Substrate for a newbie!

Philip Rome

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Hi, Philip is starting to look better, or at least he is showing more personality !

I’ve been reading about the right substrate for a Greek, but we have a different set up .

Originally I bought a sand mix from the reptile centre... as recommended, but my instinct was not good for this.

I also got some small chips..... again, I’m not sure

Philip has no use of his back legs, so drags himself along with his front legs and tummy.

He was finding the chips difficult to move on, so we got some coir matting which give him more traction to get around.

So he currently has choir matting, which we change and wash every time to soils.... is this OK for a Greek? I kind of feel I need to do what is right for his disability, but I never spray or mist the coir.... should we?

I do keep one third as the chips, and he doesn’t dig, so I’m hoping he just isn’t a digger so is t worried about the coir.

I would be a lot easier if they talked to you !!

Mary
 

Ben02

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Hi, Philip is starting to look better, or at least he is showing more personality !

I’ve been reading about the right substrate for a Greek, but we have a different set up .

Originally I bought a sand mix from the reptile centre... as recommended, but my instinct was not good for this.

I also got some small chips..... again, I’m not sure

Philip has no use of his back legs, so drags himself along with his front legs and tummy.

He was finding the chips difficult to move on, so we got some coir matting which give him more traction to get around.

So he currently has choir matting, which we change and wash every time to soils.... is this OK for a Greek? I kind of feel I need to do what is right for his disability, but I never spray or mist the coir.... should we?

I do keep one third as the chips, and he doesn’t dig, so I’m hoping he just isn’t a digger so is t worried about the coir.

I would be a lot easier if they talked to you !!

Mary
I use orchid bark for adults, have you spoken to a vet about his legs?
 

Philip Rome

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We have been seeing a great vet.

He will be having second blood tests in 22nd to see if the love and attention we are given him in the last month has undone some of the poor times he must have had before . We need his uric acid to half to be anywhere normal.

The vet says he could have gout, but noted that after a week of fluid therapy his back legs did feel a bit better. She doesn’t think he will use them again, but we have him on a strict diet and calcidust.

Will coir matting be bad for him? I’ll look into orchid bark..... did I see there are different types?
 

Bee62

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Hi Mary. The best substrate is garden soil ( no potting soil please ! ) that is not treated with any chemicals because it is natural for a tort.
Sand can cause constipation. Small chips are too difficult when a tort only can use the front legs.
You can mist the soil of your garden as well for humidity and it will be easier for Philip to walk.
 

Bee62

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I use orchid bark for adults, have you spoken to a vet about his legs?
Orchid bark is great for "normal" tortoises. But when a tortoise is disabled and only can use the front legs it`ll be too difficult to walk on orchid bark.
 

Philip Rome

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Hi Mary. The best substrate is garden soil ( no potting soil please ! ) that is not treated with any chemicals because it is natural for a tort.
Sand can cause constipation. Small chips are too difficult when a tort only can use the front legs.
You can mist the soil of your garden as well for humidity and it will be easier for Philip to walk.

Thanks- so crass in his outside run and some moist top soil in his table?

I have a Vivarium at school, as he was supposed be a a school pet and I didn’t want kids poking him in a table.

I’m not keen on him being in a Vivarium, but since I can’t leave him to feed or drink himself he really won’t be in their long. Is there anything i can to make the Vivarium as ‘best’ for him as I can? .

He has a basking lamp on a thermostat and a uv lamp across the back . I’ll be adding the coir matting for now.
 

Bee62

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Thanks- so crass in his outside run and some moist top soil in his table?

I have a Vivarium at school, as he was supposed be a a school pet and I didn’t want kids poking him in a table.

I’m not keen on him being in a Vivarium, but since I can’t leave him to feed or drink himself he really won’t be in their long. Is there anything i can to make the Vivarium as ‘best’ for him as I can? .

