Nighttime temps to keep Russian from hibernating

SinLA

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If you want to brumate him:
1. Keep him warm, well lit, and well fed through October. If the weather isn't cooperating, like today and tomorrow, keep him indoors, or use both bulbs outside.
2. The day after Halloween, don't feed him any more and don't allow access to weeds and leaves outside. Begin soaking in warm water every other day.
3. Every few days throughout November, adjust the thermostats and timers down. I keep night boxes for temperate species around 65 normally. By the end of November, I want it dropping into the high 40s. Lights are set to 12-13 hours normally. By the end of November I want them down to 6-8 hours a day.
4. Continue to use a basking lamp during this time if it is not warm and sunny. Your tortoise needs to be able to heat up each day in oder to clear the gut.
5. You didn't forget to soak every other day, did you?
6. During the last week of November, start messing with your fridge. Make sure it holds a steady temp where you want it. Adjust it up and down a few times and watch for it to stabilize. Set it around 45F.
7. After a nice cold November night, pop your tortoise into a plastic show box with some of its usual substrate, or yard dirt, and put the lid on it. Pop that into the 45 degree fridge and shut the door.
8. Wait a day or two and begin slowly turning the fridge thermostat down until it settles at 38-39 after a week or two.
9. I check on them frequently at first and then get complacent after a while. Fridges are not air tight. You don't need to open the door all the time for oxygen.
10. Start watching the weather in March and look for a warm spell lasting at least a week. Start gradually warming the fridge back up to 45-50 before the March warm spell hits.
11. At the start of your March warm spell, bring the tortoise out of the fridge and set it in its hide in the enclosure at room temp with no lights on. Let it warm up gradually. If the tortoise wakes and starts moving around, turn the basking lamp on for it and see if it wants to warm up a bit. I gradually warm things up over a few days until we are back at full operating temps and full light cycle. I offer drinking water on day one, but I generally don't soak until the tortoise is up and walking around again.
12. Depending on how active the tortoise is, I will start soaking every other day again for a couple of weeks, and I offer food again usually within a couple of days of waking, as long as I see basking and normal behavior.
Hmmm I am going to be away Thanksgiving week and 4 days mid November as well.

That sounds like the prime period of time I need to be doing a lot of hands-on stuff so that leans me in the direction of trying to avoid hibernation then…
 

Tom

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Hmmm I am going to be away Thanksgiving week and 4 days mid November as well.

That sounds like the prime period of time I need to be doing a lot of hands-on stuff so that leans me in the direction of trying to avoid hibernation then…
Nah. Make an adjustment on the timer and thermostat, leave out a bowl of water, and enjoy your four days. Soak when you get home. Have someone check in on the tortoise if possible. 4 days is not a deal breaker. You could also bump up the schedule and start brumation before you leave. That would work too.
 

SinLA

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UGH, he is NOT cooperating. He just wants to go sit in a dark corner and be broody.

Do you think my goal of getting him down mid November, that I could just stop feeding him now? Even so, should I actively disrupt his wanting to be in a dark corner and keep putting him in the sun (not "forcing" him to stay there, but moving him there after he goes into his corner)
 

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