Leopard Tortoise substrate help!

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nchan94

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Hi guys,

Currently i'm just using coconut fiber as a substrate for my Leopard turtles. I mixed in some grass as well as part of the substrate.

In the past I used a 50/50 mixed of coconut fiber and sand, but past posts said the sand would be harmful if consumed.

I want to know whether just using coconut fiber is a good choice?

I also want to get a straight answer from someone whether consuming the coconut fiber would hurt the turtles?

Thanks,
 

BeeBee*BeeLeaves

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Coco coir and coco bark are what I use and it truly is wonderful substrate. It keeps the habitat humid (I have a 2 month old). I have read, I believe it was the very wise Yvonne that said if per chance it gets eaten, nothing bad happens. Just be sure to keep your tortoise hydrated (Hot-Humid-Hydrated) so that things move along, if you will. Another member, Neal, said in another thread that he cleans it every few months with boiling water. Put in a bucket pour boiling water, wait until it cools, then strain and return. He said he has had his substrate for 2 years now. It sounds that it is as good as new doing this kind of maintenance. The cool thing is you can add it to your plants when it gets really old, as mulch. Also, if it gets little bugs at some point, some mebers have had this concern, you can clean it, again with the boiling water, strain and good as new return to habitat. The bugs however will not harm your tortoise according to another member, I think it was Jen/LLLReptile. Also, just so you know, my Target store (if in the USA) had bricks of it in by the the seed rack in the garden section, by Burpee, for only 2.47 a block. Such a deal. I have attached a picture of the packaging. They also had some cool seeds to plant, like a lettuce mix, collard greens, arugula and cat grass. I planted cat grass in my habitat - sprinkled some seeds in a corner and covered with the coco - for my little one to forage. It looks great. Sprouted right away. I believe "cat grass" is either oats or wheat. It looks like perfect grass blades. Suppose to be very healthy for pets. My little leopard thinks he is a grown up, all foraging for food, lol. Run don't walk and stock up like I did. Hope this helps. : )
 

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nchan94

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5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
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BeeBee*BeeLeaves said:
Coco coir and coco bark are what I use and it truly is wonderful substrate. It keeps the habitat humid (I have a 2 month old). I have read, I believe it was the very wise Yvonne that said if per chance it gets eaten, nothing bad happens. Just be sure to keep your tortoise hydrated (Hot-Humid-Hydrated) so that things move along, if you will. Another member, Neal, said in another thread that he cleans it every few months with boiling water. Put in a bucket pour boiling water, wait until it cools, then strain and return. He said he has had his substrate for 2 years now. It sounds that it is as good as new doing this kind of maintenance. The cool thing is you can add it to your plants when it gets really old, as mulch. Also, if it gets little bugs at some point, some mebers have had this concern, you can clean it, again with the boiling water, strain and good as new return to habitat. The bugs however will not harm your tortoise according to another member, I think it was Jen/LLLReptile. Also, just so you know, my Target store (if in the USA) had bricks of it in by the the seed rack in the garden section, by Burpee, for only 2.47 a block. Such a deal. I have attached a picture of the packaging. They also had some cool seeds to plant, like a lettuce mix, collard greens, arugula and cat grass. I planted cat grass in my habitat - sprinkled some seeds in a corner and covered with the coco - for my little one to forage. It looks great. Sprouted right away. I believe "cat grass" is either oats or wheat. It looks like perfect grass blades. Suppose to be very healthy for pets. My little leopard thinks he is a grown up, all foraging for food, lol. Run don't walk and stock up like I did. Hope this helps. : )

2 of my 1 month old leopard tortoise don't seem to enjoy the dirt so much :S they keep trying to remove the dirt from their face. What should i do?
 

critters88

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I use organic peat moss and cypress mulch and it hold mosture well and keep the humidity up there.
 

BeeBee*BeeLeaves

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Location (City and/or State)
Orange County, So Cal
It might be too dry. Try spraying it down a little more. I had that happen too but once I used the spray bottle and made it wetter, no problem. Oh and I patted it down with my hand after I got it wetter. I am sure I read that tip on this forum Remember to keep it warm. The humid has to have hot so that tortoise is happy. Hope this helps.
 

nchan94

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Mar 20, 2013
Messages
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BeeBee*BeeLeaves said:
It might be too dry. Try spraying it down a little more. I had that happen too but once I used the spray bottle and made it wetter, no problem. Oh and I patted it down with my hand after I got it wetter. I am sure I read that tip on this forum Remember to keep it warm. The humid has to have hot so that tortoise is happy. Hope this helps.

Ill try that thanks!
 
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