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What species should I get

Discussion in 'Tortoise FAQs - New and need help?' started by gbuiting, May 17, 2015.

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  1. Rutibegga

    Rutibegga Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum, and good luck on your research!

    I haven't much to add on the Russian/Hermann's debate as I've been obsessed with redfoot torts since I was in my teens, but haunt the threads in the species-specific sections and you'll get plenty of information.
  2. MegDH

    MegDH New Member

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    Thank you everyone for the welcome! Yes, I will definitely just be housing one tortoise. The redfoots are SO beautiful, I love their faces.
    I think for my household a Russian or Hermann would be best, I just can't decide between the two. I am going to go to a reptile show near Atlanta next month to see if they have any there for me to check out. We are starting to build a large tortoise table, I can't wait!!!! My 7 year old son has been obsessed with turtles/tortoises pretty much since birth and he will be my little helper. The care will be primarily mine but he will help and I know he will really love it. He is responsible with animals and understands that this guy won't be a pet to handle but that we will give him the best life possible.
  3. leigti

    leigti Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I would recommend one adult as your first tortoise. Hatchlings can be very fragile. And it's not like your son will never be able to touch or hold the Storgis. He should be taught how to. And they do get used to being handled gently. Another good reason for an adult. There were always be debate as to the best toward us, everybody has their favorites for their own reasons. I love my Russian tortoise, but I admit that the Hermans are prettier. But that's OK for me. I recommend not to impulse buy, and the show may not be the best place to get one. But you can at least look at them and check them out.
  4. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Hi - Welcome,

    You might go see what species they have outside at Zoo Atlanta and talk to a keeper there about when they bring them in and out, then you'd have a somewhat local idea with climate built into the answer, about time of year to have outside versus inside.

    As for species and care, I myself find the idea of characterizing an animal as a beginner animal not right. Like the snarky,"Oh, she was a beginner wife". It seems to me based on your looking before you leap that you will do okay to pick a species or animal that you like without the the idea that it is a beginner tortoise.

    Beginner is already over in that you are reading and talking about it here now.

    Outside with a good night house all year is as possible as indoor and outdoor. A 'table' might not really be less expensive than a night house and you have to spend on electricity either way.

    So if outside year round, then not a smallest is possible, and then a redfoot, leo, Manouria, radiated etc. become all of a sudden good choices as well as testudos which do stay smaller.

    If not for the darn permit issue, I think radiateds are a good starter tortoise. They are hardy, beautiful, personable, do well with a wide range of diets, and seem to be good outdoor year round tortoises with access to night houses.

    But then a small brown testudo is good too.
    kelii and Nephelle like this.
  5. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Be aware that the two species you reference, especially the Russian are species that brumate ...so if yiu are notwanting to deal with that event then perhaps research tortoise species that do not brumate and select with that Iin mind...you live in an area that can offer high humidity right? So you can consider that along with warm to hot temps...but your area also gets some cool to cold in winter right? So will also need a plan potentially for some indoor down time on housing...
    Romeo Serback likes this.
  6. A3luton

    A3luton New Member

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    We live in MA and while it is warm enough i do plan on an outdoor enclosure, But for the Horrible cold Snowy months it will have to be inside ;(
    ZEROPILOT likes this.
  7. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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  8. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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  9. MegDH

    MegDH New Member

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    Thanks everyone for all of the advice.
    Yes, my area gets very hot and humid in the summer but we do have pretty cold periods in the winter with freezes and even some snow. (I am a native New Orleanian and this North GA cold stuff is soooo not for me!)
    My plan was to have a large indoor table for him for the majority of the time but also an area outside for warm summer days and to be able to watch him graze and enjoy being outside.
    Thank you for the beginner mistakes section, that helps!
    I definitely won't be purchasing at the reptile show, I really just want to observe and try to figure out first which tortoise seems best for us and then step 2 research breeders. I want to make sure it is a breeder who truly cares about their animals and not just interested in the sale. I want someone who will question me because they want to know that their tortoise is going to a good home!!!

    Tidgy's Dad, I love your picture! Very cool!
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  10. oxfordmark

    oxfordmark New Member

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    Hey

    I have wanted a Tortiose since i was a child.

    I have had tropical fish in the past, but would really like to consider getting a tortoise.

    Just a few questions:

    1) What tortoise would you recommend getting, ideally one that doesn't get 2ft big?
    2 Can a large fish tank be used?
    3) Apart from the tortoise table (is this suitable? http://www.evolutionreptiles.co.uk/...rtoise-housing/vivexotic-viva-tortoise-table/), what other items do i need to buy (light, heat, substrate etc...)? Just so i can look at costs
    4) We have a cat, and the tortoise table i am looking at is open, with an enclosed area to the side, is this ok? or worth getting a lid (with holes)?
    5) Are tortoise's easier to look after than tropical fish?
    6) Can you let the tortoise roam around the living room and garden obviously supervised at all time?

    Thanks in advance.
  11. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Hello,Mark, and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum.
    1) Testudo species are rather good as a first tortoise and don't get too big.
    Have a look at Greeks, Russians and Hermann's to begin.
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/greek-tortoise-testudo-graeca-care-sheet-overview.87146/
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/sticky-hermanns-tortoise-care-sheet-updated.101410/
    And a slightly older tortoise is a safer bet than a hatchling.
    Having said this any species is possible if you get your set up right.
    2) A big glass aquarium/ vivarium is okay for small tortoises, but it must be big enough. They're good for controlling the humidity but will need the bottom tortoise level taped over or blocked up so the tortoise can't see out.
    3) in my opinion that table is expensive and too small.
    A big bookcase with the shelves knocked out and lined with a plastic shower curtain to prevent the wood rotting is cheaper and just as good.
    4) Closed chambers are best, especially if you have a cat. http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/closed-chambers.32333/
    5) Read http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
    The initial set up can be difficult, but once sorted, it's all fairly smooth sailing.
    6) No roaming around the living room. temps an humidity will be wrong and dust devils and small objects can be consumed and kill the tort.
    Outside, also, a secure enclosure is preferable,there are many dangers in the garden and tortoises are great escape artists.
    Good luck:)
    Prairie Mom, Tom and Jodie like this.
  12. teresaf

    teresaf Well-Known Member

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    @Tidgy's Dad ... What about a pancake tort? Would 3'x2' be big enough? They're kinda small....and cute as heck...
    Tidgy's Dad likes this.
  13. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I think they need more room than that. My buddy has a bunch of pancakes that I got for him. He just got his first baby two weeks ago.
    teresaf and Tidgy's Dad like this.
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