Russian tortoises should be inspected by a qualified veterinarian upon purchase. Provide the tortoise with a large home with bedding that is a 50/50 mix of play sand and topsoil. They need a warm spot in which to bask with moderate temperatures throughout the rest of the space and water in which to soak. Feed the tortoise a diet high in fiber and low in protein for best results.
Many Russian tortoises are shipped in crowded crates when imported into the United States. This stresses the tortoise and invites parasites and illness. Take the tortoise to a veterinarian specializing in turtles. The veterinarian should check the tortoise and its fecal sample for parasites and provide treatment if necessary.
Create a large home for your tortoise, building a tortoise table or using a large container. The bedding should be kept slightly moist. The basking area should be regulated to a temperature of about 95 F, with the opposite end of the habitat being a cooler 70 degrees. Use fluorescent bulbs to provide the necessary heat. Place the bulbs on a timer, turning them off at night to allow for a temperature drop similar to what the tortoise would experience in the wild. Replace the bulbs every six months.