New tortoise owner- burrowing, not eating a lot, stressed/depressed?

GabeH

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Jun 19, 2022
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Syracuse, NY
Hi new tortoise owner here. I’ve had my 4.5 inch female Russian tortoise, Sprinkles, since Friday. From what I’ve read they usually have a great appetite and she doesn’t seem to be eating a lot,she eats her greens but doesn’t touch her dried flowers or pellets. Ive only tried pellets a couple times but she doesn’t seem interested. She is also burrowing all the way under her heat lamp for most of the day. I have a 60 watt powersun bulb and the temp of the substrate is around 85 right now but the light just came on, it’s on a timer it gets about 90 when it’s heated up. When she’s been under there not burrowed for 30 mins to an hour her carapace temp is around 95. I’m concerned that she’s getting too hot or too cold and that’s why she’s burrowing. Her substrate is coconut fiber and is moist. Also concerned that she doesn’t seem to be drinking well. I have a 10 inch terracotta dish for her to get into it and she hasn’t touched it. I’ve been soaking her in 95-100 degree water for 15-20 mins daily since she’s not drinking. She does seem to drink a little while she’s in there and she defecates a lot when she’s in the water. She’s done that pee that’s white (don’t know what it’s called haha) once. I am concerned that she is hot/cold and dehydrated. Is she just stressed/depressed and getting used to things? Thanks for your help in advance!
 

wellington

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What size enclosure? She needs a 4x8 foot. Temps need to be 95-100 under basking and the rest of the area 75-80. Ni heat at night as long as temps don't go below 60.
Also older tortoises take a while to get used to their new home and owner. Get the enclosure and temps right and give her time.
Be sure to soak the pellets, most don't like them dry.
 

Maro2Bear

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It would be helpful if you can upload some pictures of your set-up.

If your tort wasnt eating dried flowers or dry hard pellets (before you got it) it won’t suddenly start eating strange new food. You have to slowly introduce new things bit by bit along with what it currently does eat. As far as water - It helps to sink the water dish down into the substrate - it’s not normal for them to crawl up & down into a bowl. Check out a terracotta plant saucer.
 
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Tom

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Read my reply in post number 9 of this thread:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/i-am-very-worried….199220/#post-2013293
 

GabeH

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Joined
Jun 19, 2022
Messages
8
Location (City and/or State)
Syracuse, NY
Sorry I’m just replying to this. Right now she has two tortoise tables put together. We know we will have to do a bigger enclosure as she gets older, but right now she’s only about 4 to 4 1/2 inches. Still not touching pellets or getting in water dish
 

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