Help on creating indoor enclosure for hatchling

jags8307

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May 6, 2014
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League City, Texas
Need some help! Everyone has different ideas on the best substrate. Right now my hatchling is on forest bedding. I am not a fan of it because he has a hard time walking on it and it dries out fast. I was told not to put any hiding spots just to make the substrate high enough for him to burrow. Reason was so that he didn't tip himself over while I was at work during the day. I have seen many setting up really nice tropical looking enclosures with plants. Can anyone give me more ideas and what plants i can put in there. Personally I think the organic top soil mixed with orchard bark seemed like the best substrate suggestion. Of course when i mentioned that to the pet store i bought him from they said it was too messy and can cause respitory problems.
 

Yvonne G

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You forgot to mention what species your hatchling is. Different species = different requirements.

Yes, you are correct in stating that we each have our own favorite substrates. You have to learn what your baby needs to grow strong and healthy, then provide that however you can. I have had very good luck providing my tortoises with the correct environment using small grade orchid bark. I also like cypress mulch, but lately all I've found is too large for babies to walk on comfortably/safely.

Some of us like mixing coco coir with dirt, some like dirt. The choices are pretty much up to you and what you're going for.
 

jags8307

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League City, Texas
Do you have a place online where I can find some of the substrate you mentioned? Currently, my baby is in an aquarium. I am reading this might not be a good thing. It is a 36 long. One one side i have he UVB and heat because he/she always wants to be on the hot side. I do keep a shallow bowl of waer in here at all times. I mist it daily to keep a humidty level of 40-50%. Is it also common for hime to sleep majority of th day? Flash does get up from time to tim looking for food. Is it possible to overfeed? I know this is lik 20 questions but we are in love with his little guy and do no want anything to happen to him.

Also forgot to mention that the temp on hot side is 88 degrees. On the cool side around 76-77%
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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You want to get your humidity up to about 80% for Sulcata. Feed him twice a day as much as he will eat in about 20 minutes. I also use fine grade orchid bark. Put a hide in there for him, they need to feel safe and secure. My Sulcata is 16 yrs old and 150 pounds and he still sleeps in a hide in his shed. Baby tortoises are just like human babies and they sleep a lot. I personally kept my small Sulcata 95 degrees on the hot side and 75 on the cool.
Please don't listen to pet store employees, they are paid to sell you stuff you don't need, example, Forest floor..:)
Go to the Sulcata section and copy the Sulcata caresheet, that will help you a lot, for some reason this stupid laptop won't let me go there without losing what I have already typed...
Welcome to TFO and be sure to post some pix of your new baby and his habitat. Lots of keepers say glass tanks aren't good for them, but I have raised numerous babies in large glass aquariums. It's not the best way, but it's better than nothing. Consider making him a wood tort table...
Plant some wandering jew(edible) spider plant (edible) pothos(edible) and a bromeliad just because they are pretty...leave them in small pots then stick the pot down in the soil with the lip of the pot at substrate level. Here I got it...
http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/african-spurred-tortoise-sulcata-care-sheet.52524/
 

jags8307

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League City, Texas
Thank you so much for your reply! It has been very informative. I will gladly post some pics when I complete my enclosure setup.
 

jags8307

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League City, Texas
Now I'm wondering if I made the right choice? He seemed to have tracked some substrate into his food bowl!!! Is that ok????
 

Newo13

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I had started my hatchling off with a coco coir and top soil mix as well. He's almost 2 years old now and still using the same substrate mix because he loves it. He also tracks some into his food bowl. They are very messy. I put some larger flat rocks around his food bowl to help knock some of the dirt off so now he pulls some lettuce out of the bowl and eats it on top the dirt… I can never win.
 

Jhwells46

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Mar 10, 2014
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I would suggest ditching the plastic rock food dish, they tend to be a hazard for babies. They can get flipped over and can't get back out. I would just use the slab that it's sitting on for his food. If you're worried about tracking food into the food, perhaps put some warm moist sphagnum moss around it to act as a sort of "door mat" to clean the substrate off a bit before he reaches the food.
 

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