Russian Tortoise Care Sheet Archived Comments

Hi, how do i have to know its a girl or a boy?Posted by Aida B., Dec 19, 2019 04:38 AM I have a female Russian tortoise called Eleven that i purchase

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Hi, how do i have to know its a girl or a boy?
Posted by Aida B., Dec 19, 2019 04:38 AM

I have a female Russian tortoise called Eleven that i purchased from Pet Smart and she has been refusing food. Anyone have any pointers? I have tried every leafy item on the planet and she refuses it all. I tried juicing to see if she would drink and she would only have a tiny bit. I think she may be preparing to hibernate, but im worried.
Posted by Anonymous, Nov 5, 2019 02:28 PM


How many people do you know that have a turtle or tortoise named crush because of finding Nemo
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 17, 2019 10:31 PM

Posted by Anonymous, Oct 15, 2019 12:18 PM

“My Russian turtle has black lips???
What can this be from
Posted by Anonymous, Sep 25, 2019 09:28 AM

hi : )
Posted by Anonymous, Jul 11, 2019 10:43 PM

“I have a feisty female Russian named Ophelia. She is around 17 but not 100% sure as I rescued her from a bad environment. She use to be pretty hateful thanks to abuse by children, but after having her for almost 8 years now she is pretty chill. She has her own enclosure. I also have a 90lb African Sulcata named Cooper. He is almost 9 and I’ve had him since he was the size of a .50 cent piece. He has just grown super fast and shouldn’t even be close to the size he is already. He is 24″” long and about 16″” wide. Ophelia is close to 8″” long. They are awesome family members although Cooper likes attention a lot more then Ophelia! Have fun and take good care of all your animals!
Posted by Anonymous, Jul 9, 2019 06:21 PM


Was wondering what flowers are safe for my Russian tortoise. I have many flowering trees/ bushes in my yard including rhododendron, azalea an d hibiscus
Posted by Anonymous, Jun 6, 2019 06:19 PM

hi I have a Russian tortoise and he always poops on the carpet I make my dad clean it up💩
Posted by Anonymous, May 10, 2019 03:34 PM

“Hi my tortoise is 5, named Victor. Hes not eaten anything for 6 days, I’ve taken him to the vets who gave him a calcium injection can anyone give me some advice on how to get him to eat he had been drinking so I’ve added a small amount of calcium powder to it.
Posted by Anonymous, Apr 29, 2019 11:16 AM

Our turtle is name Crush she is a Russian tortoise and she is 13 years old, she has not been eating for the last couple of weeks so I took her to the vets a week ago and they gave me vitamin B, antibiotics and, an inflammatory for her, they said she had a cold, but she is still not eating, very worried…Her living area is at the right temp, she gets mustard green or kale with carrot, apple and alfalfa. She does walk around when we let her out yesterday, though it might make her hungry exercising. But it didn’t. I got water down her yesterday and this morning to make sure she stays hydrated. Can anyone offer suggestions? akatt40@gmail.com
Posted by Anonymous, Apr 29, 2019 09:15 AM


“Hi we have a Russian tortoise called Tydus. He loves lots of fresh Kale and Spinach and carrots
Each day we bath him at least once and he poops into the water. We also take him out for walks in his pram. Lovely little chap. We think he may be 5/6 years old. Very alert little beast he is. He has a large open top wooden enclosure filled with soil,sand,plants and a rock. He loves getting muddy and is always digging in the corners, we can always hear him generally always busy during the day.
Posted by Anonymous, Apr 23, 2019 10:16 AM

I have a Russian Tortoise named Stalin. We got him as a baby. He’s 15 years old and wonderful. We recently acquired a large koi pond shell and are turning into an enclosure he can safely borrow in. It will be above ground, but the material absorbs heat very well. Has anyone else tried this and did the temperature hold well?
Posted by Anonymous, Apr 7, 2019 01:39 PM

“Hey, there. I have had a Russian Tortoise for 2 years and he is wonderful. His name is Frank and he is 12 years old. I found the fact that they burrow very interesting and helpful because I was wondering why he was digging into the corner of his encloser.
Thanks for the info
Posted by Anonymous, Mar 29, 2019 09:52 AM

“I would not house my tortoise in a glass habitat he is trying to get out have someone build you a wood habitat or purchase one from “” Zoo Med “” feed him once a day, after 20 min take his food away, soak him once a day 10 to 15 min he will empty his bowels in the water.
good luck.
Posted by Anonymous, Feb 17, 2019 12:23 PM


