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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to this form and this my first post, but nevermind that.

I am thinking of buying a Russian tortoise but I cannot seem to find all the information online so maybe you guys can help me out.

I am going to get a rodent cage (guinea pig/rabbit cage) for my tortoise and for the lighting and heating i am going to get a heat glo for night and during the day a sun glo basking lamp. To stop the top of the cage from melting the ceramic lamp holders I am trying to find should be tall enough not to melt the plastic on top of the cage. The sun glo during the day says it contains UVB but does it contain enough UVB. Aswell do I need to use thermostats on the overhead lamps?

With that set-up in mind I am wondering about the food. I am going to feed it every evening and every other feed lightly dust with D3 Calcium. I am going to feed it cabbage and spinach. Should I use Calcium with D3 or no D3 or alternate between both?

And lastly the substrate I am going to use a 60 to 40 percent of play sand and eco earth and slightly soften it with water. I am going to spot clean and change water but switch the substrate once a month.

Thanks ~Mini Kenchy~
 

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Far better to get a rabbit cage with a metal top:0) You can sometimes get these free on your local "Freecycle" "Freegle" sites. With a metal top you dont have to worry about it melting.
Your tortoises shouldnt need heat at night, especially horsfields, as they tollerate lower temperatures quite easily compared to meds. My iberas (meds) dont have any extra heating at night, apart from the heat of the house (no central heating on).

You should rethink their diet, anything from the cabbage family will inhibit their absorbtion of calcium to their bones and muscles. Their diet should be weeds and flowers. See www.thetortoisehouse.com

Other than that it seems fine:0)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply

also I didn't quite understand the diet. Just to recap, if i feed them cabbage every day then that will provide the calcium for them. Also I think your meds are living inside? as will mine tortoise.

1: Provide weeds and flowers
2: no calcium dusting
3: Feed cabbage for the calcium
4: They will most likely/definitely live inside although down on the south coast its not too bad weather.
5: No need for a night light or heating at night (what about winter when its colder)
6: during the day they will have a sun glo basking lamp with UVB

Thanks and just one more question:

During winter as I wont leave the sun glo on overnight (I will turn the sun glo off everynight) what should be the heat source provided if required?
 

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What purplepixie is saying is to not feed cabbage or anthing associated with the cabbage family as it will prevent your tortoise from absorbing the calcium it needs to help him.. but yes you can supply some calcium dust for him or even cuttlefish bone...
 

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Thanks for the reply

also I didn't quite understand the diet. Just to recap, if i feed them cabbage every day then that will provide the calcium for them. Also I think your meds are living inside? as will mine tortoise.

1: Provide weeds and flowers
2: no calcium dusting
3: Feed cabbage for the calcium
4: They will most likely/definitely live inside although down on the south coast its not too bad weather.
5: No need for a night light or heating at night (what about winter when its colder)
6: during the day they will have a sun glo basking lamp with UVB

Thanks and just one more question:

During winter as I wont leave the sun glo on overnight (I will turn the sun glo off everynight) what should be the heat source provided if required?
No sorry, feeding cabbage family will stop the absorbtion of calcium. They can get a certain amount of calcium from weeds etc. I alway have a shallow dish of calciumcarbonate in my indoor enclosures, where my hatchlings can eat from as they wish too.

They only need to live inside during the late Autumn, Winter and early Spring. My hatchlings and adults are outside, 24/7 generally from May until late September, depending on the weather. This year my hatchlings were outside from April, as we had some really great weather then.

My indoor torts, never have any extra heat on from when they go to sleep, until the next morning when the heat/UV lamps come on. They have only the heat of the house, from going to sleep, until they rise in the morning.

So if you dont have central heating in your house, so its freezing from early evening, then you may need extra heat.
But most modern homes do have CH.

Of course if you live in Scotland or anywhere north of London, then you might need some heat at night, on a thermostat, so it switches on at a certain temperature. They certainly dont need heat all the time at night.
 

