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Help with substrate needed...

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosure Substrate' started by rach.sxo, Feb 26, 2015.

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  1. rach.sxo

    rach.sxo Member

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    When I brought my hermanns in December I was told by the pet shop to use wood clippings they provided. After being on this forum I was informed this was a terrible substrate so I changed to coco coir.
    My tortoise is much happier on this substrate however, I use a vivarium and the coco coir was very moist when first put in which has made the wood of the vivarium bow.
    I don't want to ruin the vivarium further, so which other substrate could I try that isn't so moist?
    Thank you :)
  2. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    You'll need to change over to some enclosure that can handle the humidity. Most folks using wood either seal the wood or use a plastic liner as a barrier before wetting the substrate.
  3. rach.sxo

    rach.sxo Member

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    I don't have the money to buy a brand a new enclosure so soon after getting this one. So if I lay down a plastic sheet under the coco coir it should be fine?
    Thank you for your help!
    Heather H likes this.
  4. Heather H

    Heather H Well-Known Member

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    yes that will work. it needs to go up about 6 inches from where the substrate is. you can use a stable gun and staple it to the sides.
  5. rach.sxo

    rach.sxo Member

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    Okay thank you. How would it work with the two sliding glass doors? As I wouldn't be able to staple the sheet there.
    Wondering whether a vivarium was a mistake...
  6. tinkerbell1189

    tinkerbell1189 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    With my Viv I just stapled the sheet as far as it would go at the front of the Viv with the 2 sliding doors. And then at the back and sides I did it higher, and just designed the layout of the enclosure so there would be a thin amount of substrate at the front by the doors, and then gradually going deeper as it goes towards the back. That way you don't have a ton of substrate fall out each time you open the door!

    I think whether you have a Viv or not depends on the climate where you live, I had to get one this winter, as winters are cold in uk. I couldn't hibernate him as he had been poorly on antibiotics before so wasn't safe to hibernate. He had other ideas tho.... So had to get the Viv to keep temps high enough to stop him hibernating. As soon as it's warm enough he will start to go in his table and outdoor enclosure.
  7. rach.sxo

    rach.sxo Member

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    Yeah I got a viv cause of living in the uk and temperatures just aren't high enough I was scared to get a table.
    Thank you for your advice, I will try this as soon as I can find a plastic sheet. What would you suggest I use? Just a basic plastic sheet or anything specific?
  8. tinkerbell1189

    tinkerbell1189 Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I used tarpaulin because it's thicker, and my tort likes to dig so I didn't want him putting his claws thru it. It seems to have worked well
  9. rach.sxo

    rach.sxo Member

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    Okay thank you so much I'll see about picking some up this weekend :)
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