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Cohabitation Of A Russian Tortoise And North Eastern Box Turtle.

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Cohabitation Of A Russian Tortoise And North Eastern Box Turtle.

Postby Duron » Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:18 pm

Is cohabitation possible between a Russian Tort(F) and North Eastern Box Turtle(M)?  They will be in a 120 gallon tank as of right now.  We've had our box turtle for a little over 5 years now and just adopted the Russian Tort.  Our box turtle is currently in a 15g tank while the Russian Tort is in the 120g.  We would like to put them both in the same tank if they would be okay.  We've also been told from the adoption people that this tort may be pregnant.
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Cohabitation Of A Russian Tortoise And North Eastern Box Turtle.

Postby Scandleah » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:32 am

Hi Matthew,

I'm afraid not.  Mixing species is a bad idea because of the risk of cross-contamination of pathogens that are foreign to each species, but box turtles and Russian tortoises also have completely different care requirements.  I would recommend building an outdoor enclosure for the box turtle to live in year-round.  Box turtles do much better outside--and in any case a 15 gallon tank is much, much too tiny--and can hibernate safely if given an area of soft soil covered with leaf litter and/or straw.  You can plant the enclosure and your box turtle can do some foraging for insects, slugs, snails, and worms.

A gravid female Russian tortoise can retain sperm for several years, and will not lay until conditions are optimum.  If at all possible, I would also get her outside during the warmer months, as natural sunlight cannot really be sufficiently duplicated by artificial UVB bulbs.  If inside, a large tortoise table would be a better choice than a tank.  Use a substrate as close to soil as possible--a coir/playsand mix is a good substitute--and keep it a little damp to keep humidity levels up.  A good UVB source is vital, and I recommend a heat/UVB bulb like the T-Rex Active UVheat.  Give a good diet of varied mixed greens and weeds, with no veggies, fruit, or pellets.  Healthy hatchlings come from healthy adults.  

Here are two websites with more care information--the one on Russian tortoises also has information on breeding:



Good luck!
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