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Reptiles/Russian Tortoise isn't eating


QUESTION: My Russian Tortoise is 11 months old. I bought him this past Sunday (the 23rd). The Humidity is almost always at 50% (that's what the lady said at the PetSmart). I tried broccoli, soft apples, and carrots. He isn't drinking either. He has recently pooped though. He was eating at the store before we took him home. I also have another question.
I sleep with a fan at night. the fan is on the medium setting so it's not too cold in my room. I keep the night time bulb on and it keeps it at a comfortable tem[p. Should I dump the nighttime bulb or is it okay?

ANSWER: Hello Gina,

What type of thermometer are you using to measure the temperatures?  What are the temperatures overnight & during the daytime for his basking?  
How big is his enclosure?  
I would recommend getting either a digital probe or temp gun to properly measure the temperatures.  Are you using a red bulb for nighttime or a ceramic heat emitter?  
You can keep the room temperature 68 to 80F during the daytime & overnight but they can handle nighttime temperatures into the 50's though.
They do need a basking temperature of around 90-100F with a cooler area & areas to dig & burrow when they need.  Are you using a UVB light also?  He will need a good UVB light to help prevent soft shell.
The best UVB lights are the Reptisun 10 tube bulb or the Arcadia D3 12% tube either one.  It can be mounted directly beside the basking light you are using.  If his temperatures are not optimal then he wont have much of an appetite.

If you have pictures, you can send a picture so I can see him & your set up, too.


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QUESTION: I won't let me upload my pictures. Is there another way I could show you. Over a email or something. Basking  is around 90s.  Digital like thermometers   It is a  90 Qt tub   Bulbs are working and doing what they're supposed to me doing. I'm going to get more professional grade equipment when I get a bigger tub

ANSWER: Hello Gina,

Sure, you can email pictures to my home email at:

Great, the size sound excellent for him then.  If you are using a digital thermometer & it is a probe type then the temperatures should be accurate.  Are you using a UVB light also?
Also, he could still be going through a little bit of relocation stress as most seem to when going to a new home.  
It will take him awhile to grow, so the size he is in now should be ok for now.


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QUESTION: yes. The light is a uvb and a heat light. The woman from the perspire gave it to me because j didn't have one. I'm also scared about turning off the light and it getting too cold at night with my fan on

Hello Gina,

If you don't think the light will keep him awake you can leave it on but it will probably disturb his sleeping.  You can get a ceramic heat emitter for heat without light.
What brand is the UVB light?  A lot of them that are at the pet stores are not very good.  Is it a compact/coil or a long tube bulb?

How is he doing today, has he eaten anything today?
Keep me posted on him.



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Tracie Kretzschmar


I can answer questions pertaining to health, UVB specifics, overall husbandry care & supplementation, analysis of blood test results, and behavioral problems & handling. I can answer questions pertaining to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, iguanas, uromastyx & ball pythons. I can answer adeno virus related questions in bearded dragons, & then specifically about the testing methods as well. I am beginning an Pogona Adeno Testing Society in 2008 which will help to begin to start some standardization within the bearded dragon colonies of the breeders who choose to test.


I have been working with bearded dragons for over 5 years now, as well as leopard geckos, too. I am currently doing rescues, as well. I hope to be able to educate people prior to them purchasing an exotic pet in order to avoid any health crisis with them.

I have a master's degree in sports medicine & physiology, & 1 year of vet tech schooling, & am currently working on a reptile certification through the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

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