Happy Tort

Remember when I got the tortoise I have always wanted for my birthday a little while ago?  The first thing I realized was that having a Tort is a lot more complicated than I had expected.  I did some reading and discovered some things that I needed to do to upgrade his lifestyle, and make his habitat more Tort friendly.

In other words, his house has gotten an extreme makeover.

Here is Jarvis, happily finishing his dinner in his new home:

In creating a living space for my Russian Tortoise, I wanted to provide an optimal environment, and also build a beautiful terrarium.
Supplies For a Tortoise Terrarium

1.  Two light fixtures are necessary.  They can sit atop the wire lid of your terrarium or clip onto the side.

2.  A basking light which provides temperatures up to 90 degrees is important to keep the Tort warm and aids in digestion.

3.  A UV-B lamp helps your tortoise to absorb calcium, important to proper shell and bone development.

4.  This coconut fiber is a great substrate for a Tort.  It keeps moisture content in the terrarium, is ecofriendly and compostable,  and has the look and feel of actual soil.  Great for digging into.  This should be used as 50% of substrate.

5.  A Tort needs to have a little privacy, a retreat to hide in.  I like the look of this half log.

6.  White sand is used as the other 50% of the substrate.

7.  Two of these shallow feeding dishes are a natural looking option for feeding and water dishes. A tortoise should always have fresh water available, and feeding is a daily adventure with a huge variety of greens offered.

To give the terrarium a wild and natural feel, I picked out some artificial greenery and some stones.

The kids helped mix the substrate mixture of coconut fibers and sand.

We added the dishes, stones and plants in an arrangement that mimicked nature.

Then Jarvis got a bath.  Did you know that Torts should have a little bath once a week?

Jarvis was introduced to his new home and went straight for his log where he dug himself into a cozy hole and took a long nap.  When he came out the next day, he tried to nibble on a plastic flower!  

Now he is a happy little guy and looking handsome in his new surroundings.

For a really extensive source on caring for Russian Tortoises, please visit here.

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