Rescued a tortoise... need help please

KronksMom

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Do a search in the top right corner here. Just type in "simple diy enclosure," "step by step enclosure build" or "Easy outdoor enclosure." Try a few different searches like that and I'm sure you'll find something you like that seems easy enough to copy off of. Make sure that you go big enough though. Just because russians are small, people often mistakenly assume that they will be ok in a small enclosure. That little tort will use all of the space you give him though, the more the better! And 4 feet by 8 feet really is the smallest that they will be happy with. I went a little smaller on mine and I regret it. If you do end up doing what Lwilliams does, bringing him in every night, that aquarium will work just fine for him as a bed room though.
 

deee-deee

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Do a search in the top right corner here. Just type in "simple diy enclosure," "step by step enclosure build" or "Easy outdoor enclosure." Try a few different searches like that and I'm sure you'll find something you like that seems easy enough to copy off of. Make sure that you go big enough though. Just because russians are small, people often mistakenly assume that they will be ok in a small enclosure. That little tort will use all of the space you give him though, the more the better! And 4 feet by 8 feet really is the smallest that they will be happy with. I went a little smaller on mine and I regret it. If you do end up doing what Lwilliams does, bringing him in every night, that aquarium will work just fine for him as a bed room though.
Thank you! That is a good idea outdoor and bring in for night :)
 

Chefdenoel10

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156
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Hi all, i'm new here and so thankful I found this forum - i'm in southern california

I just rescued a russian tortoise that required a new home. I had him a few years back for about 6 months and they wanted him back, now I have him again
I've had him for 6 days now - and he has been in his hide 24/7.. he has not had any food / water
I've let him out almost daily for a bit in my enclosed yard and once out he is active and walking around - seems great
put him back in enclosure and straight to the hide
I asked the people who had him if this is what they were seeing and they said its probably from being moved, give him some time

some things to mention
- he has been in this same enclosure for probably 6-7 years - enclosure Is 36" x 18" I am planning to make him an outdoor enclosure that is far larger or something bigger indoors, but i'll save that post for later ;)
- he had a daylight / uvb on 7am-7pm and they had a ceramic heat bulb going for 24 hours. after doing some research, I adjusted it - heat / uvb 7am - 7pm (90-100 in hot area, 80ish in cool) and i'm not doing heat at night (temp drops to about 75ish degrees overnight)
- i'm giving him same diet he has been on - variety of leafy greens

Do you think this could just be from being moved? Removing the night time heat
Any thoughts? At what point do I take him to a vet?

Thanks - i'm a total newb in the tortoise world
Hi and welcome!!!!🥰🥰
All of my words are said with love so don’t get offended in ANY way.. 😘😘😘
people are going to help you here..you’ll see!!!!

Ok ... so ... here’s my thoughts.......
how would you feel if someone had you then Gave you away ,then wanted you,
then gave you away.... he is probably like..
Uh?..... where is my HOME ? I don’t know where I live and feel safe?? AND LOVED BY ONE OWNER!!????
If YOU are the best “parent” for him.... this time KEEP him! Shower him with love and security.. I know when I was younger all I wanted was someone to protect me and make me feel safe... put yourself in HIS shoes!!!! He is scared and probably feels like no one cares and just passes him off...
Please OWN him or find him a new home.
 

deee-deee

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Hi and welcome!!!!🥰🥰
All of my words are said with love so don’t get offended in ANY way.. 😘😘😘
people are going to help you here..you’ll see!!!!

Ok ... so ... here’s my thoughts.......
how would you feel if someone had you then Gave you away ,then wanted you,
then gave you away.... he is probably like..
Uh?..... where is my HOME ? I don’t know where I live and feel safe?? AND LOVED BY ONE OWNER!!????
If YOU are the best “parent” for him.... this time KEEP him! Shower him with love and security.. I know when I was younger all I wanted was someone to protect me and make me feel safe... put yourself in HIS shoes!!!! He is scared and probably feels like no one cares and just passes him off...
Please OWN him or find him a new home.
I totally agree... he was a school pet at my kids preschool and lived there... I took him home every weekend and kept him for the summer and they asked if I wanted him - which I 100% did... then they asked for him back 6 months later :(. They asked if I would take him for the school year since its closed this year due to corona, I said I will take him, but I am keeping him forever if that is the case... they agreed! If they ask for him back, they wont get him back - he is mine.

