Substrate for Hermanns juveniles


New Member
Apr 26, 2021
Location (City and/or State)

I'm new to the forum and would like some feedback on substrates please for my two 3 year old Hermann's tortoises. For their indoor enclosure, I currently use a specific tortoise substrate brand that we get here in the UK, which is a mixture of top soil, sand and limestone. As a substrate it is very good, although does get a little dusty, which means I have to mist it a couple of times a day to keep it a little moist. The problem I have with it is that my tortoises walk through their little pool, and then with wet legs traipse around the enclosure, meaning their legs get very dirty, and they then go back through the pool meaning that it gets very muddy and the water needs changing several times a day. At the moment it's not a problem as I'm working from home due to the pandemic so I can do this quite easily, but at some point I will be back in the office and won't be able to carry out water changes as frequently.

I am therefore considering changing the substrate to something that won't stick to their legs so won't be dragged through the pool, and a lot of people recommend orchid bark or coconut fibre. I was just wondering what people's opinion of them is, and whether anyone uses it with success on here? It seems it comes in two sizes in the UK, either in small pellets or in larger chunks of bark, a few cm across. If anyone does use it I would be interested to know your experience of it, and how it works as a substrate and how often it needs changing.

Many thanks


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