New To The Community (but not keeping!)

TheReaIMartian

New Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2023
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Hello Everyone,
I saw the introductions section of the forum and figured I should pop in here and introduce myself and my tortoise. My name’s Leni and I have been keeping reptiles for about 9 years. My journey into tortoise keeping began in 2020 when I took in a ≈20 year old male Horsfield’s tortoise from a school that could not care for him properly. His name is now Dr.Zhivavo and he’s been a delight to add to the menagerie of animals I care for. Photos of him and his enclosure are attached! (Note: the photos are older from around 2022 and show him with an overgrown beak, which he had long before I adopted him, that has since thankfully been shaved down)

After 4 years of keeping and researching the testudo horsfieldii species, I’ve become quite knowledgeable about them and would love to help out anyone who may need husbandry suggestions or just would like to know more about these awesome testudinids!

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TheReaIMartian

New Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2023
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Welcome to the forum.
Your location is listed as New York. But your IP is in Massachusetts. Either way. You're dealing with the cold.
How are you keeping your tortoises?
That could be very helpful to some of our other members
Thank you! I'm a New Yorker born and raised which is why it is listed as my location, but I suppose I should change that. I'm going to college in Massachusetts (I'm lucky enough to have someone who can do daily maintenance for me while I am away, and I go home each weekend to do weekly weighs and soaks as well as meal prepping, etc.), and I now live an hour out from mass in New Hampshire, so yes, plenty of cold cold weather!

The way I am keeping my horsfieldii right now is in an 8ftx4ftx6ft grow tent with a potting soil/sand/clay substrate with two halogen flood bulbs as well as a t5 arcadia UVB lamp. I have yet to brumate him for a few reasons but plan to next year. Until then, I am maintaining his usual basking spot temperatures and not ceasing feeding or decreasing the amount of light he gets. Humidity drops quite a bit in these cooler months, so I find myself misting the enclosures more frequently, but other than that these winter months are a breeze with him. I find the main change is his diet, as I am not able to forage weeds for him. I grow a small amount of plantain, dandelion, and clover for him inside, but he gets more grocery store greens this time of year, unfortunately.
 

TheReaIMartian

New Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2023
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Hello and Welcome. Hope you did your research on this forum as most if not all the other info out there is old and incorrect.
Sorry, should have specified: actual research! As in, research papers and data from wild populations of testudo horsfieldii (as well as other tortoise species but horsfieldii are the species I am most knowledgeable about). I’m a firm believer in the naturalistic keeping of non domesticated species and doing our best as keepers to recreate their natural habitats/conditions in captivity. I stay far away from care guides online, even the more reputable ones like the ones on the reptifiles website. Of course, I really admire and respect the knowledge many people on this forum have and love looking through the information people share, but I prefer to make care decisions and base my knowledge on what has been observed in the wild.
 
Last edited:

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
50,229
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Sorry, should have specified: actual research! As in, research papers and data from wild populations of testudo horsfieldii (as well as other tortoise species but horsfieldii are the species I am most knowledgeable about). I’m a firm believer in the naturalistic keeping of non domesticated species and doing our best as keepers to recreate their natural habitats/conditions in captivity. I stay far away from care guides online, even the more reputable ones like the ones on the reptifiles website. Of course, I really admire and respect the knowledge many people on this forum have and love looking through the information people share, but I prefer to make care decisions and base my knowledge on what has been observed in the wild.
That's great and a lot can be learned from watching them in the wild and reading actual reports about their wild activities. Unfortunately we can only vaguely duplicate their wild in our different locations. Sadly, most can't even give the minimum space needed.
 

Cathie G

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
15,192
Location (City and/or State)
Lancaster
Hello and welcome 🤗 my little Russian is probably about 22. I've had him for 17 years and counting.🐢
 
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