Question About substrate moisture

BobbyJ

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Mar 14, 2015
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ive had a redfoot for About a week .. He's small and in a 4 ft by ~2 ft enclosure right now ..my question is how wet should his substrate be . I use cypress mulch and I try to keep it very wet on the side where his light is .. And just damp on the shade side .. Is this correct ? If not how wet should the mulch be to keep him happy .. Thanks
 

leigti

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The top layer should be allowed to be relatively dry with the layers underneath damp. Could you give us some pictures of your tortoise in the enclosure? We love pictures around here and experienced Redfoot keepers can offer suggestions and information. Welcome to the forum.
 

tortdad

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Redfoots are prone to shell rot so you've got to be careful about how wet you make the sub straight. We all have different ways of making it happen but you want the bottom layer to be wet but the top layer to be dryer. Think damp like a forest floor, not like a swamp. I have soil under my mulch so when I add water I do it in the corners of my enclosure. I push the bark out of the corner and pour water on the soil, then push the bark back in place. Other members have mulch under their soil and do the same as me. The amount of water you need will mostly depend on wether your enclosure is a closed chamber or open top. Which do you have?
 

BobbyJ

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These are pictures of my enclosure .. I glued two storage bins together so that he won't be able to climb out .. I have the cypress mulch so what I did was I made the bottom layer wet .. Then put down a fresh later which is pretty much damp .. Not actually soaking wet though .. What do you guys think
 

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BobbyJ

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I put a cover on 75% of the thing and then the lamp is over the 25% that's mt covered
 

leigti

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Add some life plants, it's good to keep humidity up and it also give the tortoise somewhere to hide so they feel safe.
 

BobbyJ

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Do you know what type to add .. Because I don't want him to eat some and then be sick
 

leigti

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You can try hostas or spider plants. See if any friends have some that don't have pesticides or fertilizers on them are in their soil. You can also get herb plants, they probably won't eat them but they can hide under them. If Buy plants at the store read plant them into your enclosure, but make sure you rinse off the plants and the roots thoroughly. If you have an organic nursery that is great or you can grow your own.
 

leigti

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Some people say pothos are poisonous others say no problem. I have use them with my box turtle and my Russian with no problems.
 

BobbyJ

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I just put organic potting soil under the mulch ... Humidity gage is still giving me. Good reading at 75 % ... And he's not walking around on a wet floor anymore .. I've only had him for one week and he still has not eaten anything .. Is that normal?
 

HLogic

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Some people say pothos are poisonous others say no problem. I have use them with my box turtle and my Russian with no problems.

Pothos are not poisonous but they have an elevated oxalate concentration.
 

Chenderson

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I also corner pour. However I do over mist around basking lamp, as the substrate dries quite quickly, and a nice boost of humidity when I get home from work. Plus the cruel side of my likes to wet my tortoise when shes basking :p
 
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