My Rusky Tort has been extending his head sometimes down and sometimes up and back for extended periods of time and I dont know why. Can anyone help??
Posted by Anonymous, Feb 15, 2019 05:24 PM

For Anyone looking at this post, Russian Tortoises are the best pets ever. I have one Named Teeine and she is perfect. She Loves lettuce and sometimes carrots.
Posted by Anonymous, Jan 18, 2019 11:26 AM

We just received a Russian tortoise. Want to make sure temp is ok. It says 90 degrees? We live in Tn. It is indoor. It also does not seem like it eats a lot.
Posted by Anonymous, Dec 29, 2018 11:19 AM


I have a Russian tortoise who looks weird his eyes are closed and his head is lolling everywhere should I be concerned.
Posted by Anonymous, Nov 21, 2018 08:58 AM

Russian Tortoises are SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!! I’m gonna get one and name her Princess Tortuga!!!! Her salads are gonna be fancier than mine.
Posted by Anonymous, Nov 20, 2018 06:36 AM

I have a Russian tort name Charlotte, approximately 2 yrs old. She loves black grapes and actually runs to get one. I have been giving her 1 a day. Is this harmful to her?
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 30, 2018 06:51 PM

“Hello! Just got my Russian Tortoise in September, he is 5-6 years old, we named him Stoli. Anyway, I adopted him from one of my coworkers because her other male tortoise was constantly trying to fight with him. I understand he didn’t brumate? at all last year, he has at our house….. Stoli is way dug in to his ground in his outdoors enclosure and I want to make sure he will be ok. I’ve read most all I can find on habitats, feeding, soaking, calcium, and want to be the best tortoise mom around! We found where he is hunkered in, should we put some kind of cover over him if we get some rain? We live in SoCal so rain isn’t in the mix much.
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 27, 2018 10:39 PM


My fellow has burrowed down in his outdoor enclosure, but our winters in VT are too cold to leave him out. I want to move him inside for the winter. What’s the best way to “dig” him out and bring him back indoors safely?
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 18, 2018 09:48 AM

“Hi i posted the comment about how I live in Wisconsin and how I’m not sure if a Russian tortoise and handle the winter up here in Wisconsin. If you can help me please sent some to my email.

Email is evelyn.hullopeter@hotmail.com thanks:)
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 10, 2018 10:45 AM

Hi, I am thinking about getting a Russian Tortoise for a pet, but I have some questions. First off the turtle would have to stay in my room because my family has 7 people in it and my mom doesn’t really want my to get one. My room is the tiniest in the house. How big of a housing situation would a Russian tortoise need? My room only gets natural light in the morning then it gets pretty dark in the late afternoon. I also live in Wisconsin so gets really cold her in the winter can a Russian Tortoise handle a lot of cold? I have also heard that Russian tortoises can’t have a glass fish tank or anything like that because they will run in to it and get nose burn so what cage would i have to use????
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 10, 2018 10:24 AM

I have had my Russian tortoise for about four years. He is an indoor tortoise with a large pen in a sunny room. I keep two water dishes, one shallow that he uses for his drinking water. The other is about 5”x8” x 3” deep. He uses this for his bathroom. He never uses his water dish for bathroom and doesn’t drink from bath/toilet.
Posted by Patti B., Sep 5, 2018 09:16 PM

I am a new owner of a Russian tortoise named Zade and she is forever trying to climb up on to the door step between the porch and dining area..twice now she has toppled over and landed on her back. Luckily only being in this position for a few minutes before checking on her and realizing this. Can this species turn itself over on their own and is this dangerous for them-
Thank you. L
Posted by Anonymous, Sep 1, 2018 10:56 AM

Hi I just wanted to know if it is safe to house russian tortoises with other tortoises and animals.
Posted by Anonymous, Aug 25, 2018 09:17 PM

is it safe to give a russian tortoise a bath at night?
Posted by Anonymous, Feb 28, 2018 12:37 AM

I just wanted to post an update on Gammera; he is great! No more head or shell banging! He will be three next month! KIMAYA
Posted by Anonymous, Jan 1, 2018 11:27 PM

“1-Russian tortoises should not be housed in a vivarium or a fish tank as these do not provide correct ventilation. They also do not allow the tortoise to have a hot end, nor thermoregulate. The glass on the front of the cage/tank can stress your tortoise out as it cannot pass through. A wardrobe on its back and then supported is much better as it provides good ventilation and the sides are opaque, therefore the tortoise will not get stressed. The indoor enclosure should be at least 6 by 6 feet (1.8 m × 1.8 m). A UVB bulb (12%) can be used, as well as a 100/160 watt bulb. A combi bulb (heat bulb and UVB in one) can be used, which is perfect.

