternatives, and use them correctly. We can help, if needed.

    Look into hermanni as well as russians. A Marginated tortoise might be good for you too.
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