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#21 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:29 PM

I have used thick slate under my lights for over 15yrs with my hatchlings. They dig under the slate at times too. The slate never gets hot, just warm. The slate I use is over an inch thick.
I wouldnt use the thin slate as that does get really hot.
And I have not had any problems over the years with any of my hatchlings while using the slate.

#22 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 08:58 PM

Thankyou Sandy, I thought I was going mad!!! I used to work in the 'stonemason' industry working with slate & granite, I was always lead to beleive that slate absorbs the heat thus distrubuting it evenly over its surface stopping it from getting to hot - hence why its used for tops, floorings, surfaces etc, tiles - particulary ceramic - on the other hand do not absorb and so the heat stays on the surface, which means it gets extremely hot!

rolleyes.gif



#23 Guest_Hettie_*

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 09:04 PM


Talking of getting hot.... dont forget you will need a thermometer, to keep a check on your temps. biggrin.gif

Paula x

#24 Guest_Ozric_*

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 10:23 PM

Regarding supplements, I think it's best to add Neutrobal to food a couple of times a week (at least) if the tortoises are indoors and especially with younger tortoises. This should ensure that enough D3 is present to enable the calcium to be metabolised. This is probably even more so for tortoises that might not be getting a lot of UVB such as when keepers might be using worn out strip lamps or just not very good or well positioned ones.

The possibility of overdose with Neutrobal is really very small even if we use a lot more of it than directed on the packet. It has other things added in as well as D3 and calcium. With adult tortoises its a bit different and Neutrobal maybe is not required especially if they spend a lot of time outside. I don't provide Neutrobal in the summer even for smaller tortoises because mine do get quite a lot of UVB naturally.

Cuttle fish bone on its own is not a complete calcium source though it is useful especially as the tortoise regulates intake itself.

We might sometimes end up feeding some plants that prevent the absorption of calcium because they contain oxalates. This can be another reason to use a calcium supplement.

The soil in my garden is naturally acidic which means the plants are not taking up a lot of calcium and fixing it in their leaves. This is the opposite of what happens in the wild where most Hermanns live on soils made from limestone. To some extent I can overcome this by adding calcified seaweed to the soil over the winter and also wood ash. Both increase the alkalinity of the soil but doing this over a whole garden is impossible so a lot of plants are growing in acid soils.

So my personal way of loking at this is that neutrobal can be important for young tortoises and calcium supplements have to be provided at least some of the time. When my tortoises are indoors they will eat what I give them and I do add supplements a few days a week. An exess of calcium itself is a really huge amount.

Sorry thats a long way of saying that I agree with that part of Sue's post!

#25 Guest_CindyWho4_*

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 11:31 PM

It's funny that this came up here like this...I was actually going to ask about slate under the lamp. laugh.gif I have a piece where he eats, but I was wondering if people used it under the lamp, too. I am now more confused than before. Awesome! huh.gif

#26 Guest_jackiedots_*

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:04 AM

Hi everyone. I have been reading the thread and notice that Peter has been advised to get topsoil as a substrate. Am I right in thinking that it needs to be steralised topsoil though, not something with chemicals or fertiliser in it. If this is so he needs to be told that before he goes off and buys unsteralised.

Jackie

#27 Guest_Dawn_*

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 07:36 AM

QUOTE (jackiedots @ Apr 30 2010, 02:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi everyone. I have been reading the thread and notice that Peter has been advised to get topsoil as a substrate. Am I right in thinking that it needs to be steralised topsoil though, not something with chemicals or fertiliser in it. If this is so he needs to be told that before he goes off and buys unsteralised.

Jackie




Hi Jackie, I just buy normal topsoil from B&Q, the way I see it, they don't have sterilised topsoil in the wild (groan), just make sure it doesn't contain chemicals - it will say it on the bag if it does.



#28 Guest_cyberangel_*

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 08:47 AM

I agree with Dawn about the soil, I also sometimes just use my garden soil. Which is quite good, not heavy clay. As I know I dont use chemicals in my backgarden.


#29 Guest_CindyWho4_*

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:12 PM

I use organic top soil. That way I know there's no pesticides or anything on it. I've never seen "sterilized" anywhere around here before.




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