Initial tortoise buying mistakes

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
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This has been discussed before. But its a constant issue.
For me, the biggest one is that many new tortoise keepers don't have a realistic idea of the space that a growing tortoise needs. Even one that doesn't reach a giant size.
They go into the pet store and see a dozen small tortoises in an aquarium eating lettuce and think "I can do that".
Next thing they know. They need a 300 square foot enclosure with high humidity in their 900 sf apartment.
So few new keepers seem to know the reality of the space requirements.

What do you think are some important buying mistakes?
 

Jan A

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This has been discussed before. But its a constant issue.
For me, the biggest one is that many new tortoise keepers don't have a realistic idea of the space that a growing tortoise needs. Even one that doesn't reach a giant size.
They go into the pet store and see a dozen small tortoises in an aquarium eating lettuce and think "I can do that".
Next thing they know. They need a 300 square foot enclosure with high humidity in their 900 sf apartment.
So few new keepers seem to know the reality of the space requirements.

What do you think are some important buying mistakes?
The #1 mistake has to be believing pet stores and/or even some breeders or sellers are up-to-speed on taking care of the tort's needs & what equipment/ enclosure the tort needs for proper care. And then there's temps, humidity & food required for good care.
 

Beasty_Artemis

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Yeah, the first worst mistake is believing all of the basic stuff they learned about turtles and torts from their childhoods. So much common sense knowledge regarding care and husbandry has changed dramatically....
It can make one feel like quite a jerk.
 

Lyn W

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Thinking that you can just throw some cheap lettuce and fruit at a tortoise for it to be healthy.:(
It was the first thing I did when I brought my tortoise home for my sister to adopt and he loved it so I thought it would be easy to look after him while he was with me.:rolleyes:
Thankfully when things changed and my half way house became his forever home, I found TFO and some very helpful members who put me straight and pointed me in the right direction for a good diet.
Finding good foods is my priority now and probably the hardest part of his care - especially in the winter, but has to be done - if you take on these animals and you have a commitment to look after them properly.
 

Gillian M

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Thinking that you can just throw some cheap lettuce and fruit at a tortoise for it to be healthy.:(
It was the first thing I did when I brought my tortoise home for my sister to adopt and he loved it so I thought it would be easy to look after him while he was with me.:rolleyes:
Thankfully when things changed and my half way house became his forever home, I found TFO and some very helpful members who put me straight and pointed me in the right direction for a good diet.
Finding good foods is my priority now and probably the hardest part of his care - especially in the winter, but has to be done - if you take on these animals and you have a commitment to look after them properly.
I fell into that trap too. I began feeding my tortoise lettuce and only lettuce until he refused to eat anything else; especially tortoise food.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I fell into that trap too. I began feeding my tortoise lettuce and only lettuce until he refused to eat anything else; especially tortoise food.
Some lettuces have some nutritional value.
Here in the United States it's mostly Romaine which is just ok and Iceberg which is just useless. Other types fall into the "lettuces" category. But here were usually talking about Iceberg.
A very common and very wrong tortoise diet that I see newbie keepers feed is lettuce and tomato.
 

Blackdog1714

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I came here first and listened! All it did for me was make me get another one cause once you setup it up right it takes so little work!
 

Tom

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#1. Buying your tortoise from the wrong source. Sadly, very few breeders start babies correctly. Most of them don't use a brooder box set up, don't introduce the right foods, don't soak enough, keep the babies too dry or outside all day, etc...

The same bad sellers with lots of bad reviews seem to be the first ones that come up when people do a search. So sad.

And these:
 

Gillian M

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Some lettuces have some nutritional value.
Here in the United States it's mostly Romaine which is just ok and Iceberg which is just useless. Other types fall into the "lettuces" category. But here were usually talking about Iceberg.
A very common and very wrong tortoise diet that I see newbie keepers feed is lettuce and tomato.
Oh yes, some types are good. However, when a tort eats nothing but lettuce, that becomes worrisome. That's what happened to Oli, till YOU came to the rescue. Thanks.
 

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My parents bought me turtles at a pet shop and the turtles had to suffer for my ignorance of their correct care. To all the pets I've done wrong, I am so sorry.
My very first Redfoot PAIR also suffered as I learned through trial and error and with some horrible books from the library
 

MenagerieGrl

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Some lettuces have some nutritional value.
Here in the United States it's mostly Romaine which is just ok and Iceberg which is just useless. Other types fall into the "lettuces" category. But here were usually talking about Iceberg.
A very common and very wrong tortoise diet that I see newbie keepers feed is lettuce and tomato.
Yes, Iceberg leatuce is primarily just water, enclosed in a bunch of plant cells. VERY little nutrition for Tort's AND humans!
 

OliveW

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Our local pet store in town sells babies for $50 and housing kits that are aquariums with heat lamps, and no indication that you would ever need anything beyond that.
I despise pets shops, in general. The only living things they should be allowed to sell are fish and rodents.
 

ZEROPILOT

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#1. Buying your tortoise from the wrong source. Sadly, very few breeders start babies correctly. Most of them don't use a brooder box set up, don't introduce the right foods, don't soak enough, keep the babies too dry or outside all day, etc...

The same bad sellers with lots of bad reviews seem to be the first ones that come up when people do a search. So sad.

And these:
That is an excellent previous post.
It's the one I was referring to.
 
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