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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

This is my first post on this forum, so hi!

I would like to buy a tortoise and was wondering if you could help.

Here are my questions:

What kind of tortoise is best for a first timer?

Is there anywhere online that is good to buy tortoises and accommodation from? There are some places that seem to have good deals for a first timer, with everything you need to take away some of the worry of getting the habitat right! I like that idea!

I live in Kent - is there anywhere I could go to buy a tortoise etc in person?

Thanks
 

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Hi
Welcome to the forum.:welcome:
It depends if you want a tortoise that hibernates or not. Do you have any particular species in mind? Have you got enough room for both indoor tortoise table (please DONT use a vivarium) and also room for an outside enclosure? A tortoise will need both.
I suggest you look on the web at the different species and their care to give yourself a bit more idea of what you like. Then we will can help you much more effectively.
Good luck with the research.
:2thumb:
 

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There have been a lot of threads asking what speices is best for a first timer.
In my opinon either ibera, marginata, hermans or horsfields which hibernate, are good for first timers. Or non hibernating tortoises then Red Foots.
You might have to take size into concideration.
Try looking at www.thetortoisehouse.com for a breeders list, some are in Kent. Or www.tortoises.net for great information on how to keep tortoises. An excellent downloadable booklet on plants suitable for torts.
Please dont go to a petshop for advice, as most will try and sell you things you dont need, and are useless for keeping tortoises.
 

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Also, don't buy a tort online.. You need to see the tort, and look at how it's kept and look for signs the he/she is healthy or not. You have no idea what you're buying online and personally I think mail order tortoises is wrong. Firslty your tort will be in a little box, but what if the courier can't find your address and they have to take it back somewhere.. the tort could be days in the little box with no food/water/heat.. it's just wrong.

Either get one from a breeder who you can speak to for advise or a good pet shop who someone has recomended and make sure the tort is healthy looking/eating the right things/has calcium supplements/bathing regularly etc
 

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There have been a lot of threads asking what speices is best for a first timer.
In my opinon either ibera, marginata, hermans or horsfields which hibernate, are good for first timers. Or non hibernating tortoises then Red Foots.
You might have to take size into concideration.
Try looking at www.thetortoisehouse.com for a breeders list, some are in Kent. Or www.tortoises.net for great information on how to keep tortoises. An excellent downloadable booklet on plants suitable for torts.
Please dont go to a petshop for advice, as most will try and sell you things you dont need, and are useless for keeping tortoises.

Would agree with the above : victory:
 

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I would say if you want a hibernating species, a Horsfield Tortoise. If you want a non-hibernating species, a Red-Footed Tortoise.

Most breeders are good places to get a tortoise. Not all pet shops are bad nasty places who will sell you all sorts of crap that you dont need! Good knowledgable pet shops are out there somewhere! I would never buy a tortoise online however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi
Welcome to the forum.:welcome:
It depends if you want a tortoise that hibernates or not. Do you have any particular species in mind? Have you got enough room for both indoor tortoise table (please DONT use a vivarium) and also room for an outside enclosure? A tortoise will need both.
I suggest you look on the web at the different species and their care to give yourself a bit more idea of what you like. Then we will can help you much more effectively.
Good luck with the research.
:2thumb:
Hi

I was thinking either a spur thigh or Horsefield. Is there anything to choose between those two?
I have plenty of room both indoors and outdoors, so that's ok.
Where online can I buy a reasonably priced tortoise table and outdoor plod (seems silly to call it a run... :) )
 

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Dont do it! They are so addictive lol

I would recommend plenty of reading and question asking on here. The people on this forum are excellent


I love horsfields but have had other species
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dont do it! They are so addictive lol

I would recommend plenty of reading and question asking on here. The people on this forum are excellent


I love horsfields but have had other species
That's what I'm worried about!

Ok, so here are some more questions:
1) Are tortoises ok living on their own? Or is a pair better?
2) I have a horse so have lots of bales of shavings and Hemcore around! Are both these ok to use as tort bedding?
3) I've emailed a local breeder, but can anyone recommend anywhere online where I could get a decent and ok priced indoor table and outdoor enclosure, or maybe some kind of pack where you get everything you need to start.
4) Do you find that any kind of local vet is ok with torts? Or do I need to find someone more specialist?

Thanks
 

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That's what I'm worried about!

Ok, so here are some more questions:
1) Are tortoises ok living on their own? Or is a pair better?
2) I have a horse so have lots of bales of shavings and Hemcore around! Are both these ok to use as tort bedding?
3) I've emailed a local breeder, but can anyone recommend anywhere online where I could get a decent and ok priced indoor table and outdoor enclosure, or maybe some kind of pack where you get everything you need to start.
4) Do you find that any kind of local vet is ok with torts? Or do I need to find someone more specialist?

Thanks
I would like to answer 3 and 4.

