What is the ideal depth and substrate material for adult egg laying indian stars?

Stoneman

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I am building a new enclosure and want to have ideal substrate depth. If I remember correctly it is 12"? I have read some places that the length of the tortoise is sufficient for substrate depth.

I have kept them in small to medium sized fir bark because where I live I cannot find smaller sized bark. They have not wanted to lay in that. I am planning on putting storage bonds that are 12" deep and 16"×21" and putting those in each 3 square foot section. Or at least a few of them to provide more options for laying throughout the enclosure.

Within the buckets, I am trying to decide which type of material to use. My current best guess is to use a mix of maybe sphagnum moss fiber, sphagnum peat moss, shredded coco coir, and top soil?

Does anyone know if those would be a bad combination as an egg laying substrate?

Thanks,

Stoneman
 

Markw84

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I find the depth of substrate equal to their shell length is a good minimum. Fir bark is not a good substrate for nesting. The need a substrate that they can dig and will hold it's shape to form the nest cavity. So it also needs to be moist. I use 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 sand, 1/3 topsoil. Moist enough to be able to pack into a ball if I pick up a handfull. It needs to be packed down some when new to create a more firm base. If not compact enough, it will cave in as she digs and she has to dig deeper as her rear sinks below surface level, so with a minimum depth, it needs to be pretty compact. They love to nest near some type of cover, so some large potted plants near the nesting area will give good choices. In the wild, a nest in full sun exposure will get too hot and the eggs will not hatch. Successful nests are in mostly shade or broken shade.
 

mrnewberry

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When I was trying to figure out how deep to go for Burmese Stars I heard a few different opinions and eventually settled on 12”. I would think that with Indian stars you could get by with a little less. But, I have never kept Indian stars so I haven’t really researched it. (I am still at least a year or so out from breeding my Burmese stars as well.)
 

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