Substrate in outdoor enclosure?

heather moister

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Should I add coir or other substrate to my outdoor enclosure? Or is plain old dirt acceptable? The soil is dry and coarse.
 

wellington

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I have plain grass/weeds, and dirt, that's it as far as substrate for all my torts outside enclosure. They of course have water, flowers and hides.
 

jaizei

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Ideally, you'll have something growing in the outdoor enclosure so I'd work towards that end. You may need to amend (compost, coir, peat, etc) the soil to make it a better growing medium.
 

turdle yerdle

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I would add a different substrate so your tortoise can dig, and it will be more humid. Humidity can be a problem with russian tortoises, that was a problem I encountered using repti bark so now I use a mix of eco earth.
 

TMartin510

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I've tried eco earth in my indoor enclosure for my redfoot, however I believe my waterfall leaked and caused it to be more of a swamp, I went today and replaced it with some bark and cypress mulch forest flooring which works good so far, the soaked eco earth reeked horribly. Now that my redfoot project is complete, I'm going to upgrade my Russain outdoor pen completley aswell with different things, I may use a couple different kinds that will go well with it.
 

Tom

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I use the dirt that is already in the area where I make my enclosure.
 

leigti

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I use the dirt that is already in the area where I make my enclosure.
I think it just depends what your soil is like. My house is built on a riverbed. There is almost no soil at all, just rock. You have to dig with a crowbar or a pick ax a shovel doesn't work. And forget growing anything. That's why I bought some good stuff to use. I envy those people who can just use their own dirt.
 

Jodie

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I agree it depends on the quality of your soil. I recently had to remove my soil because it has a lot of small rocks they were eating.
 

Tortisedonk7

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Looking for recommendations about what substrate to use out side in hot humid tropical location. My enclosure is 2ft x 8ft, it is now covered so it doesn’t get drenched from rain but gets slightly wet (like Heavy misting). The area gets about 2 hrs of sun in the late morning 10-12. Currently has soil and grass. I like the idea of grass and growing plants but im starting to find it’s not realistic for this location. the grass doesn’t grow well bc the limited sun, and it also harbors too many mosquitos. My little Redfoot goes out here during the day after the sun passes and if it’s not too hot.
Any and all input is appreciated. 😁
 

Tortisedonk7

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Just realized this is in Russian tort area. Oh well. Here are pics.
 

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Tortisedonk7

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Decided to redo the enclosure. The soil with grass just isn’t working. Thinking I’m gonna use coco husk for the substrate.

Plenty of worms in there, and lots of other creepy crawlers I don’t want living with my tort.
 

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Tortisedonk7

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Clean and adding gravel for the base. Now just wait until I decide what to use for the torts substrate.
 

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Blackdog1714

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What mulches do you have available in Indonesia? Coco husk comes in different varieties. The choir which is the fine shred is so messy and stains so I would avoid the real fine shred.
 

Tortisedonk7

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Thank for your reply. I think this post should have been made somewhere else, or it’s own thread. Anyway.
The main one available is called ‘coco husk’ I know the one you are taking about, and I don’t like it. The coco husk here is different than coco coir. It’s cut pieces of coconut husk about the size of small gravel. See pic, It comes in 3 sizes. The medium is what I have now mixed with a little bit of top soil for the indoor enclosure. It’s a little soft/spongy but fine.
Wish I could find orchid bark or cypress mulch.
 

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Blackdog1714

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Thank for your reply. I think this post should have been made somewhere else, or it’s own thread. Anyway.
The main one available is called ‘coco husk’ I know the one you are taking about, and I don’t like it. The coco husk here is different than coco coir. It’s cut pieces of coconut husk about the size of small gravel. See pic, It comes in 3 sizes. The medium is what I have now mixed with a little bit of top soil for the indoor enclosure. It’s a little soft/spongy but fine.
Wish I could find orchid bark or cypress mulch.
The fine fir bark is marketed as Reptibark and here on the East Coast of the USA it is the best option. I put down 3-5” of cypress (readily available here) then top with Reptibark. Performs well and looks awesome
 

Tortisedonk7

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Thanks for the input.
Cypress mulch or anything similar isn’t available here. I can get the bark (not reptibark brand) but it’s expensive! Considering how much I need in. 4ft x 2ft enclosure.
I can get wood chips from a local saw mill. But they will need to be baked or sanitized in some way.
 
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