3. Build your own as its great fun and you can build it to how you want it. Some of the online ones I have had regrets over as I could not get the gradient I wanted. So I built my own and the torts are really thriving

4. I tend to take them to my local vets for minor things but a specialist is a must on some occasions
 

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Answer to 1: single or pairs, if you get pairs, then be prepared to split them as they age as they might fight and what not.

Answer to 2: Stick to soil and such where you can, more natural and what not.

No3: as per Omega

No4:Go and find someone more specialist, even if it means travelling, its worth it in the long run.,

As for beginner tort....I'd personally like to :bash: everyone giving a specific species....these guys grow 100yrs+. if you only have space for a single species, dont tie yourself down for the rest of your life to a tort because its a "beginners".

How can we rank beginner/intermediate/veteran....we all moan about rehomers.....thats because people get a hermann/horsfield, when theyd rather have a star or such. Then in 4 yeas they know their stuff and want a star but cant b/.c they have Mr. Horsfield sitting in the table...what do they do?!

just put the time and effort into researching which you want, make sure you can provide its needs and then get it.

This isnt like buying fish with 1yr-5yr life spans, this is stuff thats gonna be around when your Great grankids are mate.

This isnjust my opnion, and whilst i am aware certain species are easier to keep than others....i am also aware that if you put the effort in, you reap the rewards.

Best of luck deciding.

Matt
 

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That's what I'm worried about!

Ok, so here are some more questions:
1) Are tortoises ok living on their own? Or is a pair better?
2) I have a horse so have lots of bales of shavings and Hemcore around! Are both these ok to use as tort bedding?
3) I've emailed a local breeder, but can anyone recommend anywhere online where I could get a decent and ok priced indoor table and outdoor enclosure, or maybe some kind of pack where you get everything you need to start.
4) Do you find that any kind of local vet is ok with torts? Or do I need to find someone more specialist?

Thanks
Tortoises aren't really especially social animals- a pair of females may get on, males tend to be scrappy with each other, and a mature male will harrass a female constantly. One on it's own (of either sex) will be fine. Shavings and so on can get dusty, which is bad for the tort's eyes and sometimes it's breathing. Most of the regulars on here use sterilised top soil (from B&Q etc), some like to mix it with a little play sand, as sold in Early Learning Centre, others prefer to use it straight. Deep enough for the tort to bury itself should it want to.
 

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That's what I'm worried about!

Ok, so here are some more questions:
1) Are tortoises ok living on their own? Or is a pair better?
2) I have a horse so have lots of bales of shavings and Hemcore around! Are both these ok to use as tort bedding?
3) I've emailed a local breeder, but can anyone recommend anywhere online where I could get a decent and ok priced indoor table and outdoor enclosure, or maybe some kind of pack where you get everything you need to start.
4) Do you find that any kind of local vet is ok with torts? Or do I need to find someone more specialist?

Thanks
Hemcore can be used as a substrate for the indoor housing, provided its not too fine. I would not use wood shavings however, as they will be too dusty.
 

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A word of warning about using hemcore or hemp, males can take the bits up into their penis area, when they flash. Only a few times it has happened. But better to be warned so you can keep an eye on it.
As for speices, unless you do a lot of research on how some of the more tender speices, I would stick with the more hardy ones. Who can give you years of pleasure. I have never regreted keeping ibera or graecas. If they had been more readily available when I first started keeping tortoises I would be keeping marginata.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the help guys.

Well, I have found a local breeder who has some Horsfields due to hatch imminently, so i have my name down for one of those.

Very excited!

I have ordered all my set up, following the shopping list on one of the websites recommended on here.

I have another question - I have bought a UVB/heat lamp, and have read that you should cut out bars of the indoor cage (bought a 3.5ft rabbit cage for indoors) that would be in the way of the lamp. Is this correct? I would rather not leave a hole in the cage - tort will be in a seperate room of his own from our cats, but don't want to allow for mistakes with doors being left open etc.

Also, I have bought an outdoor enclosure. Does this need to be dug down a bit - what are the chance that a tort will dig his way under the edges?

Thanks
 

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The breeder you are buying from is excellent:2thumb: one of the first to start breeding Horsfields, and very knowledgable.
Mark Rowlands is a reptile vet, Trinity Vets. He is excellent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The breeder you are buying from is excellent:2thumb: one of the first to start breeding Horsfields, and very knowledgable.
Mark Rowlands is a reptile vet, Trinity Vets. He is excellent.
Ooh this is very good to know! thanks! Will get myself registered at Trinity too....

I'm going to send the breeder some pics of my setup before I go and pick up the little one, just to make sure I have everything set up as best it can be.
 

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answer to Q3... heres the tortoise table i made last week, using products from argos and b&q totalling no more than £20 :2thumb:

edit: just read back a few posts and saw you have the setup sorted... oops sorry
 
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