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#1 Mr T

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:05 PM

Thanks for the replies and Hello for the welcomes,
Substrate I am not keen on having complete soil on the Table was thinking of a Tray with sterilised soil and some other substrate around the sleepig area etc. Beech chips are used by the shop where Mr T is at the moment.
Views and advice would be appreciated.
Tx

#2 Freddy

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:45 PM

Hi Mr T,
Topsoil is the safest, most natural and the best substrate to use for tortoises. Beech chips can develop mold spores when wet which can harm your tort causing respiratory problems. Hope this helps. Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#3 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:48 PM

It depends on whether you want what is best for the tortoise, or what you thinks looks better in your house ;) Beech chips are no good at all, as they do not hold moisture ( do not allow a tortoise to thermoregulate and are not nice for it to walk on. They might look pretty but as far as tortoises go, that is about it. The best sleeping area is the substrate, which if correct (as in nature ie soil) will mean that they happily dig down overnight and emerge again in the morning as temps rise. Another option is coir, which also holds moisture well. Petshops rarely give correct info or keep their tortoises correctly.
Hope this helps

#4 nickyandtim

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 11:08 PM

I would always go for a topsoil, playsand mix 60/40. As the posts above it is much more natural and softer for your tort. Some substrates can cause health problems and sore skin. The soil mix also helps your tort to thermoregulate their temperature by digging down if they need to.

#5 Mr T

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 09:31 AM

Thanks for the replies great to hear help is not far away, :thumbup:
how do you manage the soil,changing cleaning etc.
My lights arrived today just awaiting the table then the fun will start, Mr T is for my Little boy and Mrs but I a getting caught up in the excitement now ;) and probably a 1000 questions,
I have bought a 160 Arcadia bulb d3 I read somewhere to switch it on for 12 hours before putting the tortoise in so the bulb"beds" in.

Kind Regards

Mark

#6 MeImNot

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 05:25 PM

Go for soil, I had several eye problems with bark. I also noted that mixing a little sand with soil resulted in my tort having sand in her eyes whenever she rubbed them. Good luck with yr little one :)

#7 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 07:28 PM

Go for soil, I had several eye problems with bark. I also noted that mixing a little sand with soil resulted in my tort having sand in her eyes whenever she rubbed them. Good luck with yr little one :)


Yes, I would avoid sand, it's nothing like the sand they have in nature and best avoided ;)

#8 kimmie1985

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 06:28 PM

Im a new tortoise owner (2 weeks). our 1 yr old is set up in a tortoise table on our kitchen unit. He is in complete topsoil. I worried at first that it would smell, be unhygenic etc, but its been fine!! its great having him there, and i know hes in the place substrate for him. There has been no mess etc, plan to change the soil in a couple of weeks (advice on here has been once a month). I spray it to keep in moist, pick up any leftover food etc, so it doesnt look dirty etc, it looks like a happy and healthy tortoises home :)

#9 MeImNot

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:19 PM

You did good Kimmie, imo torts should always live on soil. It won't smell if you remove poo daily, I also remove any urine stained soil cos that will smell more than poo after a couple of days. You'll get used to spotting urine stains (even if you misted the soil) ;)

#10 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:46 PM

Try watering instead of spraying, it has to be done less often that way, the same as watering a plant in a pot. This way, the base stays damp as in nature and helps prevent the shell from drying and pyramiding ;) You don't get that musty just sprayed smell either ;)

#11 Guest_Chrissyan_*

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:05 AM

I also remove any urine stained soil cos that will smell more than poo after a couple of days. You'll get used to spotting urine stains (even if you misted the soil) ;)


I Have never been able to find that. :unsure2:

#12 MeImNot

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:52 AM

I'm on a permanent hunt for pee so I know the tricks now :D Normally I find pee near the water dish and it looks like it stains the soil not like when its wet with water...it can also be the high content of limestone in the soil I find here that helps me out on my quest :)

#13 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:40 PM

I've never found pee stained soil in thirty years either, maybe it has to be Maltese soil :unsure2: It IS likely to be found nearer to water though, due to the nature of tortoises passing urine when drinking.

#14 kimmie1985

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:03 PM

i have urine stained soil, stopped it earlier! will remove tomorrow, been removing poop. yeh think will try watering as spraying doesnt seem to last long (after spending days hunting the shops for a spray bottle!) thanks everyone. were very proud of squirtles home, he seems to luv it too! Tortoises move faster than i thought!

#15 Freddy

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:13 PM

It may also be easier to spot urates than urine! ;)
Freddy :D

#16 Hermylady

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 08:29 PM

Please don't use beech/wood chips - I did at the very beginning as recommended by a pet shop (most know nothing about torts) and he ended up swallowing some large chips. They can also be a fire hazard under lights. Sand/soil is definitely the best way to go. Deep enough so they can dig down. I tend not to use too much sand as it can be quite gritty, but a small amount mixed in is fine. I personally found 50:50 was a bit too much sand, although this is what is recommended. It's just my personal preference to use a bit less. Hope this helps.

Tracey

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:42 PM

It may also be easier to spot urates than urine! ;)
Freddy :D



Oh, never thought of that, maybe that is what is meant. I don't see a lot of urates as the soil is watered so torts are always fully hydrated ;)

#18 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 09:44 PM

Please don't use beech/wood chips - I did at the very beginning as recommended by a pet shop (most know nothing about torts) and he ended up swallowing some large chips. They can also be a fire hazard under lights. Sand/soil is definitely the best way to go. Deep enough so they can dig down. I tend not to use too much sand as it can be quite gritty, but a small amount mixed in is fine. I personally found 50:50 was a bit too much sand, although this is what is recommended. It's just my personal preference to use a bit less. Hope this helps.

Tracey


I don't use any sand as it's nothing like Med sand and I have had people getting back to me with hatchlings with eye problems when they have used it. I therefore only use soil or coir now.

#19 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:26 PM

One of my rehomed torts poo'd beech chips for a few days.... Bless her. Soil is the best substrate for torts x x x hugs x x

#20 Mr T

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:03 PM

Hi Thanks for the replies,out of interest I have seen Aspen used by quite a lot of owners any thoughts on that substrate.




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