Substrate

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Amber10
Posts: 27
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Substrate

Post by Amber10 » 22 Mar 2021, 13:00

Hi we have top soil in our tortoise home but in the little box we have a grass and flowers bedding.
Would you suggest just having top soil all the way through as he seems to not want to come out his little box we have had him for 2 days now thank you

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Nina
Posts: 1515
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Substrate

Post by Nina » 22 Mar 2021, 13:50

Hi Amber,

Yes, I think I would probably have topsoil (or topsoil mixed with osme children's playsand, which is what a lot of us use) everywhere in the table. The grass and flowers bedding won't do any harm though, and it shouldn't be keeping him from coming out, so I don't think that is the problem.

The only down side of the grass and flowers bedding is that if it gets wet (like if he wees on it), there is a chance it could go a bit mouldy, but that doesn't happen very often. As long as you've got it you might as well use it until you run out, and then I would replace it with topsoil. What we always try and think about is what would it be like for a tortoise in the wild, in his native land. Most species -- and that includes Hermann's -- live on a very sandy soil substrate, so that is what we try and copy in captivity.

He is young, and young tortoises sleep a fair amount -- especially in the middle of the day -- but he should be waking up in the morning and walking towards his light to bask and warm up. Try getting him up in the morning and putting him under the light (and if he goes straight back to bed then put him back under the light again (not too many times, but just to get him used to it). That might get him used to it and encourage him to do that himself in the mornings.

Let us know how you get on!

Nina

Amber10
Posts: 27
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Re: Substrate

Post by Amber10 » 22 Mar 2021, 13:59

Thank you we will use it till it runs out then swop to top soil and sand :)

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Nina
Posts: 1515
Joined: 16 Mar 2017, 11:22

Re: Substrate

Post by Nina » 22 Mar 2021, 14:31

That should be fine, and it needs to be children's play sand (but you can buy bags at any garden centre, Homebase, etc.). And it should be sprayed lightly every couple of days so that it doesn't get dusty. Or every three or four days you can pour some water on it and mix it up well, but the end result should be just the teeny tiniest bit damp -- not wet at all (if you hold some substrate in your hand and make a fist, it should just start to clump up).

Nina

Amber10
Posts: 27
Joined: 21 Mar 2021, 09:42

Re: Substrate

Post by Amber10 » 22 Mar 2021, 18:44

Thank you :D

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