2-Place a layer of substrate down. A layer of sterilized topsoil is best, nothing else. Make sure the soil is deep enough to allow the tortoise to burrow and correctly thermoregulate. No other substrate is needed. No bedding such as hay, straw, aspen, etc.

3-Provide hiding places. 1 large plant pot is adequate for the whole enclosure. Make sure that this is placed in the cooler end of your table, as if placed in the warm end it will take up basking space and a tortoise would naturally find cooler places to hide and shelter.

4-Keep the basking area should be 30–35 °C (86–95 °F). The cool side should be around 20–22 °C (68–72 °F). The temperature everywhere in between doesn’t matter as long as you have established the cool and warm sides. You should have a good thermometer on both sides to accurately monitor the temperature.
5-Provide a water dish that is deep enough for a tortoise to safely drink from. It needs to be a good size so that your tortoise can easily get inside of it and drink.
6-Humidity is not vital for Russian species, despite common belief. People use humid hides for hatchlings. However, this isn’t needed whatsoever as if the humidity is too high and it’s too damp,it can cause RNS (Runny Nose Syndrome) which can be fatal and kill your new tortoise.

Posted by Anonymous, Dec 20, 2017 05:44 AM

At what temperature do baby Russian torts have to be at night?
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 26, 2017 12:32 AM

I have an amazing 6yo red footed tortoise “Mikey” he is super sweet and very spoiled. My son’s 5th bday is coming up and he REALLY wants a baby Russian. Can they be kept together? Can they breed successfully?
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 25, 2017 11:18 PM

Hi, I’m getting my first Russian Tortoise next Tuesday from a breeder. It is a 4-5 inch girl. How long should I leave it in the set up I have before trying to interact with her? Do you have any other suggestions for me. Jorell
Posted by J.J., Oct 13, 2017 02:33 PM

Hi my name is Kimaya and I have a Russian Tortoise named “Gammera” ! He is my best friend and my “therapy turtle” because I received him as a gift after coming home from the hospital for months due to a stroke and traumatic brain injury. Anyway, he is two years old and lately I’ve been examining his behavior and noticed, to be precise, that he keeps banging his shell and head against the glass of the tank (everyday- unless the lights are off), but sometimes he persists. Also, he picks and chooses when he wants to eat and sometimes Gammie will continuously poop as I’m cleaning up his previous feces. My question is: ” IS THIS NORMAL BEHAVIOR? ” I would appreciate it if I get a helpful response please? 🐢🐢 MY EMAIL: kimayatjones88@gmail.com ! 🐢🐢
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 12, 2017 08:57 PM

Hi my name is Kimaya and I have a Russian Tortoise named “Gammera” ! He is my best friend and my “therapy turtle” because I received him as a gift after coming home from the hospital for months due to a stroke and traumatic brain injury. Anyway, he is two years old and lately I’ve been examining his behavior and noticed, to be precise, that he keeps banging his shell and head against the glass of the tank (everyday- unless the lights are off), but sometimes he persists. Also, he picks and chooses when he wants to eat and sometimes Gammie will continuously poop as I’m cleaning up his previous feces. My question is: ” IS THIS NORMAL BEHAVIOR? ” I would appreciate it if I get a helpful response please? 🐢🐢 MY EMAIL: kimayatjones88@gmail.com ! 🐢🐢
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 12, 2017 08:55 PM

Hi my name is Kimaya and I have a Russian Tortoise named “Gammera” ! He is my best friend and my “therapy turtle” because I received him as a gift after coming home from the hospital for months due to a stroke and traumatic brain injury. Anyway, he is two years old and lately I’ve been examining his behavior and noticed, to be precise, that he keeps banging his shell and head against the glass of the tank (everyday- unless the lights are off), but sometimes he persists. Also, he picks and chooses when he wants to eat and sometimes Gammie will continuously poop as I’m cleaning up his previous feces. My question is: ” IS THIS NORMAL BEHAVIOR? ” I would appreciate it if I get a helpful response please? 🐢🐢 MY EMAIL: kimayatjones88@gmail.com ! 🐢🐢
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 12, 2017 08:49 PM

