Tortoise Lighting and Fixtures For All Your Indoor Lighting Needs!

Hatchlings require shallow puddles of water for drinking and soaking. As mentionedabove, shallow saucers can be used for this but should be allowed to dry in betweenwaterings. The shell of a hatchling is relatively soft but will harden over timeif the tortoise has access to an appropriate diet and sunlight (or an acceptablesubstitute.)

• UVB Lighting is essential for Russian Tortoises to process calcium in captivity.

Light should be in the form of a full spectrum bulb designed for reptile use. These bulbs, which are now available in a variety of forms and models, provide light in the Ultraviolet B (UVB) range of the spectrum. Rays of UVB light are needed by the tortoise to synthesize vitamin D3, and subsequently for the proper metabolism of dietary calcium. Use of a traditional across the entire cage is one method of lighting the cage, while use of is another. Mercury vapor bulbs are quickly becoming a preferred method of lighting and heating a tortoise cage simultaneously, as they produce considerably more heat and UVB than other methods of lighting and heating.

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• Without UVB lighting tortoises will develop serious health problems such as abnormal shell growth and deformities. As for supplements, one with calcium and vitamin D3 should be used at every feeding for young animals, and less often as the animal reaches adult size. Older tortoises housed exclusively outdoors under natural sunlight do not require dietary D3. A multivitamin is also a good idea, although a varied diet is usually adequate. Just to be safe, lightly dust your pets food with a reptile multivitamin once every week or so.

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In captivity, natural sunlight should be utilized if possible, although always sun your tortoises in an open air (not glass) enclosure, and make sure that they do not get too hot. A few hours a week can make a big difference in the overall well-being of your tortoises. When they are not outside, the use of artificial lighting is required. Special bulbs designed specifically for this purpose should be used. These bulbs, typically in the form of a fluorescent tube, emit ultra violet B rays (UVB) which are of the same wavelength as those put off by the sun. 10 to 12 hours of light is recommended for most species.

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Water

Unfortunately, many believe that tortoises naturally acquire almost all of their fluid requirements from its food and that therefore they do not require additional drinking water. Russians tortoises are indeed adapted to a semi-arid environment and its system of eliminating waste via uric acid rather than via urea is clear evidence of this. Uric acid can be eliminated using substantial lower levels of water wastage than can systems based on urea, such as those of mammals. Therefore, tortoises, such as Russians, eliminate nitrogenous waste products with far greater water conservation. Its behavior is also programmed to reflect this need not to waste precious water.

The semi-solid, white deposits are expelled urates. Tortoises are programmed not to use water in the bladder and to eliminate urates only if replenishment is available. Depriving the tortoise of water will result in urates being accumulated and quite often to dangerous levels. During a rain tortoises will often drink and urinate simultaneously. This behavior can be stimulated in hot weather by lightly spraying the tortoise with a garden hose. In the wild, during hot and rain-free summers, aestivation or semi-aestivation occurs. There are several factors that will lead to aestivation. Lack of food and environmental water are major factors, as is temperature. During aestivation periods tortoises maintain themselves below ground, in burrows which provide a stable microclimate. In these burrows temperatures are much lower than those above ground and the relative humidity is very much higher. Combined with reduced activity, these factors result in a vastly reduced rate of fluid loss via exhalation and little or no need to urinate and prevent dehydration. In a captive situation, many tortoises are not provided with a microclimate and easily become dehydrated, especially when water is not provided for drinking.


Housing Best practice would probably be to set them up in an outdoor setting with plenty of room to venture around. They love to burrow, so make sure that whatever you decide to build to keep them so they don’t run off, it is at least 6 to 12 inches in the ground because they will try to dig underneath. Make sure it is at least 8-10 inches tall above the ground. They are pretty shallow creatures and might not need that much room, but you want them to feel comfortable and accustomed to what they are used to.A 15 foot by 12 foot area outside with the correct dimensions below and above is more than a great area for your tortoise. Enclosed around plants, equal amounts of shade and sun, are ideal. Keeping your tortoise enclosed on the patio, especially in 100 degree weather is not good and this will probably kill them. Tortoises can stand pretty extreme weather elements, but they are their happiest when kept in certain temperatures and lighting.