Bulk Calcium? Calcium Carbonate vs Lime vs Reptile Calcium vs Oyster Shells??

Texastravis

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2010
Messages
52
Trying to figure out bulk calcium options and I am confusing myself.... Agriculture Lime or "aglime", typically used as a soil amendment and is SUPER CHEAP at <$10 for 50 pounds, appears to basically be pulverized limestone which I always thought is calcium carbonate. I have been using this stuff for awhile but have an unexplainable illness in one of my baby tortoises. As a result, I am second guessing myself on calcium. I cannot find anywhere on the internet where anyone is using aglime as a calcium supplement for reptiles, horses, etc. Why I wonder?

You can also get food grade calcium carbonate for somewhat cheap. I am not sure what the difference is between this and "aglime". I figured both were simply pulverized limestone but maybe I am mistaken.

Then you have Oyster shells from the feed store. This is a common calcium supplement for horses and livestock but I have a buddy who had a large tortoise die and when he did a DIY autopsy he found a bunch of oyster shells in her like rocks and it seems like she was unable to process them. I believe he was sprinkling these shells on their food. I could still use these cheap bags I will just need to run them through my grain mill first to turn them to powder.

Lastly you have reptile calcium. Is this just not repackaged calcium carbonate? I always thought so.
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
9,766
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
There’s a section in here on using AgLime for your own home made calcium blocks


One of the paragraphs..

First, you need to decide on the calcium source. Food-grade calcium carbonate(CaCO3) is one good option, sometimes called Limestone flour (available e.g on Amazon). Another, more affordable and more easily available source is so called Agricultural Lime (CaCO3) - I got it at our local feed store for $8 for a 50lb bag! Agricultural lime is produced by pulverizing limestone or chalk, and is commonly used as a soil amendment. Please make sure to read the label CAREFULLY: you want to make sure that it not so-called hydrated lime, that it does not contain Magnesium Carbonate, and that it does not have any other ingredients and impurities in significant amounts.​
 

turtlesteve

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
273
Agricultural lime will simply be held to much lower purity or contamination standards. So even if it’s ok most of the time, not sure I would be comfortable using it. Food grade is cheap enough that I would have to have a whole herd of sulcatas to care about how much it’s costing me.

I prefer cuttlebone but it’s impractical in bulk.
 

Texastravis

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2010
Messages
52
Anyone have a good source for bulk food grade then? I will check my bag carefully and see what I have been using.
 

turtlesteve

Active Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2012
Messages
273
There are various small businesspeople that buy it bulk and repackage it. I bought 5 or 10 lbs (don’t remember where from) and it was $2 per lb plus shipping. First hit on google was Dudadiesel.com
 

Kapidolo Farms

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
4,878
Location (City and/or State)
South of Southern California, but not Mexico
Ground calcium carbonate for food has been analyzed and certified for use in food. It has a few impurities, all of which are below what the FDA suggests is acceptable for human consumption.

If it fails to meet that criteria it is used in other applications.

https://kapidolofarms.com/product-category/foods-diet-items/calcium/. suitable for use in organic foods.
 

Lokkje

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
252
Location (City and/or State)
Phoenix
My leopard is crazy about the moringa and the mulberry from Will. He eats everything I get from Kapidolo Farms and it is a nice, safe high quality addition to his diet (his fav is not a high calcium but is the nettle). It is a win-win to get food that is higher in calcium to feed your tortoise and then throw a few cuttlebones into his housing in case he needs more. Personally, because I use so little, I supplement with a small amount of reptile product calcium carbonate in the food once to twice a week plus the cuttlebone and the free choice food mixes. My leopard was appearing to be a failure to thrive and was a very picky eater until I started getting Kapidolo Farm products. He shot from under 50 grams for months to now over 200 grams rapidly. Because of this I like the idea of both getting a higher calcium level in the food in providing supplements in the food plus the cuttlebone.
 

New Posts

Top