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Coconut coir carpet

turbobooster14

New Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2015
Messages
2
Hi, I have been researching new substrates for my Russian tortoise since he doesn’t seem happy any more and I’m trying to change up my husbandry. I found a veterinarian who had husbandry sheets and for Russian tortoises they recommended a coconut coir carpet covering the entire enclosure and obviously having 2 hides as well as a burrowing hide. What are y’alls thoughts on this “carpet” and how should I go about making a burrowing hide?
 

TechnoCheese

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
3,770
Location (City and/or State)
Lewisville, Texas
Carpet as in a solid sheet of coconut liner? Definitely not. These are burrowing tortoises that should have a nice, thick layer of substrate to bury themselves in, in addition to being able to exercise their legs. Fine grade orchid bark and cypress mulch work great, and if those can’t be found, coconut coir can potentially work if patted down and compressed. It can be pretty messy.

Can we see a picture of your enclosure? We can help you out if there’s anything that needs to be changed :)
 

turbobooster14

New Member
Joined
Sep 27, 2015
Messages
2
This is his current indoor and outdoor set up. Outdoor is for about 1-2 hours a few times a week with supervision because he likes to escape! I know his indoor habitat is lacking and I’m not sure if Timothy hay is an appropriate substrate but he loves burrowing in it much more than mulch or loose coconut coir, he also loves to eat it. I also don’t have a hide in his indoor enclosure because he never used it. He would prefer to burrow in the hay. I have one ceramic heat emitter. One UVB light bulb and one light/heat emitting bulb that went out today. B3081222-5D36-44DA-840C-4274B314D315.jpegF9D768D6-A155-4231-99D1-829D6A2020A0.jpeg
 

TechnoCheese

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2016
Messages
3,770
Location (City and/or State)
Lewisville, Texas
Alright, here are the things I see-

-hay definitely shouldn’t be used for bedding. It’s too dry and molds with humidity, it can be dusty, and can easily cause respiratory issues.

-I would definitely add more clutter to the enclosure. Right now it’s open, and there’s nothing to do. Hides, sight barriers, plants, etc. are all things you can add to provide more cover and reason to be active.

-how big are your enclosures? The recommended minimum is 8x4 feet.

-are you using a compact UVB in the indoor enclosure? If so, remove it. They are known to cause eye burns and other issues, and aren’t effective at producing UVB. Tube fluorescents are the way to go, but since yours gets outside frequently, you don’t need one.

-what are your temperatures usually at? Basking, cool side, warm side, night.

Be sure to give these a read-
Russian Tortoise Care Sheet https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Russian-Tortoise-Care-Sheet.80698/

Beginner Mistakes https://tortoiseforum.org/index.php?threads/Beginner-Mistakes.45180/
 

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