Now to make him happy and safe and loved (which I can tell he is starting to feel)

thanks for taking the time to respond <3
 

Chefdenoel10

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Oct 12, 2018
Messages
156
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I totally agree... he was a school pet at my kids preschool and lived there... I took him home every weekend and kept him for the summer and they asked if I wanted him - which I 100% did... then they asked for him back 6 months later :(. They asked if I would take him for the school year since its closed this year due to corona, I said I will take him, but I am keeping him forever if that is the case... they agreed! If they ask for him back, they wont get him back - he is mine.

Now to make him happy and safe and loved (which I can tell he is starting to feel)

thanks for taking the time to respond <3
great news!!!!! I love a good rescue story !!
Thank you for being one of the good ones.
I hope he brings you much joy in the years to come.. and don’t forget.... he gets Birthday AND Christmas gifts!!!! HE IS FAMILY NOW. 🥰
If you don’t know when he was born pick your favorite month and day... guess on the year? Good luck!!!💛
 

deee-deee

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great news!!!!! I love a good rescue story !!
Thank you for being one of the good ones.
I hope he brings you much joy in the years to come.. and don’t forget.... he gets Birthday AND Christmas gifts!!!! HE IS FAMILY NOW. 🥰
If you don’t know when he was born pick your favorite month and day... guess on the year? Good luck!!!💛
Aww thank you. I already love him like family. The funniest part about the story is that I found a tortoise that needed a rescue not far from me and they reached out the day before I was going to get him that they wanted to rehome him. My kids and I were so sad when we had to give him back. It was meant to be 💛
 

deee-deee

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UPDATE:
George is still not eating or coming out of his hide in his enclosure (been 2 weeks since i've had him now)
I've been soaking him daily and I take him outside everyday for an hour or so and he is active and exploring.. he eats when I bring his dish outside but not in enclosure (note - he has been in this same enclosure for at least 7 years and they said this is not typical of his)
As soon as he goes back in enclosure he runs (no joke) into his hide and stays there head first until I take him out

***The only thing I changed since i have had him was lighting (and soaking) - they had a 250 watt bulb going 12 hours daytime but when I put in thermometer was 140 on hot side WITH a ceramic 60w going 24/7

Enclosure - 60 gallon I think (36" x 18")
heat / lighting:
Hot side 90-100
Basking 95ish
cool side: 80ish
night no lights - temp goes about 70-75
humidity around 50-60%

Food
- giving him an assortment of leafy greens (same stuff they were feeding and told me he likes)

I'm having an outdoor enclosure made will be ready next week... so we shall see if that changes anything (fingers crossed) and i'll bring him in at night

Also - i'm going out of town thur - sun.. I was going to being him in a travel box (big plastic storage) but i'm scared that will further cause issues? Not sure how long I can even leave him - especially If he isn't moving or walking around in there

Thoughts? Advice?
Feeling a bit defeated here :(
 

Chefdenoel10

Active Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
156
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
UPDATE:
George is still not eating or coming out of his hide in his enclosure (been 2 weeks since i've had him now)
I've been soaking him daily and I take him outside everyday for an hour or so and he is active and exploring.. he eats when I bring his dish outside but not in enclosure (note - he has been in this same enclosure for at least 7 years and they said this is not typical of his)
As soon as he goes back in enclosure he runs (no joke) into his hide and stays there head first until I take him out

***The only thing I changed since i have had him was lighting (and soaking) - they had a 250 watt bulb going 12 hours daytime but when I put in thermometer was 140 on hot side WITH a ceramic 60w going 24/7

