Russian tort substrate..

Kylee L.

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Mikeys enclosure is built!!! Now to fill it :) I have a bag of Eco earth, is any substrate better than another? ive read no sand and possibly just plain top soil....
 

DARKFIRE007

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I had such trouble with this when I was new...I mean I was sweating this question, some are harmful, some even fatal. To this day I use coco coir with no issues. It is digestible, is not ungodly muddy like top soil when wet (messy still but not bad) and it lasts a LONG time if kept clean. Cost is about 20 bucks for a big brick on ebay. You can expect to need 2 of those for the minimum 4x8 enclosure because it needs to be a good 4 inches deep. I would say replace every 6 months, every 3 if you have trouble keeping it clean.

Keep it moist but not soaking wet. Don't let it get so bone dry it gets dusty.

Repti/fir bark is great and they love to dig in it, but the repti brand is very expensive to try and fill a 4x8.
 

Kylee L.

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I had such trouble with this when I was new...I mean I was sweating this question, some are harmful, some even fatal. To this day I use coco coir with no issues. It is digestible, is not ungodly muddy like top soil when wet (messy still but not bad) and it lasts a LONG time if kept clean. Cost is about 20 bucks for a big brick on ebay. You can expect to need 2 of those for the minimum 4x8 enclosure because it needs to be a good 4 inches deep. I would say replace every 6 months, every 3 if you have trouble keeping it clean.

Keep it moist but not soaking wet. Don't let it get so bone dry it gets dusty.

Repti/fir bark is great and they love to dig in it, but the repti brand is very expensive to try and fill a 4x8.
awesome! that's what I got:) I've read the same about it that it's safe and stays clean. I have a friend with reptiles and she said she's tried some of the bark products and had trouble with bugs... so not doing that lol
 

Tom

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awesome! that's what I got:) I've read the same about it that it's safe and stays clean. I have a friend with reptiles and she said she's tried some of the bark products and had trouble with bugs... so not doing that lol
I prefer coco coir for baby Testudo, but find it too messy for adults. I switch to orchid bark once they get to around 3.5-4 inches.

The "bugs" come from the surrounding environment and colonize our tortoise enclosures because they are warm and damp. These "bugs" will show up no matter what substrate you use. They are harmless detrivores and I just ignore them.
 

Kylee L.

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I prefer coco coir for baby Testudo, but find it too messy for adults. I switch to orchid bark once they get to around 3.5-4 inches.

The "bugs" come from the surrounding environment and colonize our tortoise enclosures because they are warm and damp. These "bugs" will show up no matter what substrate you use. They are harmless detrivores and I just ignore them.
is that for an indoor enclosure as well??
 

jsheffield

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I use cypress mulch and orchid bark for my Russian and my redfoot....

Jamie
 

Tom

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is that for an indoor enclosure as well??
Indoors. Outdoors I just use the ground. Unless I'm using a tub or kiddie pool or something like that for babies. In that case it would be the same substrate choice as indoors.
 

Kylee L.

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Indoors. Outdoors I just use the ground. Unless I'm using a tub or kiddie pool or something like that for babies. In that case it would be the same substrate choice as indoors.
ok, he will be indoors for the most part
 

DARKFIRE007

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I use cypress mulch and orchid bark for my Russian and my redfoot....

Jamie
How do you afford that? Just a rough guess on the repti brand is pushing a hundred bucks...coco coir is the only affordable substrate I can find. Lowes and Home Depot basically look at me like I'm speaking a different language when I ask for it.
 

jsheffield

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How do you afford that? Just a rough guess on the repti brand is pushing a hundred bucks...coco coir is the only affordable substrate I can find. Lowes and Home Depot basically look at me like I'm speaking a different language when I ask for it.

I get big bags at home depot....

