best type of substrate??

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jobeanator

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i was wondering since im going be doing my preparation of cleaning there enclosures out and getting them ready for winter. ive been using the sand mixture but knowing this could cause impact to the tortoise if digested. what does everyone use for sulcatas substrate? eco earth or what? let me know
 

purpod

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Altho I do not own a sulcata, I have heard about using various grasses as well as the sand you can buy retail that will not cause impaction {of course, depending on the size of your critter, that could get quite costly: I think PetCo sells them for $9.00 a bag}

You might wanna direct your question to Robyn, or one of the other Administrators; they are on top of it ~

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evin

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50 pound bags of playsand cost around 4 bucks at homedepot i use it in two of my aquatic tanks, bed a beast completely dried or eco earth is a good option and works well mixed with sand, i know many people on the forum use aspen wood shavings too
 

jobeanator

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yeah i thought about using the eco earth substrate that is available.. i use reptilite which says on the bag that it doesnt hurt the animal if ingested but i heard that was a bunch of false information. purpod do you know what its called that they offer at petco? i go there on a regular basis. also does anyone know if you can mix any types of sand with the eco earth? let me know
 

Crazy1

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Hi jobeanator, Sand, dirt, rocks, aspen can all cause impaction if enough is eaten. Since Sullys like to dig I used dirt, yep plain old outside in my back yard dirt. packed it down then added a little Timothy hay to the top so the sully can hide or eat it. Feed on a tile or slate so that they are not injesting the dirt. This also will help keep a little moisture in when you mist occasionally.
Bed a beast and sand mixed about 50/50 works well also but bed a beast tends to hold moisture more and for me bothered my allergies. I now have all my greeks that are inside on aspen shavings. it is not dusty but it also does not hold moisture so if you use aspen make sure you have a humid area for it like sphargum moss in its hide or a sponge secured to the top of the hide.
I am no expert this is just what worked for me when I was fostering a sully. Perhaps other Sulcata owners will respond.
 

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All of my desert-type tortoises live outside, so I don't have to use substrate (I have rubber horse-stall mats in their houses). But my sister has desert-type tortoises that she keeps inside up in Oregon. She uses Wonderbark (brand) orchid bark. It is a sterile, fertilizer and pesticide-free product that people use to grow orchids in. It can be used either dry (which is a bit dusty), or dampened. It doesn't become sour if allowed to stay wet for too long a time, and is easy for the tortoises to walk on. It doesn't cause impaction if ingested. The thing she likes about it is she can moisten it, stir it all up with her hand for uniform water coverage, and the hot lights dry out the main body of the habitat, but it stays slightly moist inside the hide.

If I ever have a desert-type tortoise that for whatever reason has to be put into an indoor habitat, I use oat hay pellets. This is frowned upon now-a-days by most tortoise-keepers because it is too dry for the animal. However, it does not cause impaction, is easy for them to walk on and easy to clean up. I just have to soak the habitat-kept tortoise more frequently because of the dry habitat. Also, because this is not a long-term thing with the tortoise, it doesn't have an adverse effects on the animal.

Yvonne
 

evin

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buying sand from a pet shop is really not worth it, they can still become impacted eating it. that is very rare and if your tort doesnt walk around scooping sand in his mouth you have nothing to worry about. just feed them on somthing like a tile or dish and there should be no problem i kept my sulcata in sand for a long while and he is going strong, right now i mix eco earth with play sand and my little guy is loving it
 

Crazy1

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Yvonne, I would worry about it being a fir bark. What type of torts and the ages that she keeps on this and are they on it long term?
 

Yvonne G

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Crazy1 said:
Yvonne, I would worry about it being a fir bark. What type of torts and the ages that she keeps on this and are they on it long term?
We have both used Orchid Bark for about 15 years for our hatchling desert tortoises, sulcatas, Manouria and box turtles.

