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Old 05-08-2012, 08:48 PM   #1 
LebronTheBetta
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Can't Decide!!!

Okay, I have an IMPORTANT DECISION to make. I need YOUR OPINION on this. I want a Russian Tortoise, or a Leopard Gecko.
I am getting even more interested in Russian Tortoises than the Gecko because I am uncomfortable with Crickets & Mealworms. I am comfortable with other insects, but not these. I want to think and research before I tell my parents which one I want. My dad had experience with Box Turtles, and he said that they are smelly. Is that true? Even if Box Turtles are different, do Russian Tortoises smell bad?
I also found out that Leopards can live happily in a 20 gallon and only poo/pee on one side. I am okay with everything about them, except their feeding.
Tortoises, I know that they are Herbivores and okay with feeding. I am also okay with their big Habitat Space. I'll just buy a Rubbermaid 50 gallon. People say these are great habitats for them since they aren't see through.
I have throughly researched them both. I am just having a problem with choosing. Please help. Any Suggestions or Comments on which one, would be Appreciated.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:52 PM   #2 
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Thumbs up

i have a russian tortoise, and boy are they awesome! They are full of personality, and mine comes when you call his name. They eat a variety of weeds such as dandelions, and also eat collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce and on occasion (feeding fruit too often can cause parasite blooms) strawberry or other fruits. They need regular soaking ( or tortoise bath) weekly, and their food dusted with calcium. Check out russiantortoise.com for more info. Good luck!
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:08 PM   #3 
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I'd do a Leopard Gecko. I honestly like lizards to tortoises, but that's just my opinion. Yeh. I'm not much of help.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:21 PM   #4 
Olympia
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Where do you see your tortoise in the future? Will your parents take care of him while you go to school? (just assuming since you brought up your dad). It's hard to look all the way to your old age, but this is how long a tortoise would be with you.
How much money are you willing to spend long term? A diet full of dark leafy greens, UVA/UVB bulbs that run a lot of cash. Leopard gecko would be cheaper to feed and provide proper care for.
Time? A tortoise will take up much more time, everything from preparing his meals to bathing to letting him out. Tortoises are also considered social and many get to enjoy their owners, leaving him alone for a few days could sadden him, especially without another buddy. On the other hand, depending on how be was raised, it could take an extremely long time before he feels comfortable around you. Earning the trust of a reptile that was never handled can be a pain.

And yes, all reptiles smell disgusting when they poo. Something to get used to. Turtles I have found to be the worst of the group.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:37 PM   #5 
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Hmmm... I am looking for a good companion, that has ALOT of personality. I also want a companion that would live for a long time since I want to make a close bond with it. My parents, I think they will understand. I would just tell them NOT to forget, and tell them what to do on a daily basis. When I am at home, I don't really have much to do, besides homework. I am willing to make sure to spend lots of time with it.
For the money, I am saving to reach about like, $500. As I said, I would use the Rubbermaid one for his tank. I know about his food, Collard Greens, Weeds, Alot of Greens, Some foods not treated with pesticides, and alot more. Can't I just clean his poo everyday? Even if I don't have a sensitive nose, It will stink up.
I know about the salmonella and all that. I WILL wash my hands everyday if I need to. For the lights, I know to replace them after a few months. And I have a patience with animals. People, not so much when annoying. I have a close friend, she has a box turtle named Taco, ( It would not be surprising if I named mine Burrito ) She likes turtles & tortoises. For Tortoises, she has a land turtle so it's close kinda. I think she could take care of it. I want a pet that I could actually interact with, and I want one for my 12th birthday. I have had a few animals in the past before, Dogs to Rodents to Fish. Reptiles are new. But I want one to bond with closely. Please tell me if I am ready enough. And of course, buying after saving.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:22 PM   #6 
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Yea, reptile poo is something else though!
They are social, they may follow you around at most, but they generally won't show their love (it's debatable if they actually like their owners still). But a lonely tortoise would appreciate a human friend, in my opinion.
Have you read about hibernating them? Some people do it and some don't.
You have to decide if you're ready for yourself. Talk to your friend with the turtle about taking care of turtles some more. Let her show you turtle poop.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:19 PM   #7 
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Oh, okay. I have heard about hibernating them. I don't want to though. I think it's kind've messed up. I'll probably go to her house in Summer Break. Bring on the Crap! If the turtle is a carnivore, does the poo smell different? I know it's disgusting, but is it true? Thank you for helping me. I'm researching them now. And I think I will choose this even if the poo, or anything else. It still matters if my parents say yes. I HOPE they do. I am now thinking about buying from a Pet Store, or a Breeder. I am thinking far ahead, but it would help me in the future. Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:34 PM   #8 
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I would go to a breeder. There's some great breeders in America (where you are?) for tortoises, and they'll help you out tons if you ever need it.
If your parents say no, think about why they would. My parents hate the mess of animals (why I got fish, now they complain that I waste water). If it's something like that, you can argue that you'll keep it very clean.

Going to point this out- though they have been popular pets for quite sometime, owners (and even zoos) are still learning lot's about tortoise care. We are still very in the dark about many things, including hibernation for Russians. Though they go through it in the wild in the winter when food and temperature is low, we say that in our homes this is not an issue. However, constantly we must look at how an animal has adapted to life in the wild, how it's supposed to work. THIS is why you should get one from a breeder. A captive bred tortie will do much better without hibernating, than a wild caught one who is more hard wired to hibernate. You never know where pet shops get their animals (and I'm sure some lie about selling captive bred animals).
Tortoise nutrition is another thing that we still know little about- though we are learning a lot lately. You may have heard the term pyramiding. For a long time this was seen as desirable, it made the shell look more interesting. People sought this out. We now know it's caused by bad diet, too much protein and not enough calcium, and it is a deformity that does not occur in the wild. I'm still not sure on what/if any negative effects pyramiding has in the animal- but we know it's not normal.
I'm sure you're doing tons of research, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I was going to get a Russian or Greek tortie until I found out you can't get them in Canada, so I did a lot of reading on them.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:48 PM   #9 
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Okay. Sorry you can't get them. Bummer. Well, I live in Maryland. Are there any Breeders near here? I won't be moving. Unless I have a Vacation. I feel bad for the Pet Store ones though. Moved out of there home. Messed up stuff. Need more Calcium and Fiber than Protein. Got it. They are Herbivores. Not Carnivores. Pyramiding, ugh... that's messed up too.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:07 PM   #10 
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Hibernation at The Tortoise Shop
Just found this, interesting read. I remember reading that lots of people don't bother, but it raises some things to think about.
I can't point you anywhere for breeders. Join a reptile (or even tortoise only) forum, and ask for breeders, and about hibernation.
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