Russian Turtle food requirements

by Mindy
(Flower Mound TX)

I recently bought a Russian turtle at Petsmart for my 7 yr old's birthday. I am getting many conflicting answers to her food needs. One petstore told me to feed fruit and veggies. Another said NO fruit or meat for a Russian tortoise, only veggies and leaves. I went to another store the other day and the guy talked me in to buying dead crickets and worms. I put in front of Oscar (a she) and she wouldn't have anything to do with them.

I am getting concerned that I am starving this poor thing. It usually walks around when I let it out of it's aquarium and today it is just sitting there. I also never see it drink water. I put it in a warm water bucket to walk around in and hydrate 2 times a week.
Question: What should I be feeding Oscar, how many times a day. Should I worry about de hydration?
UGH, I want this cute thing to stay a part of the family, right now, I don't know if she is happy.

Mindy Baker

Comments for Russian Turtle food requirements

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 10, 2009
Feeding Russian Tortoise
by: Anonymous

We start out each day turning on his UVB light, then pulling a few dandelion leaves from the yard for our little guy. We sometimes sprinkle the white vitamin powder on top, but only once or twice a week. Mainly he likes to go in the yard when it's over 60 degrees & sunny, and graze on dandelions, clover, petunias etc. We have a little 4' frame that we move around the yard so it can be placed where good weeds are, and in the sun for at least an hour or so every day. Fall is coming, so we're debating about building an enclosure with a piece of sod with weeds growing in it, to put in our garden window.

Sep 18, 2009
Russian Tortoise diet
by: Shelly

Read about the Russian Tortoise diet here

Sep 17, 2009
by: Anonymous

You definitely do not want to feed him animal protein. If you do feed fruit, restrict it greatly. I hardly ever feed mine fruit. Occasionally a slice of apple, but fruit will mess with the natural flora in the gut. These tortoises need weeds and grasses. The best website for russians is

Aquariums are not good for tortoises, there is not enough floor space and it's hard to provide micro-climates and maintain proper humidity in an aquarium. Again please refer to the above website.

Make sure you have a warm side and a cooler side and you have a heat (you can use a regular household bulb) and a UVB (MUST say UVB) bulb. You want one that emits at least 5% UVB but 10% is better.

If you need more help, please consider joining and

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Ask Your Turtle or Tortoise Question.