Newbie in VT with a ‘abandoned/rescue’ Russian.

Tonetone28

New Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Vermont
I’ve adopted a male Russian, with an 18 x 36 glass enclosure. (Two weeks ago). Initially he had nothing but a few wood shavings that he kept pushed in the far right corner. Now he has a big pile of chopped Timothy hay and wood shavings in that corner and he loves to bury himself in that pile. He has a basking corner and a feeding corner on the opposite side of the enclosure. There is an appropriately sized water container that he is able to soak in, but mostly just walks through. UVB tube light on 12 hours a day. I’m pretty close to getting his day temps correct. (Needs to be a bit warmer) Night temps 85F in his sleeping corner. He is eating heartily twice a day, poops and pees regularly too. I think he’s fairly content.

Here’s where I get a bit unconventional. On top of an inch of cedar bark shavings, I have lined the entire enclosure with small square sandstone tiles. (Don’t freak out on me.) I can remove any soiled tiles, clean and replace them. The tiles should keep his beak and nails in check. The tiles also help regulate temperatures as well. All his digging/burying happens over in his hay pile. The pile is big enough for him to really move the hay/shavings around and really get under.

So here’s my question. What are your thoughts on this flooring. ( please don’t be unkind) Does he really need access to a loose substrate across his entire enclosure? Remember he will only sleep in his chopped hay corner, and buries himself there any time he wants to sleep. Can you think of any negative outcomes from the stone tiles? I’m working hard to establish a good home for him. Larger table will likely be constructed in the spring.
 

MPappagallo

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Jun 8, 2019
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369
Location (City and/or State)
Myrtle Beach, SC
Welcome to the forum! You will love your Russian...they are little sweethearts. I would think the tiles should be fine as long as you have plenty of other area that is not covered with tile for him to burrow and dig in. One note....cedar is not safe for tortoises, so you probably want to change the cedar bark out for cypress mulch, orchid bark etc that will be a safer option. Other than that, it sounds like you have things set up great! Enjoy your new shell baby! :)
 

Tonetone28

New Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Vermont
Welcome to the forum! You will love your Russian...they are little sweethearts. I would think the tiles should be fine as long as you have plenty of other area that is not covered with tile for him to burrow and dig in. One note....cedar is not safe for tortoises, so you probably want to change the cedar bark out for cypress mulch, orchid bark etc that will be a safer option. Other than that, it sounds like you have things set up great! Enjoy your new shell baby! :)

Thank you for taking the time to respond. I just checked the mulch bag and I misspoke, it is cypress.
 

ArmadilloPup

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Jul 15, 2019
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308
Location (City and/or State)
NE Oklahoma
Welcome! It’s nice to hear about torts getting a chance at a better life. Folks here keep a variety of enclosures, so I don’t think you’ll get a lot of pushback.
 

jsheffield

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Westmoreland, NH
Welcome to TFO!

It's a great place to learn about caring for your tortoise. I live between Keene, NH and Brattleboro, VT and also have a rescue Russian... I recently built him a table after starting him in an 18X36 aquarium as well. He loves his new home. I'm no expert, but I'd be happy to help out in any way that I can if you have questions or concerns about your new housemate.

Jamie EFFECTS.jpg
 

DARKFIRE007

Active Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
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243
Location (City and/or State)
Birmingham Alabama
If this is an adult Russian 18x36 is WAY too small, they require 4 feet by 8 feet minimum. Also glass is a big no no because they don't understand why they can see through it but not GO through it, and they will stress and keep trying. Drive you batty too...a shell on glass gets annoying fast lol.

Ummm substrate, can't go wrong with coco coir or cypress...I prefer the coco coir myself because it retains water better in my opinion which provides humidity under their lamp.

Best advice though, watch him/her like a hawk. They are escape artists and GOOD at it.
 

Tonetone28

New Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Vermont
Welcome to TFO!

It's a great place to learn about caring for your tortoise. I live between Keene, NH and Brattleboro, VT and also have a rescue Russian... I recently built him a table after starting him in an 18X36 aquarium as well. He loves his new home. I'm no expert, but I'd be happy to help out in any way that I can if you have questions or concerns about your new housemate.

Jamie View attachment 283089
Thanks, I’m sure to take you up on your offer.
 

Tonetone28

New Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2019
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Vermont
Hello Again Jamie,
I need to find a home for the tortoise I have and thought you might be interested in a second? He seems to be in good shape, I just don't have enough room for him. He is really active and constantly on the go. Not looking for any money, just someplace where he can be happy.
I hope your tortoise is doing well.
 

jsheffield

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Sep 29, 2018
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
Westmoreland, NH
Hello Again Jamie,
I need to find a home for the tortoise I have and thought you might be interested in a second? He seems to be in good shape, I just don't have enough room for him. He is really active and constantly on the go. Not looking for any money, just someplace where he can be happy.
I hope your tortoise is doing well.

Hello,

Thanks for checking back in... I'm sorry that things aren't working out with you and the tort, but glad that you checked in here.

I'd be happy to take him... reach out to me via email at [email protected] and we can work out a time and place to do the exchange.

Jamie
 

Hutsie B

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5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
473
Location (City and/or State)
NC
Welcome to the forum. I have a new Russian myself. He was sold as captive bred, but he is an adult and probably wild caught. He is taking some time to adjust. It sounds like your guy is doing great. enjoy him.
 

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