tort time

anonymous asked:

hi, sorry to bug you! I have a russian tortoise I got when I was little and I've had him for 11 years now. I realize his care probably isn't ideal after looking at your blog and I was wondering what I could do to improve his quality of life! he lives in a 20 gallon long tank with cypress mulch and eats mostly spinach and baby spring mix. he's pretty lively for the most part and the vet says he seems pretty healthy would you @ ready-2-rumble if you reply?

First, ALL of the applause to you, @ready-2-rumble , for wanting to do the best for your tort. Some torts manage to be unexplainably resilient but good husbandry will ensure your shell friend is healthy for a long time to come. 

You’re right that your setup isn’t the best for your shell friend.  The first things you’ll wanna take care of :

- No tanks: Tanks don’t allow for proper air flow so you can’t get a good temperature gradient ( which is important) in the enclosure. They aren’t large enough and Torts can’t comprehend glass. It keeps them nervous and often they’ll bang their heads on the glass trying to escape which can end very badly. A tortoise table is a must. This can be created out of all sorts of things… book shelves, super large bins that they sell around Christmas, wood, etc. 20 gallons isn’t really big enough for roaming or for the temperature gradient. 

-Mulch is too harsh for Russian torts. It doesn’t hold any moisture, they can’t dig down like the would in nature, and can scratch them up. A good substrate is coconut coir. ITs cheap and you can get it online in bricks. You add water and it makes a nice slightly moist dirt that’s also digestible (if they end up getting some in their bellies).

-Spinach should only be fed in moderation as part of a varied diet.  It contains oxalic acid which is not good for Russian tortoises. It does have some good vitamins but too much oxalic acid can be harmful so not too much and definitely not alone. You had the right idea with dark leafy greens. I also go for spring mix. For store bought salad it’s got the best variation of greens for your tort.  That said, you’ve got to mix it up to ensure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.  Radicchio is a favorite as are dandelion greens (the kind you get at the store … if only they sold real dandies we’d be set) and Chicory.  Cactus fruit is a great treat too and cactus pads are a favorite (if you can find them). I’m attaching a site with great info that lists diet options both store bought and plants. You want to get some sorta supplement for calcium. I use TNT which is a supplement made from dried greens and weeds. (you can get that here along with lots of other supplies too). There are other calcium supplements out there as well. 

-Make sure you have a powerful UVB lamp and your temperatures are 90-95 under the basking spot with a gradient down to 70 on the cool sides. 

-I’m guessing you do this but be sure to Soak your tortoise once a week or more to make sure they’re hydrated.   

Check out this site. It’s been a life saver for me. The author is a herpetologist and has worked with Russian torts for a long time.

Good luck!! I hope this helps! let me know if you have any questions or anything. 

~NFN and Zoya 

Guys… I’m making my return. It’s Torte time!! I’ve missed this family so much, I’ve just had no motivation. Taking care of 2 one-year-olds (Not mine! Currently working as a nanny) had got me thinking of my own pixel family and then my simblr family… I just miss everything. 

A long time has passed and I’m not sure if anyone is still interested in this legacy, but I’ve got a number of edited pics I had done while on my hiatus and a ton of unedited ones. There’s been a bit of a time skip (someone is now a teen) and we’ll have two birthdays very soon. My goal is to get this generation done with so we can move on to the next one (poor @stellarnovasims has been way too patient). I’ll get all the pics I have stockpiled posted gradually and then there’ll be a major time skip.

To my followers past and present: some of you are gone, some of you have changed your names, some are you are still with me even after all this time, and some of you came when I was gone. I hope I’ll be able to reconnect with you all again. Thank you for sticking by me, I’m sorry it’s been so long. Let’s get back to the swing of things!

I love you all so much.

  • Snow: All of the kids failed. That doesn't make sense! I'm doing everything exactly the way I used to.
  • Jasmine: Perhaps that's the problem. From what I heard, you had a very birdhouse building heavy curriculum.
  • Snow: Yeah. So?
  • Jasmine: So you're going straight from birdhouses to Newtonian physics? Does that seem like a proper progression?
  • Snow: Wow, you're right. I can't believe I skipped over the most crucial step: cool archery tricks.
  • Jasmine: What? No.
  • Snow: You get my bow and arrows from under my desk. I'll get this kids together. This is gonna be sick!
  • Jasmine: I didn't mean--
  • Snow: See you in ten. You're the best!
  • Jasmine:
  • Jasmine: I can't believe a kid is gonna die on my first day.

First Time at the Beach, Part 3
(Parts 12, and 4)

I have only ever seen the ocean from inside a boat before.  So my first time at the beach, I kept trying to run into the great big ocean to see what it was like!  Mom kept saying this was a bad idea and turning me around.  Even without digging, I discovered so many treasures on the beach:  A delicious crab claw, brightly colored flip flops, and a fence I couldn’t fit through no matter how hard I tried.