I am getting my tortoises from my friends sister and he is vary calm when I am there but play full when I am out of the room.
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 12, 2017 11:38 AM

Just wanted to answer some of the questions people have asked.
1. Russian tortoises are solitary animals, they do not need or want company. If you put two in the same enclosure you will notice conflict and bullying. It starts out looking “”cute”” like they’re hanging out or being friendly with each other but over time you will notice one nipping or taunting the other….not good. One per enclosure…please!
2. They thrive on weeds..if these are not an option then grocery store greens… radiccio, chicory, endive and frisee are the best options. Collard greens on occasion. NO FRUIT as they have trouble digesting it!
3. Best substrate is coco coir, fine grade orchid bark or cypress mulch! All the better to mix several together. Should have ATLEAST three inches or more as Russians are diggers!
4. They can be kept indoors with the proper set up. Uavb light and heat lamp during the day. Both off at night for sleep.
5. If It’s warm and you are able to take them outside (supervised of course) all the better. I recommend one hour a day in direct sunlight.
That’s what I’ve learned from having two Russians. Hope this helps:)
Posted by Anonymous, Aug 27, 2017 08:12 PM

My Horsefeild tortise or Russian tortise dosnt really care about being playing or hanging out. He just sleeps the comes out to eat when I feed him “Rocky” please tell me how to make him more playful cause idk what to do. Tell me t adriandoug2002@gmail.com or my insta adrian doug plz
Posted by Anonymous, Jul 6, 2017 12:33 AM

I love my Russian tortoise, he HATES being alone and won’t eat unless I’m holding him. I don’t see why most don’t like being handled even though my other tort is not a fan of being held so I leave her alone. They are both wild caught and are very health I rescued them from a run down petco…. I forget where I was going with this ehhh whatever…
Posted by Anonymous, Jun 16, 2017 11:34 AM

I have a desert tortoise that had flipped! It took a couple of days for home to recover eat and drink! It is every stressful for them! If your tortoise doesn’t eat after a few days I would probably take it to your vet!
Posted by Anonymous, Jun 8, 2017 07:28 PM

I came home and my tortoise was flipped on his back, surrounded by urine and some feces. It has been 3 days & he won’t eat & just wants to sleep. Sometimes seems to be gasping…thoughts?
Posted by Anonymous, May 3, 2017 02:20 PM

my Russian tortus wont eat what do I do milestara 10@yahoo .com
Posted by Anonymous, May 1, 2017 05:27 PM

I just received a Russian tortus as a gift it hasent eaten its been four days ive put a lot of different food down even canned and pillets or carrots lettus still it wont eat what should I do
Posted by Anonymous, May 1, 2017 05:24 PM

This article has really been helpful and gives me more ideas for our “Crush”. Please email me @ crystaldr78@gmail.com because I have many more questions!
Posted by Anonymous, Apr 14, 2017 10:40 PM

my russian tortoise has something like a cold in his eye I put eye drops in it seems to work
Posted by Anonymous, Jan 22, 2017 05:00 PM

Thank you for this information, it was helpful. I was wondering about food and nutrition for my tortoise, should fruits be entirely eliminated or just fed on occasion? Will they be harmful in occasional small quantities?
Posted by Anonymous, Jan 4, 2017 08:26 PM

My tortoise inhaled smoke when something burned. Will she be okay? Are there measures I should follow?
Posted by Anonymous, Dec 31, 2016 05:32 PM

Thanks for these care sheets, they really help me.
Posted by Anonymous, Dec 25, 2016 07:48 AM

Depends on the dog! Our neighbors dog broke through the fence into our yard and used our precious tortoise as a chew toy. Her life was spared but she lost her foot. So horribly sad…. We’ve had her in our family for 50 years with family dogs and never had an issue. Who would have thought?!
Posted by Anonymous, Dec 3, 2016 10:54 AM

Desert tortoises can contract illnesses from the Russians, and vice versa. Tortoises from different habitats can easily transmit disease that the other species has no experience with. Desert tortoises in some areas in the wild now suffer from a respiratory disease syndrome believed to have been introduced by lost/released captives that were kept in mixed species enclosures. My advice would be to keep these species separated, even though their environmental needs are reasonably compatible.
Posted by Anonymous, Dec 1, 2016 05:28 PM

