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I need some help with indoor substrate.

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosure Substrate' started by Jeffrey Dunlap, Nov 8, 2014.

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  1. Jeffrey Dunlap

    Jeffrey Dunlap New Member

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    Hello everyone! We have a 5 year old sulcata that we just brought in for the winter. We live in Missouri and have TERRIBLE weather. I made a large place for him to spend the winter in the loft of our sons room. I put peat down as a substrate, but that stuff just turns to dust and covers the entire room in a brown film. Is there a better alternative that I could use, or something I could mix with it??

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Hi Jeffrey, and welcome to the Forum!

    You need to water proof the habitat, then wet the peat. Most of the folk on here use coco coir, but it has to be wet down too. My substrate of choice is fine grade orchid bark, and I wet it too.

    Sulcatas come from a more humid environment than what you have in mind. They live in the grasslands and forests, which wouldn't be able to survive without water...not in the dry desert like we've all been brain-washed into thinking.
  3. lisa127

    lisa127 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I use peat moss myself. I keep it damp. If the top layer starts getting too dusty I just mix the substrate all around with my hands.
  4. Jeffrey Dunlap

    Jeffrey Dunlap New Member

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    Thanks!!!! i appreciate it. I would actually like to make an outside box so he can stay out of the house. He seems pissed now that we brought him inside.

    I am nervous about the super cold and snowy nights we get here in MO...does anyone else live in a place that has this kind of weather and can keep them outside?

    I have a super cool neighbor who can build anything we need, so if there is something you think might work for outside, please let me know!

    thanks again!
    Yellow Turtle01 likes this.
  5. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Yellow Turtle01 and TortMomma like this.
  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    I also prefer the orchid bark. Damp is good, but you must also keep the whole room warm. Your son's entire room should be too small for a five year old sulcata. How big is he? How big is the enclosure?
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