Cypress Mulch blend okay?

Hjmledman

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I usually buy cypress mulch from Home Depot for the substrate in my red foot tortoise tank . This time, they only had a cypress mulch "blend." I tried to look for ingredients, and it only said cypress mulch and other natural wood. I put it in his tank, and he dug a hole and buried himself in it. But his eyes look like they might be watering. Has anyone use the cypress mulch blend? And does it have bad stuff in it? Also, what should I look for to tell if the substrate is causing him problems? Thanks for any help!
 

Yvonne G

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If it's blended with pine or cedar it might be bad, but unless you can tell by the smell, I guess there's no way to know.
 

Hjmledman

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Thanks y'all. Any ideas what kind of problems are caused by pine or cedar?
 

Tidgy's Dad

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The oils in the pine seem to affect tortoises eyes. Pine is toxic to them.
Cedar is also toxic, but here I understand it's because of fumes given off by the chippings, most notably when they are heated.
 

Hjmledman

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Oh wow! Thanks! I have already taken him out of the substrate. He was whistling to me at night, which he rarely does. Usually he whistles in the mornings or when he wants out for a trek around the yard in the afternoons. I figured something was amiss. Maybe the fumes were getting to him. He's soaking in his water bowl happily now! Ha! I'll track down some pure cypress mulch tomorrow. Thanks again everyone!
 

Hjmledman

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Thanks for the links!! Yes, he whistles! But not chronic, ongoing wheezing from illness. He has simply figured out how to whistle at us when he wants out or wants food, or wants to be pet. Yes, this crazy tortoise is like a dog and loves to be pet on his neck and head. Will actually "beg" by coming over to your foot and rubbing his nose against you till you pet him. Awesome little guy!

He's ten years old and has been whistling at us for about six years. I've taken him to our reptile vet, who fortunately for us happens to be a renowned tortoise expert, and asked him about the whistling. He checked him out and said he's definitely got us trained! Haha! Apparently, tortoises can make several sounds to communicate with us. I'm convinced my guy sometimes just says hi. Sometimes, when he's full, had his trek in the yard, and doesn't need a thing, he just whistles three or four times when we walk in the room. Then he's done. He burrows down in the substrate and doesn't want a thing. He's hilarious!

But thank you so much for the links! I certainly did a lot of things wrong over the years when we first got him. And when he first started whistling, I did freak out!
 

Hjmledman

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Just tossing this out one more time. Anyone else use the Home Depot cypress mulch blend and found it to be fine? I'm second guessing myself now. Maybe I've always bought a blend and not realized it. I have looked up other bags of cypress mulch and can't see anything that looks familiar other than that No Float brand.
 

zovick

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If you live in FL, you can buy Eucalyptus Mulch at Lowe's and Home Depot. It is what I have used as a substrate for 40 years. Unfortunately a couple of years ago, Scott's bought the company which had been producing it for as long as I can remember and immediately stopped selling the product in all states except FL. Below is a photo of the 2 cubic foot bag which usually priced at $3.33. Additionally, if you go on the Scott's web site there is a section called "Where to Buy" which should tell you the stores in your area which have it when you enter your zip code.

Here is a link to that section of the site: https://www.scotts.com/smg/gocat/nature-scapes-mulch-products/cat10800004

US-Scotts-Florida-Select-Eucalyptus-Mulch-Natural-87852960-Alt01-Lrg.png
 
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