Good starter tortoise?

Mina

Arachnoking
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I'm looking for a good starter tortiose. I would prefer a desert to a rainforest, small to medium large adult size (somewhere between 10 to 13 inches as an adult).
Anyone have any suggestions?
 

AneesasMuse

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Jul 31, 2006
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Well, I was just gonna say a Cherry Head Red Foot, but then I realized you don't want a "rainforest" tortie... hmmm... are you sure? My little Joob is a beautiful baby and she'll only get 10-12" at maturity, supposedly. She's very sweet and follows me around everywhere.

I got her as a rescue recently and we're having some issues with eating properly... she likes the "stinkiest" stuff she can find, and I'd prefer she eats her veggies and fruits. :D She's really easy to care for (provided, you do your research and make the effort... which wasn't the case where she came from) with 90F hide temp, 80F otherwise and 80% ^ humidity. I keep her on sphagnum moss, misted 2x daily and a heat mat under her hide. She has a dippin' pool for her baths and for drinking... a 9" planter bottom. Her diet consist of lots of veggies, greens, some fruits and a 1x weekly protein "treat" of high quality cat food (the kind for "fatties"... ahem, low calorie kind), rehydrated.

Have you looked on tortoise.org? I don't know the exact domain, but that's close or actually it.. I think. If you want to see more Red Foots, go to www.redfoots.com You can tell Terry I sent you, if you want. He's been helping me along with Joob thus far.
 

LeilaNami

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Russian tortoises are nice little things. They're very social as well.
 

AneesasMuse

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x-topher, I'm curious why you say don't start with a Red Foot? Is there something I should know? :)

Personally, I may have started with something different, but I didn't have much choice in this matter... she needed a better home and I was available to provide it for her. Now, I'm very happy that she's here... and even my hubby likes this "addition" ;)
 

Mina

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Aminah, it isn't for me dear. I have a tort already. Mine is a rainforest hingeback. This is for a friend who is interested. Not only is this her first tort, it is her first pet, period. She lives in an apartment so no cats or dogs, she does not like and is not interested in snakes, scorpions, and tarantulas or I would have suggested one of those.
And thank heaven, she talked to me because she was going to get a sulcata!!!!!!! :eek: Nothing against them, but there is no way she could handle an adult sulcata in a small apartment, she had no idea how big they get.
 

AneesasMuse

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Ahhh... now I understand why you didn't want a rainforesty one ;) Have you found anything for her? I had a tortoise when I was a kid... in our apartment... but I have no idea what kind it was now. When I found it, it was already pushin' 12" and it used to terrorize our cat. :rolleyes:
 

Mechanical-Mind

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I realize the comment I'm about to leave doesn't directly help your plight, but I feel it must be asked in lieu of that fact, and please understand I don't mean to be malicious, BUT what exactly is a "starter" tortoise? The lifespan and space accommodations that come along as baggage for tortoises, in my mind anyway, always seemed to root out any possibility of there being a "true" starter species. What I mean to say is that, people seem to ask, "what's a good starter snake?" as though they already have an "advanced" snake in their minds (or they don't have any particular snake in mind at all, which seems worse). So they get this starter animal as though it's some kind of prerequisite to owning the seemingly greater or more challenging animal, and either neglect it later on down the road, or pass it off to someone else (which is really one and the same) once they have deemed themselves experienced enough to take on the (psuedo)challenge of the 'advanced' species, which seems to be their initial desire or interest anyway. Ultimately, what I'm trying to suggest to you is this: If she has an 'experienced/advanced' species in mind, suggest that she does the research now, figures out what she needs, saves her time, money, energy, and goes with that. I believe she'll be much more satisfied in the end. I don't feel I'm making too much of a sweeping generalization when I say that ALL tortoises are very hardy and will tolerate quite a bit from novice caregivers. Further, there are more sites and annals of information dedicated to Chelonians than we could ever hope to have for many, many other things. So in the end my real question for you/her is, what species are you most interested in working with, and which spp. brought you to the doorstep of the Chelonian world to begin with??

If she doesn't have any straight answers to the above, I can only persist that she doesn't get a tortoise at all. Consider the time commitment for such an organism!! If she just wants a pet, get her a Betta, not a 15" reptile that lives in excess of 80 years. Keeping something like this is a passion, a lifestyle, as I'm sure you already know as a tortoise hobbyist; it is (or should be) the furthest thing from a whim-purchase. A potential keeper should be as close to 100%, absolutely-positively certain that the species they're about to get is the one they want. In my experience it seems such decisions are best drawn from self-motivated research (books, mag. articles, online sources - world chelonian trust, for example), where along the way she'll learn about all the myriad of different species that do and don't suit her needs, wants, and abilities.