We are looking into a Russian Tortoise however, the last turtle we had in the pen died during hibernation because of the overload of Ants into his habitat. How do we prevent the ants from overrunning the habitat? Those stupid Brazilian ants are everywhere and I fear if we spray or put down poison it could hurt any turtle we get in the future? We live in Virginia.
Posted by Anonymous, Nov 21, 2016 10:37 AM

Are they more nocturnal, or are they supposed to be more active during the day? She’s kept indoors as winters here are quite COLD! How will I know if she decides to hibernate?
Posted by Anonymous, Nov 18, 2016 11:38 AM

Hi there, I have a russian tortoise and I had a question regarding hibernation. My tortoise is usually kept in a wooden box outside during the late spring, summer and fall. He hates being inside the box, so I’ll let him walk around the backyard and put him back after a few hours. Because he ventures around in the backyard, he has found this deep area of dirt with plants, if I could attach a picture I would, its way bigger than his big wooden box, pen outside. He’s dug a really really deep hole and has been sleeping there ever since. For most of the month of September and beginning of October, I thought I had lost him because he had buried himself so deep into the dirt I couldn’t find him. He recently came out and is eating a little. My question is should I bring him inside now to start his artificial summer since its getting cold and it seems as if he hibernated for a few weeks when he was buried for so long? Or should I keep him out there where he made his natural hole and let him hibernate there when it gets really cold?
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 26, 2016 03:10 PM

thanks this really helped a lot, i just have one more question, what is the absolute best substrate/bedding for my Russian tortoise. I really need to know this asap as we are getting the substrate in a few days.
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 18, 2016 08:37 AM

i,ma fisfhsi sijhfen fsfjsh ef hanxd eforien enchange stupid and im like a turtl ad jan
Posted by Anonymous, Sep 22, 2016 11:43 AM

“Just a few thoughts for those who are new to having Russians. They are great diggers and escape artists — ours escaped by clawing to push a nailed wood slat out and went completely vertical to squeeze thru a 2.5″” opening!! They are determined creatures. Since they are great diggers, I got super long 8 or 9 bolts and hammered them into the ground every 2 inches. So even if they started digging, the bolts were enough of a deterrent to keep them from getting out.

Beware of raccoons — we lost a box turtle to a raccoon because we left them out in the pen overnight during the summer. It never occurred to us since we never had a problem with our large desert tortoise. So now we bring the tortoises in at night.

My 2 cents that any tortoise needs to kept outdoors for several hours for the UV and vitamin D. If they are sleeping a lot during the day then the temperature is not warm enough — they are cold blooded creatures and they need warmth to get moving. If you are going to keep indoors there really needs to be some special reptile lighting/heating as substitute for the natural sun.

Hibernation — I had read that for any tortoise that you should stop feeding them for 7-10 days before letting them hibernate — this prevents any undigested food sitting in their stomach and causing problems during hibernation. We place our tortoises in a rubbermaid box (colored so it’s dark inside) and punch several ventilation holes in the lid. For russians, we put some damp coconut bark to help maintain some humidity in the container — you don’t want mold so not too damp. Our desert just has shredded newspaper and paper towels. Once in hibernation, they must be kept in a very cool place to slow their metabolism — if too warm, they will wake up and use their stored fat up quicker. If a warm day and they are moving around, you can bring them out and give them water only and then put back into the cold. You should periodically check them when they are hibernating — they can develop respiratory illnesses as well as rats.

While they will eat store bought lettuces its not very good for them so research the various websites for food or better yet grow what they eat — the love flowers and dandelions!

Please know they are a long pet commitment too! If well cared for, you probably won’t have to take to the vet. If you do need to go to the vet, do your research for an experienced tortoise vet — just because they say they do reptiles does not mean the vet has real experience with tortoises. I spend a lot of money with one vet who said he had experience and while he did, he was not an expert. I ended up having to travel farther away to a specialist that was finally able to help. By the way, if your tortoise gets a cold, our vet pairs antibiotics and nasal flushes which seems to be the trick.

Hope that helps — they are great pets.
Posted by Anonymous, Sep 21, 2016 11:03 AM

“I have had both Russians and Hermann’s tortoises hibernate naturally the last two winters here in Virginia. They have come out doing quite well. I disagree about hibernation needs listed. While they may not SHOW any ill effects immediately, long-term, there are bound to be issues. These tortoises evolved to hibernate, and their natural ecosystems are such that they have to. If we attempt to subvert the evolutionary needs, we will eventually find that they are affected in ways we cannot imagine.

