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Need help... (with Russian enclosure)

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by RobertObrien91, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. RobertObrien91

    RobertObrien91 New Member

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    Hi all,
    I'm in a bit of confusion as I'm reading different stories etc on google but can't find anything to stick with..

    First of all my sister in-law fell ill which meant she couldn't look after her one year old Horsfield tortoise anymore so I said I'd have him.

    Well Sheldon is now nearly two years old so I built a open top tank.

    But I don't think I've got it set up right, i went out and bought a 150w rednight spotlamp because I was told I could use this as a 24 hour heat source as well with a day time bulb for daytime. The thermometer in the tank is showing 94F-96F where the basking area is, the coolest point is showing 78F-80F.
    Is the basking temperature reading too high? My tank is 4'x3.5'.

    20180306_140454.jpg 1520354775849-1635096723.jpg
  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    First the enclosure is way too small. Needs a minimum of a 4x8 feet. If you don't have the room make it two levels. The night time should be dark, not a red light or any light on. The basking should be between 95-100 and the all over temp for day time can be 75-80 and down to 68 at night.
    Tortoises are attracted to red things and the red bulb could cause him to eat things he shouldn't. He also needs a uvb bulb.
    This forum is the best place for all the correct info. Most other places on the internet, pet stores and even most vets have wrong outdated info. Stick to this forum and read the caresheets under the Russian section.
  3. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Hello and Welcome too. Hope your sister in law makes a quick recovery.
    Alex Z likes this.
  4. RobertObrien91

    RobertObrien91 New Member

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    Thank you for your reply.

    I'm going to make him a bigger enclosure.

    I'll get the correct bulbs also. He's my first tortoise so i want to make it right and get it all correct.

    Thank you.
    RosemaryDW and Alex Z like this.
  5. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Hi and welcome! You also need a different substrate. . . something you can moisten a bit.
  7. RobertObrien91

    RobertObrien91 New Member

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    Hi thank you.

    I put that down just for now because i didnt have enough to fill the tank.
    Whats the best substrate to use?
  8. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Fine grade orchid bark, peat moss, cypress mulch, and coco coir. You can also mix a few of these if you’d like. I believe that you can find 3.3 cubic feet of peat moss at Home Depot for 10 dollars, but make sure anything you get is organic.
  9. RobertObrien91

    RobertObrien91 New Member

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    Today I've been out and bought a 100W daytime basking heat bulb exchanged it with the rednight heat bulb. I've ordered a uvb light off the net and also planning on making his living area 6'x4' and another level sleeping area.

    Thank you everyone for your advice.
    RosemaryDW and TechnoCheese like this.
  10. Grandpa Turtle 144

    Grandpa Turtle 144 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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  11. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    Sounds great!
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