Substrate

Joined
Dec 28, 2021
Messages
98
Location (City and/or State)
America
Is their any substrate that will not attract bugs, and holds humidity for a RF? Ive had issues with coco coir and cypress mulch.
 

Lyn W

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2014
Messages
22,489
Location (City and/or State)
UK
I'm not sure if there is and I'm not a RF keeper, but when I expand the coir blocks I use boiling water to kill off any bugs that may be in it. Many bake their substrate in the oven before use.
Some people leave the bugs to help with breaking down waste matter in the enclosure, but that may depend on what sort of bugs they are. I'm sure other RF keepers will be along with more helpful advice.
@ZEROPILOT will know.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
25,670
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I'm not sure if there is and I'm not a RF keeper, but when I expand the coir blocks I use boiling water to kill off any bugs that may be in it. Many bake their substrate in the oven before use.
Some people leave the bugs to help with breaking down waste matter in the enclosure, but that may depend on what sort of bugs they are. I'm sure other RF keepers will be along with more helpful advice.
@ZEROPILOT will know.
I no longer keep any tortoises indoors.
But when I have. I've used Orchid bark.
I think that the "bugs" are part of the natural decomposition of the bark, etc. And I'm not sure that they can all be avoided.
I can say, however, that none of those bugs are dangerous to you, your home or your tortoise.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
57,144
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Is their any substrate that will not attract bugs, and holds humidity for a RF? Ive had issues with coco coir and cypress mulch.
The bugs are harmless detrivores. Any warm damp substrate will eventually attract them. The only way to prevent them is to boil, bake, freeze, or replace your substrate every 2-3 weeks. I just ignore them. They tend to come on strong at first, but they eventually level out to more sustainable numbers that are much less bothersome.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2021
Messages
98
Location (City and/or State)
America
I no longer keep any tortoises indoors.
But when I have. I've used Orchid bark.
I think that the "bugs" are part of the natural decomposition of the bark, etc. And I'm not sure that they can all be avoided.
I can say, however, that none of those bugs are dangerous to you, your home or your tortoise.
Alright thanks! I have a RF and it is pretty cold outside And he is small. In an enclosure with heat could outside still work?
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2021
Messages
98
Location (City and/or State)
America
I'm not sure if there is and I'm not a RF keeper, but when I expand the coir blocks I use boiling water to kill off any bugs that may be in it. Many bake their substrate in the oven before use.
Some people leave the bugs to help with breaking down waste matter in the enclosure, but that may depend on what sort of bugs they are. I'm sure other RF keepers will be along with more helpful advice.
@ZEROPILOT will know.
Thank you.
 

lovingthelakes

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2021
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Mt Pleasant, MI
A fairly new RF caretaker here too (about 6 months now). I went with a 50/50 mix of coconut coir & organic top soil (no gardening additives), then topped it with a thin layer of bark & have some sphagnum moss in his “moss cave”. So far, so good without any bugs. I was initially trying to help keep humidity up with adding moisture to the substrate. It only was the humidity level challenging, it this ended up leading to the start of fungus on the bottom of his shell…fortunately it was caught right away. Changed things out, treated fungus, & now keeping substrate dry but added 2 humidifiers (one for my home in general & one for the habitat). Kept the light & CHE setup for light & heat from following lots of recommendations on this forum, as well as still doing 15-20 minute daily soaks in clean water in his little “pond” for hydration.
The 2 humidifier combo has made a world of difference. The humidity is consistently at the right level with very little maintenance through the day.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2021
Messages
98
Location (City and/or State)
America
A fairly new RF caretaker here too (about 6 months now). I went with a 50/50 mix of coconut coir & organic top soil (no gardening additives), then topped it with a thin layer of bark & have some sphagnum moss in his “moss cave”. So far, so good without any bugs. I was initially trying to help keep humidity up with adding moisture to the substrate. It only was the humidity level challenging, it this ended up leading to the start of fungus on the bottom of his shell…fortunately it was caught right away. Changed things out, treated fungus, & now keeping substrate dry but added 2 humidifiers (one for my home in general & one for the habitat). Kept the light & CHE setup for light & heat from following lots of recommendations on this forum, as well as still doing 15-20 minute daily soaks in clean water in his little “pond” for hydration.
The 2 humidifier combo has made a world of difference. The humidity is consistently at the right level with very little maintenance through the day.
Thats amazing! Just what i was looking for! Could you specify what humidifiers? And if the tempature stays right with the humidifers on? Also could @ZEROPILOT verify this is a good plan without health issues for the tort?
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2021
Messages
98
Location (City and/or State)
America
A fairly new RF caretaker here too (about 6 months now). I went with a 50/50 mix of coconut coir & organic top soil (no gardening additives), then topped it with a thin layer of bark & have some sphagnum moss in his “moss cave”. So far, so good without any bugs. I was initially trying to help keep humidity up with adding moisture to the substrate. It only was the humidity level challenging, it this ended up leading to the start of fungus on the bottom of his shell…fortunately it was caught right away. Changed things out, treated fungus, & now keeping substrate dry but added 2 humidifiers (one for my home in general & one for the habitat). Kept the light & CHE setup for light & heat from following lots of recommendations on this forum, as well as still doing 15-20 minute daily soaks in clean water in his little “pond” for hydration.
The 2 humidifier combo has made a world of difference. The humidity is consistently at the right level with very little maintenance through the day.
Also, just for your knowledge i have heard bad things about the moss. I personally would remove it or do more research on it. Other keepers could comment on this aswell but i no longer use it.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
25,670
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Thats amazing! Just what i was looking for! Could you specify what humidifiers? And if the tempature stays right with the humidifers on? Also could @ZEROPILOT verify this is a good plan without health issues for the tort?
I'm the wrong guy to ask about humidifiers.
While I DO use them at night for my Chameleons. I don't recommend using them for tortoises. A correctly performing "closed chamber" enclosure will hold in warmth as well as humidity. It will actually create the humidity.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
25,670
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
I use a CHE at night and a uvb bulb that produces light during the day. Is that alright?
For daytime you need a T5 HO UVB tube light. It's going to give the tortoise UVB and provide the light.
Describe or send a photo of your UVB "BULB".
If it screws in, I do not recommend it.
 

ZEROPILOT

REDFOOT WRANGLER
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jul 16, 2014
Messages
25,670
Location (City and/or State)
South Eastern Florida (U.S.A.)/Rock Hill S.C.
Also, just for your knowledge i have heard bad things about the moss. I personally would remove it or do more research on it. Other keepers could comment on this aswell but i no longer use it.
Yes. Correct. Do not use moss in a tortoise enclosure. It gets eaten and doesn't get digested completely if at all and can cause impaction
 

lovingthelakes

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2021
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Mt Pleasant, MI
Yes. Correct. Do not use moss in a tortoise enclosure. It gets eaten and doesn't get digested completely if at all and can cause impaction
Thank you for the feedback. Will be removing it. So far mine hasn’t tried eating it. Just likes to play with it by pushing it around like he’s a bulldozer & burrowing into it to use it as a blanket for naps.
 

lovingthelakes

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2021
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Mt Pleasant, MI
Thats amazing! Just what i was looking for! Could you specify what humidifiers? And if the tempature stays right with the humidifers on? Also could @ZEROPILOT verify this is a good plan without health issues for the tort?
Thats amazing! Just what i was looking for! Could you specify what humidifiers? And if the tempature stays right with the humidifers on? Also could @ZEROPILOT verify this is a good plan without health issues for the tort?
 

New Posts

Top