Russian Tortoise questions

1. is it normal for a russian tortoise to go to a corner and do somthing that looks like digging but only its on the wall?

2. is it normal for a russian tortiose to try to climb in the corners when you first get them?
3. is it a commen thing for the tortoise to want to lay in the food bowl why its eating?
4. and also does it bother the tortoise to see its reflections on the wall off were i have it?

-sorry for all the quetions and thanks for the help.

Comments for Russian Tortoise questions

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Nov 03, 2019
Russian tortoise
by: Anonymous

my tortoise has been reacting less and looks like he's asleep when i pull out his head he pull it back but his legs are dangling and not reacting to touch what is going on and he's been like this for a couple of weeks please help

Jan 12, 2019
stop sleeping under his hut WHY?
by: spike

He is a lot of fun, but the past week he does not go under his hut to sleep, he is sleeping outside of the hut. Does anyone know why, and is he okay

Jun 22, 2018
by: Shelly

Heat is good.The animal also needs proper lighting. Please read the article here.

Keep it slow and steady.

Jun 18, 2018
by: Anonymous

Have 5 year old RT for almost two weeks.He only comes out to eat then right bach in his hiding box. This morning I was concerned because he was cooler then I have ever felt him. Is he just scared of new place? One side of his enclosure has basking light and heat the other does not. I do take him out side for fresh air and sun.

Mar 13, 2018
Spinach and Gout in Chelonians
by: Shelly

People used to think that the protein in spinach would be bad for turtles and tortoises. Now, they are not so sure about that. If you are concerned about spinach for turtles and tortoises, check with your local reptile veterinarian.

Keep it slow and steady.

Mar 06, 2018
Spinach for a Russian Tortoise...
by: Laurie

You should not feed your Russian Tortoise, spinach. It can cause Gout.

Feb 24, 2018
tortoise trying to get out of pen? try this
by: connie gray

I HAVE A RUSSIAN DESERT TORTOISE, he is always trying to climb out of his pen, hits the wall all the time, he is in a 50 gal royal blue bin, he can not see thru it so that is not the reason..i have tried every substrate thinking he didnt like it and was trying to get away from it..try to think turtle right? lol anyhow this has gone on for four years..he loves any kind of lettuce, mostly tho the red and green romaine, spinach, kale mustard greens in the summer he loves any kind of flowers and some cactus...doesnt like one night he would not quit hitting his pen and i thought i wonder if he is hungry again, and i fed him some romaine and he ate and quit banging the wall so now when he does it i feed him lettuce or something not head lettuce tho no food valeu there, not a lot of spinach it gives them the try feeding him when he does that because after four years it finally works..stops banging

Sep 25, 2017
by: Shelly

There is no substitute for proper lighting. Usually a tortoise will stay exposed to light as long as necessary. I can't imagine why one would burrow away from light unless it's too hot. I am sorry I can't be of more help.

Keep it slow and steady.

Sep 25, 2017
Thank you
by: Anonymous

Thanks Shelly,

No, it doesn't give off any heat. I have a separate dark basking bulb for heat. She will sit all night under the dark "heat" bulb but she hates the actual "light" bulb. I also put her outside on the porch in the sunshine but winter is coming. Would extra powder calcium help? She has taken a few bites out of her cuddle bone but not very much.

Sep 25, 2017
Tortoise light
by: Shelly

The window will not allow enough proper light. Is the light in the enclosure too hot?

Sep 22, 2017
by: Donnah

I have a russian tortoise who is mostly loose in my house. I put her in her enclosure the eat and them bask and get her lighting time in. I had done this with with my previous russian and it worked great for many years. My problem is my new tort will eat and immediately burrow under her bedding this not getting enough time under her lights. So my question is is she getting enough natural light from the window sunlight during the day? Thank you! If not any suggestions? The only thing I could do is take all of her bedding out and force her to stay under the lights 😔

Jan 02, 2017
Tortoise is always digging
by: Sue

Our Russian tortoise has recently begun to dig/claw into every corner of the room. She has the run of our family room although she has her own covered shelter and she is free to go in and out or to sit in her basking spot. We do not hibernate her and I'm wondering if this action has to do with the cooler air and shorter days of winter. Any ideas would be helpful.

Mar 24, 2016
by: Anonymous

This comment was removed because it was all in capitals. That is considered yelling online, and it is very difficult to read. Please feel free to repost in regular type.

Keep it slow and steady.

Dec 23, 2014
My bad
by: gem2MIL60

I goofed when I said the female's plastron was concave. I should have said convex. Sorry about that.

