Fake plants

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tofuqueen

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Me again! I'm spending a lot of time on here! LOL! I'm learning lots of good stuff though. Every day I'm finding new ways to improve Pablo's home. It really is a "work in progress"! So my next round of questions... what's the best type of "fake" plant for an indoor enclosure? Will he get confused and try to eat it? Will it melt if I put it near his heat lamp or if he drags it over to that area? Should I try to keep the fake plants away from his food to avoid confusion? Am I just being a overly paranoid tort mom?! LOL :)
 

Millerlite

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I would just stay away from the fake plants all together, russian tortoises will try and eat anything in the way, lol.. they really are eaters and i wouldn't be surprised if they ate a fake leaf. if you want to put plants in there, just put in some potted plants..
 

tortoisenerd

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My tort takes some test nibbles and then realizes it's not food. he then remembers unless I move it around. He can't bit some off even if he tried anyways. Never put something so close to a heat source it can melt. If it's at the tort's level it won't. I buy things with large leaves for ground coverage, things to climb on, hide under, etc. I got an assortment at Michal's. They do 40% off coupons so watch out for those. Anything it fine that is safe (observe that he doesn't eat it can can't hurt himself on it). I have a few types.
 

Meg90

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I love fake plants. I use them for both my torts, and have not had any problems...except that they WILL climb them, if they can get their little tort limbs in the right spot.....

here's my hatchling enclosure.


The plants on the sides are attached with packing tape WELL out of her reach, and she absolutely LOVES to hide underneath them. I see lots of natural behaviors, because she will eat, hide, come out, nibble, bask, hide. Just like they would in the wild so that they can avoid being in the open too long and become somebody's lunch. The other ones all have some sort of base, rocks etc. to make them stationary.

I made them all myself. I didn't purchase any from the pet store. I went to the craft store (much cheaper) and made them into what I wanted exactly.

Plants are great though. They are sight barriers, and make things more interesting for the tortoise. Not to mention the security benefits....
 

DoctorCosmonaut

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nice enclosure. I have a mixture of real and fake plants in mine (the fakes out of reach, the real ones hard to reach (and "safe" for her)). Watering the real ones are a great way to keep the humidity up too!
 

Jacqui

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I was always one for just real plants, but having a black thumb for inside plants, I started adding the fakes. More so for my Hingebacks and all the youngsters. I really like them. I am not constantly having to replant, remove dead leaves and they always look pleasing to the eyes. Still do some live plants.

Usually after on attempt to eat, they learn and leave them alone.
 

GBtortoises

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The bottom line is that potted plants used in an indoor enclosure are to please the keeper, not the tortoise. Keepers want the enclosure to look "natural" for the tortoise. The tortoise doesn't know the difference except that it has something to walk around and occasionally take a bite of to see if it's edible. Fake plants are just that, but some do look real. If used they should be kept out of reach of the tortoises because there is always the chance that they might be able to ingest part of the fake which is usually made of cloth, nylon and or plastic. Obviously not good to ingest. Real plants have very minute benefits within an indoor enclosure in that they can provide a small amount of humidity because of watering needs, they do provide some shade and hiding spots for small tortoises and in some cases, food for browsing. However there are also some negative aspects to live plants in an indoor enclosure: They harbor mites and other insects, especially those plants purchased directly from a shop where they are exposed to thousands of other plants (as opposed to raising them yourself in smaller numbers). Commerically grown plants also often contain chemical fertilizers in their soil and some species of plants are sprayed with insecticides at the source. If the tortoise should come into contact with the leaves or the pot gets knocked over and soil spilled a tortoise can ingest whatever is in the soil or on the plants. In an indoor enclosure where square footage is limited and space is more confined, "esthetic" plants are best kept outside of the enclosure and used as decoration around it.
 

