Meet Skywalker the tortoise, born in captivity around March 2000.
Skywalker is a Agrionemys horsfieldii tortoise also known as a Horsefields tortoise and Russian Tortoise.
I rescued him back in 2003 to which he was suffering severe Metabolic Bones Disease (MBD).
This was more than likely caused by the diet, poor lighting and not enough natural light. He was also being kept in a vivarium which is not good for most tortoises at all due to humidity and the stress caused by glass and reflection.
It took me over a year to wein Skywalker on to a proper diet of wild weeds and flowers topped with a lovely calcium & D3 supplement.
When Skywalker is indoors due to bad weather he is kept in a 10 square feet open top DIY tortoise table which I have built into one of my walk in cuboards.
Here is the hot end of the enclosure.
The substrate you see is tortoise eco terrain by Komodo.
Bulb and light wise... when the tortoise is indoors, I use nothing less than mercury vapor lamps that provide adequate UVA, UVB and infrared heat.
This level of UVA & UVB has helped Skywalker a great deal regarding the MBD he suffers because of a higher level of synthesis with regards to vitamin D3 as it helps prevent and improve current symptoms, sadly he sometimes still suffers issues with his back legs because of it.
Skywalker also gets hibernated every year.
I was planning to rehome the tortoise due to my mobility issues but every rescue centre I hav visited cannot provide the same level of husbandry and care which I was quite shoked at but I suppose all these charities for animals are getting hit bad regarding budget.
The humidity in his setup just now is a bit higher as I have just cleaned his pen out but it usually sits about 55RH on humidity and 30c at the Basking area.
He of course has a cooler end so he can regulate his body temperature.
As kinda mentioned the main points if you ever do get 1 is...
Feed only wild weeds/flowers (dandelion, sow thistle etc), topped with vitamin powder for reptiles.
Dont keep in a vivarium or a fish tank. Its enclosure must be open top and large as possible. Cheapest way go to ikea buy wooden store boxes they are larger than tortoise tables and a lot cheaper.
Lighting is very important, Mercury vapor lamp by Megaray or Zoomed is a minimum, these tube uv lights you get are no where near enough UV compared to these spot lamps.
I stay in Scotland so we do not have the best weather for tortoises, sadly another reason why I was considering trying to find him a better home.
Regarding substrate I have tried most suitable ones but the best so far is a mixture of soils & sand and the cheapest stuff is Komodo's version but its also the best.
Before you get one research the species first, as some species do have different care needs such as Manouria emys which likes higher humidity, different temperature and has a larger protein need so in the wild it also eats worms along with its diet of wild weeds, so it has different requirements than 'med tortoises'.
Anyway if you get one and need help, im always here or on the other snail forum.