J
 

er9m

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I know that this thing about substrates was discussed a lot of times, but still i want to be sure, before choosing the right one. Here are some of them:

1. http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/plantation_soil.php

2. https://www.trixie.de/heimtierbedarf/en/shop/Reptile/TerrariumEquipment/Substrates/?card=26742

3. https://www.trixie.de/heimtierbedarf/en/shop/Reptile/TerrariumEquipment/Substrates/?card=203027

4. https://www.trixie.de/heimtierbedarf/en/shop/Reptile/TerrariumEquipment/Substrates/?card=26739

First of all, for me is my tortoise SAFETY. I mean, if he tries to eat substrate, which of these are digestible and won't make any harm to him?
Second, which of these will help easily maintain required humidity? Thank you for your help.
 

Tom

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How do you afford that? Just a rough guess on the repti brand is pushing a hundred bucks...coco coir is the only affordable substrate I can find. Lowes and Home Depot basically look at me like I'm speaking a different language when I ask for it.
Cypress mulch can be found in your part of the world for $3 for a 2.0 cu. ft. bag. The same size bag of orchid bark out here costs about $11. You are looking in the wrong places. Stay out of the pet shop.
 

Tom

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I know that this thing about substrates was discussed a lot of times, but still i want to be sure, before choosing the right one. Here are some of them:

1. http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/plantation_soil.php

2. https://www.trixie.de/heimtierbedarf/en/shop/Reptile/TerrariumEquipment/Substrates/?card=26742

3. https://www.trixie.de/heimtierbedarf/en/shop/Reptile/TerrariumEquipment/Substrates/?card=203027

4. https://www.trixie.de/heimtierbedarf/en/shop/Reptile/TerrariumEquipment/Substrates/?card=26739

First of all, for me is my tortoise SAFETY. I mean, if he tries to eat substrate, which of these are digestible and won't make any harm to him?
Second, which of these will help easily maintain required humidity? Thank you for your help.

First: What species and size tortoise are you housing?

1 and 4 are the same thing with a different label. Either is fine and safe, but very messy.
2 is soil. I wouldn't use soil.
3 is the same thing as 1 and 4, but its the chunky variety with larger pieces. I like this for some lizards and snakes, but not for tortoises.

Fine grade orchid bark works best for most species and most applications. Coco coir is good for baby Testudo.
 

er9m

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Thanks for reply, and sorry, i forgot to mention. Russian tortoise, adult, about 6 inches. Ok, i think orchid bark is the same as this forest bark

http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/forest-bark.php

am i right? if so, then maybe i could try it, but i'm afraid that my tortoise gonna swallow it and then there will be big problems.
 

Blackdog1714

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I use coco coir underneath and fine grade orchid bark (https://www.chewy.com/zoo-med-premi...XlMVF-UgFy8vdCTNashbe2lnDBlPp5VQaAnpPEALw_wcB) makes for very neat and the coco coir helps hold massive moisture. The fine grade goes unoticed by either my Leopard and my Russian. Cheaper combo to fill the full 3" minimum it would be exspensive. Gotta be a garden shop with bags of real cypress mulch that would be cheaper for being underneath.
 

Tom

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Thanks for reply, and sorry, i forgot to mention. Russian tortoise, adult, about 6 inches. Ok, i think orchid bark is the same as this forest bark

http://www.exo-terra.com/en/products/forest-bark.php

am i right? if so, then maybe i could try it, but i'm afraid that my tortoise gonna swallow it and then there will be big problems.
The exo terra product you linked is fir bark. That is the best stuff to use, but buying it from a pet shop will be stupidly expensive. You can get it in bulk at garden centers, much cheaper.
 

er9m

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The exo terra product you linked is fir bark. That is the best stuff to use, but buying it from a pet shop will be stupidly expensive. You can get it in bulk at garden centers, much cheaper.

Ok, so what about swallowing it? And how should i moisten this fir bark or plantation soil? All other terrarium or only on one side, for example, where is heating lamp? :)
 

DARKFIRE007

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Cypress mulch can be found in your part of the world for $3 for a 2.0 cu. ft. bag. The same size bag of orchid bark out here costs about $11. You are looking in the wrong places. Stay out of the pet shop.

Yea as I said, I have been to places like Home Depot and Lowes home improvement and crapped out. Where are you going to get those prices? Cypress is better in my opinion, fir stinks to high heaven and all the way back down to me when wet. Which is odd, it smells great when dry.
 

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