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I am new to this form and this my first post, but nevermind that.

I am thinking of buying a Russian tortoise but I cannot seem to find all the information online so maybe you guys can help me out.

I am going to get a rodent cage (guinea pig/rabbit cage) for my tortoise and for the lighting and heating i am going to get a heat glo for night and during the day a sun glo basking lamp. To stop the top of the cage from melting the ceramic lamp holders I am trying to find should be tall enough not to melt the plastic on top of the cage. The sun glo during the day says it contains UVB but does it contain enough UVB. Aswell do I need to use thermostats on the overhead lamps?

With that set-up in mind I am wondering about the food. I am going to feed it every evening and every other feed lightly dust with D3 Calcium. I am going to feed it cabbage and spinach. Should I use Calcium with D3 or no D3 or alternate between both?

And lastly the substrate I am going to use a 60 to 40 percent of play sand and eco earth and slightly soften it with water. I am going to spot clean and change water but switch the substrate once a month.

Thanks ~Mini Kenchy~
I must just add, as well as not feeding cabbage, don't feed spinach. Too much of both those things will not be good for a young tortoise and you must provide much more variety. You can buy salad leaves in packets at the supermarket. Mix these with weeds. You should be able to find a few in the garden or roadside verges. Why not try growing your own on the window sill?
http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/webdiet.htm
http://www.thetortoisetable.org.uk/site/plants_19.asp?mode=az&l=a
Shelled Warriors also sell seeds.

Your substrate can be a cheap bag of top soil from a garden centre. Spray twice aday.
I would be worth your while finding an old bookcase, or buying a cheap ones from Argos, than spending out on cages that are not really designed for tortoises. It would be worth your while buying a combined lamp from Arcadia, which has heat and uv and lasts a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quick recap

Thanks for all the replies but I am that person who recaps on everything before I hopefully get one in Christmas.

1: Dont feed cabbage or spinach
2: use cheap top soil and spray twice a day
3: No overnight heating or light
4: Maybe not a rodent cage is the best idea

Also dont worry about them living inside all the time as me and my dad are going to build an out door chicken wire cage with rolls of grass layed down.

Edit: as I am providing A basking lamp with UVB 12 hours a day, would it be work growing any plants for the tortoises to eat if they felt a little hungry during night, or would the tortoises gobble them down before they would have grown any petals?
 

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Thanks for all the replies but I am that person who recaps on everything before I hopefully get one in Christmas.

1: Dont feed cabbage or spinach
2: use cheap top soil and spray twice a day
3: No overnight heating or light
4: Maybe not a rodent cage is the best idea

Also dont worry about them living inside all the time as me and my dad are going to build an out door chicken wire cage with rolls of grass layed down.

Edit: as I am providing A basking lamp with UVB 12 hours a day, would it be work growing any plants for the tortoises to eat if they felt a little hungry during night, or would the tortoises gobble them down before they would have grown any petals?
Rabbit cages can make good enclosures, depending on the size of the cage and tortoise.
When they are outside, they need some grass to graze, but they also need soil to bask on. As tortoises dont normally bask on grass.
At nightime tortoises are asleep:0)
Light is the biggest motivator to wake tortoises, then the heat comes next.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The sun glo bulb i found doesn't have UVB, so i will have to have 2 lights running?

Where can i buy domes from and does glo reflector domes affect the tortoise.

And does the Arcadia D3 Compact lamp have enough UVB for the tortoise aswell as Letting out heat.

What indoor lighting setup do you have for your tortoises and where could I buy everything from?
 

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As I said before the best thing to get, so you don't become more confused is the combined bulb and a holder D3 and that's it. Have a look on line for some good deals. I think you will find one in someone elses message if you look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've found something which gives out UVB, heat and acts as a basking lamp on amazon for £30

And Im very happy as my parents finally fully agreed with me getting a Russian tortoise.
 
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