Tortoise Toys

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TimTortise

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Hello, My name is Tim and this is my first post on the forum. This website looks like the best place for me to get involved in since I'm new to the tortoise world. I got a 5 year old girl? Russian Box for Christmas, Her name is Regina. If you all would like pictures will come. I have her set up comfortable in an aquarium with enough substrate for her to dig around in. I also have a shallow water bowl for drinking/sitting/pooping in.

I have been considering going with a Tupperware tub instead of the aquarium because i have read online that it is better for tortoises. I have noticed that she is constantly trying to walk through the glass, she isn't that bright HAHA! She has 2 lights one UVA one UVB The heat is usually around 80-90 degrees, with humidity around 30-40%. Does it sound like I'm doing everything correctly?

The main question i have is, what can i put in the aquarium to keep her entertained? She seems to get bored a lot, and when she gets bored she tries to walk through the glass. I give her plenty of time to walk around in my living room each day for some exercise, but i still want something in there for her to keep her busy while I'm at work. I'm open for any ideas and suggestions, because this is the first Tortoise I've had and am learning as I go. Thanks again.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Tim:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

May we know appx. where in the world you are?

Quite a few tortoises have a hard time with the concept of see through walls. You may have to wrap paper around the bottom so she can't see out.

Some of the larger species of tortoise will play with toys. The more popular being soft rubber balls of an appropriate size.
 

jaizei

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Welcome.

I'm not sure I want to make that sort of commitment, saying I love pictures, though I do like them very much. :p
 

Utah Lynn

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Hi Tim. Welcome. It sounds like you are on the right track. Russians are cool. They are a little slow; I'm still trying to get mine to sit up and beg. :D j/k. They are very nice.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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Make sure you have a good temperature gradient as I have discovered that Russians like to be more cool than hot. You also didn't mention a 'hide' when you were telling us what was in the aquarium. All tortoises need a safe secure hide to sleep in. Add some rocks to climb on and over and some big branches to snooze under. A plant pot tipped on it's side will become a favorite toy. Take some newspaper and line the aquarium up about 6 inches blocking the view. Guess that's it for now...welcome
 

Madkins007

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As Maggie mentioned, there are a lot of ways to make things more interesting for your tortoise. before we look at some others, remember that tortoises do not think or 'work' like mammals. That is, even in the wild they hide and sleep a big chunk of the day, so 'bored' is not usually a big deal.

Having said that, there do seem to be a lot of benefits to offering them things of interest- new experiences, interesting places to walk on or explore, etc.

Some common 'enrichments' for tortoises include:
- Interesting foods, like cactus pads or mushrooms. Most species enjoy worms, even if only once in a rare while.
- Presenting the food in interesting ways, like tucking some mushrooms in a corner or hanging greens so they don't touch the ground.
- Growing some live plants in a tray or shallow pot you can put in and take out before they eat it to the ground.
- Offering a variety of hides and shelters. The typical log hide, some flat bark propped up on a corner, a leafy plant that offers hiding space under the leaves, etc.
- Consider a 'moist root hide' (https://sites.google.com/site/tortoiselibrary/the-work-shop/shelter-hides) which acts as a hide, a burrow, a hill, etc. all in one!
- If the habitat is big enough, try sculpting in a hill. or, offer some different walking surfaces like bark or pebbles.
- Make sure the water dish is big enough to sit in.
- Some tortoises like to play with balls- rubber balls, golf balls (even the practice golf balls) 'whiffle' balls, etc. Size and weight depends on the tort. MAKE SURE that they cannot bite it apart.
 

TimTortise

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Hello all, Thank you all for the warm Welcome. I live in Davenport IA. I'm still working on creating my profile. Regina is currently in a 15 or 20 gallon aquarium, I'm not sure right now. Do you people think it would be a better idea to put her in a large Tupperware container? I read online that they are better for tortoises. It would be bigger, she wouldn't be able to see through it, i could make different environments. I'll make sure to bring some pictures later for show and tell. haha!
 

ascott

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Welcome to the Forum :D We LOVE PICS :p

I would say that yes, in this particular case I would suggest a 50+ size rubbermaid container as a larger area for your tortoise in comparison to the 15-20 gallon aquarium :D

Since they love to dig.....I would have the substrate deep enough to allow this...also be aware that they are great at escaping ...so you will want to keep that in mind when you are setting up rocks/hides/etc.

What an exciting and fun adventure !!!!!:D
 

Jason M

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My Russians love to play with a small pink ball that has holes in it that i but food in, keeps them amused for hours
 

herpgirl24

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My russian also gets bored and will pace back and forth for hours. I placed a log across his enclosure so that he has to climb it when he paces. He also has a half of a plastic flower pot, that he moves everywhere! Today he had it standing straight up, no clue how he did that! He also likes hay, he will burrow and dig around in it for days!
 

TimTortise

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Those are also great ideas!

Update: I've decided to construct my own vivarium? I'm thinking about buying the biggest storage tub at walmart next week. Is there anything more aesthetically pleasing? I don't like the idea of a big tub in my living room.,
I know a lot of you grow plants and grass in the vivarium for your tortoises to eat and hide under. Would anybody new able to point me in the right direction for that?
Right now I have a substrate mix of coconut shaving and cypress mulch. I think for the upgrade I'm going to do half coconut shavings and half rocks and stones. How does that sound?
I'm going to bury the water bowl so she can get in and out easier
I think I'll add a few logs from petco or something to hide under. I'm open to any and all suggestions.
 

TimTortise

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I've been doing reading on other threads, should I build a vivarium or just stick with a plastic tub of some form? If building a custom one is better where could I find some blue prints?
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Tim:

I wouldn't use rocks. If it fits into a tortoise's mouth, chances are good that he will eat them.

You can build a wooden tort table. Or you can buy a used 4/5 shelf book case, lay it on its back, remove the shelves, line it with plastic and go to town decorating.

The outside of a wood table looks a bit better in the living room than a plastic bin does. Plus you can make it quite a bit bigger.
 
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