soil and coir VS mulch

smarch

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Franklin is my adult Russian tortoise, this sunday he's getting a new enclosure, so its also a time I can change substrate if I want.

When I first first got him he lived on the colored repti-sand stuff... terrible I know. So I quickly moved him to the next petstore stuff I liked- reptimulch (or as I now know cypress mulch)

Earlier this year I got eco-earth and mixed it with soil from my year to bulk it up cheaper.

So far I feel like the dirt coir mix is kind of a mess, gets tracked everywhere, sticks to him after using his water, smears up the sides of his tank (ok that ones more funny than annoying because I just don't get how he does that) It also packs down... he used to cover himself burrowing in the mulch but he doesn't get far in the dirt.

Are both just as good options? Will he be happy and healthy in both? or should I just stick with the dirt mix and add more coir when we make the switch because its less fine of a material than dirt?
 

smarch

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AND will my lil worms that came in with the dirt and live under the food dish be just as happy in more coir?
 

Yellow Turtle01

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All three are great! :D
I use exclusively coir, and I can see how soil AND coir together might be bit sticky... mulch definitely would not be! I used to Repti-Bark, and I didn't like the enormous chips (and IMHO, it didn't hold humidity as fabulously) but both are great substrates, and you can get both in bulk for cheap.
Just make sure the mulch specifies what wood it's made up of.
My worms did great in plain coir, I'm not sure what happened to them, though, because I never found/saw them after a few months. I think my russian ate them o_O
 

Tom

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I prefer orchid bark or coco chips for adult russians housed indoors. I never use soil or "topsoil".
 

Blkjkoknhrt

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IMG_0743.JPG IMG_0775.JPG I use Exo-Terra's "forest bark" type mulch (bark chips) mixed with crushed sphagnum/peat moss. Holds more water, still dries out on top, and isn't messy at all! The bark is expensive, but guaranteed to be chem-pest free. I've never got mold or bugs in years of using this and similar brands Munster digs in it easily and buries himself same place every night in that hide, and will sit and slumber half in and out soaking up the pseudo-Sun. IMG_0743.JPG
 

leigti

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For my Russian indoors I use a combination of orchid bark and coconut coir. I just mixed it altogether.
 
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