Russian Tort Hiding/Sleeping All Day

bezthehee

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My Russian tortoise is about 4 years old (guessing because I got her as a ‘yearling’ 3 years ago). In the last couple of weeks she’s been in her hide most of the day and she only gets out if I grab her and place her in front of food. She eats a little bit and eventually makes her way to the hide. She hasn’t gained any significant weight in a while, so I don’t think she’s eating enough.

I attached a picture of her enclosure. It has two levels and there’s heat lamps and uvb fixtures in the corner. I labeled the temps in the different areas on the pictures. (Basking spots are 95-100) and rest is between 75-85. I also measured the uvi near her basking spots and it’s mostly around 4-6. It used to be around 2-3 and I recently lowered the fixtures to get more, but I haven’t seen a change in behavior yet. Her lights are on for 14 hours everyday. I don’t know if this is important, but she is right by a window and it is currently summer here in Texas.

I took her to the exotic vet a couple of months ago for a checkup, and I was told she is healthy. From what I see right now there are no signs of sickness.

IMG_3516.jpegIMG_3515.jpegIMG_3514.jpegIMG_3513.jpeg
IMG_3517.jpegIMG_3518.jpeg
 

wellington

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First, the lights should be hanging straight down, change that. You should not use a mercury vapor bulb, a coil bulb or any halogen. The basking should be an incandescent flood and uvb from a tube Florescent. Ceramic heat emitters for any needed night heat or added day heat. Also it looks pretty dry. 30-59% humidity is needed.
Make any changes.
At this time of year, a lot of brumating tortoises, specially Russians are slowing down.
 

zovick

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My Russian tortoise is about 4 years old (guessing because I got her as a ‘yearling’ 3 years ago). In the last couple of weeks she’s been in her hide most of the day and she only gets out if I grab her and place her in front of food. She eats a little bit and eventually makes her way to the hide. She hasn’t gained any significant weight in a while, so I don’t think she’s eating enough.

I attached a picture of her enclosure. It has two levels and there’s heat lamps and uvb fixtures in the corner. I labeled the temps in the different areas on the pictures. (Basking spots are 95-100) and rest is between 75-85. I also measured the uvi near her basking spots and it’s mostly around 4-6. It used to be around 2-3 and I recently lowered the fixtures to get more, but I haven’t seen a change in behavior yet. Her lights are on for 14 hours everyday. I don’t know if this is important, but she is right by a window and it is currently summer here in Texas.

I took her to the exotic vet a couple of months ago for a checkup, and I was told she is healthy. From what I see right now there are no signs of sickness.

View attachment 361434View attachment 361435View attachment 361436View attachment 361437
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It is probably just normal behavior for the species. This is the time of year when they instinctively begin to slow down and prepare to brumate for the winter.

Here is a quote from the Effie Yeaw Nature Center web site which explains the process:

"Brumating animals stop eating before entering inactivity as their metabolic rate drops so low that they are unable to fully digest their meal until outside temperatures increase."
 

bezthehee

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First, the lights should be hanging straight down, change that. You should not use a mercury vapor bulb, a coil bulb or any halogen. The basking should be an incandescent flood and uvb from a tube Florescent. Ceramic heat emitters for any needed night heat or added day heat. Also it looks pretty dry. 30-59% humidity is needed.
Make any changes.
At this time of year, a lot of brumating tortoises, specially Russians are slowing down.
Thanks for the advice! I don’t think I’m using any of the lights you mentioned. I’m using three heat bulbs and two uvb fixtures. Here are pictures of both. Any issues with them?

Also in terms of humidity i try to keep that dirt “hill” at the end of her hide on the left side of first floor wet and she usually burrows deep in there. Should I be doing more? I thought about spraying her enclosure more to get the substrate more wet but the temps drop significantly and the enclosure is too big to have that many heat bulbs. (But if that’s what’s needed I will definitely look into that)

And one last thing, you mentioned Russians are slowing down this part of year. Isn’t it a bit too early? I always thought they start thinking about hibernation at the end of oct/nov. Thanks again for the help
 

bezthehee

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Thanks for the advice! I don’t think I’m using any of the lights you mentioned. I’m using three heat bulbs and two uvb fixtures. Here are pictures of both. Any issues with them?

Also in terms of humidity i try to keep that dirt “hill” at the end of her hide on the left side of first floor wet and she usually burrows deep in there. Should I be doing more? I thought about spraying her enclosure more to get the substrate more wet but the temps drop significantly and the enclosure is too big to have that many heat bulbs. (But if that’s what’s needed I will definitely look into that)

And one last thing, you mentioned Russians are slowing down this part of year. Isn’t it a bit too early? I always thought they start thinking about hibernation at the end of oct/nov. Thanks again for the help
First, the lights should be hanging straight down, change that. You should not use a mercury vapor bulb, a coil bulb or any halogen. The basking should be an incandescent flood and uvb from a tube Florescent. Ceramic heat emitters for any needed night heat or added day heat. Also it looks pretty dry. 30-59% humidity is needed.
Make any changes.
At this time of year, a lot of brumating tortoises, specially Russians are slowing down.
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wellington

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The Arcadia is good, not the spot light. Use a incandescent flood bulb or regular incandescent lamp style bulb in place of the spot bulb.
 

wellington

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Also hand straight down. Raise them up if you have too, to get the temps correct after straightening them.
 

bezthehee

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Also hand straight down. Raise them up if you have too, to get the temps correct after straightening them.
Sounds good. I'll try that. My big issue with them pointed straight down was the area that they heated up was a lot smaller compared to at an angle. Would it be okay if I pointed the main basking one straight down and left the secondary one at an angle to heat up the rest of the enclosure? When I had them straight what would happen would be that the main basking spot would be the correct 95-100 but outside of that it immediately fell to the room temperature of 75. Not really any major areas in the 80s. Not sure if that is important or not.
 

wellington

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Make the one closest to the end the basking and move the other one down closer to the other end. Between the end and middle. That should give a range. But they do need to hang straight down.
 

bezthehee

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Make the one closest to the end the basking and move the other one down closer to the other end. Between the end and middle. That should give a range. But they do need to hang straight down.
I got these in a bit of a rush yesterday from Lowes. It doesn’t exactly mention incandescent. Is this okay? I can return them if not IMG_3524.jpeg
 

wellington

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Yes, I believe the R40 says it's right. However, that may be too high a watt. Usually 65 is enough. You will likely have to raise this up quite a bit.
 

bezthehee

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Yes, I believe the R40 says it's right. However, that may be too high a watt. Usually 65 is enough. You will likely have to raise this up quite a bit.
Just a little update: you were right they were way too hot. I got these new 65w ones from Amazon because I couldn’t find non-led lights anywhere else. Changed the set up so everything is pointing down. Just need to get one more light thing for the empty stand downstairs. Thanks again for all the advice! There’s only just a small issue, the uvi directly under the heat lamps is 0 which is obviously going to be the case because they’re blocking the light from the uvb fixtures. I don’t think it’s that big of an issue because the uvi shoots up in the surrounding area to 3-5 and the surrounding area is still 95ish degrees. Hopefully that’s okay.IMG_3538.jpegIMG_3539.jpegIMG_3540.jpeg
 

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