Animal Stories - Russian Tortoise

Animal-World Information about: Russian Tortoise

   Provide this fellow with the right environment, and the small hardy Russian Tortoise is one of the best pet tortoises!
Latest Animal Stories
Brianna - 2013-04-24
I acquired my tortoise from a relative recently and only after much research found it to be (I hope) a Russian tortoise. Crush is a little trouble maker with some attitude lol but he is very smart and knows when it's time to eat. He has been staying in a large wooden enclosure filled with 'critter care' bedding that seems to suit him fine. Is there anything else I should provide him?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-04-24
    These are great little tortoises, and it sounds like you're on your way to a great time with your new friend. The information above will give you a good overview of what they need. Wishing you and your Russian Tortoise all the best.
  • wayne - 2014-08-03
    Brianna you need to provide 90 degree heat at one end for him to bask under and a cooler end of 70 degrees. At night shut lights and heat off as his nights should be light and heat free to simulate his natural environment. Also his shelter should be placed at the cooler end.Best of luck,research, research, research !!
Hannah Thompson - 2011-01-05
Hi, I've just got a russian horsfieldi tortoise from my boyfriend for xmas!
I've named him Turk and I adore him!
I have just ordered a vivarium with lamp uv lite heater habistat thing to put him in.
I'm new to tortoises and doing as much research as I can.
Does anyone have any tips on heating, feeding handling in general?
He hasn't pooped for a couple of days either! :( ??
As many replies would be very grateful.

Thank you
Turks Mummy :) x

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  • chuck - 2011-01-07 for heating your new purchase is fine. Iceberg lettuce offers no nutrition, other types such as Boston, Escarole , Romaine are fine. Avoid kales as it will constipate them . My guys (have two) also enjoy a banana and tomatoes from time to time. Place your tortoise in a small tub 1/2 inch to 1 inch of water above room temp. The warm water will entice him to poop as well as a drink. Naturally as soon he poops take him out.
    Had my guys for 7 years in a large plastic container and do very well. My opinion it's easy to clean and worry free of cracking glass.
  • Billy - 2011-02-04
    I've had my Russian tort a couple of months now and she is great. I was concerned about her not pooping for a while and found letting her soak in half an inch of water for ten minutes or so twice a week helped as they enjoy the water and tend to go when in it! She won't poop in her table though, she prefers the living room carpet. :)
  • Midge - 2011-05-03
    I have only just found this site and read your message. If you are still keeping your Russian in a vivarium you are actually being cruel to your beloved pet - sorry. It needs a table top, 50/50 sand/soil substrate, uvb and heat lamp. Please read the info on the Tortoise Trust site.
    Kind regards
  • Debbie - 2011-07-13
    I was told not to put a mat in ,because they need a place to cool off, so maybe you want to go with the lights..because the mat keeps it warm everywhere. I find that if I put the red light on he sleeps and with the uv light on, he is up and going,when I am but takes a nap often.
  • susan - 2013-03-23
    Soak him in baby temperature type water twice a week for about 20 minutes. Deepness of water just at his tail, this will relieve his bowels.These tortoises can handle 40 degree temperatures at night. I suggest turning heat off at night. They should have a temperature drop just like in their natural habitat.
  • Kenny - 2013-12-10
    I had my RT, Duckster for 20 years! he never had a cage he sleeps in a cat bed! He is so friendly that he runs at my feet when I get home! he is my best friend. I take him everywhere with me!
leah-jayne - 2011-04-28
My boyfriend has just bought me a russian tortoise. I've named him Trevor. We bought the vivarium and was sold a heat lamp and uvb lamp and also a heat mat and I just wanted to know if you leave the mat on over night as the guy said you should but to turn the lights off. I am just checking as I havent heard or seen this on the internet, thanks! Do I leave the mat on heat overnight?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-28
    Article on your Trevor is attached just click on it. Basically they need a warm enviornment and the uvb lamp. Based on the article and the heat requirements of Trevor, I would say to leave the heat mat on overnight. Otherwise he could get cold. If you're concerned that Trevor might get too warm, just put the mat under 1/2 the enclosure and he can get cooler or warmer by just walking on over.
  • Midge - 2011-04-29
    Please, please, please do not put your tortoise in a vivarium!!! The clue is in the name - RUSSIAN. It needs to be in a table top on a substrate mix 50/50 sand and soil. There should be an area where it can get buried down - preferably covered, with hay in it. It needs a basking stone under a UVB lamp; a heat lamp. Heat under it is DEADLY! Check the Tortoise Trust state, but whatever you do, DO NOT USE THE HEAT PAD.
  • Anonymous - 2012-05-21
    i have a heat pad but its not below him its next to his rock. i also have the heat lamp. but putting heat under almost any reptile is VERY DEADLY!!
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-05-21
    I have always used the ones that stick to the bottom of tank and actually heat the substrate so it doesn't get too hot and spreads out a bit more.
  • susan - 2013-03-23
    Heat mat should not be used. Just use half top soil and half sand or crushed walnut shells is what I use. And your lamps. No heat mat.
Candace Jean - 2010-12-19
I just got my buddy (turbo) he's the best russain tortise ever! My Boyfriend and him are becoming best buds and my boyfriend didn't want me to get one in the first place.. good thing I did. Turbo and Dan play hide and seek everyday. :) I love thoes guys!

