What do you guys consider a great indoor Tortoise?

If any? Understandably it would have to stay fairly small. I’m not sure if any would be happy indoors as I’ve heard (I’ve never owned one) they need alot of space to walk around and explore. Just curious to hear what all the Tortoise experts have to say. I live in the desert so It would have to be one thats thrives better in arid conditions with humidity at 40% and under…Thanks.

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My best recommendation would be an egyptian tortoise, they only need a small area to live on (I think 2’ x 4’ if I remember correctly), however those can be expensive as they only lay 1 egg per year, a russian tortoise is much cheaper except they need a bigger area, another option would be a pancake tortoise which I think can be housed in a 45 gallon tank. I’m going to tag @osbornereptiles since I know he breeds tortoises and he might have other ideas.


Tanks of any size are not suitable for tortoises. They become stressed when they can see out the sides.

Any tortoise in the genus Testudo, including the Egyptian and the Russian, as well as the Greek and Hermann’s, is small enough to comfortably live indoors and can be successful in a drier climate. All of these species are hardy and relatively easy to care for. Whatever tortoise you choose, make sure to acquire a captive bred specimen. Wild caught tortoises often don’t adjust well to captivity, and may be sick or have parasites. In addition, they are overcollected in their home ranges, and despite the fact that most are not actually protected, wild population are being damaged by the pet trade.


Thanks for replied guys…I’ll keep all that in mind if I decide to pull the trigger on one of these guys. I’ll surely do lots of research before jumping in.


I think a tank would work as long as you covered all sides about a foot high and the tortoise wouldn’t be able to see over, right?

This link might help some, maybe give it a read and get some ideas of different species.


I had box turtles. They are pretty cool and eat veggies and insects. Or you can get a Russian tortoise that just eats veggies. I had my box turtles in a 3x2x2 cage. 3 sides were wood.


Redfoots aren’t a bad choice either, though they can grow a bit larger than Egyptians/Russians.
They also need more variety in their diet (fruit, animal protein 1-2x/week), and more humidity than Mediterranean tortoises. However, they don’t need temperatures as high, and in my experience, are more social with each other and me.
I have raised one since very small in a glass tank and it seems to appreciate seeing “the world outside”. He/she has a couple inches of bark substrate (for digging), cork bark flats (to hide under), and a couple hides to retreat into.


I have a An Eastern Hermann’s and he’s about a year old. Great indoor for now. Once he gets closer to full grown I’d like to make him an enclosure in the yard but that’s a few years awAy. Some might argue, being a smaller species, that they could stay inside their whole life if given adequate space and uvb.


I have a Russian who lives in a large plastic tub in my bedroom. Every care guide I’ve seen says that Russians are anti-social, but mine actively seeks out attention constantly. He’s like a little puppy and hands down the most fun reptile I’ve ever owned.