Secondly, as a reptile rescuer, I will not place ANY turtle/tortoise in an indoor-only home. They need the UVB, yes – but it’s also a matter of the fresh air, etc. Those species that cannot hibernate can come indoors for the cold months, of course.

Russian tortoises are quite the characters, and have loads of personality. While I highly recommend them as a great choice for a tortoise pet, I would like to see the efforts of captive breeding increased for this species.
Posted by SnakePuncess, Aug 16, 2016 09:52 AM

We have had a Russian tortoise in the back yard for several years. Good size pen (10×20) and are diligence with feeding. “Piggy” is quite the escape artist and has gotten out a number of times. My problem is we have desert tortoises that have the run of the rest of the yard. Does anyone know the down side of letting Piggy run with the big dogs (2 deserts). A tree fell that made it possible for piggy to dig out quite easily and it will be a big job to fix the pen. But even more important than avoiding work piggy seems quite content to be with the deserts, she keeps showing up with them in there favorite feeding spots. Anyone know the risks ( if any) of letting piggy hang out with the deserts?
Posted by Anonymous, Aug 2, 2016 12:12 PM

“Hey thanks for mentioning our Russian Tortoise site as a resource (post below), we hope it’s useful and helps!

– Greg
Posted by GregNunan, Jul 3, 2016 02:17 AM

“Very helpful post, thanks for sharing for everyone.

I have cared for 2 Russian tortoises for over 4 years now and I even learned a thing or two from this guide!

Here are a few other helpful resources and guides that have been a huge help to myself, hopefully others can benefit and get value from these as well:
Posted by Anonymous, Jul 3, 2016 02:06 AM

Thank you this really helps me understand for my russian tortoise better and how i feed, handle, and care for him.
Posted by Anonymous, May 3, 2016 11:02 AM

I thought this was very helpful for people who are getting a Russian tortoises or don’t know much about them.
since I already have a pet tortoise I really don’t need to know much about them. But, I read this anyway. My tortoise is very healthy and is also active. I appreciate that you wrote this down for people to learn about the Russian tortoises.

Posted by Anonymous, Apr 30, 2016 03:12 PM

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Posted by Anonymous, Apr 18, 2016 05:39 PM

i really want a tortoise but on the holidays no-one would look after him. i thought maybe i could take him on holiday with us but that would be too stressful, right?
Posted by Anonymous, Apr 12, 2016 02:52 PM

I’m thinking of getting a Russian Tortoise. My friend has one and she gave me some advice. She keeps hers in old Build-a-Bear box with paper shreddings. She baths him 2 or 3 times a week and tries to feed him every day. She lets him roam her garden supervised every day and lets him wander round her room when she’s there. She also has a little enclosure so she can leave him outside for and hour or so on summer days. He sleeps most of the day and night and he hibernates for 7-9 months during the winter. She’s had him for over 10 years I think and he seems perfectly fine. Would it be okay for me to keep a tortoise in a similar way, with only a few slight changes? Thanks for the blog, I found it very helpful.
Posted by Anonymous, Apr 12, 2016 02:42 PM


I rescued a tortoise with a deformed beak from not being filed or trimmed. I took him to the vet and he had mouth rot. Some kind of infection or absees got antibiotics injection to give him. Seems to have cleared up. His beak is still deformed and to the side. Seems to make eating difficult for him. Borris. Should I be getting it trimmed often ?
Posted by Anonymous, Apr 10, 2016 12:40 PM

i have a male russian tortoise, he seems very happy in his glass fish tank. it is large in size which gives him plenty of room to move and dig. i keep clean, dry bark chips on the bottom surface. i find it is easier to keep clean as it absorbs wettness without ceating mildew or fungus. i bathe him 1 to 2x week by allowng him to soak in a shallow container of warm water. you may use a damp cloth or paper towel to remove any feces that may remain on shell or body. he loves to eat leafy greens, carotts, green beans, peas n lima beans, i try to vary his food so he does not get bored of it, if thats possible they seem to eat anything u provide and yes u can get a bag of frozen veggies, run under warm water in a collander to thaw first. he loves it, but fres is best. they do need b watched very closely when allowed to roam outside of their container as thet surprisingly do pick up speed and naturally like to dig n bury themselves. my relatives when visiting find it amazing to watch them eating n climbing as they are so prehistoric looking. a very easy pet to keep. enjoy!!!
Posted by Anonymous, Mar 25, 2016 09:25 AM

