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Coconut substrate sticking to head/neck and slightly in shell

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosure Substrate' started by hmhardin, May 28, 2018.

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  1. hmhardin

    hmhardin New Member

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    I just got a redfoot tortoise a few days ago. She is doing great so far other than she keeps getting filthy from the coconut coir substrate. After she gets out of her water, the substrate is sticking to her and it is all over her head and in and around her neck. I rinsed her off this morning but she is just as dirty again. Do I keep trying to clean it out of these areas? I am sure that they will get dirty somewhat but it just seems like a lot of substrate caked to her neck and inside her shell so I am worried it is more than what would be considered normal.

    Thank you in advance for all the help. I am glad I found this forum as it looks to be a great source of information.
    Morty'sMamma likes this.
  2. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    Try getting the Coco coir wet and packing it down a little firmer with your hand.
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  3. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    This is why I don't usually use or recommend coco coir. I find fine grade orchid bark to be a much better substrate.
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  4. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I like peat moss (can get a giganto size package at Lowes for like 13.00 bucks) and wet it down and then once it absorbs the water (warm water) you can firmly press it down a few times and it will give a nice firm substrate....
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  5. Kapidolo Farms

    Kapidolo Farms Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I wholly agree with Tom. There are many substrates and I find coir not in the top group. I use orchid bark as Tom suggests, coco husk chunks, and cypress mulch. I use these with many species of neonate tortoises, no problems and no muddy-ness-mess.
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  6. crimson_lotus

    crimson_lotus Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I use coco coir but have never had this clumping issue. How wet is the substrate?

    I had cypress mulch before but had my tortoise poop out a piece of mulch and decided to change. Granted, I don't have as much experience as those that have commented. This is just my own observation.
  7. Loni

    Loni Member

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    Just saw an ad at the bottom of a forum page for Coco bedding and followed it. It looks courser than the coco coir. (pic of puppy and tort has to go though) Has anyone tried it? https://www.coco-barn.com/reptiles.html
    cbrep-4.jpg cbrt-1.jpg
  8. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Now see? That one on the left looks like ground up husks. I'd use that one. Reason I quit using the re-hydrated bricks of coco coir was the strings it contains. Well, that and the fact it stick to everything.

    I don't know about the price though. I'm unsure just how big a bag "25 quarts" is. And that bag costs $33. I buy a large bag of orchid bark (I think it's a 2 cu. ft. bag) for $10. I don't know how 25 quarts compares to 2 cu. ft.????
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
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  9. Loni

    Loni Member

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    The bag appears to measure 12-14 inches in the one photo and it looks to be about the same in height in this pic of the bag. No idea if it swells. They will ship to Canada so I am going to order a bag to try. I will let you know when it gets here. cbpy-1_1.jpg
  10. Loni

    Loni Member

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    The site says: One bag [ ~25 Quarts] is good enough to cover 15 sq.feet. Neglects to mention at what depth.
  11. Morty'sMamma

    Morty'sMamma New Member

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    Thank you! I’m definitely going to try this as well!
    Jay Bagley likes this.
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