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mtdavis817254

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Crazy1 said:
That's great to know thanks Yvonne.
i use timothy hay.. they eat it and it is good for them... you can get a bail at a feed store for 10 dollars.. sand is bad.... it is prickily so you need to cut it up but it is worth it.. timothy hay is the absolute best for hatchling sulcatas....
 

evin

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sand has a bad rep, i personally like it and it works well mixed with something like topsoil or eco earth which is a more realistic substrate (altough not spot on) than hay because sulcatas dont live on hay in the wild
 

drgnfly2265

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I use timothy hay for Bowser's bedding. It's like a dual purpose bedding. Bowser can eat it or just lay on it.

___________________________________________________________

Jamie

1 Sulcata (Bowser)

www.myspace.com/bowsertortoise

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purpod

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We have both used Orchid Bark for about 15 years for our hatchling desert tortoises, sulcatas, Manouria and box turtles.

Yvonne
That sounds very good, Yvonne, can one purchase orchid bark at a 'Green Thumb" or other such nursery? I think I would like to add some of that to my outdoor enclosure, when I sprinkle my seeds down, as a top soil of sorts..

Thanx Dear!
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Yvonne G

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purpod said:
That sounds very good, Yvonne, can one purchase orchid bark at a 'Green Thumb" or other such nursery? I think I would like to add some of that to my outdoor enclosure, when I sprinkle my seeds down, as a top soil of sorts..
Purpod[/font][/size][/color]
The only place I've found it is a Orchard Supply Hardware. It is Wonderbark brand. However, Cypress mulch is almost as good. Cypress mulch is hard to find here on the west coast. Some folks have said you can buy it at Lowe's, however my Lowe's here in Clovis, doesn't carry it. I have found small bags listed as T-Rex Cypress Bed at Petsmart, but for the amount of tortoises I keep, the small bag isn't economical for me to buy.

Yvonne
 

purpod

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Xllnt, thanx a bunch ~ there's an OSH less than 5 minutes driving time.

You rock!
Thanx again,
Purpod
 

K9KidsLove

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Hi...I get large bags of Cyprus mulch from Home Depot.
Patsy
 

elevatorjunky

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I used orchid bark in an aquarium and it killed and made sick all my fish.Come to find out it leaches arsenic in good doses into the water.It took me a year to figure that out.I have in turn never really forgave the stuff.It is probobally fine dry or not being breathed in under water.I still would not personally use it.Just make sure never to put it in an aquarium.
 

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elevatorjunky said:
I used orchid bark in an aquarium and it killed and made sick all my fish.Come to find out it leaches arsenic in good doses into the water.It took me a year to figure that out.I have in turn never really forgave the stuff.It is probobally fine dry or not being breathed in under water.I still would not personally use it.Just make sure never to put it in an aquarium.
When I buy a bag of Orchid Bark I put it into a 5 gallon bucket of water to rinse the dust out of it. Since I know first hand that the bark floats, I think you are talking about a different product. Why would you want a product that floats in an aquarium? Orchids won't grow if there is any pesticide or fertilizer or any toxins in their substrate. That's why its good to use for reptiles...because its a "clean" product.

Yvonne
 

elevatorjunky

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emysemys said:
elevatorjunky said:
I used orchid bark in an aquarium and it killed and made sick all my fish.Come to find out it leaches arsenic in good doses into the water.It took me a year to figure that out.I have in turn never really forgave the stuff.It is probobally fine dry or not being breathed in under water.I still would not personally use it.Just make sure never to put it in an aquarium.
When I buy a bag of Orchid Bark I put it into a 5 gallon bucket of water to rinse the dust out of it. Since I know first hand that the bark floats, I think you are talking about a different product. Why would you want a product that floats in an aquarium? Orchids won't grow if there is any pesticide or fertilizer or any toxins in their substrate. That's why its good to use for reptiles...because its a "clean" product.

Yvonne
I used it to cover the glass on the back of the aquarium and some filter parts.I attached the small pieces with silicone.It looked real good and turned the water that perfect brown tint to simulate the South american rivers.I found how it poisons the aquarium water from a old book"this was before i had a computer".But enough about fish.I searched on the internet and apparently a lot of animals like it and I can find nothing of it being poisonous to reptiles.I have always found all my substrates and decore from builder supplies and in the wild.That was the only time it didnt turn out well so far.
 
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