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Substrate for hatchling sulcata

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosure Substrate' started by betturbutter, Nov 10, 2013.

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  1. betturbutter

    betturbutter Member 5 Year Member

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    tortoise bedding-future new owner

    Hi. I am going to buy a tortoise in two months and have done some research already. I am having the most trouble with the bedding. I don't know which types are good to use for a Sulcata tortoise, which is the kind i'm buying. Where can i purchase the bedding? Which types of bedding are best for a sulcata tortoise?
  2. Jacqui

    Jacqui Wanna be raiser of Lemon Drop tortoises Moderator 10 Year Member!

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    RE: tortoise bedding-future new owner

    Hi and welcome! Are you planning on getting a hatchling sulcata or a larger one?
  3. Yvonne G

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

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    RE: tortoise bedding-future new owner

    Hi Bett:

    Welcome to the Forum!!

    For babies I like to use the 'fine' grade orchid bark. The fir bark that they put up for growing orchids is pretty pure because orchids are sensitive. And the 'fine' grade is small enough that babies can walk on it easily.

    Quite a few of our members like to use coconut coir. It comes in a compressed brick and sometimes its called Bed-A-Beast. I tried it and didn't like it, so don't use it, but many, many members really swear by it.

    My suggestion is for you to give it all a try and settle on the one that suits you best. You want something that you can keep moist (we're talking about babies here, not older tortoises), something easy for the baby to walk on, something he can dig into, something that isn't dusty and something that won't cause impaction. There is no one good answer, it really boils down to personal preference and what works for the tortoise.
  4. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    RE: tortoise bedding-future new owner

    Hello and Welcome.:). I like coconut coir, it holds humidity really well, won't mold. Just bake or boil any substrate you use first and it will prolong the little bugs that everyone gets. Any of the four or a mixture of the four The four being, coconut coir, orchid bark, cypress mulch or dirt
  5. betturbutter

    betturbutter Member 5 Year Member

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    RE: tortoise bedding-future new owner

    I'm planing on getting a hatchling.
  6. betturbutter

    betturbutter Member 5 Year Member

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    RE: tortoise bedding-future new owner




    Where can i buy The orchid bedding?
  7. Yvonne G

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

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    RE: tortoise bedding-future new owner

    I buy it at Orchard Supply Hardware, and that's about the only place where I've been able to find the large bags on a regular basis. Occasionally I can find it at one of the home improvement stores in the plant part, or at a nursery.

    You can also buy smaller bags at pet stores, but you pay a premium price for it that way...Forest Floor, Cypress Bedding, etc.
  8. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    RE: tortoise bedding-future new owner

    My first choice for sulcata hatchlings is fine grade orchid bark like Yvonne suggested. My second choice would be coco coir. Make it deep and then hand pack it down to make it less messy.
  9. betturbutter

    betturbutter Member 5 Year Member

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    RE: tortoise bedding-future new owner



    Thank you. I was wondering if you can post a picture of what the fine grade orchid bark looks like? i don't want to buy the wrong thing. that would be really helpful.
    [hr]


    Does fine grade orchid bark look more like wood chips or dirt?
    Can i buy this at petsmart, homedepot, lowes, or any other well known store like that?
  10. betturbutter

    betturbutter Member 5 Year Member

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    I have decided to buy fine grade orchid bark. I can't really find any stores that sale the right one. They sale the more coarse kind. Have any of you bought it from an online site? How did you like it?
  11. Blake m

    Blake m Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    It really depends on where you live. I live in California and we have the usual Home Depot, and lowes. But, we also have a place called orchard hardware and supply, where it's the only place that I can find cocoa choir in a 10 pound bulk to cover my two story 3X3 enclosure. The substrate that you got is a great choice. Good luck
  12. betturbutter

    betturbutter Member 5 Year Member

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    I'm in southern California. If I can't find the find grade orchid bark I'll go with the coco coir.
  13. Dizisdalife

    Dizisdalife Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    The coco coir will work fine. It's messy at first. Just keep packing it down and eventually it won't stick to everything (meaning your tortoise). It also has a tendency to stain the tortoise's skin when it is fresh. Don't worry. It goes away in a few days.
  14. Arizona Sulcata

    Arizona Sulcata Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    The coco coir is my #1 recommendation. Cypress Mulch is also a great option.
  15. mike taylor

    mike taylor Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I use coco coir with cypress on top . It helps keep the coco coir out of water and food .
  16. betturbutter

    betturbutter Member 5 Year Member

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    Do you know if fir bark and orchid bark are the same? should i stay away from pine bark?
  17. betturbutter

    betturbutter Member 5 Year Member

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    RE: tortoise bedding-future new owner

    do i have to spray the orchid bark every day to keep it moist?
    [hr]
    Is it called "EarthGro all natural mulch"?
  18. Blake m

    Blake m Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    So people have used the Eco earth. There is the option of buying cocoa choir in bulk. I had to use 7-8 gallons of water and let the sun dry it out (because it was SOAKED) for 2-3 days as well.
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