Testudo seed mix from tortoise supply

Chubbs the tegu

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
Ma
Ordered some testudo broadleaf seed mix from tortoise supply to get some weeds for the winter months. Planning on growing it in an extra aquarium i have laying around.. any pointers are welcome!
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
i think there are all kinds of ways.......

 

Quixx66

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
Louisiana
I have my first bag of this seed mix too. I’m planning to plant in the enclosure. Due to my hay fever, I’m trying it out in 4” clay pots in the enclosure to remove if necessary. If no reaction, I’ll add more pots or plant the whole enclosure excluding decor similar to the pics on their website. I plan to let Matteo eat as he wishes or is this not advised?

My only concern other than that is the substrate. I’m switching to solely fine coir from a mix of Reptisoil and coir, so I expect to need organic garden soil in pots to grow the mix. I do have a plot outside I use to grow my own veggies and herbs during growing season so I plan to grow some of the mix then.

I’m new at this so take it for what it’s worth.
 

Chubbs the tegu

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
Ma
I have my first bag of this seed mix too. I’m planning to plant in the enclosure. Due to my hay fever, I’m trying it out in 4” clay pots in the enclosure to remove if necessary. If no reaction, I’ll add more pots or plant the whole enclosure excluding decor si Illar to the pics on their website. I plan to let Matteo eat as he wishes.

My only concern other than that is the substrate. I’m switching to solely fine coir from a mix of Reptisoil and coir, so I expect to need organic garden soil in pots to grow the mix.

I’m new at this so take it for what it’s worth.
I grew sulcata food seed mix outside last summer and it grew like crazy! No fertilizer.. just threw the seeds down in the outdoor enclosure and threw some peat over the seeds to cover them. And im the blackest thumb ull ever meet lol
 

TeamZissou

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
Albuquerque, NM
I started some of this in a planter box in my garage in about November under some 6500k T5 fluorescent grow lights. The mix sprouted well. I then bought some LED strip lights from amazon (supposedly for growing stuff) and placed the box under these, since I wanted to use the HO lights for some other flowers and things. The testudo mix basically stopped growing and started to die. After a few weeks of trying this, I just put the box outside and called it quits. I think the amazon strip lights were way too weak. It would probably take a good 6 weeks to get a decent sized leaf unless you have some strong lighting.

It would probably be easier to go to the store and buy some radish and dandelion greens. There's also clover, parsley, and cilantro in the mix.
 

Chubbs the tegu

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
Ma
I started some of this in a planter box in my garage in about November under some 6500k T5 fluorescent grow lights. The mix sprouted well. I then bought some LED strip lights from amazon (supposedly for growing stuff) and placed the box under these, since I wanted to use the HO lights for some other flowers and things. The testudo mix basically stopped growing and started to die. After a few weeks of trying this, I just put the box outside and called it quits. I think the amazon strip lights were way too weak. It would probably take a good 6 weeks to get a decent sized leaf unless you have some strong lighting.

It would probably be easier to go to the store and buy some radish and dandelion greens. There's also clover, parsley, and cilantro in the mix.
Whats the worse that can happen? The weeds die... or i boot the aquarium and cut a major artery and die haha
 

Quixx66

Active Member
Location (City and/or State)
Louisiana
I started some of this in a planter box in my garage in about November under some 6500k T5 fluorescent grow lights. The mix sprouted well. I then bought some LED strip lights from amazon (supposedly for growing stuff) and placed the box under these, since I wanted to use the HO lights for some other flowers and things. The testudo mix basically stopped growing and started to die.
Good to know. I think I have 6500K lights for a fish tank I could try. Will this bother the tort? Are the Arcadia 12% light and the basking light for tort unsuitable for the plants if I want to try inside the enclosure? And the CHE?

Better to just plant separately from my tort?
 

TeamZissou

Well-Known Member
Location (City and/or State)
Albuquerque, NM
I don't think it's a good idea to run a fluorescent (UVA heavy) and UVB bulb with the tortoise in there to try to grow stuff. It seems like too much UV and would contribute to pyramiding due to the shell drying out.

I believe they sell LED grow lights that fit in a T5 fixture; something like that would help stuff grow and wouldn't have the detrimental UV effects. The brightness of those bulbs is high, however. One that I just looked up, the AgroMax 4 puts out about 4600 lumens, which is a lot. @Markw84 shoots for around 330 lumens per 3 sq ft in a closed chamber, so the AgroMax 4 translates to about 1700 lumens per 3 square feet if the enclosure size is 4x2 feet. This may cause the tortoise to spend more time hiding.

Honestly, I have not looked much into growing stuff in an enclosure. I know that @turtlesteve uses a 6500k grow lamp for grass in his chaco enclosure, but I do not know if he mentioned what brightness he used.

It might be a safer bet to grow it separately.
 

turtlesteve

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
I don’t have a visible light meter but right now I’m running about 150 watts of LED over 16 square feet. It is an adjustable fixture normally used on aquariums - it goes up to 300 watts but it has a white channel and a blue channel (to adjust the color temperature of the light). Right now I have the blues off since they do not seem to help. I would guess that I am getting ~750 to 1,000 lumens per square foot. This is like an overcast day, ~10% of full sunlight.

I have other enclosures with much less light but I currently believe the light is beneficial. I’m gradually working on some new hatchling enclosures that will also incorporate high intensity LED.

Also, LED is much higher quality light than fluorescent because the spectrum is much wider and more like sunlight. Fluorescent light has sharp peaks at specific wavelengths. I have no idea what colors tortoises see best, but a fluorescent light that looks white to us might look wacky to other animals (if they are sensitive to slightly different wavelengths).

One last comment - tortoises eat plants a LOT faster than they can grow. I can keep grass growing because they won’t eat any unless I forget to feed them. I have tried planting more appetizing plants and they never last long.

I don't think it's a good idea to run a fluorescent (UVA heavy) and UVB bulb with the tortoise in there to try to grow stuff. It seems like too much UV and would contribute to pyramiding due to the shell drying out.

I believe they sell LED grow lights that fit in a T5 fixture; something like that would help stuff grow and wouldn't have the detrimental UV effects. The brightness of those bulbs is high, however. One that I just looked up, the AgroMax 4 puts out about 4600 lumens, which is a lot. @Markw84 shoots for around 330 lumens per 3 sq ft in a closed chamber, so the AgroMax 4 translates to about 1700 lumens per 3 square feet if the enclosure size is 4x2 feet. This may cause the tortoise to spend more time hiding.

Honestly, I have not looked much into growing stuff in an enclosure. I know that @turtlesteve uses a 6500k grow lamp for grass in his chaco enclosure, but I do not know if he mentioned what brightness he used.

It might be a safer bet to grow it separately.
 
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