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Russian Tortoise Info

Discussion in 'Tortoises' started by schmidt1894, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. schmidt1894

    schmidt1894 Elite Member

    Could anybody give me some Russian Tort info..? I'm kind of interested in them, but I don't think i'm going to get one.. I would just like to learn more about them.

    How big do they get?
    What kind of substrate do they require?
    Where can they be found in the wild?
    What do they eat?
    What kind of enclosure do they need? Could they live in a 40 gallon fish tank?
    How are you able to tell the difference between a male and a female?
    Do they do better in groups or alone?
    How long can theses guys live if properly cared for?
    Are they friendly? Good personalities?

    If you have any extra info that you could tell me, that'd be great.
    If you also have any pictures of your own... Could you post a picture?

    Thanks guys!
  2. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

  3. Evozakira

    Evozakira Elite Member

    As some added info : I have a Greek tortoise and I would say it would be better to do a wooden cage rather than glass. They dont understand glass and will scratch and rub their faces on it all day thinking they can go through. Rather than do that like mine did before I got him, he instead walks around his cage. Also Id say watch out with sweet fruits as a treat. Mine got really addicted and didnt eat for 3 weeks because all he wanted was cherries lol. Finally got him back on the greens and nomore cherries for the fiend XD
  4. schmidt1894

    schmidt1894 Elite Member

    Hmmm... Thanks guys! Anything else should I know about these guys? Whats the difference between a russian, and a greek? same care? what would be better for a first tortoise?
  5. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Either one is really easy to care for. Wood is always best so they don't scratch your tanks but (as with mine) if that doesn't bother you glass is fine as well. Hatchlings could be fine in a 40g but adults should have a large area about 4x4 would be the minimum. All chelonian species I have come across are easy to differentiate by looking at the under side. The females will be flattish and the males will have a concave belly to allow mounting the females during breeding. Also the female Russian is generally bigger. Most tortoises if properly cared for will live over 50 years. After a while a tortoise will come to recognize people as food sources and will come right upto people and look around for food. (My desert tortoise will even try to go through a door if she sees people)
    Now not to discourage you because tortoises are awesome but have you considered a turtle? I write this because a tortoise will eat only plants which will increase your food bill quite a bit but a turtle will eat the same thing your beardies do so if you are breeding insects then all you have to pay for is a slight increase in veggies. Also most turtles are more active than a tortoise so more fun to watch.
  6. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Oh and consider this: you will outlive your lizards but a tortoise can outlive you are you prepared for lugging tortoises with you everywhere and then willing them to your children?
  7. schmidt1894

    schmidt1894 Elite Member

    So, 40gallon for a baby would be fine for a while? Hmm..

    And nah, no turtles... I dont want to have the cluster with the water and such.. Tortoise is what i've been looking at for a while... not to say they are so cute!:)

    And yes, i'm willing to have a tortoise that will outlive me.. and that i can give to my children(say to if i have them). Plus, i've always thought tortoises are fun. Never actually had the chance to play with one and whatnot..

    Do you allow them to free roam? Not like free roam all day, but like if i'm home sitting on the couch, have the tortoise run around on the floor? Would this be okay?

    I do also have two dogs, small dogs, puggle and a pug.. By all means, ive seen pictures.. but im not sure if its okay.. but will the tort tolerate the dogs? I will not put my tortoise in any harm in anyway... I just would like to have something to play with on the floor, since my beardies are way too fast for me if i put them on the floor.. plus i dont want the dogs to think my beardies are a toy. :(
  8. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Aren't you trying to rehome your iguana? Maybe you should wait until you are a bit more settled before considering a new addition to your family :)
  9. schmidt1894

    schmidt1894 Elite Member

    already did yesterday:( Billy bob is gone:/ hate to say...but it was best for me and him.... was looking out for his future.

    But, i'm not gonna get one anytime soon. maybe, in november? expo in november.

    But, i was just curious about these guys. always thought they were cute and cool. Just learnin some few things about them:) so, this thread is really just for the info for me to learn, since im eager to learn! MAYBE.. maybe, ill get one.. not sure. gonna save money.. and see what i can do. :)

    ohh, curious. what uvb does russian's need? reptisun 10.0? 5.0? reptiglow...? which which which?:p
  10. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    free roam around the house is fine if you have tile or hardwood, if you have carpet then NO. They poop in random spots and it can be hard to clean. Our smaller tortoises are outside on weekends and if we are home all day but otherwise they stay in cages. occaisionally while they are outside they will come through the door while exploring. A reptisun 10.0 would be fine but a MVB is usually a better option as it can be used for a basking light as well.
    Some box turtles dont need a pond...Such as the Ornate box turtle. A shallow dish is sufficient though they need deeper moist substrate.
  11. schmidt1894

    schmidt1894 Elite Member

    ahhh.. that might be a problem. i only have carpet in my house:(
    and MVB?? Could you explain that?

    and nahh, turtles just dont get my interest.
  12. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    MVB-mercury vapor bulb- emits heat and UV rays.
    As for the carpet if you want him to free roam soak him first and then he should go in the water. Or plastic sheets on the ground.
  13. schmidt1894

    schmidt1894 Elite Member

    so.... one of these? Zoo Med Powersun Mercury Vapor Bulb for Less
    if not, can you provide me a link?

    and so.. soak him in warm water... for how long? and may i ask why? and i can always put like old bed sheets down.
  14. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    If but in water that comes up to just cover the tail and vent they will drink and defecate at the same time thus he has no need to go on the carpet...and it keeps the shells hydrated and pretty. They should also have a shallow bowl big enough for him to crawl in and out of.
    I read a post from Vers where the reptisun was inefficient. Mega ray seems to be the best: Mega-Ray SB 100 watt Self-Ballasted Flood UVB Lamp - ReptileUV
  15. schmidt1894

    schmidt1894 Elite Member

    gotcha gotcha. do i rinse off the shell too?
    and a bowl in the enclosure too?

    and could you link that thread to here? i cant find it for some reason...:/
  16. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    You can rinse off the shell if dirty but no real need for it.
    As for the thread I will search for it and post the link when I find it.
  17. schmidt1894

    schmidt1894 Elite Member

    ohhh okay!:)

    and thankyou!
    so, im assuming you have torts? could you post pictures?!?!?:) im really thinking about getting some!
  18. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    I don't have Russians or Greeks anymore I had some that were forfeited for bad husbandry but as soon as hey were healthy I found other homes for them. Here is the thread that has my current personal reptiles:
    I have a desert and two sulcata tortoises...I feel like it should be torti(tort-eye) for the plural but not sure. I also have 5 box turtles and a wood turtle.
  19. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

  20. schmidt1894

    schmidt1894 Elite Member

    ahh yeahh.. i have 2 beardies, one crested gecko, and one veiled chameleon. cant really hold any of them besides one of the dragons.. So, i kinda want something i can interact with and have fun with:)

    also, say i were to get a russian right now....what would the list be for me to get? i would need everything... everything.

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