Please help identify my tortoise

slicky

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Jun 16, 2024
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3
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Lebanon
Hello, everyone! I have recently got a tortoise, but this is my first time and I really want to give him a good life. I want to know what species he is. I believe he's a Russian tortoise, but I'm not sure.
1000104184.jpg

I am from Lebanon, Beirut if that helps! 1000103995.jpg
He is so adorable! He has a ribbon and he loves to eat and dig lots!

The place I got him from gave me fish pebble as substrate (? I'm not sure if that's the right word, I mean the stuff in his enclosure that he walks on). Is it good?

Also, I can't really afford UV light as I don't have a proper place for him and I might move around a lot with him, is that OK? I don't want to give him anxiety or anything.

And I'm also not sure how to give him water other than putting him in shallow water.

Any help would be much appreciated!! Thank you so much.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi and welcome! I'm not good at differenciating between Greek and Hermanni, but if you'll shoot us a picture of his underside we'll be better able to I.D. Definitely NOT a russian
 

slicky

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Jun 16, 2024
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Lebanon
Hi and welcome! I'm not good at differenciating between Greek and Hermanni, but if you'll shoot us a picture of his underside we'll be better able to I.D. Definitely NOT a russian
Hello! Thank you so much for the reply and the warm welcome ^^

Yes, I'm researching and I agree, definitely not a Russian

Here are some pics of his underside. I'm also not very sure of the gender >.<
 

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Alex and the Redfoot

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Hello and welcome!

I recommend to look at this post: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/info-for-new-people-please-read-this-first.202363/ (read it once or twice and then use as a "Pocket guide to tortoise care")

Your tortoise may be a Greek tortoise, native to Lebanon. However, care for Testudo species is very similar (Russian tortoises, Hermanns, Greek and so on).

I'll try to answer some of your questions:
1. Fish pebbles aren't good substrate (yes, it's the right word) for any tortoise. Sometimes tortoises start eating substrate and this can be lethal. Check gardening stores or plant nurseries if you can find bricks of coco coir (coco peat, but not peat moss) there. It's rather cheap substrate option and works good for Testudo babies.
2. If you don't have UVB lamp, you need to take him outside for 15 minutes every day (around 9.30-10AM when sun is not very hot). If you take him out in a box - the box MUST be in shade. Otherwise you can overheat him and he will die.
3. Tortoises don't like changes and if you really have to move from place to place you will need to make him a movable enclosure (like a portable greenhouse or garden bed - easy to assemble and disassemble). While he is small - the largest plastic container you can find will work. He needs his own space and lots of it.
4. That's great that you understand importance of water for him. There are three ways to keep him well hydrated (all three are required):
* daily bathing in a shallow warm water for 30 minutes
* humid enclosure (right substrate and closed top will do the job)
* shallow clay or terracotta saucer with fresh water always available to him in the enclosure.

Any questions are welcome!
 

The_Four_Toed_Edward

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The enclosure needs to be at least 90 cm by 46 cm. If your enclosure isn't big enough, try to find a plastic box for under bed storage or something similar. Later you will have to expand. If you want to get an closure that will last for a few years, try to find one that is about 1 sqm.
 

slicky

New Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2024
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Lebanon
Hello and welcome!

I recommend to look at this post: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/info-for-new-people-please-read-this-first.202363/ (read it once or twice and then use as a "Pocket guide to tortoise care")

Your tortoise may be a Greek tortoise, native to Lebanon. However, care for Testudo species is very similar (Russian tortoises, Hermanns, Greek and so on).

I'll try to answer some of your questions:
1. Fish pebbles aren't good substrate (yes, it's the right word) for any tortoise. Sometimes tortoises start eating substrate and this can be lethal. Check gardening stores or plant nurseries if you can find bricks of coco coir (coco peat, but not peat moss) there. It's rather cheap substrate option and works good for Testudo babies.
2. If you don't have UVB lamp, you need to take him outside for 15 minutes every day (around 9.30-10AM when sun is not very hot). If you take him out in a box - the box MUST be in shade. Otherwise you can overheat him and he will die.
3. Tortoises don't like changes and if you really have to move from place to place you will need to make him a movable enclosure (like a portable greenhouse or garden bed - easy to assemble and disassemble). While he is small - the largest plastic container you can find will work. He needs his own space and lots of it.
4. That's great that you understand importance of water for him. There are three ways to keep him well hydrated (all three are required):
* daily bathing in a shallow warm water for 30 minutes
* humid enclosure (right substrate and closed top will do the job)
* shallow clay or terracotta saucer with fresh water always available to him in the enclosure.

Any questions are welcom

Hello and welcome!

I recommend to look at this post: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/info-for-new-people-please-read-this-first.202363/ (read it once or twice and then use as a "Pocket guide to tortoise care")

Your tortoise may be a Greek tortoise, native to Lebanon. However, care for Testudo species is very similar (Russian tortoises, Hermanns, Greek and so on).

I'll try to answer some of your questions:
1. Fish pebbles aren't good substrate (yes, it's the right word) for any tortoise. Sometimes tortoises start eating substrate and this can be lethal. Check gardening stores or plant nurseries if you can find bricks of coco coir (coco peat, but not peat moss) there. It's rather cheap substrate option and works good for Testudo babies.
2. If you don't have UVB lamp, you need to take him outside for 15 minutes every day (around 9.30-10AM when sun is not very hot). If you take him out in a box - the box MUST be in shade. Otherwise you can overheat him and he will die.
3. Tortoises don't like changes and if you really have to move from place to place you will need to make him a movable enclosure (like a portable greenhouse or garden bed - easy to assemble and disassemble). While he is small - the largest plastic container you can find will work. He needs his own space and lots of it.
4. That's great that you understand importance of water for him. There are three ways to keep him well hydrated (all three are required):
* daily bathing in a shallow warm water for 30 minutes
* humid enclosure (right substrate and closed top will do the job)
* shallow clay or terracotta saucer with fresh water always available to him in the enclosure.

Any questions are welcome!
Wow!!! This is exactly the information I needed! This is amazing, I'm so happy I found this forum.

Tomorrow I will change his substrate and follow the proper instructions in the thread you linked and the instructions you gave me. I'm so happy I can take proper care of this little guy.

I think I will try to keep him at my parent's house so that he does not have to deal with constant change, and I love that I can hang out with him in the morning.

Thank you so so very much! I will try my best to make his life easier :)
I just hope he survives well as the conditions he was previously in were horrid (he was in a very small enclosure with other tortoises and he was covered in poop !). But he's a very active baby, so I'm hopeful.
 

Alex and the Redfoot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2023
Messages
2,313
Location (City and/or State)
Cyprus
Wow!!! This is exactly the information I needed! This is amazing, I'm so happy I found this forum.

Tomorrow I will change his substrate and follow the proper instructions in the thread you linked and the instructions you gave me. I'm so happy I can take proper care of this little guy.

I think I will try to keep him at my parent's house so that he does not have to deal with constant change, and I love that I can hang out with him in the morning.

Thank you so so very much! I will try my best to make his life easier :)
I just hope he survives well as the conditions he was previously in were horrid (he was in a very small enclosure with other tortoises and he was covered in poop !). But he's a very active baby, so I'm hopeful.
Glad to help!
This care sheet might not 100% apply to you (because of different countries, reptile product availability and different plants/foods sold and growing outside), but ask questions - we will try to sort out alternatives. Also, at the end of the post I've linked there is a temperate species care sheet with some specifics on raising Testudo tortoises).

Being active is a good sign and as you are dedicated to give him the best care, I think he will thrive and grow healthy with you.
 
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