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  • vikki - 2012-07-04
    Hi, I have a horsefiled tortoie and his heat bulbe has gone what can I use till I get one?   tomaz thanks
judith - 2011-07-26
Hi, my Herman Tort has stopped eating. He came out of hibernation ok, although he did wake up the end of January. He has always been a fussy eater,but the last month he has eaten very little. He is showing signs of wanting to hibernate, He did slow down last year and I thought it was "summer rest" time.
When he's in the garden he is lively, and tries to do is escape artist out of his run.
I have been bathing him daily, and there is very little coming through him now, I would say he's running on empty.
I have even rearranged his tank, and put a different coloured bulb in.

Any offers of help would be appreciated.
judith smith

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-05-07
    I would agree, A vet visit is in order. Maybe switch up his diet or try feed while outside and lively.
  • Rick - 2012-05-07
    I am by no means an expert but I would get Tort to an exotic pet veterinarian right away and take the freshest poop you can. They will check his insides for possible issues that are really easy to clear up if you get them detected right away.

    I suggest this because my friends tortoise did the same thing and it had a parasite, once he was medicated he come right back to normal.

    I hope Tort gets his appetite back soon.

    Best regards...Rik
lynnette - 2010-12-24
I just got my russian tortoise and I love him sooo much! He's friendly and loves to exercise around the house (with close supervision of course!) He's so much fun. I named him boris and look forward to a very long happy relationship with him! These tortoises are wonderful pets and are so much fun to care for! Yes I've fallen in love with boris and recommend to anyone who is willing to provide a good home a russian tortoise! I'm so happy with boris! What a wonderful addition to my family! :)

teresa - 2011-04-10
TORTOISES require outdoor habitat. Never an aquarium. I have rescued four Russian Tortoises who were raised in aquariums. Their shells are flat on top, and one has ripples in the back of her shell that will never be round enough to protect her from males or predators. A huge tortoise table is the only indoor solution that gives a tortoise room to move. But a tortoise is an outdoor, roaming creature that benefits from having other tortoises to associate with. Please do not buy your child a tortoise in an aquarium. Build an outdoor habitat that has vegetation and a doghouse-like home filled with straw where they can escape from heat or cold. There are excellent examples if you search "outdoor-tortoise-habitat".

Anonymous - 2010-11-17
My tortoise Leny is the best, I'm so glad I have him... I encourage all to get one!

Kelly - 2010-09-16
I have a russiun tortoise named Mayday and they are the best animal in the world!

Rj - 2010-08-11
Hi I have two russian tortoises one boy one girl the girls name is millie and the boys is turbo amazingly millie might be a lot older than turbo so I was wondering if they could still mate oh and for everyone that's thinking about getting one they are definitely right for you.