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Oyster shell, decomposed granite, orchid bark

Discussion in 'Egyptian tortoises' started by Salspi, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. Salspi

    Salspi Active Member

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    Oyster shell, decomposed granite, orchid bark are 3 of the most common recommended substrates for Egyptian torts. I’ve read different combinations of these 3 that keepers here use. I can’t decide which way to go. Is there an advantage to using DG over oyster shell? Should I mix in 25% orchid bark with whichever one I choose?

    It seems to me that DG has a bigger compaction risk but I have no experience with either. Please chime in with your opinion. Thank you!
  2. Longhorns1187

    Longhorns1187 Member

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    We're going to go with mainly oyster shell (at least 50%), some top soil, and some mason sand in our Egyptian tortoise enclosure. We picked up 50 lbs of Manna Pro Oyster Shell from Tractor Supply for $9.99.
  3. Salspi

    Salspi Active Member

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    That sounds like a decent price. I thought I read that sand was a no-no. I think I’m going to go 100% oyster shell. I was told that if it’s ingested it will dissolve and it’s actually just calcium.
  4. Longhorns1187

    Longhorns1187 Member

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    Yeah...I was expecting to pay quite a bit more for the Oyster Shell. It is a good mix of smaller and larger, roundish pieces, too. So, it should provide a good substrate for the Egyptians to walk around on and, like you said, not a big deal if they decided to snack on some (33-38% calcium). It's actually sold at Tractor Supply to be fed to birds to promote strong eggshells.

    Chris Leone, from Garden State Tortoise, just put out a care sheet on his Hermanni Haven website about the Egyptian tortoises a couple of days ago. He brings up the very topic of using sand in the "Substrate Choices". He does also mention people using 100% oyster shell, too. So, you can't go wrong doing that either. It has great overall information on the care of this species of tortoise and it is something we're going to model our enclosure/husbandry after. Definitely worth checking out.
  5. Salspi

    Salspi Active Member

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    I was just on his site and I didn’t see the Egyptian tortoise care. Must be very recent.
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