Connor stood by the side, annoyed and exasperated. Oliver was giving him the cold treatment, and he hated it. A lot. More importantly, he hated himself for making Ollie unhappy. The bright smile from his boyfriend that greeted him every day after work never failed to immediately relieve him of all the stress he faced at the law firm. Right now, he would like more than anything to see the smile on Ollie’s face again.

His Ollie. A sense of pride swelled from within Connor, until he remembered that the smile was not happening anytime soon.

Well, he was to blame for this. Partly, but not entirely. That Asher’s a jackass.

“Asher’s a jackass, ” Michaela was apologizing to Oliver.

“That’s what I said,” Connor chimed in hurriedly, desperate to make up with Oliver again.

“Hey, buddy. You’re not allowed to talk right now. Consider it practice for keeping your mouth shut.” Oliver retorted.

Nope, not working. Still angry.

Oliver paused to shoot Connor a grim look (which missed its intended target as said target was too busy sulking in a corner), then continued purposefully, “Sorry about your fiancé.”

“Oh, did Connor open up his big mouth about that, too?” Michaela said it loud enough for her new best friend to hear.

Gee, thanks a lot for your help Miss Pratt.

“Yep, said he was maybe bi or something.”

“Let’s not talk about it.” Michaela shuddered. The wound was still raw, after all.

Oh no you don’t. Connor couldn’t stand the cold treatment from Oliver, and it was eating at him from the inside. He felt uncomfortable, grumpy, spiteful even. “No, let’s. Let’s talk about how you have terrible taste in men. I mean, like that guy at the courthouse today… how do you say no to that?”

“Uh, he wasn’t my type.”

“What’s your type?” Oliver probed eagerly.

“Gay.” Connor shot back.

And right at that moment, Connor’s heart skipped a beat. Because the laughter that he was so familiar with finally rang out loud and clear. Oliver was chuckling at his joke. Which meant that he probably wasn’t angry with him anymore.

Sure enough, Oliver turned to shoot another look at Connor, which he caught this time. His boyfriend had put on the cute pout which he knew very well -Damn it Connor Walsh, I want to stay angry with you but I can’t.

Connor rubbed his nose and broke into a secret grin.

I know, and it’s not your fault babe.

“Michaela, why don’t you head on home first and leave this to us. You still have torts to study for.”

Time for some make up lovemaking.


Painting turtles and torts ruffles my shell! It’s so bad for them and why would anyone want to make our already beautiful shells look like a tacky Kardashian?! Here are some reasons why painting a shell is bad us:

1) It blocks essential uv from being absorbed. Without that uv, we can’t properly absorb nutrients vital to our health.

2) Paints and nailpolish can be toxic. Those toxins absorb into our shell and can poison us.

3) If the turtle or tort gets released back into the wild, the paint makes it easier for predators to find them.

Now that you have a “painted” tort, there are a couple of options to help your shelled friend. If the tort is native to your area, you can bring it to a wildlife rehab center or animal shelter and they can treat it an hopefully re release it into the wild. If it isn’t a native species, you can try to clean it off yourself. Nailpolish can be removed with nailpolish remover but try to use as gentle a brand as you can. The tort might not like the scrubbing but you are helping him so he’ll forgive you. Try to rinse him with warm water as you go along to try and dilute and rinse off any remaining remover and polish. It may take a few tries but over time your tort friend will have a beautiful shell again.

If you want bonus points from me, maybe ask the girls to help clean the tort and educate them as to why it’s healthier to leave the shell natural. Hopefully they will never paint one again :)



Human said if I wore this costume and walked around I would get treats! The tree had no dandelions and that statue just looked at me funny. I think this is the trick part of trick or treat.  I better get to nom that pumpkin. 

Happy Shell-o-ween from Tort-time! 


My First Reunions!, Part 4
(Parts 1, 2, and 3)

Trains rides are excellent photo opportunities!  I was as excited as Mom on the way to my first P-rade and wanted to see everything outside my tiger-striped basket!  On the way home, I was starting to get sleepy so all I wanted were cuddles with Mom.  Mom’s hand is so comfy that I took a short nap—in a halo of evening light!



Outdoor time on our patio is super exciting:  So many things for me to nom!  And so many things for Mom to yell “NO!” about


Three and a half years ago, @tort-time made me my very own monogrammed cape.  My cape was a little big for me, so with all the growing I have been doing, Mom thought it was high time for me to try on my cape again.

Turns out Mom underestimated how much I’ve grown—big time:  My cape is WAY too small for me now!  In fact, even Lunchbox’s big cape is too small for me now!