Upgrading Redfoot Enclosure

Shaybe13

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
24
Location (City and/or State)
Roanoke, VA
Hey everyone! I have a beautiful ~7 month old redfoot that I purchased from Southern Reptiles last year. He's already more than doubled in size and quadrupled in weight since October. He will occasionally explore his enclosure, but I think he needs more plants/coverage to feel fully comfortable. At the moment I have 2 log hides, a corner with sphagnum moss, and a solitary fern. What is everyone's recommendation as far as real vs fake plants? I know real can be challenging to keep alive, but he's fairly curious and I'm worried he might try to eat the fake plants. Please let me know what you have in your enclosure and, if you have real plants, which plants you think work best!
 

KarenSoCal

Well-Known Member
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Platinum Tortoise Club
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Jul 8, 2017
Messages
5,011
Location (City and/or State)
Low desert 50 mi SE of Palm Springs CA
Hi!

I am assuming you are asking about an indoor enclosure with lights, heat, etc.

Lots of plants are good to have in there, especially with a redfoot! Real plants help increase humidity, and also enable the tort to create his own little microclimate under them. Personally, I think real plants are much better for this reason, but in addition you can always put in a fake one.

The 3 plants that seem to do best are spider plants, pothos, and Boston fern. These are good because they make a space under them that feels safe. And if your tort skips lunch and snacks instead, they are safe if eaten.

Other plants are also safe...African violets, aloe, and any kind of bromeliad. I haven't tried them, but I'm tempted. I don't know if they would survive the heat in the enclosure.

The only other concern is that any commercially grown plant that you buy has most likely been treated with chemicals. This is usually weed killer, bug killer, and fertilizer with additives, all of which are toxic to your baby.

To solve this, you can
1) grow from seed...a good method.
2) take cuttings from family and friends who only use plain fertilizer...no added stuff to save water, brighten flower colors, etc. This is the easiest way.
3) buy commercial plants. When you get it home, take it out of its pot and completely wash all the dirt off its roots. Repot it in a new pot with plain dirt, maybe ffrom your own back yard. Potting soil can be used if it has no additives, but it can be hard to find. A nursery is best...they understand "no additives". And "organic" does not suffice...it can have all kinds of stuff in it and still be called organic. After repotting your new plant, wait a year before putting it in the enclosure, so all the chemicals have time to grow out of the leaves. This is the long term method. 😆

A suggestion...regardless of how you get your plants, try to get 2 of each. That way, when one starts to look ragged from the heat, you can switch it out with another while the first one recuperates.

I hope this is helpful! I wish you success in hunting!
 

Shaybe13

New Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2020
Messages
24
Location (City and/or State)
Roanoke, VA
Hi!

I am assuming you are asking about an indoor enclosure with lights, heat, etc.

Lots of plants are good to have in there, especially with a redfoot! Real plants help increase humidity, and also enable the tort to create his own little microclimate under them. Personally, I think real plants are much better for this reason, but in addition you can always put in a fake one.

The 3 plants that seem to do best are spider plants, pothos, and Boston fern. These are good because they make a space under them that feels safe. And if your tort skips lunch and snacks instead, they are safe if eaten.

Other plants are also safe...African violets, aloe, and any kind of bromeliad. I haven't tried them, but I'm tempted. I don't know if they would survive the heat in the enclosure.

The only other concern is that any commercially grown plant that you buy has most likely been treated with chemicals. This is usually weed killer, bug killer, and fertilizer with additives, all of which are toxic to your baby.

To solve this, you can
1) grow from seed...a good method.
2) take cuttings from family and friends who only use plain fertilizer...no added stuff to save water, brighten flower colors, etc. This is the easiest way.
3) buy commercial plants. When you get it home, take it out of its pot and completely wash all the dirt off its roots. Repot it in a new pot with plain dirt, maybe ffrom your own back yard. Potting soil can be used if it has no additives, but it can be hard to find. A nursery is best...they understand "no additives". And "organic" does not suffice...it can have all kinds of stuff in it and still be called organic. After repotting your new plant, wait a year before putting it in the enclosure, so all the chemicals have time to grow out of the leaves. This is the long term method. 😆

A suggestion...regardless of how you get your plants, try to get 2 of each. That way, when one starts to look ragged from the heat, you can switch it out with another while the first one recuperates.

I hope this is helpful! I wish you success in hunting!
This is extremely helpful, thank you so much!! I will see if i can get some starts/seeds and put some more coverage in his enclosure. Hopefully that will encourage him to do some more exploring!
 
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