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Help With Planted Enclosure

Discussion in 'Hermanns tortoises' started by lumitory, Jul 6, 2019.

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  1. lumitory

    lumitory New Member

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    Hey everyone!

    I’m a soon to be new tortoise mom, my little guy comes August 10th. Although not new to reptiles, I am new to tortoises specifically. I’ve been stockpiling research upon research and have read countless care sheets. But my biggest issue is feeding. I live in Canada and my climate doesn’t permit continuous outdoor time, but I do have the space and resources to grow some plants indoors. I already have my eye on some seed mixes specifically for grazing tortoises, as well as other formulated diets to mix in.

    I am completely oblivious to plant care and I’m the type of person who can’t seem to keep plants alive! So...

    From your guys’ experience, what are the best food safe plants/weeds to grow in enclosure? (Space, easiness, and availability wise)
    And do I need any special requirements such as soils, fertilizers or lighting? Or is the tortoise’s UVB enough for plants?

    I can’t think of any other important questions right now, but if you have any pointers please let me know! Thank you!
  2. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I think it depends on what type of tortoise you're getting.

    My redfoot's enclosure has a couple of different nibbling options:

    1) pothos - I root cuttings in water then plant them in 16oz Tupperware jars with holes cut in the lids and drainage holes in the bottoms that I've filled with damp cypress mulch

    2) wheat grass - I sprout a tablespoon of wheat seeds in a box mason jar, put it in the enclosure for a week or two, then switch it out with the next one

    I like these options because I can replace them both pretty easily and they don't introduce pouring sol to my tort's enclosure's

    I know pothos works for my redfoot but I'm not sure if it is ok for other species... I like it because it's so eaat to grow and my Darwin loves eating it.

    Jamie
  3. lumitory

    lumitory New Member

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    Ah sorry, I thought it went under a hermanns tortoise thread. But I’m getting a hermanns. I know for sure I’ll be trying out wheat grass and dandelions in the enclosure! But this may be a stupid questions but is the UVB bulb fine for growing plants? I know next to nothing about planting haha
  4. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    It did go in the Hermanns section, I just didn't notice... ;)

    J
  5. Ed mitch

    Ed mitch Active Member

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    The bulb will be fine! Some say it can be even better than sunlight! From my personal experience i find Dandelion hard to grow indoors due to their long deep roots.
  6. lumitory

    lumitory New Member

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    Ah okay! I assumed dandelion would be easy as it grows everywhere here! But if it won’t grow good indoors I can always trim some from my yard as it’s unsprayed. Also, I haven’t really found a concrete answer- is it ok for them to graze from lawn grass? Some people have mixed answers.
  7. Ed mitch

    Ed mitch Active Member

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    Ive always allowed my tortoises to graze, as long as it’s not treated or sprayed
  8. lumitory

    lumitory New Member

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    So I bought some seed and have it germinating in my closet in dish tubs haha! Once they’re sprouting they’ll be outside or under UVB. Fingers crossed I can figure out this whole plant thing and they don’t all die.

    I did that with my bearded dragons, all my garden and lawn is unsprayed which is great!
  9. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Nothing is likely to grow inside the enclosure with the tortoise because it will be eaten or trampled. You can try to grow it in pots that the tortoise can't get to, but better to grow your indoor food plants under the correct plant lighting outside of the enclosure. Plants don't need UV, so your tortoise bulb might be too hot for them. Plants need a different spectrum of lighting than your tortoise.

    Hermanni are not a grass eating species, so I wouldn't spend much time on that.

    Care for them is the same as for Russians. Give these a read through:
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/beginner-mistakes.45180/
    https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/russian-tortoise-care-sheet.80698/
  10. lumitory

    lumitory New Member

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    I was planning on growing them in bins and just switching them out when they’re being over eaten and such. And a few of the seeds I got are edible but not very appetizing for tortoises so they can be more of a decoration.
    As for the grass thing, it was more of for grazing and stuff. For more variation, and I read that tall grasses and wheat grasses are good too.
  11. katieandiggy

    katieandiggy Well-Known Member

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    I have found it quite difficult to grow seeds indoors. I have a large tray inside my enclosure that I planted lots of seeds in and whilst they started to sprout, they didn’t get any bigger and ended up dying. Dandelions are very hard to grow indoors.
    I have also found that the UV light burns the plants. I have a spider plant in my enclosure that is huge but the leaves are burnt from the UV light, it’s also in a pot.
    You are best trying to but one of those small plastic green houses that are about £12 not sure how much that is in Canada but you can raise your seeds outside and cut off what you need.
    I have large tubs outside full of tortoise weeds that I cut and they just keep growing back.
    Tom likes this.
  12. lumitory

    lumitory New Member

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    797EC5FA-E20F-40AB-8070-E30DA684C6DF.jpeg 62D17471-E236-4DB9-9844-2C6D9681F13D.jpeg DF3D5D64-4020-4CC3-96C9-CAF0C6103149.jpeg
    update:: they sprouted super quick! Grabbed some seeds and tried my luck just throwing them in some cheap soil and watering every morning. I was surprised how fast they even grew! Getting some spider plant seeds and Russian tortoise mix next and also have some wheat grass growing.
    katieandiggy likes this.
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