Alternatives to ReptiBark

ChelonianChris

New Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some advice for alternative substrates for my 3 Hermann's tortoises. One is approaching it's 1st birthday and the other two are 2 year olds (they're kept separate).

I've been using ReptiBark thus far and am happy with it, but it's a bit more pricey than I would like. Coco coir was too messy and I constantly was changing their water from them dragging coir into it. What alternatives would you recommend? I have organic cedar mulch, but don't want to use anything that isn't safe for them. If anyone knows of cheaper suppliers of orchid bark, that would be helpful as well. Thank you!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
48,877
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Buying the small bags of fir bark at the pet shop is prohibitively expensive. I buy it at local nurseries in bulk for about $12 for a 2.0 cu. ft. bag. Fine grade orchid bark is what you are looking for. Also called "fir bark". People grow orchids all over the country. They are getting orchid bark somewhere.

Here is the type I use:
Orchid Bark.JPG


Cedar emits toxic fumes. You don't want that. Coir is messy, as you already noted. This leaves cypress mulch. It can work, but sometimes the pieces are a little chunky. Its not toxic, but you'll have to evaluate the particle size of what you find locally.
 

ChelonianChris

New Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2019
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Buying the small bags of fir bark at the pet shop is prohibitively expensive. I buy it at local nurseries in bulk for about $12 for a 2.0 cu. ft. bag. Fine grade orchid bark is what you are looking for. Also called "fir bark". People grow orchids all over the country. They are getting orchid bark somewhere.

Here is the type I use:
View attachment 295573


Cedar emits toxic fumes. You don't want that. Coir is messy, as you already noted. This leaves cypress mulch. It can work, but sometimes the pieces are a little chunky. Its not toxic, but you'll have to evaluate the particle size of what you find locally.
Very helpful, thank you! I haven't been lucky enough to find fir bark in bulk, but maybe I never paid close enough attention. ~$12 for a 2 cubic foot bag is much more reasonable than what I've been paying.
 

New Posts

Top