Dec 06, 2014
glass pens for Russians (torts, not people)
by: gem2MIL60

Well, Jessica, you sound like you are well on the way to becoming a very good mommy for Tito.
I don't like to make blanket statements about tort care, simply because they are individuals, just like us. But my male, Sergei, has a 75 gallon plastic pen because we were told that anything glass or shiny reflects their own image back at them, and they apparently are stressed out by this because they can't get at that cool looking tortoise that they don't realize is THEM.
These plastic tubs can be found at many places, such as Walmart. We spiffed it up with a few rocks, a log he can get into for privacy, and, most importantly his lights for warmth and vitamin D needs. After all this, he only goes in there now for warmth and the lights because he has become a house roamer most of the time.
And just as a side note, if you want to know how to sex your tort, if the tail is long and curls under the shell, Tito was aptly named. A short stubby tail and a more concave plastron means congrats on your baby girl! But your best course of action is always to ask a vet or pro. Hope you have a wonderful life together!

Dec 04, 2014
tortoise table
by: Anonymous

Do a Google search for instructions for a table or a roaming pen. The glass enclosure makes them nuts because they have no idea what glass is, and they don't seem to learn that there is no getting through it.

Dec 04, 2014
by: JessicaH

I am newbie to Russian Tortoises but have done a lot of research online. Tito (who I now think is a girl, lol) stays at school overnight and comes home with us during the weekend. I want to build him/her a 3x3 roaming pen to put in the classroom, but can't do that at home. We can't take him/her outside right now because is too cold for him. Are there good instructions to build a good roaming pen for them that do not take a rocket scientist to figure out? Is it really that mean to keep them in a glass terrarium is you let it our almost everyday?

Oct 31, 2014
Tortoise size
by: Shelly

Think about this like thinking about a human in a house. If you move into a bigger house, do you grow bigger?

If your tortoise is young, it will grow no matter how large its home is as long as that home has everything the tortoise needs.

When the tortoise is full-grown, it will stop growing.

Keep it slow and steady.

Oct 30, 2014
Will he get bigger
by: Chrissy

I am wondering now that we moved our school tortoise to a bigger glass tank will he get bigger?

Aug 29, 2014
Russian Turtles walk more than you think
by: Anonymous

I got my Russian Turtle 5 years ago. He had a glass house but hated it; always scratching in the corner. Now we let our turtle walk around the house and out in the terrace; we are very careful not to step on him. In the Spring he walks around all day long and has a quick pace.

Aug 05, 2014
Natural Environment for Russian Tortoise
by: Anonymous

We have a plastic baby pool in the house and another in the shade. We load it with sand, dirt, grass, rocks and sticks plus water and food. We let our tortoise roam the fenced garden in the sunshine where they get Vitamin D, daily. They are far smarter than you think and they need a more natural environment whenever possible. Kale and other greens are his favorites along with zucchini. But keeping a tortoise in a small glass aquarium all their life is mean. They need fresh air and natural ground whenever possible.

Jul 02, 2014
is my tort ill
by: gem2MIL60

My Russian tort is male, but he has displayed similar behavior to your female in the past. I spent so much time worrying about it that I finally called our vet who recommended getting stool samples. It turned out that he did have some common parasites and we treated him successfully with oral meds. Please, please do not misunderstand--I'm not saying this is what's wrong with your baby girl. The point is, if its stressing you out worrying about it, a call to the vet might be your best bet for both of you. It's hard to comment on what it might be without more info., and even then the vet would know better about the problem, if it even is one. Much good luck to you and your baby!

Jul 01, 2014
Is my tort ill
by: Anonymous

Could anyone please give me advice.

Our tortoise is usually very active walking around, getting on her rocks but over the last few days she has gone very quite, she is still eating but will go in her tunnel really early on at night and when she first wakes up is very slow (i know they are slow until they warm up but she is slower than usual) I am not sure what is wrong with her but i am worried. There are no visual signs of her being unwell but she is just not herself if you get what i mean.

Any advice would be very much appriciated.

Jan 22, 2014
Glass house
by: Anonymous

That's strange my Russian tortoise is in a tank and has no problems. I read about the wall thing with perspective so I fixed it so it wouldn't bother her and she freaked out cause she couldn't see me. Removed the part so she could see me at all times and she's been as happy as a tortoise can be. :)

Dec 29, 2013
by: CharlieA.

yes the corner issues are normal, no I wouldn't have a mirror like surface in its housing.

Jun 18, 2013
Abnormal aggressiveness by Russian tort
by: gem2MIL60

My Russian tort is about 8 and has always been very active, but gentle and quiet. 2 days ago when we took him out for his walk thru the house he had his mouth WIDE open, acted very terrified, and actually began biting us. He's now at the vet and we're waiting on test results, but I'm wondering (and scared to death) if anyone else has experienced anything like this situation? Thanks so much ahead of time.

