Subtrate

Post your pictures and any questions here of European tortoises e.g. Ibera Spur Thigh, Ibera Graeca, Marginated, Hermanns, Kleinmanni and we include the Horsfield tortoise. Also, do add pictures of Mediterranean tortoises you have seen in the wild.
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Ladybird_mt
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Joined: 29 Sep 2020, 08:19

Subtrate

Post by Ladybird_mt » 15 Oct 2021, 19:53

Hello, I’ve posted here before and found a lot of help, which I cannot be thankful enough!

I’ve got a quick question if you please - I’ve just brought in my Egyptian tortoises for the winter and am using top soil in their enclosure. They are two tortoises, around 30 years old and are 4in and 5in long. My problem is that I can’t see their tiny poop in the top soil and am finding it difficult to spot clean. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

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lin
Posts: 871
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Subtrate

Post by lin » 15 Oct 2021, 20:57

Hi ladybird.
If you can hold on for a short while I will contact one of our Egyptian keepers and get some expert advice from her.

Lin

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lin
Posts: 871
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:27

Re: Subtrate

Post by lin » 15 Oct 2021, 21:15

Hi Ladybird.
I have it on good authority that if you mix some sand (children’s play sand, or even crunched oyster shell sifting through with a cat litter scoop makes poop finding so much easier.
Hope that helps.
Lin

Ladybird_mt
Posts: 18
Joined: 29 Sep 2020, 08:19

Re: Subtrate

Post by Ladybird_mt » 16 Oct 2021, 04:11

Hi there, thanks for the tip, will try that! Anne Marie

CritterMama
Posts: 32
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 13:43

Re: Subtrate

Post by CritterMama » 16 Oct 2021, 13:31

lin wrote:
> Hi Ladybird.
> I have it on good authority that if you mix some sand (children’s play sand, or even crunched oyster shell sifting through with a cat litter scoop makes poop finding so much easier. Hope that helps.
> Lin

I agree. The substrate for my Western Hermann's is 1-to-1-to-1/3 (or 3-to-3-to-1!) topsoil to peat moss to play sand. I spray mist the substrate several times a day, but if it is ever so slightly dry, the sand crystals are very light colored and make the dark poos stand out in contrast. Makes them easier to see and pick up. Also, when he's out of the enclosure (having a soak usually) I give that spot a spritz with Nature's Miracle (link below). It dissipates quickly and does a great job keeping down any odors. (We use in our Bearded Dragon enclosure - talk about stinky poops! We call it "Nature's Miracle Stinky Dragon Spray"! ;)

I laugh at myself about getting ready for Scoot's arrival. I bought a kitty litter scoop so I could spot clean more easily. Turns out the holes in it are bigger than the poops! :lol: He's so little, they fall right through!

Nature's Miracle Cage Cleaner for Small Animals: http://www.naturesmiracle.com/products/ ... rizer.aspx
Critter Mama

One Husband, one Bearded Dragon, one Panther Chameleon, one Labrador Retriever, and now a baby Hermann's Tortoise!

Ladybird_mt
Posts: 18
Joined: 29 Sep 2020, 08:19

Re: Subtrate

Post by Ladybird_mt » 16 Oct 2021, 20:19

Hi there, thanks for taking the time to write and also for the link. So far I haven’t had any problems with odour but the Nature’s Miracle sounds like a good product to have handy, especially if I miss poop! Albert and Elliot’s poop is so tiny and there are so many tiny black blobs that it’s very difficult to distinguish them amongst the black top soil. I usually put on disposable gloves and check out a few but it’s just impossible. I will have to get some sand, thanks for giving me the amounts to use :-)

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Nina
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Subtrate

Post by Nina » 17 Oct 2021, 12:21

Hi Ladybird,

Just to point out that the proportions of sand to soil that CritterMama gave you are fine for the Hermann's that she has, but because you have an Egyptian (Kleinmanni) tortoise, you should probably use a higher proportion of sand. Here is a link to a good booklet about Egyptian tortoises, and on p. 19 they talk about substrate and show some photos of Egptian tortoises in indoor enclosures at Bristol and Rotterdam zoos, and you can see that there is a fairly high proportion of sand.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... BtKB9yaBpQ

Nina

Ladybird_mt
Posts: 18
Joined: 29 Sep 2020, 08:19

Re: Subtrate

Post by Ladybird_mt » 17 Oct 2021, 14:01

Hello again Nina! Thanks for the link, will certainly read through the information:-). Anne Marie

CritterMama
Posts: 32
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 13:43

Re: Subtrate

Post by CritterMama » 17 Oct 2021, 15:39

Nina wrote:
> Hi Ladybird,
>
> Just to point out that the proportions of sand to soil that CritterMama
> gave you are fine for the Hermann's that she has, but because you have an
> Egyptian (Kleinmanni) tortoise, you should probably use a higher proportion
> of sand.
> Nina

Yes - thank you, Nina! I should have been more specific. 😳

Ladybird, I thought you might be interested in a link to this site: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - https://www.wildflower.org/ It is a good educational site plus it has a great name! 😁
Critter Mama

One Husband, one Bearded Dragon, one Panther Chameleon, one Labrador Retriever, and now a baby Hermann's Tortoise!

Ladybird_mt
Posts: 18
Joined: 29 Sep 2020, 08:19

Re: Subtrate

Post by Ladybird_mt » 17 Oct 2021, 19:49

Thanks Critter Mama, it’s a lovely website and I sure do like the name :-)

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