Tortoise Care

Use this forum to discuss general questions about any aspects of tortoise care.
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Posts: 1
Joined: 07 Feb 2019, 16:48

Tortoise Care

Post by argc » 07 Feb 2019, 17:18


I have been interested in getting a tortoise for some years now, and at my graduation my grandfather told me at my graduation he wants to get it for me. I was thinking of getting a Horsefield tortoise as I read somewhere that these were the best for new owners, is this right?

However I am a bit in the dark into what I need to get to look after a tortoise.

I was looking at having an indoor enclosure, I have a disability so it would be easier, is this a bad idea? And if I do have an indoor enclosure what do I need to include? I have seen enclosure sets on the tortoise shop ( ... e-with-Lid), does this include all I would need? I am choosing one with a lid to make sure the cat doesn't get at the tortoise (he is quite good tho).

Am not sure if I am on the right track or barking up the wrong tree or what. There seems to be so much information out there it is overwhelming! Any information would be gratefully received!

Thank you in advance for any information that can help me!


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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Tortoise Care

Post by Nina » 07 Feb 2019, 19:32

Hi A, and welcome to The Tortoise Table! First of all congratulations on doing your research before you get your tortoise (so many people don't research well enough and have lots of problems afterwards). That is lovely of your grandfather to offer you a tortoise as a graduation present -- they truly are a pet to last a lifetime (actually, if well cared for they live far longer than most people do).

Horsfield tortoises are a good species for first-time owners, but so are Hermanns. Both species do not get too large and are relatively easy to care for, as long as you know the basic principles of caring for tortoises. Although you can keep a tortoise indoors all year round, it is not the best practice, as they really thrive outdoors, so if you could possibly manage a secure enclosure outside when the weather is nice and warm -- in addition to the indoor enclosure -- that would be ideal.

The set-up that you are looking at from The Tortoise Shop would be OK, but it is very expensive for what it is, and it is not really big enough for when your tortoise grows. What you want is the largest area possible, as tortoises like nothing more than to roam around, and will often get bored when they are confined to a small area. You can make a tortoise table (whatever you do, do not get a glass and wood enclosed vivarium), similar to the one you see in the Tortoise Shop ad from a large dresser drawer, an old set of bookshelves lying on their back with the shelves taken out, or even one of those rabbit/guinea-pig cages (a 4' x 2' one would last for a long time -- something similar to this: ... gLH2PD_BwE
If you can fit a second level into the tortoise table, all the better, as it will give him some additional space to explore -- like this ... -for-sale/

Here is a link to an article on our website on what you need to set up an indoor tortoise table (are you, or is anyone in your family handy with a saw and a bit of wood?) ... FyF07jgq9s

One of the most important things is to ensure that your tortoise has access to a good source of UVB light, and that article will explain a bit about it. Also you need to make sure the temperature is right in the table, as the right temperature is essential for the well being of your tortoise. I could go on, but maybe this is enough for you to read for now and then come back with any questions you might have.

In the meantime, here are links to two good care sheets: one for Horsfields and one for Hermanns. Have a read and let us know what you think. We are happy to help you in any way we can, and please do come back with questions -- that's what we're here for and we'd love to guide you in your journey as a tortoise keeper!
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf
https://www.tortoise-protection-group.o ... 014New.pdf

Finally, it's always best to buy your tortoise from a breeder rather than from a shop. Breeders are usually excellent at giving after care advice and help, they usually charge less than shops, and you might even get to meet the parents of your little tortoise. If we know where you live we can see if there is a breeder in your area.


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