He has a basking lamp on a thermostat and a uv lamp across the back . I’ll be adding the coir matting for now.
The best viv is a big one. As big as you have the space for it. Giving him some hides a water dish and natural plants makes it naturally for him.
How he is doing outside ? Is it easier for him to crawl on natural soil outside ? When yes it is the best substrate for his viv too. No fear, tortoises don`t get sick from natural soil.:)
 

Philip Rome

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The best viv is a big one. As big as you have the space for it. Giving him some hides a water dish and natural plants makes it naturally for him.
How he is doing outside ? Is it easier for him to crawl on natural soil outside ? When yes it is the best substrate for his viv too. No fear, tortoises don`t get sick from natural soil.:)

Outside his pen is on grass with a box as a home ( a little low grade, but he is happy enough). He is about 8 inches so most hides are too small for him to get in!!. He shuffles around on the grass and has started to pick out weeds to help himself too- which I’m
Assuming to be a good thing.

I’ve attached a photo of his tortoise table. It is 60 cm deep and about 150 Cm long. Not huge, but given he isn’t a big mover it seems to be doing the trick. 96abb2dc-ea78-4729-93e6-c614cf6f673e.jpg

His bib wi have the same set up so he is t too confused with his 2 homes!
 

Philip Rome

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Location (City and/or State)
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Outside his pen is on grass with a box as a home ( a little low grade, but he is happy enough). He is about 8 inches so most hides are too small for him to get in!!. He shuffles around on the grass and has started to pick out weeds to help himself too- which I’m
Assuming to be a good thing.

I’ve attached a photo of his tortoise table. It is 60 cm deep and about 150 Cm long. Not huge, but given he isn’t a big mover it seems to be doing the trick. View attachment 276555

His bib wi have the same set up so he is t too confused with his 2 homes!

IMG_7209.jpg
 

Bee62

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Is he often outside ? The indoor enclosure is not big for a big tortoise like him. I would put out the stones on the right side of the enclosure. More space to crawl. I don`t like the wood chips and the matt. All too dry for a tortoise.
In the wild they will get humidity every morning from dew of the grass. They need this humidity. Your table seems to dry to my opinion. Please don`t be upsetted. I only try to give advice.:)
 
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Philip Rome

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Hampshire
Is he often outside ? The indoor enclosure is not big for a big tortoise like him. I would put out the stones on the right side of the enclosure. More space to crawl. I don`t like the wood chips and the matt. All too dry for a tortoise.
In the wild they will get humidity every morning from dew of the grass. They need this humidity. Your table seems to dry to my opinion. Please don`t be upsetted. I only try to give advice.:)

Not at all, I’m a complete newbie,

He is outside for a few hrs ever day when it’s not too cold in sunny England!

He really doesn’t move very much in the table. He will go to the middle to eat, spin round and shuffle to his house or the light . He has never been to the waster so we do 3 soaks a day.

I was surprised by the size ratios, but that’s my fault for not researching fully first and just buying a set up kit online.

As a convalescing ward, it serves a purpose, but I agree, if he was mobile it would be pokey.

I occasionally let him out on the grass to wonder, and he can cover distance, but I’m wary of too much freedom and him over doing it too soon.

So how do I add humidity to the current set up, whilst still having an easy surface so he can move?
 

Bee62

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Not at all, I’m a complete newbie,

He is outside for a few hrs ever day when it’s not too cold in sunny England!

He really doesn’t move very much in the table. He will go to the middle to eat, spin round and shuffle to his house or the light . He has never been to the waster so we do 3 soaks a day.

I was surprised by the size ratios, but that’s my fault for not researching fully first and just buying a set up kit online.

As a convalescing ward, it serves a purpose, but I agree, if he was mobile it would be pokey.

I occasionally let him out on the grass to wonder, and he can cover distance, but I’m wary of too much freedom and him over doing it too soon.

So how do I add humidity to the current set up, whilst still having an easy surface so he can move?
Imitate dew with spraying him and his enclosure several times a day with a flower sprayer. :) Soak him every other day in warm shallow water.:)
 
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