Substrate

lovingthelakes

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This is the one I got for the habitat. I ordered it from Amazon & like it for the easy to position tubing for directing where the “fog” comes out of, as well as the large tank (lasts all day on low). I have some plants in there that are by a centralized wall (that are safe for RF to eat anytime) that I direct the humidity fog onto & have a couple humidity gages at the ends of the habitat to ensure I’m measuring heat & humidity across the habitat. I’m aware that it’s highly recommended for having them enclosed for heat & humidity control, but as I would only be able to adapt the habitat I have for him when he’s home with me on weekends, I’m happy that the heat & humidity are staying right on point with a metal grate top in both of his habitats with this setup. The other humidifier is just a general home use one from Target.
 
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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.
I really appreciate your input in this aswell! We are both learning!
 
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This is the one I got for the habitat. I ordered it from Amazon & like it for the easy to position tubing for directing where the “fog” comes out of, as well as the large tank (lasts all day on low). I have some plants in there that are by a centralized wall (that are safe for RF to eat anytime) that I direct the humidity fog onto & have a couple humidity gages at the ends of the habitat to ensure I’m measuring heat & humidity across the habitat. I’m aware that it’s highly recommended for having them enclosed for heat & humidity control, but as I would only be able to adapt the habitat I have for him when he’s home with me on weekends, I’m happy that the heat & humidity are staying right on point with a metal grate top in both of his habitats with this setup. The other humidifier is just a general home use one from Target.
Ooo! Nice to know! Thanks!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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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.
Soil should never be used as tortoise substrate. There is no way to know what composted yard waste it is made of, and it could be something toxic in a small indoor enclosure. The people who make and sell it do not intend for live animals to be living on it.

Moss should not be used with tortoises either. They eat it and it can cause impaction.

Humidifiers should not be blowing directly into tortoise enclosures. It is not good for them to be breathing those minor droplets of water, and this is not the same as humidity which is evaporated water.

A closed chamber with a RHP or two and a thermostat solves all of the heat and humidity problems.
 
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Soil should never be used as tortoise substrate. There is no way to know what composted yard waste it is made of, and it could be something toxic in a small indoor enclosure. The people who make and sell it do not intend for live animals to be living on it.

Moss should not be used with tortoises either. They eat it and it can cause impaction.

Humidifiers should not be blowing directly into tortoise enclosures. It is not good for them to be breathing those minor droplets of water, and this is not the same as humidity which is evaporated water.

A closed chamber with a RHP or two and a thermostat solves all of the heat and humidity problems.
Thanks so much.
 

lovingthelakes

New Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2021
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Mt Pleasant, MI
Soil should never be used as tortoise substrate. There is no way to know what composted yard waste it is made of, and it could be something toxic in a small indoor enclosure. The people who make and sell it do not intend for live animals to be living on it.

Moss should not be used with tortoises either. They eat it and it can cause impaction.

Humidifiers should not be blowing directly into tortoise enclosures. It is not good for them to be breathing those minor droplets of water, and this is not the same as humidity which is evaporated water.

A closed chamber with a RHP or two and a thermostat solves all of the heat and humidity problems.
I found the soil recommendation from several comments in this forum. I figured they were correct if in nature RFs live in the forest. I only use packaged, certified organic top soil to help make sure it’s “clean” dirt.

I have removed the moss from my enclosures. I haven’t had a problem with him eating it. He’s very regular & definitely not impacted or constipated. He wasn’t happy about no moss the past few days, as he like to push it around but has found moving the rocks in his soaking pond to be a good alternative.

The humidifier is on the lowest setting with the output directed onto plants, which have the CHE close by for evaporating & adding to the humidity of the air. There isn’t a mist, fog, or wetness within the enclosure (except for the shallow soaking pond).
 

Tom

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I found the soil recommendation from several comments in this forum. I figured they were correct if in nature RFs live in the forest. I only use packaged, certified organic top soil to help make sure it’s “clean” dirt.
I understand. Its old info and some people don't want to let it go.

Rattlesnake venom is 100% organic. As are the oleander and azalea clippings that might be in the bag of soil you are buying. Organic does not mean safe for small animals to live on in indoor enclosures. As I explained, there is no way to know what material is in that bag. It is made from randomly collected yard waste that people put in their bins. Sometimes toxic plants or toxic yard chemicals sprayed on non-toxic plants go into those bins. Other times it could be non-toxic tree leaves or weeds or who knows what other plant matter might get thrown in there. There is no way to know, and the safe course of action is to not use it.
 
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I found the soil recommendation from several comments in this forum. I figured they were correct if in nature RFs live in the forest. I only use packaged, certified organic top soil to help make sure it’s “clean” dirt.

I have removed the moss from my enclosures. I haven’t had a problem with him eating it. He’s very regular & definitely not impacted or constipated. He wasn’t happy about no moss the past few days, as he like to push it around but has found moving the rocks in his soaking pond to be a good alternative.

The humidifier is on the lowest setting with the output directed onto plants, which have the CHE close by for evaporating & adding to the humidity of the air. There isn’t a mist, fog, or wetness within the enclosure (except for the shallow soaking pond).
I totally feel what you are going through
Right now since it is alot of change, and you are doing good considering you know what your tort needs but sometimes you have to switch and change things. but i would 100% listen to them. There are some other people on here that can help you out. @ZEROPILOT may be able to give good alternatives for you?
 

ZEROPILOT

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I totally feel what you are going through
Right now since it is alot of change, and you are doing good considering you know what your tort needs but sometimes you have to switch and change things. but i would 100% listen to them. There are some other people on here that can help you out. @ZEROPILOT may be able to give good alternatives for you?
While I appreciate being tagged, I must first mention that my tortoises are kept outdoors.
When I had an indoors enclosure. It was a closed chamber design and I used pure Orchid bark as the substrate. It held in moisture. Wasn't prone to getting moldy and was also inexpensive and available to me. It was always pure as best as I could tell.
My outdoors enclosures get "pure" cypress mulch. But I've found both metal and plastic shards in a few bags so often that I always pre sift it now before I pour it into my pens.
 
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While I appreciate being tagged, I must first mention that my tortoises are kept outdoors.
When I had an indoors enclosure. It was a closed chamber design and I used pure Orchid bark as the substrate. It held in moisture. Wasn't prone to getting moldy and was also inexpensive and available to me. It was always pure as best as I could tell.
My outdoors enclosures get "pure" cypress mulch. But I've found both metal and plastic shards in a few bags so often that I always pre sift it now before I pour it into my pens.
Ah, forgot about that. I just know you as someone who is very helpful here on the forum. my bad. Although what you said should be able to help them as it did me!
 
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