Sep 05, 2012
Don't use glass
by: Anonymous

Tortoises should not be in glass it stresses them out
I find that turtle tables work best if you can't
House them outdoors Your local home depo project
But never use cedar .

Aug 01, 2012
to the owner of the scared tortoise that hates you.
by: Anonymous

I have had my Russian tortoise for over a year now and to this day she still try's to run away when I pick her up... I just think since they are animals with the mind set that they are going to be eatin when they are picked up, they will always be like this. For the gasping part mine does this too, partly for the same part. It might be because they are pulling into there shell very fast and have to release air quickly. Good luck and please do not kill your tortoise.

Aug 01, 2012
by: Addy

My Russian tortoise makes a loud gasp like she's breathing in really fast if I try to pick her up, am I scaring her? She also squirms around a lot if I try to hold her. Am I able to change this, or does she just hate me?

Jun 22, 2012
by: Anonymous

Stop giving your tortoise lettuce and your tortoise will stop eating lettuce.

Jun 22, 2012
I am a New Russian tortoise mommy
by: Anonymous

I got my russian a few days ago named her Nuv (my slang for love) ... I have her in a glass tank (with a border around it) iknow bad tortoise mommy...saving the money to build her something better... We go outside very frequently and i have her a as i call it play pen for her to romp around in... My only concern is she will only eat roman lettuce...won't touch her pellets or carrots nothing i put in in there besides the lettuce...My question is how do I get her to eat better...? Thank you for you time

I have 3 red ear sliders 1 Russia tortoise and 5 kids... Yup i stay very busy

May 09, 2012
by: Anonymous

my tortoise has poop and it bigger that normal . Is that bad?

Mar 03, 2012
by: Anonymous

i just got a 40 gallon tank for my tortoise and it seems like he's lonley. WHat should i do , he doens't eat like he use to.And once i get a bigger tank can i put another male in ther or should i put a female in with him? ONce i do decide to get a much bigger tank for the two how big of a tank should i get? beside green vegetables what other fruit should i give my russian tortoise?

Dec 27, 2011
White stuff
by: Anonymous

my tortoise is pooping but along with regular poo it pooped out white stuff is this normal?

Dec 20, 2011
by: Anonymous

It's normal.

Dec 15, 2011
worried about my 2russian tortoises
by: chris

My russian tortoises are pooping white It says that it's like what birds pooped in the thing but is that normal is it bad?

Dec 01, 2011
Mine is like that too
by: Dez

My Russian tortoise, I just got him yesterday but he keeps burrowing in the corner and I covered the outside of the walls of the clear plastic rubbermaid he is in with colored paper so he would feel more safe. He seems to like to borrow a lot though. I do have a shelter for him.

Oct 10, 2011
Ask a Vet
by: Anonymous

Did you try that form at the top of the question page on this site where you can ask a vet online?

Oct 10, 2011
runny nose
by: Anonymous

i rilly need to no whats rong my toroise he has a runny nose i dont know what to do im panicking and is he sick or not

Aug 27, 2011
eye problems
by: Anonymous

To the last poster. Please take your pet to the vet. It has an eye infection and needs medication.

Aug 14, 2011
by: Anonymous

My tortoise talia does every single one of these things i thought it was just her who did all of these things and got worried and wonderd about all taking her to a spesilist and also how long does a scab stay on a tortoises skin im very worried about her

Aug 06, 2011
by: Anonymous

Tortoises don't do glass. Cover the glass and you'll see much less bumping into the sides.

Aug 05, 2011
my tortoise
by: Paris

so my russian tortoise pooped some white stuff.. i guess it's normal? She keeps going up to the glass and looking at her reflection! i feel bad, she keeps trying to walk into the glass.

Jul 11, 2011
white poop
by: Anonymous

The white is urates. It's like what birds poop.

Jul 11, 2011
about this
by: Anonymous

It seems like every time my russian tortoise eats she will turn around and pee in the food bowl. but when she pees some thing white comes out does this happens to yours or is it a sign of illness

Jul 10, 2011
mine does the same
by: Anonymous

1. yes, they try to burrow, make a small house for them for a shelter
2. is the habitat made of glass? they have very bad perception and try to walk through it. Also russians are very active, try taking it out of the habitat to walk around he room for a while, keep a close eye
3. they tend to eat across the bowl and end up in the bowl in the end, just make sure that if your russian poops or pees to thoroughly clean the bowl
4. i'm not sure about the last question, my russian does all of the others but has never seen his reflection before, i would think that the tortoise thinks that there is another tortoise and wants to say hi, i would get rid of the reflection by covering it with paper or a blanket

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