Jump to content


- - - - -

What is the best substrate to use


  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Jeepxj_*

Guest_Jeepxj_*
  • Guests

Posted 12 March 2007 - 12:56 AM

I keep reading everywhere to use sand or sand/dirt mixes.
My vet and personal experience has always kept me away from it.
I have a group that are fed on ceramic tiles to keep the substrate out of the food as much as possible.
I find some always push others around and track sand into the food.
I had been using a dirt mix from a local garden center but had recently seen an adult Hermanns (different cage)trying to eat a small stone.
Now after the Greek in the other post has problems I'm switching to a sand /dirt mix.
My cages were similar to this one with hatchling on the link above.
http://www.hermann-t...es_for_sale.htm
Has anyone else had trouble with animals picking up pebbles?
Does the sand just pass through with a high fiber diet.
Isn't there still the danger of becoming impacted?
As I'm in Canada and the winter is extremely cold most of the time they are indoors.
Could people give me some input as to what they are using for substrate and what depth?

Thanks, Bryan


#2 Guest_lepinsky_*

Guest_lepinsky_*
  • Guests

Posted 12 March 2007 - 10:04 AM

Hi Bryan,

I use a substrate in half the cage that is 50/50 topsoil and playsand (make sure you get topsoil and not potting compost and also playsand and not ordinary sand), and the other half is aubiose (hemp), which tortoises seem to love. I know that in the States it's difficult to find hemp, but a lot of people use aspen, which is similar. Lots of people in the States seem to use a combination of bed-a-beast (or sometimes it is called eco-earth) and playsand (I think it comes in big bricks and you soak the brick and it expands and then you mix it with sand.

My russian is a demon for eating small white pebbles, and last year I spent hours sifting the earth in his outdoor enclosure to get as many out as possible. Substrate can become impacted if ingested, but mostly small amounts of sand and small pebbles will pass right through if the tortoise is well hydrated and is on a good diet.

Nina
http://pets.groups.y...rotectionGroup/


#3 Guest_Jeepxj_*

Guest_Jeepxj_*
  • Guests

Posted 12 March 2007 - 03:04 PM

Thanks.
I've used bed a beast(coconut Coir)bricks mixed with earth.
I've got some on order to mix with the Play sand.
I've never seen hemp here.
I do have a pile of hay they hide under and eat.
How deep do you put the sand?




#4 Guest_lepinsky_*

Guest_lepinsky_*
  • Guests

Posted 12 March 2007 - 07:58 PM

Thanks.
I've used bed a beast(coconut Coir)bricks mixed with earth.
I've got some on order to mix with the Play sand.
I've never seen hemp here.
I do have a pile of hay they hide under and eat.
How deep do you put the sand?


Hi,
Hay is good to eat(I think Timothy hay or orchard hay is the best, but I'm not sure), but the problem with hay is that if it gets damp it can grow mould, so I'd be careful.

I have a horsfield and they love to dig, so my hemp is about four or five inches deep, and the sand/soil mixture is about three or four inches deep. The two halves are separated by a row of broad flat stones, to keep them from mixing, and to give the tort a different texture to walk on (the hemp is the sleeping half and the sand/soil is the basking half).



Nina
http://pets.groups.y...rotectionGroup/


#5 Guest_tortgal_*

Guest_tortgal_*
  • Guests

Posted 13 March 2007 - 01:06 AM

Hi Brian,

just wondering what bad personal experiences you have had with sand/soil and what your vet has said about it? I too use top soil and play sand mix. And its correct that it must be PLAY sand and any loam baised soil as many sands and regular soil can contain stones and fibre glass. I also use Hemp in his bedding area as this seems to keep him warmer than the sand/soil. Only problem ive had with sand/soil substrate is the dust which can accumulate on the surface and has previously given Sven an eye infection so regular spraying of the surface is a must. Whats this eco thing u use that grows with water? Does that still allow the tort to burrow? This is important especially in your cold climate. Both my sand/soil substrate and hemp are about 4 inches deep.


#6 Guest_Jeepxj_*

Guest_Jeepxj_*
  • Guests

Posted 13 March 2007 - 06:51 PM

I have Timothy hay and it ends up getting trampled and tossed around the cages regularly.
After a few days or a week it gets raked up and replaced.
Not much time to get wet or grow mould.
It's quite dry here too.With the forced air heat the humidity is very low all winter.
The experience with sand was just that several animals would always track substrate into the food, or drag the food off the tiles and eat it in the sand.
If they are pickng up small bits off the sand they get some in thier mouth as well.
I use play sand, washed and sterile.
The vet said never use sand due to what she has read about impaction/eye irritation.
I'm afraid her experience is limited with tortoises.
We don't have many here, more water turtles and a lot of snakes/lizards.
She is good treating the obvious ailments and knows what drugs are needed if a culture/fecal sample is positive. She gives me the medication and lets me follow up at home, no need to bring in the animals for repeat visits.
For most unusual conditions she asks me how i want to proceed, if i don't know she tries to consult someone.
She does have the ability to send X-rays to the US someplace for consultation and treatment, although i haven't heard back yet.
The Tortoise that i had trouble with still eats very little, mostly what we hand feed her. I have her separated and soaking a couple times a day.
I'll get a photo of the X-ray if i don't hear from her soon and post it, maybe someone has an answer.
If I'm lucky it was just a blob of uric acid and someone will recognize it and we can look elsewhere.
I guess blood work is next if it's not an impaction/stone.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users