Tort box for russian

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New Member
5 Year Member
Feb 26, 2012
Here is my refurbished tort box for my Russian.

- mix of coconut coir, repti-bark, Cyprus mulch, and a bit of top soil in the hides
- a small log hide on the cool side, a large box on the heated side. Stays burrowed a lot of the time.
- a 150W basking light and rock underneath it, and a 10 UVB on the side and a dual 9 UVB light over the middle. (was worried wasnt getting enough UVB) Also occasional 75W night bulb covering whole box.
- a soaking dish, food dish, and sepia bone
- a few fake plants and getting ready to start seedlings for edible plants

Had a few questions.

Do Russians prefer a warm or cool hide? Mine stayed in the cool one a lot, then I moved it to the warm side to see if he would continue to stay there. He stays hidden a lot of the time. Usual there when I get home from work

Can't seem to get my cool side below 70 during the day, only at night. Any suggestions? He's not active after 2:30 unless I pull him out of the hide for a bit then he goes back to it. His basking spot is 95-100, cool side 70-75. Anywhere in the 60's at night.

Doesn't seem to eat to much when I add the calcium supplement. He eats but maybe not enough. how do mix it with your food? Sprinkle out of container? Shake? I give him a variety of greens. Two diff kinds mixed for about a week, and then switch to two other kinds.


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Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Feb 25, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Southwest Washington
You might want to provide a hide on the cool and the warm side so he has a choice. Keep the warmer side a bit moist too by adding and mixing water to the substrate.
Are you sure you are able to measure temps accurately?
The 150w basking light may be too much; too warm. Make sure your cool side is really 70 and not warmer. Torts will burrow to try to get cool. They will also burrow on and off just because. And they will also burrow when an enclosure is new, and they are making sure it is safe.
Try a regular house bulb, 100w over the basking area to test out your temps and see if you can get the rest of the enclosure a bit cooler. Your basking area sounds fine, however.
60's, even low 60's, is great at night.
Use the calcium very sparingly, just a pinch, some torts won't eat the greens if there is a lot on it. Perhaps sprinkle it on only about twice per week.
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