Vermiculite and soil substrate mix for tortoise

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oldsam

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Hi all, some one at work side if I added Vermiculite to the soil in the tortoise table it would hold moisture and increase humidity, is this true and would it harm my little horsefield tortoise, thanks Sam
 

jjsull33

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Adding the vermiculite would hold more moisture in the substrate but your tortoise might also eat it, so its probably not the best idea. Usually people say not to get any of the soils or dirt mixes with the moisture beads in it, so this is pretty much making that on your own so I would say you probably shouldn't. Even the large grade vermiculite will chip down and become small bite sized pieces over time.
 

jaizei

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I don't think a little vermiculite would hurt. I would say it is like sand; fine as part of the substrate mix, not a good idea used by itself as 100% of the substrate.

Compost is an alternative you can add to your soil to increase water retention.
 

Balboa

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I've been tempted on this one myself. Yes vermiculite makes a great theoretical substrate, or substrate additive. It works wonderfully for my plants to keep the soil loose and maintain ground moisture without becoming swampy. It also has a habit of sticking to things, like that piece of dandelion my tort invariably winds up dragging through his substrate while eating.

While most substrates have an impaction risk involved, but most will pass through a well fed and hydrated tort with ease, I've never been able to make mine the guinea pig to see if vermiculite would pass easily. My gut tells me vermiculite could be bad news.
 

oldsam

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Many thanks for your answers and advice, I think the vermiculite can stay in the plant pots, thanks again take care Sam
 
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