New to tortoise keeping

Nmoore21

New Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Georgia
I’m thinking about getting a baby Russian tortoise. I’m new to owning a tortoise though. Would you recommend one for a beginner? From what I’ve read, they stay small and are easier than others to take care of. If I were to get one, could I keep it outside year round? I live in southern Georgia, and if I do keep it outside, would I still need to invest in a heat lamp and uvb lamp? I would really appreciate the answers to these questions. Thanks



If the Russian tortoise is not recommended for a beginner, or because of where I live, are there any other suggestions for different species? Such as the Hermann’s tortoise, Greek tortoise, or leopard tortoise? I’m looking for a smaller species. Also, I don’t know where I would get a baby, captive bred tortoise, are there any suggestions on where I can get them? Thanks again
 

Bee62

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Germany
I’m thinking about getting a baby Russian tortoise. I’m new to owning a tortoise though. Would you recommend one for a beginner? From what I’ve read, they stay small and are easier than others to take care of. If I were to get one, could I keep it outside year round? I live in southern Georgia, and if I do keep it outside, would I still need to invest in a heat lamp and uvb lamp? I would really appreciate the answers to these questions. Thanks



If the Russian tortoise is not recommended for a beginner, or because of where I live, are there any other suggestions for different species? Such as the Hermann’s tortoise, Greek tortoise, or leopard tortoise? I’m looking for a smaller species. Also, I don’t know where I would get a baby, captive bred tortoise, are there any suggestions on where I can get them? Thanks again
Hello and welcome to the forum and our big "tort family".
To my opinion there is no beginner tortoise specie at all, but you are right Russian tortoises don`t grow too big and are easier to keep as a tropical tortoises ( Maybe a redfoot tortoise ) or a huge growing sulcata tortoise.
Btw leopard tortoises grow big and they need a special enclosure when they are babys with high humidity and warmth.
Russian tortoises are known to be easy to keep but: For a baby you need an enclosure with heat lamps for the first year. A baby need it warm and humid to grow well. When you put a baby tortoise outside from the beginning on it might die.
I don`t know how the weather is in Georgia, summer and winter and the temps, but with a baby tortoise I would start inside your house in a nice set up.
Go to the Russian tortoise section and read the sticky threads how to keep a baby russian tortoise and then come back with every question you have.
First give this a read:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/b...or-other-herbivorous-tortoise-species.107734/
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Jan 9, 2010
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59,328
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Southern California
I’m thinking about getting a baby Russian tortoise. I’m new to owning a tortoise though. Would you recommend one for a beginner? From what I’ve read, they stay small and are easier than others to take care of. If I were to get one, could I keep it outside year round? I live in southern Georgia, and if I do keep it outside, would I still need to invest in a heat lamp and uvb lamp? I would really appreciate the answers to these questions. Thanks



If the Russian tortoise is not recommended for a beginner, or because of where I live, are there any other suggestions for different species? Such as the Hermann’s tortoise, Greek tortoise, or leopard tortoise? I’m looking for a smaller species. Also, I don’t know where I would get a baby, captive bred tortoise, are there any suggestions on where I can get them? Thanks again
Hello and welcome! Great questions!

Russians are a great first tortoise, and so are hermanni and greeks. Good luck choosing. Care for each is pretty similar.

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/

There are several good breeders here on the forum, but most breeders out there in the world don't start baby tortoises well. Don't buy a baby from someone who keeps their babies on sand or a sand mix substrate, on a dry substrate, outside all day, or who doesn't soak the baby daily. Read this one for more explanation about this: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/hatchling-failure-syndrome.23493/

Here is a care sheet for russians, but it could be used for other Testudo too.
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
 

Nmoore21

New Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Georgia
Hello and welcome to the forum and our big "tort family".
To my opinion there is no beginner tortoise specie at all, but you are right Russian tortoises don`t grow too big and are easier to keep as a tropical tortoises ( Maybe a redfoot tortoise ) or a huge growing sulcata tortoise.
Btw leopard tortoises grow big and they need a special enclosure when they are babys with high humidity and warmth.
Russian tortoises are known to be easy to keep but: For a baby you need an enclosure with heat lamps for the first year. A baby need it warm and humid to grow well. When you put a baby tortoise outside from the beginning on it might die.
I don`t know how the weather is in Georgia, summer and winter and the temps, but with a baby tortoise I would start inside your house in a nice set up.
Go to the Russian tortoise section and read the sticky threads how to keep a baby russian tortoise and then come back with every question you have.
First give this a read:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/b...or-other-herbivorous-tortoise-species.107734/
In Georgia it’s pretty humid, summers are hot, and even winters don’t get very cold, maybe 30 degrees a few days, but mostly around 40’s and up and we have pretty frequent rainfall. I’m debating on wether I want to keep it inside in a Vivarium or tortoise table, or keep it outside.
 
R

Raymond23

Guest
I’m thinking about getting a baby Russian tortoise. I’m new to owning a tortoise though. Would you recommend one for a beginner? From what I’ve read, they stay small and are easier than others to take care of. If I were to get one, could I keep it outside year round? I live in southern Georgia, and if I do keep it outside, would I still need to invest in a heat lamp and uvb lamp? I would really appreciate the answers to these questions. Thanks



If the Russian tortoise is not recommended for a beginner, or because of where I live, are there any other suggestions for different species? Such as the Hermann’s tortoise, Greek tortoise, or leopard tortoise? I’m looking for a smaller species. Also, I don’t know where I would get a baby, captive bred tortoise, are there any suggestions on where I can get them? Thanks again
i would get one from a online breeder just because there captive bread but if your getting one from petsmart it good but it might take some time for it to get use to you
 

Nmoore21

New Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Georgia
I
i would get one from a online breeder just because there captive bread but if your getting one from petsmart it good but it might take some time for it to get use to you
don’t currently plan on getting one from petsmart. Mainly after hearing how their farmed and everything. I just don’t know what online Breeder to buy from
 

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