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Thread: Thinking of getting a tortoise

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    Thinking of getting a tortoise

    I am interested in getting a tortoise, and was wondering how hard they are to take care of. I live near the coast of Texas, so the summers are hot and humid. I was thinking of using a large wading pool, or make a box out of plywood to house it in. I also need to know where to buy one. I don't know which species to get. I don't feel comfortable buying them from somewhere like petsmart or petco. Am I just being paranoid or should I find a breeder.

    I read an articles that said I should take it to a vet to check for salmonella. I was always under the impression that most reptiles have salmonella.

    Can someone change the title to "Thinkin of getting a tortoise" I used copy and paste, and copied the wrong thing.

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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    I would check out kingsnake.com to get ideas of animals and then try to find a local reptile show as the prices will be cheaper. If you are ready and able to handle a larger animal then sulcatta make great pet tortoises

    Most reptiles DO NOT have Salmonella!! This is crap that has been overblown by media and germophobe parents. Some turtles and some lizards can occasionally carry the bacterium but that is largely dependent on what they are fed (like say raw chicken...) I have been keeping herps for 26 years and have never gotten Salmonella!

    It is a good idea to have a vet check out any new animal. Plus you will want to find an exotic vet in the even you need some type of medical advice later.

    Definitely do your homework first. There are a million and one people out there who impulse buy a herp and then the poor thing dies a slow death to their neglect.
    Last edited by Pyro; 01-17-2008 at 07:20 AM.
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    Honestly, I would recommend strongly against a tortoise. They're great animals, really, but they have really specific care and feeding requirements (a well fed tort eats better than you do) and live a hell of a long time.

    I've been tempted too, but I'm holding off until I'm settled somewhere for the foreseeable future of my career. They're great, but not easy.

    Mokele
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    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    I do not know much about tortoise at all, but one I see most the time at reptile shows is the Russian Tortoise.

    http://www.russiantortoise.org/care_sheet.htm


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    I don't know crap about reptiles, but I second what pyro and mokele said. I like reptiles a lot, and I lot some of the exotic mammals too, but I'm way too dumb to take care of them, which is why I settled for a pitbull. My dog eats whatever is around (she loves all kinds of fruit, oddly enough), is bilingual, and just stomps around in the backyard half the time. Wayyy easier.
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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mokele View Post
    Honestly, I would recommend strongly against a tortoise. They're great animals, really, but they have really specific care and feeding requirements (a well fed tort eats better than you do) and live a hell of a long time.
    I do not know that I recommend against them but I agree whole heartedly. They have specific needs but so do all herps. And yes they do live a looooong time so you better be sure your kids like tortoises too as you will be leaving it to them in your will.

    They're great, but not easy.
    I would amend this to "they are not easy unless you know what you are doing." Which is the case with the majority of herps. If you do not do your research then you and your animals will be miserable. If you research what you are getting and do what needs to be done then they are really easy.

    As an example, my chondro... Chondros are notorious for being difficult but in reality she is not more difficult for me than my other snakes. Granted I have always been an attentive herper but if you are educated and willing to take the time then you will succeed

    Quote Originally Posted by phissionkorps View Post
    I don't know crap about reptiles, but I second what pyro and mokele said. I like reptiles a lot, and I lot some of the exotic mammals too, but I'm way too dumb to take care of them.
    Very few people are "too dumb" to keep herps. Too lazy I would agree with though.
    'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'

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    Pyro - my big qualm about using "easy" with torts is their diet. If I've learned any general rule about reptile care, it's that herbivores require a lot more work and effort than equivalent carnivores simply because of all the effort that goes into preparing a truly nutritious salad for them, *especially* if you live in a region where veggie availability is seasonal for certain kinds.

    I'd apply the same to turtles - they're fine if you know what you're doing, but all other things being equal, an aquarium pet needs a lot more knowledge and investment (water chemistry monitoring, filter setup, etc) than a terrestrial pet.

    Mokele
    \"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
    --J. Burns, on the evolution of auditory ossicles.

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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mokele View Post
    Pyro - my big qualm about using "easy" with torts is their diet. If I've learned any general rule about reptile care, it's that herbivores require a lot more work and effort than equivalent carnivores simply because of all the effort that goes into preparing a truly nutritious salad for them, *especially* if you live in a region where veggie availability is seasonal for certain kinds.
    I will give you that. I guess it comes down to my definition of "easy" in this context. I am basing it on the prefix of: "If you are willing to put in the effort..."

    I will contend that it is easier to get veggies these days that it was in the past what with the rise in farmers markets and "organic" stores like Whole Foods and the like but granted those have not spread everywhere. Also, there are a lot of balanced pellet form diets that are available that can do in a pinch in thin times.

    I'd apply the same to turtles - they're fine if you know what you're doing, but all other things being equal, an aquarium pet needs a lot more knowledge and investment (water chemistry monitoring, filter setup, etc) than a terrestrial pet.
    You will get no argument from me here. This is the main reason I keep giving my wife for why we are not getting a terrapin, because I do not want to have to take care of it.
    'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'

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