Enclosure - 60 gallon I think (36" x 18")
heat / lighting:
Hot side 90-100
Basking 95ish
cool side: 80ish
night no lights - temp goes about 70-75
humidity around 50-60%

Food
- giving him an assortment of leafy greens (same stuff they were feeding and told me he likes)

I'm having an outdoor enclosure made will be ready next week... so we shall see if that changes anything (fingers crossed) and i'll bring him in at night

Also - i'm going out of town thur - sun.. I was going to being him in a travel box (big plastic storage) but i'm scared that will further cause issues? Not sure how long I can even leave him - especially If he isn't moving or walking around in there

Thoughts? Advice?
Feeling a bit defeated here :(
maybe what you are using as substrate bothers him??
Maybe the lighting is hurting him and too hot?
Maybe it’s the wrong light bulbs??
Do you have enough hiding spots for him in his enclosure?
Is it just the one hide?
Maybe he is scared and looking for somewhere to hide because it is just a gigantic tank and he is all alone and is afraid of getting eaten???
As I have read in the past on here
Sometimes we buy the wrong “bulb” for our torts. They have ones out there that can burn a torts eyes! 😳
See if some of this stuff helps you??
Keep us posted!!!
(And yes... Tom is rubbing off on me as for all of those questions..) (he would go first at the light bulb and then the temps..)
 

Chefdenoel10

Active Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
156
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
UPDATE:
George is still not eating or coming out of his hide in his enclosure (been 2 weeks since i've had him now)
I've been soaking him daily and I take him outside everyday for an hour or so and he is active and exploring.. he eats when I bring his dish outside but not in enclosure (note - he has been in this same enclosure for at least 7 years and they said this is not typical of his)
As soon as he goes back in enclosure he runs (no joke) into his hide and stays there head first until I take him out

***The only thing I changed since i have had him was lighting (and soaking) - they had a 250 watt bulb going 12 hours daytime but when I put in thermometer was 140 on hot side WITH a ceramic 60w going 24/7

Enclosure - 60 gallon I think (36" x 18")
heat / lighting:
Hot side 90-100
Basking 95ish
cool side: 80ish
night no lights - temp goes about 70-75
humidity around 50-60%

Food
- giving him an assortment of leafy greens (same stuff they were feeding and told me he likes)

I'm having an outdoor enclosure made will be ready next week... so we shall see if that changes anything (fingers crossed) and i'll bring him in at night

Also - i'm going out of town thur - sun.. I was going to being him in a travel box (big plastic storage) but i'm scared that will further cause issues? Not sure how long I can even leave him - especially If he isn't moving or walking around in there

Thoughts? Advice?
Feeling a bit defeated here :(
Also.....140 degrees is PRETTY HOT don’t ya think???? 80-95 is best. We are not trying to cook your poor little tort..
If you can the best bulbs to get are the
Long tubes. They sell on amazon or pet stores.. “Zoomed”. I sill get you a picture.
 

Chefdenoel10

Active Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2018
Messages
156
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
UPDATE:
George is still not eating or coming out of his hide in his enclosure (been 2 weeks since i've had him now)
I've been soaking him daily and I take him outside everyday for an hour or so and he is active and exploring.. he eats when I bring his dish outside but not in enclosure (note - he has been in this same enclosure for at least 7 years and they said this is not typical of his)
As soon as he goes back in enclosure he runs (no joke) into his hide and stays there head first until I take him out

***The only thing I changed since i have had him was lighting (and soaking) - they had a 250 watt bulb going 12 hours daytime but when I put in thermometer was 140 on hot side WITH a ceramic 60w going 24/7

Enclosure - 60 gallon I think (36" x 18")
heat / lighting:
Hot side 90-100
Basking 95ish
cool side: 80ish
night no lights - temp goes about 70-75
humidity around 50-60%

Food
- giving him an assortment of leafy greens (same stuff they were feeding and told me he likes)

I'm having an outdoor enclosure made will be ready next week... so we shall see if that changes anything (fingers crossed) and i'll bring him in at night

Also - i'm going out of town thur - sun.. I was going to being him in a travel box (big plastic storage) but i'm scared that will further cause issues? Not sure how long I can even leave him - especially If he isn't moving or walking around in there

Thoughts? Advice?
Feeling a bit defeated here :(
Here are the pictures of the hood and light you really should use... it is designed for perfect temps and uvb .
 

