Bioactive retrofit


New Member
Dec 1, 2017
Location (City and/or State)
Broomfield, CO
Hi all! My rescued Russian is doing great! Took her to the vet, got a little beak trim and a clean bill of health! So, since her setup was put together in a somewhat hurried manner, I am going to do some bioactive retrofit to the tub. The substrate is 50%ish play sand and 50%ish sphagnum moss, Coco fiber and top soil (read all the left over stuff from other setups).
I'm reading up plants to add as well as mealworms for cleanup crew.
Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated [emoji3]
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Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
I wouldn't add mealworms as a clean-up crew. They soon turn into beetles, and I'm not so sure they're a good garbage disposal. Isopods and springtails are a better choice. Also, I'm not so fond of any kind of sand. I know we used to support sand mixed with other things, but I don't like to take the chance of accidental ingestion, as sand causes impaction.

Just remember, most of what you read here on the forum about pyramiding and closed chambers and humid environment refers mainly to sulcatas, redfoots and leopards. Russians are a whole other ball game. Read this for more info:

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