Sean from Chicago here with Scrubs the russian tortoise!


New Member
Dec 5, 2014
Location (City and/or State)
small town near Chicago
Hey everyone! As previously mentioned my name is Sean and me and my Russian tortoise Scrubs live near Chicago. Scrubs is a 7-9 year old Russian tortoise purchased from a garage sale in 2009 (get it? :D) When I first got her and I was much younger I actually lost her inside a couple times. Each time finding her within a few hours. Once I even forgot she was out and I left the house for an hour. When I came back she was just asleep behind the curtains. No fear though, nothing like that has happened in quite a few years.

Scrubs has a glass terrarium which I think is about 150 gallons. I keep it filled with about 2 inches of this handy bedding which starts out as small cylinders but over time turned into mulch as she walks over it (good indicator of when her tank needs to be cleaned)

In the summer I feed her about 3/4 of a Romanian lettuce leaf every day with occasional strawberries or grapes for treats. Now in the winter I feed her a full leaf every 2 days. Most of the time her light is off but I have her tank set up so she gets natural light during the day. At night when I feed her I will turn on her light and leave it on until she falls asleep (usually an hour or two) During the summer she loves going outside to crawl around my back yard, eat weeds, and dig holes where she shouldn't. Last year I got a lab puppy named Jack but not only is the tank out of his reach he is also very good with my tortoise.

Once every month (every other month in winter) one of my little sisters watches her crawl around in the back yard while her tank is emptied, washed, and refilled. Then her hidy-hole, plants, and water dish are placed where she likes them. (If I'm off by an inch she will move it herself)

That's really it. Let me know what you think or if you have some suggestions. Here's some pics for you to see

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Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Sep 6, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Hello and Welcome:). First thing I can read that is very wrong is your feeding. 1/2 to 1 romaine lettuce is way too little. She should be fed every day a handful and much more then just romaine. The substrate should be dirt as they like to dig in as you mentioned she liked to do in the summer months. Orchid bark and cypress mulch are okay too and even leaf liter, I think dirt would be much more preferred by a burrowed. I'm not sure of the stuff you are using that expands. Also, it would be nice to build her an out door summer enclousre. The lights if you are not brumating (hibernating) her should be on 12 hours a day and then off for night time only.
Btw, I live in Chicago, glad to have another from Illinois join

Grandpa Turtle 144

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Apr 3, 2013
Hello Sean welcome to the TFO from AZ . You have a lot to learn . But most of all the only " natural light " comes direct from the sun no glass , or screen or plastic in the line of sun light . But have a great tort day !