My first tortoise...

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EmilyTonge

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Hello everyone! My name is Emily and I'm from the UK. I'm making this post to ask any members with experience keeping either breeds, Russian or Hermanns? I have been thoroughly researching these two tortoises for almost two years because I know they are a big commitment and not a pet to take home on a whim. Recently I have decided that I have absorbed all the information that I possibly can to get my very first tortoise. The only thing that I've not found on the Internet is which Is more suitable as a first pet? I am looking for a personable,friendly species that I can share the rest of my life with☺️

I do have the space for both species, the money and the time to care for them. Thank you so much for reading!

Emily x
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Emily, and welcome to the Forum!

Either species is a good first tortoise, however, I think Russians are a bit easier to care for
 

lismar79

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I have a russian and love her personality. She is not afraid of anything.
 

Gillian M

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A very warm :) wecome to the :tort:forum, Emily! You'll love it here get all the help you need.

Wishing you the best of luck when choosing a tort ;)
 

Falcon70

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Welcome! You can't go wrong with either one. I have had my female Russian for close to 7 years now and she has a very outgoing personality, and is unafraid of humans. She recognizes me as the food giant and will often come towards me when hungry:p
 

Gillian M

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Welcome! You can't go wrong with either one. I have had my female Russian for close to 7 years now and she has a very outgoing personality, and is unafraid of humans. She recognizes me as the food giant and will often come towards me when hungry:p
No offence to what to what you just posted, but I believe that all torts rush for food.
 

Falcon70

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No offence to what to what you just posted, but I believe that all torts rush for food.
Yeah haha I agree. I'm not trying to say she recognizes me like my dog does :), just that she now will walk to me even if I don't have food. But she is definitely aware that I'm not a threat as she did when I first got her.
 

EmilyTonge

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Thank you everyone for your replies! I have a reputable reptile shop nearby which always have CB Hermanns and Russians. I'm swaying more towards Russians at the moment! But I'll just have to see when the time comes.
Thank you once again:)
 

Tidgy's Dad

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Hello Emily and welcome to the forum.
As Zeropilot says, research is key.
Good luck with your choice.
(My girl is a Greek, also a good first tortoise, but I don't want to complicate matters!)
 

Emily A

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Hi Emily, from another Emily!
I'm also new here, and have only had my Russian for 6 months but that's been more than enough time to fall in love with the little guy!
They have so much attitude and character, and he's a very energetic little guy (for a tortoise). I did a lot of research before I started and part of the reason I went with a Russian was because they seemed hardier, and a safe place to start for a tortoise newbie :)
 

Tom

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I have been thoroughly researching these two tortoises for almost two years because I know they are a big commitment and not a pet to take home on a whim. Recently I have decided that I have absorbed all the information that I possibly can to get my very first tortoise.

Understand that most of what is out there that you have been reading is simply wrong. Its old outdated info based on incorrect assumption. Your local pet shop will sell you all the wrong stuff for all the wrong reasons. I'm not trying to be negative here. I'm trying to save you from making the same mistakes all new people make. Here's a short list:
1. Open tables are not good for babies. Too cold and too dry. Vivariums and aquariums are actually better for them for the very reasons they say they are bad.
2. That substrate from Pets At Home with the little limestone bits in it is bad. First of all soil is not good because its messy and you don't know what's in it. Second, encouraging the tortoise to eat its substrate to satisfy its calcium cravings is a very dangerous practice.
3. The coil type UV bulbs that most shops sell can actually burn teir eyes and should not be used.
4. The water bowls sold at the pet shops are unsuitable and potentially dangerous.

Here are some care sheets with the right info.
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...or-other-herbivorous-tortoise-species.107734/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Also please understand that tortoises are not available in different breeds. They are different species. Both of the species you are considering are great tortoises. In general I find hermanni to be prettier and horsfield tortoises to be more bold.

I hope this helps. It is not intended to be discouraging. I'm hoping to save you a lot of time, money and frustration, as well as make sure your new baby thrives in its critical first few months and years.
 

EmilyTonge

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Apr 10, 2015
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Understand that most of what is out there that you have been reading is simply wrong. Its old outdated info based on incorrect assumption. Your local pet shop will sell you all the wrong stuff for all the wrong reasons. I'm not trying to be negative here. I'm trying to save you from making the same mistakes all new people make. Here's a short list:
1. Open tables are not good for babies. Too cold and too dry. Vivariums and aquariums are actually better for them for the very reasons they say they are bad.
2. That substrate from Pets At Home with the little limestone bits in it is bad. First of all soil is not good because its messy and you don't know what's in it. Second, encouraging the tortoise to eat its substrate to satisfy its calcium cravings is a very dangerous practice.
3. The coil type UV bulbs that most shops sell can actually burn teir eyes and should not be used.
4. The water bowls sold at the pet shops are unsuitable and potentially dangerous.

Here are some care sheets with the right info.
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...or-other-herbivorous-tortoise-species.107734/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

Also please understand that tortoises are not available in different breeds. They are different species. Both of the species you are considering are great tortoises. In general I find hermanni to be prettier and horsfield tortoises to be more bold.

I hope this helps. It is not intended to be discouraging. I'm hoping to save you a lot of time, money and frustration, as well as make sure your new baby thrives in its critical first few months and years.

Thank you so much! I appreciate your help greatly☺️
 
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