Various substrate questions for Sulcata

asampson760

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Morongo Valley
So it's been a week with my little Sulcata and I feel like I am starting to get things sorted. But then of course I start looking around the forums and feel like I'm getting some things wrong. Right now I am wondering about our substrate. Here's my questions:

How deep should the substrate be?

How damp should it be? Should it all be damp? Or just the bottom layers be damp and the top dry?

Should it be like stirred/mixed around every now and then to redistribute it? How often should it all be completely changed?

Right now I'm using coconut coir but I did just get some repti bark that I'm planning on putting in his enclosure tomorrow. Is one better than the other?
 

Tom

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So it's been a week with my little Sulcata and I feel like I am starting to get things sorted. But then of course I start looking around the forums and feel like I'm getting some things wrong. Right now I am wondering about our substrate. Here's my questions:

How deep should the substrate be?

How damp should it be? Should it all be damp? Or just the bottom layers be damp and the top dry?

Should it be like stirred/mixed around every now and then to redistribute it? How often should it all be completely changed?

Right now I'm using coconut coir but I did just get some repti bark that I'm planning on putting in his enclosure tomorrow. Is one better than the other?
These are excellent questions.

I find coir too messy for sulcatas. Fine grade orchid bark works best.

It should be 3-4 inches deep. More is fine too.

I never stir mine up.

I never change it until a new tortoise is to be moved into that enclosure.
 

asampson760

New Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2021
Messages
22
Location (City and/or State)
Morongo Valley
These are excellent questions.

I find coir too messy for sulcatas. Fine grade orchid bark works best.

It should be 3-4 inches deep. More is fine too.

I never stir mine up.

I never change it until a new tortoise is to be moved into that enclosure.
Thanks Tom!

What about the dampness? I am going to put the repti bark in the enclosure today. Should I wet it first?
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
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Joined
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Thanks Tom!

What about the dampness? I am going to put the repti bark in the enclosure today. Should I wet it first?
That goes by feel. If its dry, then add some moisture to it. If its already damp. then you might be good.
 

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