Help! (substrate smells)

turbothetortoise808

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So I bought coco coir and orchid bark from the plant nursery...the orchid bark smells..it doesn’t say what’s in it..but the bag says “sequoia” orchid bark. I put my leopard tortoise in there and idk if he’s ok...should I take him out and put him in the other habitat?
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings.

With any “bark” product sold, you always want to make sure there are NO added fertilizers or other “good stuff” added for plants. These same additives that are good for plants are bad for torts (usually).

Did you give the bark a good soak in a bucket? Always good to soak any “orchid bark” to get it fully saturated before you add into your enclosure. It shouldnt really smell, other than a natural earthy aroma.

welcome. Post some pix of your tort, enclosure & your substrate.

PS - here’s the TFO bible on Leopard Care - https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threa...se-a-sulcata-leopard-or-star-tortoise.181497/
 

Tom

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So I bought coco coir and orchid bark from the plant nursery...the orchid bark smells..it doesn’t say what’s in it..but the bag says “sequoia” orchid bark. I put my leopard tortoise in there and idk if he’s ok...should I take him out and put him in the other habitat?
Sequoia bark is not orchid bark. Orchid bark is made from fir trees.

I would imagine that sequoia bark would be similar to redwood bark and I would not use that.
 

turbothetortoise808

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Greetings.

With any “bark” product sold, you always want to make sure there are NO added fertilizers or other “good stuff” added for plants. These same additives that are good for plants are bad for torts (usually).

Did you give the bark a good soak in a bucket? Always good to soak any “orchid bark” to get it fully saturated before you add into your enclosure. It shouldnt really smell, other than a natural earthy aroma.

welcome. Post some pix of your tort, enclosure & your substrate.

PS - here’s the TFO bible on Leopard Care - https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threa...se-a-sulcata-leopard-or-star-tortoise.181497/
no I didn’t soak the bark! I’m a new new tortoise owner lol..but I thought the coco coir was already moist?
 

Blackdog1714

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I googled Sequoia Orchid Bark and there website says Fir or Pine Bark. I would remove all the substrate as pine is no good! I use cypress bark with a thin layer of Reptibark to cover it. That is Eastcoast- on the west coast you can find Fine Fir Bark at garden centers in the large mulch bags.
 

Gijoux

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no I didn’t soak the bark! I’m a new new tortoise owner lol..but I thought the coco coir was already moist?
I've never seen coco coir moist in the bag. I've always had to add water to expand it out before placing it in the enclosure. Reptibark is the correct type of Orchid bark made to be sold in Pet Stores. It will be more expensive, but if it is all you can get than it will have to do. It looks like you are in Hawaii. We are having trouble, here on the west coast, finding Orchid bark, because all the lumbar mills have been shut down due to the Plandemic. What a joke!!! Good luck finding it.
 

TammyJ

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I've never seen coco coir moist in the bag. I've always had to add water to expand it out before placing it in the enclosure. Reptibark is the correct type of Orchid bark made to be sold in Pet Stores. It will be more expensive, but if it is all you can get than it will have to do. It looks like you are in Hawaii. We are having trouble, here on the west coast, finding Orchid bark, because all the lumbar mills have been shut down due to the Plandemic. What a joke!!! Good luck finding it.
Right. And I wonder why it's called Sequoia bark anyway if it's not sequoia, which I thought was illegal to use or the trees are protected? Not sure. But those sequoia forests are special and rare, right?
 

Gijoux

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Right. And I wonder why it's called Sequoia bark anyway if it's not sequoia, which I thought was illegal to use or the trees are protected? Not sure. But those sequoia forests are special and rare, right?
Sequoia Bark is Redwood Bark and has in the past been included in some Fir Bark mediums. Apparently it has been added, usually in small amounts, to other Fir Bark mixes to lower the pH, help with moisture retention, to reduce some soil-borne pests and, some thought, to increase the life of the mix. With Redwood being so rare I would be surprised if the whole bag was Redwood.
 

turbothetortoise808

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Right. And I wonder why it's called Sequoia bark anyway if it's not sequoia, which I thought was illegal to use or the trees are protected? Not sure. But those sequoia forests are special and rare, right?
i actually thought it was the name of the brand....sequoia orchid bark lol...I’m jus gonna get the reptibark for now...can I jus put the coco coir and then a layer of repti bark on top?
 

Gijoux

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i actually thought it was the name of the brand....sequoia orchid bark lol...I’m jus gonna get the reptibark for now...can I jus put the coco coir and then a layer of repti bark on top?
I first put my coco coir in a BIG tub and add the appropriate amount of water. It is a lot. Mix it all up so it is nice and moist. In my enclosure I use a 2 inch layer followed by another 2 inch layer of moistened Orchid bark. The coco coir will hold the moisture and the orchid bark top layer will dry out a bit. You can add water as needed to keep your humidity up. Other keepers just use orchid bark alone. Have fun.
 

turbothetortoise808

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I first put my coco coir in a BIG tub and add the appropriate amount of water. It is a lot. Mix it all up so it is nice and moist. In my enclosure I use a 2 inch layer followed by another 2 inch layer of moistened Orchid bark. The coco coir will hold the moisture and the orchid bark top layer will dry out a bit. You can add water as needed to keep your humidity up. Other keepers just use orchid bark alone. Have fun.
cool tysm! I was also wondering about the wattage of the lamps? Bcuz I got a UVB and UVA I think and then this 50w infrared basking spot light for nighttime...is that okay??
 

Tom

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does red light mess with his eyes?? What kind of light should I use for the night time?
Read this one. All of this and more is explained here:
 

turbothetortoise808

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does red light mess with his eyes?? What kind of light should I use for the night time?
Read this one. All of this and more is explained here:
Hiii I tried to read it but I kind of don’t understand it...what does the red light do to them?
 

Golden Greek Tortoise 567

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Imagine being in a room with red light everywhere it would make thing disoriented and strange. Also, tortoises like eating red things so with that red bulb makes everything look red so they will try to eat everything.
 

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