thlpp replied to your video post: “Not all shells hate bathtime, Henry seems pretty pleased to be at the…”:

Henry, can you tell Pebble that bath time isn’t some kind of torture? Please?

@thlpp I showed this to Zoya and she just huffed at me. Does pebble do the ‘Tortie Treadmill’ too? I call it that because she tries to escape but ends up just running in place haha 

These horsfieldi (russian) torts! They are damn headstrong. They will only go their own way…which is apparently up things, into things, and not in the bath LOL!


Hello! My friend Zoya is a pro at Russian torts because she is one! @tort-time, will you answer in the comments some recommendations for our newest tort human?

Hi! It’s true I’m a Russian tort (though my human is doing the typing so we’re part ). We will gladly try and help you here!

So! Pellets tend to make some torts stopped up (it’s important we poo freely .. sometimes we poo in protest.. that comes later). We are a picky species and like a good variety of greens. 

I am a big fan of Radicchio (It’s my favorite!!!) Also Chicory, Dandelion Greens (they sell those in the store they aren’t like outside dandies but are nutritious too) and Kale on occasion. If you have an area that you know is free from pesticides, DANDELIONS ARE GOLD! Those yellow flowers and leaves silly humans consider weeds are the yummiest tort food in the world. 

A wide variety of greens is best. After your new shell gets comfortable, start mixing up the greens every few days. It helps to make sure all the vitamins and nutrients are covered. 

There’s a great list of greens found in the store and some you can grow in the garden here:

I’m not sure where the tortoise came from but, and this is super important, I would take it to a vet soon and have them run a fecal exam to check for worms. This is common in newly acquired tortoises and a symptom is little or no appetite and loose poop (it should form a nice sculpture when its healthy poo).  If wormies are present the vet can administer some deworming panacea and it should fix things. You may have to go get a second dose in a few weeks or months and have them check to make sure the poo is worm free. This is so important, especially if appetite doesn’t pick up soon. I had wormies when I was little, but I’m all good now. 

Other stuff? 

Well you said you’ve got the basics so I’m sure you know but make sure there’s a good amount of UVB light, the substrate is slightly moist, with a temperature gradient of 95 under the basking lamp and around 70 on the sides. Also, make sure he or she gets a nice warm soak for 20 minutes once a week for hydration. They drink through their bums! heee  

A hide is always important. They like to dig and hide in a log or something like that.

I highly recommend this care sheet.

I hope this is helpful! Human made the important parts bold since I tend to talk A LOT when answering questions.  Feel free to send me any questions you might have about this or anything else! Also feel free to share any pictures you might have with us!

~Tort-time (Zoya & Humom) 


Not snakes, but: this is what I spent my day doing: Building an enclosure for the Russian tortoise I’m adopting from a rescue.

Here’s the current state of the enclosure.

It’s set up on the back porch of our house.

It’s almost done – I’ll just shovel some more substrate in there, and throw in some straw, bark chips, etc.

To make sure no roaming animals (like raccoons) can harm the tortoise, every night I will be putting it inside the cage, where it will have some room to move about and bask in the morning until I let it out to the large corral when I get up. The cage has a heat mat on a thermostat to make sure that the tortie is warm on chilly nights.

Over time, I want to get some plants growing in there too, like plantago and dandelion. See if they have a chance to grow with a tortoise roaming the corral.

Regardless, I will be growing plantago, dandies, and chicory, as well as prickly pear in my back yard to feed the tort, so it can demolish the plants in its enclosure all it wants!

HOLY AMAZING!!! you’ve built a kingdom any tortoise would be proud to dominate!