Help coco soil

cpl1307

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Hi,
Its been 3 weeks this coming Saturday, that I switched from bark to Damp Coco soil for my Russian. She just does seem happy to me. Shes not eating aswell, exploring as much as she was and when she does eat she get the soil all over her food. She constantly looks dirty and I know in the wild she would probably look like that anyway, but I feel its been too much of a change for her. You get to read your own Tortoise and I can just tell. Shes even only basking half way out her hide, which she has never done. The big question is do I change back?? I just know shes not happy and eating less and less.
Please tell me what you would do?
 

Tom

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Hi,
Its been 3 weeks this coming Saturday, that I switched from bark to Damp Coco soil for my Russian. She just does seem happy to me. Shes not eating aswell, exploring as much as she was and when she does eat she get the soil all over her food. She constantly looks dirty and I know in the wild she would probably look like that anyway, but I feel its been too much of a change for her. You get to read your own Tortoise and I can just tell. Shes even only basking half way out her hide, which she has never done. The big question is do I change back?? I just know shes not happy and eating less and less.
Please tell me what you would do?
If we are talking about an adult, damp orchid bark is the best substrate you can offer.

If this is a baby, coco coir is my preferred substrate, but you need a thick layer, and you need to hand pack it firmly. If you leave it loose or let it dry out, it is far too messy. Hand pack it, and then hand pack it some more. After about two weeks it settles in nicely... if you hand pack it.

Did I mention hand packing the coir down? If not, it needs to be hand packed. Just open your hand and flatten and smoosh it all down. Be sure it is damp, but not sopping wet.
 

wellington

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If it's an adult, you can put the orchid or fir bark over top the coir. In my opinion, this gives the best of both worlds.

And, don't forget to hand pack it lol
 

cpl1307

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If we are talking about an adult, damp orchid bark is the best substrate you can offer.

If this is a baby, coco coir is my preferred substrate, but you need a thick layer, and you need to hand pack it firmly. If you leave it loose or let it dry out, it is far too messy. Hand pack it, and then hand pack it some more. After about two weeks it settles in nicely... if you hand pack it.

Did I mention hand packing the coir down? If not, it needs to be hand packed. Just open your hand and flatten and smoosh it all down. Be sure it is damp, but not sopping wet.
 

TammyJ

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Definitely, for babies, hand pack it! Then fine grade orchid bark on top. Works well for older torts too.
 

cpl1307

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Ok, so I packed it and then REALLY packed it! Packed it some more, then just a small square brick and packed it again. I plan on packing it again tomorrow. To be honest, she actually come out to bask after a long soak in the bath. I put my hand in her hide and packed all that down aswell. She has gone to bed and dug it all out. Should I pack that down each day aswell. She turned 2 in November just gone, but she is really big for her age. 56g when I got her and 505g now.
 

Tom

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Ok, so I packed it and then REALLY packed it! Packed it some more, then just a small square brick and packed it again. I plan on packing it again tomorrow. To be honest, she actually come out to bask after a long soak in the bath. I put my hand in her hide and packed all that down aswell. She has gone to bed and dug it all out. Should I pack that down each day aswell. She turned 2 in November just gone, but she is really big for her age. 56g when I got her and 505g now.
Yes. Pack it again as needed. They like to dig it up and that is actually good for them mentally and physically, but do hand pack it back down after they dig it up each time. And keep it lightly damp by dumping water into it. How much water and how often varies with each enclosure and seasonally too. You have to go by feel. Spraying water on the surface does very little.
 

cpl1307

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Again t
Yes. Pack it again as needed. They like to dig it up and that is actually good for them mentally and physically, but do hand pack it back down after they dig it up each time. And keep it lightly damp by dumping water into it. How much water and how often varies with each enclosure and seasonally too. You have to go by feel. Spraying water on the surface does very little

Yes. Pack it again as needed. They like to dig it up and that is actually good for them mentally and physically, but do hand pack it back down after they dig it up each time. And keep it lightly damp by dumping water into it. How much water and how often varies with each enclosure and seasonally too. You have to go by feel. Spraying water on the surface does very little.
Again thank you Tom. I wouldn't know where to turn if not for this forum. Ive learnt everything I know from people on here! Godsends, Every one of you!
 
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