New sulcata owner!

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New Member
5 Year Member
Aug 10, 2011
New sulcata owner, don't have a name for him/her yet, but I was wondering. What's the best substrate for a Sulcata? From reading there are lots of different kinds to use, but what's the most general substrate? This PETCO care sheet I was given to when I bought him/her from said to use alfalfa pellets because tortoises pretty much eat everything.

I also know that Sulcata's need to eat grass besides collard greens and I came across a website that sold Kaytee Bermuda Grass for tortoises. Wasn't too sure about it, so I figured I'd ask before giving it to mine.

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Jan 23, 2008
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hi thedude:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

May we know your name and where you are?

The Kaytee grass hay is very hard and stiff (old and dry). I like to use cypress mulch or orchid bark, but others use a mixture of soil/sand, or coconut coir/sand. There are many that work ok, just get something that you can moisten. I guess I should have asked how big is your sulcata. They really need to be outside, then the substrate question is moot. But if a baby, then my preference is as stated above.


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
5 Year Member
Sep 5, 2007
Location (City and/or State)
Foothills above Sacramento CA
Start reading here in the sulcatas section... then read some more.. ask questions....
NO rabbit pellets... they dont provide good traction and they mold..
Give your tort a good warm water soak asap... most pet stores keep them way too dry..
go to the store and buy some Spring mix salad greens... babies dont and wont eat hay yet. You can wet the greens and
cut up the hay and sprinkle it over the greens,, that way they get used to it..
Get a Cuttle bone, they are in the bird section. Its great calcium.
your tort will need real sunshine.. so be prepared to provide that..
If the pet store sold you a Coil type bulb.. TAKE IT BACK!
Cypress Mulch is a good substrate.. or 'clean' dirt form outside even...
They need humidity... not bone dry..
ok that is enough for now. :)
welcome... you have found the Best place on the Web for current info on your new tort!!!!!
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