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Best Substrate?


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#1 speedy1310

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 08:20 AM

Hi we are getting a tortoise table this week and just wondered what the best substrate to use is? Have found conflicting advice on the Internet....is playsand and topsoil mix the best? What about aspen? Have been using that pellety stuff but want his new home to be perfect......

Any advice please?

#2 Dean

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 01:14 PM

Hi speedy1310, :wave:

 

I was advised not to use sand as it can irritate your torts eyes. I have tried all over to get some top soil but unable to find any without additives.

 

What does everybody else use.

 

Cheers,

 

Dean.  



#3 mildredsmam

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 01:17 PM

hi the best substrate is just topsoil, I wouldn't add sand to it as it can irritate their eyes.

also water the soil regular so it doesn't get to dry. :)



#4 jay

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 02:07 PM

Hello

Like Karen says,sand can irritate there eyes its best to use just topsoil,a good topsoil i have come across from wyevale garden centre is wessex sterilised top soil.

Jayne



#5 Beermat89

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 04:44 PM

Yes definatly just topsoil or some soil from your garden is perfectly fine,
Matt

#6 Guest_Stella_*

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:02 PM

Try wicks for sterilised top soil .. X x x hugs x

#7 speedy1310

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:47 PM

Thank you for the replies - topsoil it is then :) super excited for his new table- hope he likes it!

Kirsty x

#8 mm0625

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 12:01 AM

Hi everyone, can use compost instead?
Thanks
Em x

#9 Freddy

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 10:02 AM

Hi everyone, can use compost instead?
Thanks
Em x

Hi Em,
If it is compost from a garden center it can contain chemicals and other additives and is unsuitable for torts.
Topsoil is the safest, most natural and best substrate to use. Hope this helps.
Take care.
Kind Regards
Freddy

#10 Beermat89

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:58 PM

Yes agreed freddy,
Composts contain fertilizers which can be very harmfull to animals.topsoil is the way forward,dont worry about sterilized topsoil as soil in nature isnt sterilized so just good old topsoil is good
Regards matt

#11 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:49 PM

Aspen is a possible alternative to topsoil and I have bought some to try it out in one my indoors set-ups. It looks and feels nice a nice material but I think it would work out quite expensive. I spent £20 on 40 litres of it which sounds like a lot, but once its spread out on a table or whatever it really isn't very much.

 

I'll see how we get on with the aspen.

I tried this around the time that hemp was popular. I found it not to be very good for thermoregulation and not good at holding moisture. I tried it too for hibernation boxes and changed it after a month as the torts using this were losing more weight. I think the density is all wrong for torts, more suitable to snakes etc. As you say, it's very expensive too. I binned mine and regretted buying such a large bail :(



#12 Beermat89

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 06:58 AM

Hi ozric,
Ive never thought to try aspen for tortoises,as i use lots of this stuff for my corn snakes but the reason i do use this for them is that cornsnakes have to have a dry enviroment,so i use this as it absorbs moisture and when they go toilet it makes it easy to clean out so im guessing it wont hold moisture well.
Regards matt

#13 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:18 AM

Thanks for that Sue. I'm just giving it a try, but when I saw the size of the bundle I got for £20 I was disappointed. :ohmy:

Yes, I thought that too. I never had a problem with hemp in the outdoor hides, but having seen a few reports on ingestion problems and one of a pair of mating tortoises getting into difficulty, stopped using it. Coconut holds together much better if you are looking for something lighter weight and is therefore more dense and better for thermoregulation ;)



#14 Guest_Wizzasmum_*

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:29 AM

The 'hair' is natural coconut fibre and perfectly harmless ;)



#15 ditzyangeluk

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Posted 06 October 2014 - 11:49 PM

I use topsoil but want to put some coco fibre into the bedding area of my Hermanns for a bit of warmth for them.  I know you wet it to expand it but can I then leave it to dry before putting in?



#16 Guest_SueBoyle (was wizzasmum)_*

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 07:30 PM

This is an old post, but will say there is no need to dry it out as this will draw moisture from the tortoise. Humidity is essential and drying it out will remove this. Unless you are using actual warm bedding it will not keep him warm as he is cold blooded, so no amount of substrate will warm him. Tortoises need to be cooler overnight and not kept warm like mammals ;) hope this helps.

#17 flashcharlton

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 08:41 PM

Iff just using garden soil how fine whould it have to be and how moist would you keep it

#18 wizzasmum

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 09:03 PM

Just water it the same as a plant pot so it is dry on top but moist below ground.




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