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Best substrate for Greek?

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by TheSimpsons, Feb 17, 2008.

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  1. TheSimpsons

    TheSimpsons New Member

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    I do apologize if this has been answered here before, but I'm new to the forum, and haven't run across the answer yet. I have my Greek in crushed walnut shells. She's had this substrate for about 4 months or so. It really seems to be working out good for her. Does anyone have any experience with crushed walnut shells? Is this okay for her, or harmful?

    Thanks.
  2. Crazy1

    Crazy1 New Member

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    I haven't used walnut shells I would be afraid of impactions. But am not sure. I use a mixture of dirt, play sand and a little bed a beast mixed in. Hatchling is on dirt, play sand mix with aspen on half of the enclosure. I will be changing over to shredded aspen completely. It is easier to see soiled areas than the dirt and I think will interfere with my allergies less.
  3. cvalda

    cvalda New Member

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    i would say either the 50/50 playsand/Bed a Brick mix (which is what mine are on) or even the aspen shavings.
  4. HermanniChris

    HermanniChris Well-Known Member

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    Aspen wood is an excellent substrate as well.
  5. TheSimpsons

    TheSimpsons New Member

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    That's great. I will definately look into the aspen shavings. Thank you.
  6. ukphd

    ukphd New Member

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    I've not come across Aspen shavings, do any people in the UK use them? If so where do you get them from (is there a mail order place)?

    Is that better to use than the 50/50 soil/sand mix or the reptile-bark that is so often recommended?

    I'm thinking of re-doing my tort table now that I've found out my little one is a girl not a boy (!), as I want to include a suitable laying area, but while I'm at it I may as well make sure I use the best possible substrate :D
    so would appreciate any advice! :)
  7. egyptiandan

    egyptiandan New Member

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    The best thing for the laying area is soil and sand Nancy in a 70/30 mix (soil to sand). The rest of the enclosure can be aspen though.
    The best place to find aspen in the UK is on Ebay. Make sure you get the finely shredded aspen. :D

    Danny
  8. stells

    stells Guest

    you have choices there is hemp in the form of hemcore and auboise that is most commonly used in the uk along with soil/sand mix, i don't do 50/50 i do 70/30. You will find most horse suppliers sell auboise or hemcore both are fine. Aspen you can get from ebay you can get a bulk bag that isn't listed at the moment which is what i get, it is more expensive than the hemp but i prefer it. here is a link to it on ebay but if you check everyday they do a bigger bag which works out cheaper. :)
    http://search.ebay.co.uk/search/search.dll?from=R40&_trksid=m37&satitle=Aspen bedding
  9. stells

    stells Guest

    Paper bedding is not ideal for tortoises, its doesn't hold together, it gives no traction to walk on its not really diggable, and worst of all it has been known to cause impaction.
  10. stells

    stells Guest

    wood shavings aren't good either, if you don't want to use dirt you can just use the Aspen ;)
  11. ukphd

    ukphd New Member

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    Thanks everyone - I went out today and bought top soil and play sand so will use that for a laying area - how deep should it be?

    I had a quick look on ebay and couldn't find any Aspen yet but will keep looking. There was one bag on yesterday but it looked rather like a by-product of something rather than specifically prepared for reptiles so I wasn't sure. Will just keep an eye out :) I did wonder what hemp was, I'd heard people mention it but never seen it myself. I was using calcium reptile sand (but only in a very small area) and reptile bark as that was what I'd been recommended to use but now I'm going to re-do the tort table properly. It's amazing how much incorrect info there is about there about tortoise care. I really thought I'd made an effort to research it all but I clearly missed things. I wish I'd found this forum sooner - thanks so much for all your help everyone. :)
  12. egyptiandan

    egyptiandan New Member

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    For your female Nancy at least 10 inches for the laying area, with 12 inches being the best.
    Aspen does kind of look like a by-producy Nancy. It looks all chewed up and thats what you want. :D

    Danny
  13. ukphd

    ukphd New Member

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    Thanks again :)
  14. TestudoGeek

    TestudoGeek New Member

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  15. ukphd

    ukphd New Member

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    Thanks! That listing must have gone up today as it wasn't there when I checked over the weekend (or I'm just stupid and I missed it!).
    Off to order it now! :D

    oh just had a thought - should the soil/sand area be regularly sprayed with water or anything? I've read that it needs to be slightly damp but I also read somewhere else that it wasn't necessary.
  16. Crazy1

    Crazy1 New Member

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    ukphd, I have use hemp before it works fine. and I kept my laying area moist as the dirt needs to hold together but not be drippy wet. Moisture is needed, I mixed water into the substrate to keep it dampend. I found spraying the top only kept the top damp and when my female dug the dirt just fell back into the hole and she didn't lay. When I moisend all of the dirt. She dug her hole and Bingo Eggs.
  17. ukphd

    ukphd New Member

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    Ah ok - so, sorry to sound stupid, but does that mean you regularly mix the dirt around whilst spraying or do you mean you do that before you put it in and then spray the top to keep it moist? or neither! :)
  18. Crazy1

    Crazy1 New Member

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    I personally mixed it with the water after I placed it in the nesting area. I mixed the dirt and play sand then added water to it and mixed it, like a cake mix, until it was all damp. Then I would mist the top, every 4 or 5 days I would use a trowel (hand shovel) or a large spoon and check it a few inches down to make sure it’s still damp. Continually misting just the top will after a while allow the rest to dry out. Just remember when she digs down that dirt has to be damp too and able to hold up and not cave in or crumble into her laying hole.
    And Ukphd, no question ever made anyone look or sound stupid. It is the way we learn. Keep those questions coming, and we will all keep learning.
  19. ukphd

    ukphd New Member

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    Thanks!
    I have all the stuff ready now and this weekend I'm going to set up her new table. I'm going to do it bit by bit though. I don't want to stress her out with a totally new enclosure all at once so will start with the laying area and add a bit of aspen to the rest of the enclosure and then gradually replace all the old substrate with aspen. I need to increase the sides of the table too to make sure I can get the right depth - it's going to be a tortoise-filled weekend :) can't wait! :)
  20. atomicjade

    atomicjade New Member

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    What brand of soil do you guys recommend? And is there any certain way you should blend it? Thanks!
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