“My tortoise has escaped. It’s been five days. I live in the high desert. Am going door to door as every property is an acre of sand. They move like a ghost. I’ve reported to the local SPCA and alerted some of my neighbors. I don’t know what to do. I’m screaming for help right now. His name is Bubba Bits and I rescued him. I’ve given him an excellent life and then turned my head for a minute
Please..any help of where he might be hiding or how to track him…
Posted by Anonymous, Feb 26, 2016 02:02 PM

“My tortoise has escaped. It’s been five days. I live in the high desert. Am going door to door as every property is an acre of sand. They move like a ghost. I’ve reported to the local SPCA and alerted some of my neighbors. I don’t know what to do. I’m screaming for help right now. His name is Bubba Bits and I rescued him. I’ve given him an excellent life and then turned my head for a minute
Please..any help of where he might be hiding or how to track him…
Posted by Anonymous, Feb 25, 2016 11:38 AM

i have a question a bout salmonella. how do you know if your tortoise has it and can you protect yourself from it?
Posted by Anonymous, Feb 22, 2016 09:17 AM

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Posted by Anonymous, Jan 29, 2016 01:28 PM

Wish there were responses to the questions above????
Posted by Anonymous, Jan 21, 2016 10:33 PM

Hey folks, I love torts too-have had two juvenile male Russians together in a 40 gallon desert tank set-up–no worries–these things DON’T NEED MUCH SPACE–if you let them roam around inside each day for several hours–I let mine loose in my 20’x12′ home office while I’m at the computer. They are thus housed inside permanently, although I let them roam the back yard in the summer daily–as long as I’m right there for the whole time–these things can fly! And folks–these adorable creations DO NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU! THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU–THEY DON’T WANT TO INTERACT WITH YOU–THEY CARE ABOUT THE FOOD–NOT ABOUT YOU! So don’t name them-they are too plain stupid to understand the concept–they can’t even understand glass and will smash their beaks and bash their heads against it all day! Just feed, exercise, and bathe them often-keep the warm and dry and DON’T SHOUT AT THEM–it really stresses them and we don’t want these things stressed any more than we would. ALL they can do is walk, shit, piss, sleep, and EAT! That is what they offer. You also can do without half the shit the pet shops try to palm off as being “essential.”. My two juvie male Russians do well in their SHARED 40 gallon GLASS tank with a couple of bark hides, a UVB, heat source, and plenty of regularly changed, clean dry, substrate. AND the proper food served fresh daily. Mine love exploring my office environs while I’m working–said area is carpeted, heated to 72 degrees, has no holes to fall into nor any way for my dog to get in unless I let her-DO NOT folks, try to have your dog make nicey with the tortie–when she gets the chance and it takes only seconds–she will bite off the tort’s head or worse, tear off a leg or two, thus consigning the tort to a bloody, long, agonizing demise. I have seen the tragedy occur to dog-owning torters I know and respect who were otherwise responsible torters–Thank God it has not happened to me–so keep fido away from the tort–and don’t name-the little bugger–HE DOES NOT CARE! Just feed him..
Posted by Anonymous, Jan 20, 2016 06:38 AM

How do you see the answers to these questions? I have a Russian Tortoise who is a bit off his food at the moment and won’t come out of his bedroom area much. Its winter so is this normal?
Posted by Anonymous, Jan 11, 2016 06:31 AM

Is it okay that my tortoise Bubbles refuses to eat fruits? and is it okay that she pines for our attention, like shell get depressed if we don’t touch her in a 24 hour period?
Posted by Anonymous, Jan 5, 2016 05:46 PM

One of the best websites I’ve seen concerning torts. I have a Russian tortoise who is only two years old and I’ve had him for a year. He really loves to eat and I’m worried I feed him to much but whenever I sit down next to his cage he “runs” over to me practically begging for food. I feed him twice a day with plenty of snacks in the middle of each feeding. He LOVES mango but I don’t want to feed him too much of it because of how much sugar it has but he still seems hungry. Am I feeding him too much? What do I do?
Posted by Anonymous, Dec 28, 2015 11:25 AM

You can’t keep torts in a glass container. They don’t visualize the glass so they keep trying to go through it.
Posted by Anonymous, Dec 6, 2015 08:12 AM

“great resource, thanks

– John from: http://www.horsefieldtortoise.co.uk
Posted by Anonymous, Nov 29, 2015 02:18 AM

“Thanks so much, this care sheet has helped me a ton!