Seiryu

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GBtortoises said:
The bottom line is that potted plants used in an indoor enclosure are to please the keeper, not the tortoise. Keepers want the enclosure to look "natural" for the tortoise. The tortoise doesn't know the difference except that it has something to walk around and occasionally take a bite of to see if it's edible. Fake plants are just that, but some do look real. If used they should be kept out of reach of the tortoises because there is always the chance that they might be able to ingest part of the fake which is usually made of cloth, nylon and or plastic. Obviously not good to ingest. Real plants have very minute benefits within an indoor enclosure in that they can provide a small amount of humidity because of watering needs, they do provide some shade and hiding spots for small tortoises and in some cases, food for browsing. However there are also some negative aspects to live plants in an indoor enclosure: They harbor mites and other insects, especially those plants purchased directly from a shop where they are exposed to thousands of other plants (as opposed to raising them yourself in smaller numbers). Commerically grown plants also often contain chemical fertilizers in their soil and some species of plants are sprayed with insecticides at the source. If the tortoise should come into contact with the leaves or the pot gets knocked over and soil spilled a tortoise can ingest whatever is in the soil or on the plants. In an indoor enclosure where square footage is limited and space is more confined, "esthetic" plants are best kept outside of the enclosure and used as decoration around it.
In terms of the whole pesticides and fertilizer thing. I think most, if not all people here wait months after buying a plant at a store to give to their tort. This is months after they switched the soil and transplanted. Which gets rid of everything.

You of course are entitled to your fake plant opinions. But they are not *just* for our benefit and for looks. They do provide shade, things to climb on (good for legs), not to mention is a straight site block. They also don't die like real plants could. And if my little guy can barely eat grass, which is easier to tear and bite by far than these hard plastic fake plants, there is no way he's going to get a piece of the fake plant. Not to mention he isn't going to like the taste of it.
 

terryo

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GBtortoises said:
The bottom line is that potted plants used in an indoor enclosure are to please the keeper, not the tortoise. Keepers want the enclosure to look "natural" for the tortoise. The tortoise doesn't know the difference except that it has something to walk around and occasionally take a bite of to see if it's edible. Fake plants are just that, but some do look real. If used they should be kept out of reach of the tortoises because there is always the chance that they might be able to ingest part of the fake which is usually made of cloth, nylon and or plastic. Obviously not good to ingest. Real plants have very minute benefits within an indoor enclosure in that they can provide a small amount of humidity because of watering needs, they do provide some shade and hiding spots for small tortoises and in some cases, food for browsing. However there are also some negative aspects to live plants in an indoor enclosure: They harbor mites and other insects, especially those plants purchased directly from a shop where they are exposed to thousands of other plants (as opposed to raising them yourself in smaller numbers). Commerically grown plants also often contain chemical fertilizers in their soil and some species of plants are sprayed with insecticides at the source. If the tortoise should come into contact with the leaves or the pot gets knocked over and soil spilled a tortoise can ingest whatever is in the soil or on the plants. In an indoor enclosure where square footage is limited and space is more confined, "esthetic" plants are best kept outside of the enclosure and used as decoration around it.
I have been using only live plants in a vivarium for my Cherry Head for two years now. I used to mist the enclosure twice or three times a day to keep up the humidity, and the substrate was always damp, and my tort was getting a fungus. I changed all the substrate and added lots of live plants. I just buried the pots. Now I only water all the plants, the substrate stays almost dry, and the humidity is always high. He very rarely bothers with the plants....only interested in his food. I have never had mites or other insects. I only clean the vivarium twice a year, except for an occasional quick clean up, or if I add or change a plant. So far my Cherry Head is very smooth and healthy, and has an interesting environment to live in. Just my two cents....
 

Jacqui

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A side note on the real plants: for me there is no pot to knock over, as I plant right into the substrate. New plants purchased do need to be kept for awhile to flush their system of chemicals and the soil changed out...just as you do with plants you buy for outside enclosures or to just keep the plant around for harvesting leaves/blooms.

As to the fake plants, yep there is always a chance they might eat some, but so far, none have. I also would not be using it in a place where large tortoises are kept. I also have no fake plants in with my Russians, because I don't trust my piggies not to try eating them. I think you have to look at your own tortoises and judge from that how practical they are.

To me, I think your really wrong saying plants are just for the humans. I believe my tortoises are much more secure feeling with having plants in their enclosures. Inside or out, I think plants real or fake are needed.
 

tortoisenerd

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I think the benefits of the plants (for the tortoise, I get no enjoyment out of them!) far outweigh any risks. I observe my tort's first interactions with the plants and would take it out if I thought he had the strength to bit off a piece. Interesting thoughts though.
 
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