New owner of RT looking for advices.

ileoyu

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Hi my name is Leo, I live in NY. I recently bought an adult male RT from Andrew Hermes and yes he is very healthy, active and eats fairly well. I keep him in a 50 gal Rubbermaid container. I've done a ton of research before buying one, however, I still have a few questions.

For substrate I only use coco fiber (no mix or anything), i keep it damp and moist. However, the substrate would often get into his food, water and eyes. I used Q-tips (cotton swab) to clean his eyes today. So question #1, what substrate should I use to prevent this problem or it is fine the way it is.

For light and temp, I use MVB from zoomed's all in one powersun 100w (All in one = UVA, UVB, heat). For his basking area, it's usually 90-100 degrees and for his cool side it's usually 70-80 degrees. Question #2, is this a suitable light bulb for my RT?

Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

Jodie

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I use coco coir, keep it moist and pat down with my hand. I never have a problem. For adult Russians, fine orchid bark is a good option. Your temps and lights sound good. Welcome to the forum.
 

ileoyu

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Thanks but the part where the substrates would get into his eyes, food and water worries me. He loves digging it so he would always have substrates on his head and sometimes eyes. What do I do to prevent it?
 

Jodie

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They live in dirt. Digging is their thing. Give him a soak and rinse once in awhile. Change the water at least daily. I have a cement pavers that I feed on.
 

ileoyu

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How about zoomed's repti bark that most pet stores sell? Are those good option as well? If so I can make it around 6 inches deep.
 

Jodie

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Just orchid bark from garden store is the same thing n cheaper, but yes bark is a good option.
 

dmmj

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whenever possible you want to try to buy your supplies at a home improvement type Store pet stores are designed 2 rip you off
 

ileoyu

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Update: I replaced the coco coir with bark. Soon after I rinsed, soaked, and cleaned him with a q tip. I put him back to his cage and he began eating the turnip greens I served him. The bedding is at least 4 inches deep. Everything seems a lot more clean and less messy now.
 

ileoyu

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@dmmj, I couldn't find the orchid bark at any garden around me, I even went to home depot and they were out of stock. I was very impatient and bought it from Petco. Money isn't that big of a deal compare to him getting sick due the coco fiber getting into his nose and eyes. Yes, I may have gotten ripped off but just as long as he is healthy, I'm willing to get ripped off.
 

awesomecs

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They live in dirt. Digging is their thing. Give him a soak and rinse once in awhile. Change the water at least daily. I have a cement pavers that I feed on.
um... I wouldn't use that I would use sterilized dirt or store bought soil with nothing in it, and I thought Russian torts don't like wet soil from were they live
 

awesomecs

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@dmmj, I couldn't find the orchid bark at any garden around me, I even went to home depot and they were out of stock. I was very impatient and bought it from Petco. Money isn't that big of a deal compare to him getting sick due the coco fiber getting into his nose and eyes. Yes, I may have gotten ripped off but just as long as he is healthy, I'm willing to get ripped off.

wait don't they chock on that bark if they think its food or swallow it by accident... oh an you can just go to Walmart, or home depot and get top soil with nothing in it, they can dig and I wont get "in" there eyes only around here head and eyes lol
 

ileoyu

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The bark has been working great and a lot more easier to clean. He diggs in it regularly and have not seen him attempt to eat the substrate. I put rocks around his feeding area ensuring that he won't swallow any of the substrate.
 

Jodie

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The bark has been working great and a lot more easier to clean. He diggs in it regularly and have not seen him attempt to eat the substrate. I put rocks around his feeding area ensuring that he won't swallow any of the substrate.
Bark is a good choice.
 
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