What brand of top soil or potting soil does everyone use?

Mackamonster

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Aug 30, 2021
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Colorado
I have two sulcatas that are just about ready for an enclosure upgrade. I have already built the new enclosure, it is 8'x8'. I had already bought about 6 large bags of "organic" top soil thinking there were no additives in the soil. I start dumping everything in and low and behold there's fertilizer in the soil. I Tried to find a different brand, but all the ones I've found have fertilizer (they have started calling it organic fertilizer now) or some other kind of additive. I didn't think getting just plain dirt would be the hard part of building a new enclosure. So my question to everyone is this: what brand of either top soil or potting soil does everyone use in their substrate mixes? I want to find something I can buy in bulk since the enclosure is so large, and I want to avoid anything that's labeled as for reptiles since the price becomes so much higher.
 

Maro2Bear

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Is this an inside or outside enclosure? I have had plenty of luck and little expense at using shredded Cypress Mulch (100%) from Lowes. It doesnt rot or mildew, buy in 3cf bags for about $3.00 (here in Md). Easy to spot clean & easy to replenish.
 

Mackamonster

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Joined
Aug 30, 2021
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Location (City and/or State)
Colorado
Is this an inside or outside enclosure? I have had plenty of luck and little expense at using shredded Cypress Mulch (100%) from Lowes. It doesnt rot or mildew, buy in 3cf bags for about $3.00 (here in Md). Easy to spot clean & easy to replenish.
It is an indoor enclosure, i originally used cypress mulch but i had to switch because one of my tortoises loved to outright eat the mulch.
 

Tom

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I have two sulcatas that are just about ready for an enclosure upgrade. I have already built the new enclosure, it is 8'x8'. I had already bought about 6 large bags of "organic" top soil thinking there were no additives in the soil. I start dumping everything in and low and behold there's fertilizer in the soil. I Tried to find a different brand, but all the ones I've found have fertilizer (they have started calling it organic fertilizer now) or some other kind of additive. I didn't think getting just plain dirt would be the hard part of building a new enclosure. So my question to everyone is this: what brand of either top soil or potting soil does everyone use in their substrate mixes? I want to find something I can buy in bulk since the enclosure is so large, and I want to avoid anything that's labeled as for reptiles since the price becomes so much higher.
Bought-in-a-bag soil should never be used as a tortoise substrate, even if you can find one that doesn't have a bunch of additives. Soil is made from composited yard waste. There is no way to know what is in it. Could be oleander or azaleas. Or recently treated grass clippings. The makers don't intend for live animals to be housed on their product. Its also messy and turns to mud when wet.

If your tortoise is eating cypress mulch, then is something wrong. Usually a dietary deficiency. What do you feed them? We can help you figure it out. This often seen when they are fed a lot of grocery store greens instead of the high fiber foods they should be eating. It can also be caused by a mineral deficiency or imbalance. I've seen this with tortoises that are given calcium supplementation every day.

Also, you should be making two enclosures. They should never live as a pair. This is bad for both of them. Groups can sometimes work, but never pairs.
 

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