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Turtles & Tortoises Discussion Forum This forum is for the purpose of discussing any topics concerning the turtles and tortoises of the world.

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Old 08-23-2007, 09:21 PM   #1
? regarding tortoises and tanks

Hello. I am considering on acquiring a tortoise. This would be my first tortoise. I have looked and researched Greek, Hermann's, and Russians. I have a 50 gallon breeder tank. My question is this, how well do they fare in tanks? Does anyone keep them in tanks? I have looked at building enclosures but am concerned about cats getting into them. Are there any sites that are recommended that I should look at? Thank you. If I find that it is not suited for them, then I know the answer. Thank you for your time and info.
Old 08-23-2007, 10:09 PM   #2
Might help.
Old 08-23-2007, 10:31 PM   #3
Thank you, I shall read it now.
Old 08-24-2007, 12:37 AM   #4
I keep Redfoot tortoises and I have a trio that I got as hatchlings that I've kept in a 40 gallon breeder since I first got them. Its finally getting a little small for them, but they've thrived in it. I've got it wired with dual heat, two flexwat panels on Ranco T-stats, one set at 84, the other 92. I cut a piece of Reflectix to fit the screen section of the lid (its a Critter Keeper with a sliding top) and that maintains humidity and temps. I did cut a rectangular hole in it for the florescent light, but it still holds temps and humidity right where I want it.
Old 08-24-2007, 12:58 AM   #5
Clay Davenport
The link Paulina posted is an excellent article and explains the housing issue very well.
With the exception of a wire cage, aquariums are the poorest choice for housing a tortoise, and with an adequate enclosure being so easy to build, there's no excuse for using one.

Any tortoise species should not be restricted to an exclusively indoor life though. They need access to outdoor stimulation for as much of the year as is feasible.
Outdoor pens are easy to construct as well, and should always be a part of your overall plan on keeping them long term.
Considering that point, living in NJ, the Russian tortoises are an excellent choice. They are one of the hardiest species and probably the most cold tolerant. As long as it isn't wet, they can tolerate temperatures quite a bit cooler than other species which would allow them to benefit longer from outdoor accommodations.
Old 08-24-2007, 01:28 AM   #6
That article that Paulina gave me was incredibly helpful. I have researched a lot of sites and that does give mixed views on housing. I am definitely not going to put a tortoise in a tank. I may look into building an enclosure if I feel a tortoise is right for me. Thank you all for the helpful info. This site does help me get the proper info I need.
Old 08-24-2007, 04:00 AM   #7
I got a small Hermann's tortoise (LOVE him to death!) in January, and I can let you know what I did.

I took a shoebox size Sterilite tub and filled it up with about 2-3 inches of organic potting soil (no fertilizers or chemicals) and playsand I then took a flower put and tipped it on its side for a hide for it. The cover of the bin has a large hole cut out of it and screen attached. I put the whole thing outside (during summer only, since Wisconsin doesn't have favorible winter tortoise conditions) and let him do his thing. In the winter I dont' use the cover and I lay a strip UV light across it and attach a reading lamp with an incadescent bulb to the side to provide warmth. Since the tortoise is only the size of a half dollar this seems to be enough room, and I originally started with a much larger cage and he almost seemed intimidated by it.

Unfortunately it flooded here, so my tortoise is stuck inside in a little tray until I can get his cage un-wet. I think I'm going to drill drain holes into the bottom of the tub so it can withstand water better (it used to be on a covered porch, and now it's on an uncovered balcony). I am also thinking of knocking out a lot of the sand and trying to replant his food. The original substrate was horrible for trying to grow his grasses.

If you are interested in growing a little pot of tortoise grass go to carolinapetsupply.com and get the Russian Tortoise mix (works just fine with Hermann's).

I would definitely recommend Hermann's, but I don't have experience with any other tortoise. My "Yoda" has quickly become a favorite with my friends and family, and I think you'll fall in love with their personalities.

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