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Horsfield Improper Growth? Please Help!


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#1 LittlefootTheRussian

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 11:39 PM

I just recently bought a Russian Tort from a local Pet shop and believe its a male. This is my first Tort and I was looking at his shell while he was grazing in the yard to notice that his shell has little chips where it bunches up (kinda like semidry nail polish that you accidentally touch) The pet shop in town is fairly good at taking care of their reptiles and most of them are healthy. Im no expert in torts but have had experience w/ other reptiles in the past. Im just wanting to know if he is healthy. Ive only had him for three days and have been feeding him spring mix with some grass from the yard and dandelions. He also for now lives in a 50 gal glass tank with 100watt and Uvb/Uva bulb, If that helps at all.

 

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#2 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 10:04 PM

If the pet shop are keeping their tortoises in glass tanks and giving the advice to keep it as you are, then they are all likely to be unwell very soon. It's hard to see what you mean about growth from the pics, and seems to have had good growth until recently, in fact it appears to be a wild caught tortoise, which the pet shop will have bought from an importer. As horsfields don't need papers, it is easy for people to sell imported wild caught ones and the pet market is unfortunately full of them. This is why process are now so low. I would be interested in what age they are giving for these, if any? This is how horsfields should be kept www.tortsmad.com/russians.htm



#3 LittlefootTheRussian

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 06:39 PM

They had told me he was about a year old but I find that hard to believe because he's about 4 inches long and he doesnt have any growth rings. I was guessing hes maybe 4-5? I know they shouldnt be kept in a glass tank but unfortunately I live in Northern Oregon where we have long winters and short summers. I just dont have room to make him a tortoise table or the proper area he needs. When summer comes along id like to make him some sort of outdoor pen,but summer doesnt come till about late June and ends early September. I let him out everyday and have him explore my room and when it has been sunny ive taken him outside. He seems to be a healthy energetic tort, but like I had said, Im no expert. 



#4 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 07:20 PM

Yes, they will have no idea of it's age and as you say it is much older than this and has probably been in the wild for five or six years before being imported, which is where the bad growth starts (easy to see from the pics). Unfortunately they are not suited to living in glass enclosures as they are a burrowing species, needing around a foot in depth of substrate and lots of places to climb too. You can still make him an appropriate tortoise table indoors, but it needs to be pretty big. The activity will be due to him trying to escape. as being wild, he will not be getting the correct ability to dig tunnels, so will just keep going until he finds somewhere.

The top and bottom of it is that they should not be sold at all where you live, but then again, they sell non hibernating desert species here in UK too, which is frankly disgusting. You could get around the problem by making him a large deep area with the same lighting arrangement and hibernating for 5 months over winter which is what he would be doing naturally right now ;)  Hope this helps.



#5 LittlefootTheRussian

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 09:14 PM

Thank you, the tank I have is about two feet tall and I have about 10 inches of substrate in there at the moment that he loves. I do take him outside to roam and have covered the glass with cardboard so he is not stressed. So far, I see no sign of him trying to bang on the glass, or trying to get out. He did try when I first brought him home but since the cardboard he has not tried. He seems to be okay for now. Sadly I live with 5 other people and other pets so he has to stay in my room, I just dont have the room to make him a table right now.Ill continue to let him explore outside on warmer days and in the summer build him a pen, I bathe him atleast 3 times a week and give him calcium 2times a week. For now the tank is all I have. 



#6 jay

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:58 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum

Like Sue says your tort definatley older than what the pet shop says,what have you named your tort?i love horsfield's I have two females and male in hibernation and there one and half year old baby called midge she's so cute!, looking forward to seeing more pictures.

Jaynex



#7 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 10:08 PM

Is your baby not in hibernation Jayne?






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