Organic soil

Deigo

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Hello,
I am getting ready to bring my desert tortoise in for the winter I have a wooden box they will be living in. My question is I used organic soil not top soil, I have the heat lamp about 12 inches from the soil with a few rocks that the light faces. Will the organic soil catch fire?
 

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Deigo

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This is the organic soil I used.
 

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Tom

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Hello,
I am getting ready to bring my desert tortoise in for the winter I have a wooden box they will be living in. My question is I used organic soil not top soil, I have the heat lamp about 12 inches from the soil with a few rocks that the light faces. Will the organic soil catch fire?
Soil should never be used as tortoise substrate. I've seen semi-composted pieces of toxic plants in the very brand you've got there. Soil of any type is made form composted yard waste. There is no way to know what is in it or if it is safe. Use fine grade orchid bark instead.

The heat lamp height needs to be set with a thermometer. If its hot enough to catch the substrate on fire, then it is WAY too hot to have over your tortoise. Plus, the substrate should remain damp.

Give this a read:
 

Deigo

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Dec 2, 2020
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Soil should never be used as tortoise substrate. I've seen semi-composted pieces of toxic plants in the very brand you've got there. Soil of any type is made form composted yard waste. There is no way to know what is in it or if it is safe. Use fine grade orchid bark instead.

The heat lamp height needs to be set with a thermometer. If its hot enough to catch the substrate on fire, then it is WAY too hot to have over your tortoise. Plus, the substrate should remain damp.

Give this a read:
Thanks for all the great info Tom. Does Home Depot sale the Orchid Bark and do you know what brand you use?
 

Isaiah C.

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Home Depot or other stores having it depends on your area. You just have to be careful with what you buy.

You can find ReptiBark in 24 QT bags online for anywhere between $10 to $20 bucks depending on the sales going on at the time. I just got two bags for about $30 from Chewy over the weekend. There is also an option called Forest Bark by Exo Terra that is the same thing, if you can find that cheaper.

Mayeb others will know more, but hope this helps!
 

Deigo

New Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2020
Messages
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Location (City and/or State)
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Home Depot or other stores having it depends on your area. You just have to be careful with what you buy.

You can find ReptiBark in 24 QT bags online for anywhere between $10 to $20 bucks depending on the sales going on at the time. I just got two bags for about $30 from Chewy over the weekend. There is also an option called Forest Bark by Exo Terra that is the same thing, if you can find that cheaper.

Mayeb others will know more, but hope this helps!
Thank you, I will check it out.
Thanks for all the great info Tom. Does Home Depot sale the Orchid Bark and do you know what brand you use?
Tom another question, I live by Tahoe and it gets really cold. Do you have any suggestions on hybernation?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Thank you, I will check it out.

Tom another question, I live by Tahoe and it gets really cold. Do you have any suggestions on hybernation?
I use whatever brand my local garden centers carry. I buy it in bulk for a fraction of the pet store price. Home Depot and Lowes usually don't have it near me, but some do in other parts of the country sometimes. OSH used to carry a good brand.

Here is the hibernation info. You can skip to post #19 if you like:
 
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