Sorry for the rambling; if she's into getting a tort she should most likely figure out which species is right for her on her own, and it raises my eyebrows to see someone doing the searching for her. That said, I find myself reading all the "What should I get?" posts cock-eyed anyway, so take it with plenty of salt.



Just skeptical,
-Matt
 
Last edited:

edie

Arachnoknight
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Dec 20, 2006
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225
Go with a Russian. The care's kinda similar to a box turtle. Don't start with a redfoot.
i like russians. i don't have any but i was at a pet store last week and i almost wanted to get one. one came right up to the glass when i went to see it and it tried to bite my finger through the glass, it was cute.
 

Galapoheros

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Jul 4, 2005
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If set on a tortoise I would consider the Russian. I haven't had one personally, but I have read over and over that they are good and "easier" to care for. I would look into that more though. I had a Sulcata for 9 years before it broke out of my yard. I really liked watching that big tortoise walking around in the middle of the day eating plants in the big, backyard I have here. 2/3rds of it is just natural grasses. It would eat cactus til it threw it up! Then, it'd keep eating cactus pads! That's where I kept it all Spring and Summer, ...in the backyard. I'll probably get another one some day.
 

x-topher

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Apr 15, 2006
Messages
14
I realize the comment I'm about to leave doesn't directly help your plight, but I feel it must be asked in lieu of that fact, and please understand I don't mean to be malicious, BUT what exactly is a "starter" tortoise? The lifespan and space accommodations that come along as baggage for tortoises, in my mind anyway, always seemed to root out any possibility of there being a "true" starter species. What I mean to say is that, people seem to ask, "what's a good starter snake?" as though they already have an "advanced" snake in their minds (or they don't have any particular snake in mind at all, which seems worse). So they get this starter animal as though it's some kind of prerequisite to owning the seemingly greater or more challenging animal, and either neglect it later on down the road, or pass it off to someone else (which is really one and the same) once they have deemed themselves experienced enough to take on the (psuedo)challenge of the 'advanced' species, which seems to be their initial desire or interest anyway. Ultimately, what I'm trying to suggest to you is this: If she has an 'experienced/advanced' species in mind, suggest that she does the research now, figures out what she needs, saves her time, money, energy, and goes with that. I believe she'll be much more satisfied in the end. I don't feel I'm making too much of a sweeping generalization when I say that ALL tortoises are very hardy and will tolerate quite a bit from novice caregivers. Further, there are more sites and annals of information dedicated to Chelonians than we could ever hope to have for many, many other things. So in the end my real question for you/her is, what species are you most interested in working with, and which spp. brought you to the doorstep of the Chelonian world to begin with??

If she doesn't have any straight answers to the above, I can only persist that she doesn't get a tortoise at all. Consider the time commitment for such an organism!! If she just wants a pet, get her a Betta, not a 15" reptile that lives in excess of 80 years. Keeping something like this is a passion, a lifestyle, as I'm sure you already know as a tortoise hobbyist; it is (or should be) the furthest thing from a whim-purchase. A potential keeper should be as close to 100%, absolutely-positively certain that the species they're about to get is the one they want. In my experience it seems such decisions are best drawn from self-motivated research (books, mag. articles, online sources - world chelonian trust, for example), where along the way she'll learn about all the myriad of different species that do and don't suit her needs, wants, and abilities.

Sorry for the rambling; if she's into getting a tort she should most likely figure out which species is right for her on her own, and it raises my eyebrows to see someone doing the searching for her. That said, I find myself reading all the "What should I get?" posts cock-eyed anyway, so take it with plenty of salt.



Just skeptical,
-Matt
Excellent point! Deffinitely something I did not think about. Thanks for the post!:clap:

Red foots are cool, one of the coolest tort's IMO. But, same as the hingebacks, they're more maintainence than most other kinds and in most cases, don't adapt very well to "pet life," hingebacks especially. Both of them tend to be a bit more omnivorous than other species. They are both MUCH more humid and MUCH cooler than other species, and if these things aren't right, they're not as hardy as say a Russian. Just my $.02.
 

AneesasMuse

Arachnoangel
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Joined
Jul 31, 2006
Messages
838
Thanks for the explanation, x-topher :) Like I said before, I really was curious and that makes perfect sense to me. I probably would not have chosen Joob (the RF tortie) on my own... for several reasons... but she needed a home and some PROPER care, so I'm doing what I can for her.

She is definitely a LOT more care than any other tortie I've had, and I think the negligence that she's experienced has caused a great deal of her issues; so hopefully she will continue to improve here. And yes, she is absolutely an "omnivore" :rolleyes: ...and is really enjoying her now, daily "grazing" parties around my backyard garden area.


...and Mechanical Mind, you make an excellent point!
 
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