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Russian Lilly

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Hello! My name is Lilly, I'm from Texas. My son has owned a few red ears for over 6 years & does very well. He recently purchased a tortoise with his bday money. Although very different from aquatic turtles, we've done our research and think we have it down. Just wanted to join the forum to get more personal insight.
 

ZEROPILOT

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Check out the Russian tortoise care and food section.
Your son will also need some sort of UVB lighting, unless it will live outdoors. Don't buy the coiled, compact florescent type bulbs that every pet shop sells. They damage tortoises eyes.
Can you post a photo of where and what he keeps his new tortoise in?
We can give you better advice with photos. What you need. What you have that is good and what you need to change, etc.
 

Russian Lilly

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Yes he has a uvb, night light & also a basket light. I can not at the moment upload pics. Will do asap. He has him in a square container, that is 1ft high & 3ft by 3ft. As of now we use a water bottle with retisafe to keep humidity, but I'm looking into a fogger or something similar. That's why I was thinking the micacle gro would help keep humidity, because the reptile bark alone tends to dry out to fast.
 

Nicole M

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Yes he has a uvb, night light & also a basket light. I can not at the moment upload pics. Will do asap. He has him in a square container, that is 1ft high & 3ft by 3ft. As of now we use a water bottle with retisafe to keep humidity, but I'm looking into a fogger or something similar. That's why I was thinking the micacle gro would help keep humidity, because the reptile bark alone tends to dry out to fast.
What kind of UVB bulb does he have, and what kind of basking bulb (as well as the fixtures for each)? Again, when you have pics people can give much more helpful advice, but for now I can tell you that the enclosure, unfortunately, is too small... Russians, though small, need a lot of space to thrive. In the wild, they walk miles every day, and they're very active tortoises. Try to strive for a minimum enclosure size of 8'x4' (and if you have the space, it's helpful to stop thinking in terms of minimums, but rather the MAXIMUM enclosure size you can provide for the animal). The more space you give, the more active and fun your pet tortoise will be! Also, regarding the fogger, that's something that would be more suited for a species like the Redfoots. Russians need humidity, too, but they are prone to shell rot, and adults do not need the kind of humidity that a fogger provides. Misting the enclosure and dumping water into the substrate (and mixing it around) should be sufficient. You want the substrate moist--not damp. Russians like humid burrows!

Moreover, your tortoise does not need a night light. Pet stores often try to sell them to you just to make a buck, but tortoises need the darkness and the nighttime temperature drop (as long as it's not too low) to maintain a normal sleep cycle. If it gets very cold indoors in the colder months, then you can get the tortoise a ceramic heat emitter set on a thermostat (because they can get VERY hot). That will warm up the enclosure sufficiently without the disturbing nighttime light.

Colored bulbs--which night time bulbs usually are--are bad for tortoises, as well. They have very keen color vision, and the colored light is very disorienting for them. It often stresses them out and, in the case of red bulbs, makes everything look like food (torts are generally attracted to red foods). That can lead to all kinds of problems, such as impaction and prolapse from eating things they shouldn't.
 
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Nicole M

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Sorry--made an edit to my post before you quoted it! I had forgotten to make note of the fogger.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Lilly, and welcome to the Forum!

If at all possible, your tortoise would be much better off, mentally and physically, if you can make it a safe and escape-proof outdoor habitat. This can be a fun experience for both you and your son, as you work together to design and landscape the new enclosure.

Tortoises are wild animals. If you try to house your new Russian tortoise in a 3x3 area indoors, it is going to be trying to climb the walls, digging in the corners and trying to escape all day long until it drives you crazy.
 

Russian Lilly

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The 3x3 is just his indoor enclosure. He aslo has an outdoor one that is way bigger. I was actually a big old book self that we took the back and selfs out. Mainly just to use as a perimeter so he doesn't wonder off. The uvb is from zoo med 10.0/13 watts, the basking light is also zoo med 75 watts and the night light zoo med black light 75 watts. Light fixtures are also zoo med.
 

Yvonne G

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Some examples of simple to make outdoor enclosures:
tortoiseresort2011-01.jpg


Luke1211-01.jpg


tortscondo1_zps1bfce276.jpg
 

Tom

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The 3x3 is just his indoor enclosure. He aslo has an outdoor one that is way bigger. I was actually a big old book self that we took the back and selfs out. Mainly just to use as a perimeter so he doesn't wonder off. The uvb is from zoo med 10.0/13 watts, the basking light is also zoo med 75 watts and the night light zoo med black light 75 watts. Light fixtures are also zoo med.


Hello and welcome. Your tortoise is lucky you found us. Pet stores are full of misinformation and dangerous, unnecessary products. The type of UV bulb you bought is infamous for burning tortoise eyes. Turn it off ASAP. You don't need indoor UV if your tortoise spends time outside in the sun a couple times a week or more.

Russians don't need night heat unless you live inside a refrigerator.

If the ZooMed basking lamp is a spot lamp, that is no good either.

Did they sell you a ramped water bowl and dry substrate too?

I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it must be said so that you can fix these issue before the tortoise is harmed. Please read these:
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/

After reading those, you can take all that useless, overprice and dangerous stuff back to the pet store for a full refund and an explanation of why you are returning it. Then go spend half that money at the hardware store and get the right stuff.

Please ask for more explanation if any of this is not clear, and realize that this happens to LOTS of people. You are not alone here. We all just want to help.
 

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