Water dish for Indian Star?

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fishguy

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So, here's my first question after my intro ( told you I'd have some questions to ask!)

I have my recently acquired Star, about 2 inches right now. I've only had him/her for 3 days now. Today he ate for the first time, and ate well, has pooped already twice, so things are going well. He's been out exploring and sleeping and doing "tortoise" things.

I'm housing him in a glass terrarium (exo terra with ventilation and screen top - not an aquarium). I've got the lower several inches covered up so as not to confuse him, making it similar to a box. I'm using Reptisun 10.0 UVB bulb about 10 inches from the floor of the tank, and based on recommendations, using flax as a substrate for him.

My question is on water... I've found mixed info on water source. Some say to keep a very small water dish inside for him to bathe/drink as needed. Some say to never use any water at all, instead soak several times per week in shallow warm water for maybe 15 minutes or so. Can anyone say definitively what the proper method is? I was thinking of providing a very shallow amount of water daily, and also soak to ensure he's getting some hydration.

The humidity varies greatly here, but in general will stay around 50% or so. I am running Herpkeeper in his enclosure as well to monitor humidity and temps exactly, ensuring day/night fluctuations, and even provide night time moonlight.

Thank you for any information.
 

wellington

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Water available 24/7 and daily soaks too. The " they don't need water in their enclosure advice" is old and outdate and not good for the tort.
 

fishguy

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Thank you for the quick replies. I was kinda thinking that was the best option, I will provide a shallow water bath at all times, and ensure soaking as well, just to be safe.
 

AnnV

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Where does one get flax? Is that the dried plant?

Ann from CT
 

Yvonne G

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I think people use ground flax seed to grow mushrooms, and I've used flax seed (not ground) to put a shiney coat on baby horses, but I've never heard of using ground flax seed as a substrate. Since you need to keep your substrate slightly moist, and ground flax seed grows good mushrooms, I would think that it would NOT be something you would want to use for a tortoise substrate.
 

fishguy

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AnnV said:
Where does one get flax? Is that the dried plant?

Ann from CT


I got the flax from the reptile store I purchased the tortoise from. They were put onto it by a breeder/dealer they use. They get it by the bag, it is the plant, dried and broken into small pieces, kind of like straw. It's very easy for cleanup, and he can it eat as well with no concern. So far I'm happy with it.
 

fishguy

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Yvonne G said:
I think people use ground flax seed to grow mushrooms, and I've used flax seed (not ground) to put a shiney coat on baby horses, but I've never heard of using ground flax seed as a substrate. Since you need to keep your substrate slightly moist, and ground flax seed grows good mushrooms, I would think that it would NOT be something you would want to use for a tortoise substrate.

The flax I'm using is more similar to aspen shavings than seed. I am now keeping a water dish in the terrarium 24 hours / day. I am also going to be soaking him in warm water at least every other day. So I think the moisture requirement is met?

It does seem that a soil mix is the preferred substrate, and as we construct his "forever" home, I think that would be the substrate of choice.
 

fishguy

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I have switched over to coconut coir, allowing a little more humidity. I'm trying to keep humidity around 50% to avoid any possible respiratory issues. I've already started constructing a larger tort table too.
 
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