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deee-deee

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
20
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
Also.....140 degrees is PRETTY HOT don’t ya think???? 80-95 is best. We are not trying to cook your poor little tort..
If you can the best bulbs to get are the
Long tubes. They sell on amazon or pet stores.. “Zoomed”. I sill get you a picture.
Well yes i do think it's very hot, sadly that is how I got him when i adopted him and that is how they kept it

I DID change his lights / heat Immediately the day after I got him (2 weeks ago) I was stating the one thing I had changed in hopes it could help paint the whole picture
 

method89

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Messages
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Malverne, NY
Also.....140 degrees is PRETTY HOT don’t ya think???? 80-95 is best. We are not trying to cook your poor little tort..
If you can the best bulbs to get are the
Long tubes. They sell on amazon or pet stores.. “Zoomed”. I sill get you a picture.
That was the old owners keeping him at 140.. I believe
 

method89

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756
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I would let him be. don't take him outside, just let him settle in his enclosure. and see where that goes
 

deee-deee

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2020
Messages
20
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
maybe what you are using as substrate bothers him??
Maybe the lighting is hurting him and too hot?
Maybe it’s the wrong light bulbs??
Do you have enough hiding spots for him in his enclosure?
Is it just the one hide?
Maybe he is scared and looking for somewhere to hide because it is just a gigantic tank and he is all alone and is afraid of getting eaten???
As I have read in the past on here
Sometimes we buy the wrong “bulb” for our torts. They have ones out there that can burn a torts eyes! 😳
See if some of this stuff helps you??
Keep us posted!!!
(And yes... Tom is rubbing off on me as for all of those questions..) (he would go first at the light bulb and then the temps..)
His enclosure is exactly how it has been for the last 7 years - which is why i'm not convinced its the enclosure.. but yes i'm working on rebuilding it (following tips from Tom's care sheet he linked up) I didn't want to do all the change the first week I had him, was hoping he would acclimate a bit first and be more comfortable being moved.. the only thing I adjusted was the heat. I used a mercury vapor bulb, and then the next day switched it to an incandescent bulb (he gets outside time everyday) also per the care sheet Tom had linked in this post
 

deee-deee

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Messages
20
Location (City and/or State)
Los Angeles
I would let him be. don't take him outside, just let him settle in his enclosure. and see where that goes
Thanks for your thoughts... Do you then think I should leave him home, instead of moving him in a box to go out of town? He'd be alone 3 days
 

deee-deee

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Messages
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Los Angeles
well??? Today?? How is your little one doing??? Any better??
just concerned..😕
You're so sweet. ☺
he hasn’t eaten anything / no water in 2 days. Still in his hide but he is now facing outwards and his legs are out, he’s been face first body covered... so baby steps I hope. I just gave him some fresh food 🤞
 

Chefdenoel10

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Oct 12, 2018
Messages
156
Location (City and/or State)
New Jersey
You're so sweet. ☺
he hasn’t eaten anything / no water in 2 days. Still I’m his hide but he is facing outwards and his legs are out, he’s been face first body covered... baby steps I hope. I just gave him some fresh food 🤞
hey!!! That’s a start.? I would take it. Maybe he just needs a little time to adapt..?
Will you take him with you tomorrow?
I am not a stalker!!!!
it’s just in your last post you said you were going away from Thursday to Sunday.
I might just leave him home if he is doing better and he is not moving around too much..
Do you have like kiddie cameras?
You could watch him 24/7 live!???
They work great!!
I have one and it really makes me feel at ease when I am at work...
I can just run home if need to...
Look them up if you want??
Some people on here can tell you the best ones to get... I have the Arlo but I did kinda get it for my house but one of them I put on my tort for peace of mind.... it really helps.
 

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