Thank you
– Charlie
Posted by Anonymous, Nov 29, 2015 02:15 AM

i love my Russian tortoise i named her noel u know, like christmas.
Posted by Anonymous, Nov 11, 2015 07:46 PM

The next time this ornery little Chelonian charges you, give him a hard blast of COLD water from an OLD TYME squirt gun right between the eyes-(use a vintage water pistol, not a rifle squirt gun) NOT from a modern, high-velocity squirt guns-you’ll kill the little prick! After about 6-9 water shots, he won’t bite you or anyone else, guaranteed! This method will also work on a tort bullying a smaller, passive, more timid roommate, or on an oversexed male biting and tearing up available females-make sure the water is ICE COLD and put the stream right into the offender’s biting face. You have to eradicate over-aggression, or these rage-in-the-cage little shits will harass AND STRESS their tankmates to illness and perhaps to an early death-and we do not want any of these precious creatures to go before their 40-50 yr. lease is up! Is this just fighting fire with fire, you might task? Hell yes!- but let’s face it–these torts, as adorable as they are, are just plain bone stupid–a friend of mine says his Russian spent most of each day charging flat-out and face-first into the glass walls of its beautiful, spacious, 50-gallon Zoo-Med Desert Habitat! The Olde Tyme squirt gun method fixed that problem-and saved this charging moron from doing any permanent, self-inflicted facial damage.
Posted by Anonymous, Nov 5, 2015 12:16 AM

OK I just got back from vacation an my tort is very lethargic not eating not opening his eyes he looks like he has a white crust over his eyes any ideas
Posted by jenny, Nov 3, 2015 08:42 PM

We have had a Russian Tortoise for less than a year now. He is very restless and we can hear him banging on the glass in his 50 gal tank. I let him out for several hours on my three days off and when he is put back, he eats and is calm. Is it ok to let him sleep outside his indoor enclosure at night when it’s warm (75 degrees and above)? I feel bad for him because we both work (son’s tortoise) and I hate seeing him confined. I’d like to let him roam the house as much as he wants but don’t want to do any harm
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 29, 2015 01:27 AM

I love this
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 19, 2015 02:58 PM

If your tortoise is sleeping a lot around this time, it’s almost time for hibernation 😀
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 12, 2015 07:19 AM

I bought a Russian tortoise for my daughter about a year ago. I didn’t know much about them so entrusted the pet store with telling me what to do. I bought a 50 gallon aquarium and the rest of the amenities. After about a year I have observed several things. Firstly, I am surprised that pet stores recommend glass aquariums for tortoises. I am not one to anthropomorphize animals but “Patchy” showed all signs of hating the glass. Last weekend I decided to build an outdoor enclosure for her that is about 200 gallons. No mot glass. It is on my apartment balcony, gets appropriate sunlight and is safe from raccoons. I made the corners higher since her persistence is quite evident in trying to get out. No matter how big an enclosure is, a tortoise finds purpose in trying to escape. I believe we have a much more content tortoise.
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 6, 2015 08:17 AM

I’ve had a Russian tortoise for about three years now. Her name is Anastasia. She doesn’t like to be handled, it’s true. But she never does anything aggressive more than a hiss. When I first got her, she had trouble adjusting and wouldn’t eat. The vet had me feed her a supplement. He told me to annoy her and squirt it into her mouth when she opened it to bite me. Even with me attempting to get a rise from her she never so much as nipped. She was inside for a couple of years, and this year I moved her outside. She very much prefers it. I live in northern Florida, and she thrives outdoors.
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 4, 2015 02:57 PM

I got a baby tort about a month ago. He sleeps a lot and I’m just wondering if this is normal? He wakes up for about 20 min in the morning…then snoozes most of the day. Wakes up again around 6 or 7, eats, does a few laps around his enclosure, then back to sleep till the next morning.
Posted by Anonymous, Oct 2, 2015 03:45 PM

I love my Russian Tortoise, my daughter named him Rhubarb. I call him Rubix Cube for short.
Posted by Anonymous, Sep 27, 2015 07:30 PM