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kleinmanni substrate

Discussion in 'Egyptian tortoises' started by dezaxatul, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. dezaxatul

    dezaxatul New Member

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    Hello,

    I will receive an adult pair of testudo kleinmanni tomorrow.

    I'm quite scared of sand (due to impaction, eye irritation, etc) and I was wondering if this substrate would be good for them:
    http://www.aquadeco.com/en/aquarien/g-042-korallenkies-m/

    It's the only alternative similar to crushed oyster shell that I can find in my country. Would it be safe to use it? Are there better alternatives that would facilitate nesting?

    Would 100% sand be better?
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    I don't keep Egyptians, but I've seen quite a few folks keep them on oyster shell.

    @Will @tortadise ?????
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  3. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    DG or decomposed granite, or course sand like the base for fine sand when making a brick patio. Fine play sand is annoying and I agree sticks to everything. I mix in fine grade 'orchid' bark or coco husk chunks for some humidity kind of holding capacity.

    This is at about a 2/3 course sand fine gravel to 1/3 orchid bark. ABOUT is the key word there I don't actually measure it.

    I routinely dump water near but not directly under where the heat source is (for one group) so if they want they can have higher humidity air to breath. Their natural range is more or less restricted to where a marine air layer can come in over the land at night as heat rises off the hot substrate where they live. Reduced night time temps into the 60'sF is very agreeable with them. Two other groups that don't have a specific heat source I dump water at one end, and have hides with sphagnum moss that is kept slightly moist. They push down into the moist end of the enclosure to sleep or into the sphagnum.

    They use burrows under shrubs where by default there is slightly higher humidity and evaporation cooling. The first group I got I kept too warm at first and they have grown slow. The second and third group only have ambient temperature changes, no 'hot spot' and they are growing much better. The first slow growing group does use a 50 watt IR heat lamp, but only for about 20 minutes or so at a time. The ambient guys have a slightly different routine, but look much better. They eat mid day, not early morning like the heat lamp group.
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  4. tortadise

    tortadise Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    yep. WIll summed it up quite well.
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  5. dezaxatul

    dezaxatul New Member

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    Thank you very much! I went to the nearest store and got 2 bags of coarse sand. I'll mix it with some coco bark, as suggested.

    Just got the tortoises as well.
    They look very well, but they do not move too much (just respiratory movements) and don't open their eyes (eyes are not sunken). As I'm writing this, the female just opened her eyes and appered to be extremely scared of me. Male appears to be sleeping. Update: male opened eyes as well.

    I'm afraid not to stress them even more so I'm trying to handle them as little as possible.

    Male has very little watery/clear secretion on his left nostril which appeared to dissapear within 60min at 27degrees C. I'll increase it even further, gradually.

    I know they are used to harsh/dessicating environements but they look dehydrated to me. I'll be back with some pictures.

    Should I soak them?

    PS: I will NOT keep them in that box, that's what they came in. I will put them sparately, in exo terras for now. And they are not WC, got papers and everything in order.


    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
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  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    It might be the pine shavings that is affecting their eyes. I would soak them for at least a half hour just to get them hydrated and cleaned out after being in the pine shavings.

    (Those are awfully pretty tortoises!)
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  7. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Those are very good looking Egyptians.
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  8. dezaxatul

    dezaxatul New Member

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    Thank you very much for your answers!
    I took them out, bath 30min.
    I've put them in a temporary enclosure (60x30) for 24-48h until their terrariums are ready (I plan on splitting them for now, I'm afraid of bullying).

    They didn't eat yet. Very scared and sleepy. Male does not move (only respiratory movements), stays in his shell with eyes closed (not sunken) and has watery secretions on his nostrils (couldn't hear wheezing yet).

    I'm worried. Should I be worried? Should I look for a vet or wait a bit longer? (there are very few tortoise keepers in my country, therefore close to none well prepared vets).

    In the temporary enclosure (not the one in the pictures), they have 30-32C(86-90F) under the basking spot and 26C (78F) ambient temperature.
    Humidity is 45% because I didn't put sand yet (they are on paper towels at the moment, but I will not keep them like that more than 24-48h).

    Any suggestion would be highly appreciated!
  9. Adam Gonzales

    Adam Gonzales New Member

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    If you don't mind me asking, where did you get them from?
  10. Philocacti

    Philocacti New Member

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    Hi

    In Egypt, most tortoises (kleinmanni, Graeca) (almost all are wild caught) has the runny nose. It's very difficult to get rid of it. But if you have access to vet that specializes in reptiles, maybe they can help.

    I read sand is not a good substrate. If you're in the states, they have reptibark. You can mix it with some top soil and use it as a substrate.
  11. Salspi

    Salspi Active Member

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    How are the tortoises doing?
  12. Salspi

    Salspi Active Member

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    So 2/3 decomposed granite gravel and 25%orchid bark is the preferred substrate?
  13. Salspi

    Salspi Active Member

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    So are you saying that we Shouldnt use a basking spot of 100 degrees to get better growth and healthier torts? What temp was the first group kept? And, what did you drop the temp to for the second and third group?
  14. ahmed helmy

    ahmed helmy Member

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    i'm using peatmoss mixed with sand
    2:1
    for years now and it's fine
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