Another Substrate Thread

chosen2030

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I am just a little confused on what the best substrate mixture/combination is for my leopard tortoise indoor table. Some folks recommend coco coir, orchid bark, cypress mulch, additive free top soil, yard dirt, and/or peat moss. I'm sure this is at least in part attributable to the husbandry knowledge base growing/changing over time.

In case it helps, I live in Arizona where the humidity is quite low most of the year. So...what mixture and ratios of the abovementioned substrates would you recommend?
 

jeffjeff

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I like coco coir, never used any others except top soil but I'm not a fan of it any more as it always seems to have bits of crap in it. Even if its sold as 100% organic there's still no way to tell what actually went in to it.
 

Jodie

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I also use coco coir. After they get bigger and messier, I put coco husk fiber on top of the coco coir. Orchid bark would work, but I can only find small bag of it where I am.
 

chosen2030

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So that's 2 for plain coco coir. With all the different substrates I've heard folks talk about, gotta say I'm a bit surprised.
 

johnsonnboswell

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I don't have leopards, but I keep RTs, a hermann's and several box turtles. I prefer coconut coir mixed with finished compost from my garden. I adjust the proportions differently for the BTs than for the tortoises.
 

mike taylor

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I use coco choir with cypress mulch on top . This keeps the choir out of the water bowl . I use it for all my tortoises . Leopards ,sulcatas, and red footed tortoises the stuff holds moisture well .
 

Team Gomberg

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I used to use plain top soil with my leopards until I had 2 consecutive infestations of fungus mites. I then switched to plain coco coir and never looked back. I love the stuff.

For the babies, I would have patches of sphagnum moss on top of the coir, especially in corners and under plants for burrowing areas. But with the bigger ones, just plain coir.

Even now, my 3 year old/ 10" male has coco coir as his substrate in the outdoors heated tort house.
 

Tom

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I prefer orchid bark. I find it works best for sulcatas and leopards. I don't like coco coir for them because its too messy. Cypress mulch is fine too, but I don't like the extra step of having to rinse and clean it before use.

I don't recommend any sort of "top soil" since there is no way to know what it is.

Peat moss is too messy.

Yard dirt is fine if yours is of suitable composition. All of my tortoises live on the outside dirt once they move out.
 

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