Another Substrate Question for Egyptians - Oyster Shell Wash? Orchid Bark? Enclosure Size?

Cowgirl

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I have another substrate question in preparation for receiving my young egyptians. When using Oyster Shell (Manna Pro from Tractor Supply) do I have to wash it before putting it in the enclosure? I am wondering how to wash and dry a large quantity because my enclosure is pretty big 8’ x 30” wide. The product says it has been “heat treated”. Also, for those of you using this substrate, are you putting another material under the Oyster Shell and if so please elaborate.

Has anyone had experience using Orchid Bark for either young or mature Egyptians? If so please elaborate.

My second question has to do with the size of the enclosure. I will be housing five, all under 6 months of age, in the same enclosure. I realize that as they mature I might not be able to keep them together. I am asking about their space right now. My enclosure is a Smart Closed Chamber Enclosure 8’ long x 30” wide. Should I reduce the space they have to move around in or will they be comfortable in the big area? I can easily create a barrier to make the enclosure smaller until they are a little bigger. I will of course have hides and plants to give them places to hide.

I know I am probably overthinking every detail but I want to give them the best life possible.
 

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