New Tortoise Mom !

Jenli&Buddy

New Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2022
Messages
1
Location (City and/or State)
Cave City
Hi we just got our adult male Russian tortoise 2 days ago. He is doing well in a temporary habitat (small terrarium) waiting for his large indoor habitat to come. We are excited to learn here !
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,341
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Hi we just got our adult male Russian tortoise 2 days ago. He is doing well in a temporary habitat (small terrarium) waiting for his large indoor habitat to come. We are excited to learn here !
Hello and welcome!

Most of the care info out in the world for tortoises is all wrong. Here is the right info for your species:

And lighting info:
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.

Questions are welcome!
 

Jacqui

Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
39,808
Location (City and/or State)
A Land Far Away...
Hi! *waves* what made you decide on a Russian?
 

Ink

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jun 10, 2016
Messages
1,885
Location (City and/or State)
Virginia
Welcome to the forum.
 

AmandaF

Active Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2022
Messages
177
Location (City and/or State)
Congresbury
Hi we just got our adult male Russian tortoise 2 days ago. He is doing well in a temporary habitat (small terrarium) waiting for his large indoor habitat to come. We are excited to learn here !
Welcome, there are very knowledgeable people her who can give you amazing advice, they really helped me
 

Ray--Opo

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
6,394
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
Welcome, you have come to the right forum.
Pictures of your new family member would be great!
 

Ray--Opo

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
6,394
Location (City and/or State)
Palm Bay Fl
Hello and welcome!

Most of the care info out in the world for tortoises is all wrong. Here is the right info for your species:

And lighting info:
There are four elements to heating and lighting:
  1. Basking bulb. I use 65 watt incandescent floods from the hardware store. Some people will need bigger, or smaller wattage bulbs. Let your thermometer be your guide. I run them on a timer for about 12 hours and adjust the height to get the correct basking temp under them. I also like to use a flat rock of some sort directly under the bulb. You need to check the temp with a thermometer directly under the bulb and get it to around 95-100F (36-37C).
  2. Ambient heat maintenance. I use ceramic heating elements or radiant heat panels set on thermostats to maintain ambient above 80 degrees day and night for tropical species. In most cases you'd only need day heat for a temperate species like Testudo or DT, as long as your house stays above 60F (15-16C) at night. Some people in colder climates or with larger enclosures will need multiple CHEs or RHPs to spread out enough heat.
  3. Ambient light. I use LEDs for this purpose. Something in the 5000-6500K color range will look the best. Most bulbs at the store are in the 2500K range and they look yellowish. Strip or screw-in LED bulb types are both fine.
  4. UV. If you can get your tortoise outside for an hour 2 or 3 times a week, you won't need indoor UV. In colder climates, get one of the newer HO type fluorescent tubes. Which type will depend on mounting height. 5.0 bulbs make almost no UV. I like the 12% HO bulbs from Arcadia. You need a meter to check this: https://www.solarmeter.com/model65.html A good UV bulb only needs to run for 2-3 hours mid day. You need the basking bulb and the ambient lighting to be on at least 12 hours a day.

Questions are welcome!
Tom for a 40w and a 120w RHP.
What should be the distance between panel and carapace? This is for a 85lb sully.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
59,341
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Tom for a 40w and a 120w RHP.
What should be the distance between panel and carapace? This is for a 85lb sully.
Those are relatively safe, but only your thermometer can really answer that. Get something around tortoise height and rest a digital thermometer on its back under it. Let that cook for a good hour with the RHP plugged directly in, not on the thermostat. Keep it well under 100.
 

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