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Old 29-02-2012, 04:37 PM   #1
TortoisePepé
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I have currently been using a combination of both dried grass and hemp bedding for my little 1 year old hermanns, Pepé. After recently reading up on hemp bedding and the dangers, i decided to change my substrate.
I purchased the tortoise life (mix of soil, sand & limestone), and also purchased crushed oyster shell from the shelled warrior shop..
I received the tortoise life yesterday so gave it a go, an hour after putting the substrate into my torts table i went to check on him and he was not himself at all, his eye was covered in the substrate, i washed it from his eye, as i did this he was clearly in distress.. his eye became rather inflamed and puffy. After lots of tortoise cuddles he calmed himself down and today his eye is much better. I am now clearly too scared to use this again, but gave the oyster shell a go as im low on dried grass, He is now trying to eat the oyster shell, i know it is normal for torts to check out their new surroundings, however due to the rough edges, and after googling it, became aware that it was dangerous if the torts ate it and it also wore down the underneath of the shell causing infection. Again in a state of panick removed it, (im not very good with change). I am now wondering wether there is either a different reccomended substrate other than his dried grass and dried flowers, and wether i should use the oyster shell or is it best i dont?
Sorry for gigantic message..
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Old 01-03-2012, 03:54 PM   #2
houseofcutler
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I have bought a bag of tortoise life but haven't got around to using it yet as I am waiting to move my tort into the new table sometime soon but I believe tortoise life is generally regarded as being one of the best substrates for Med tortoises. Saying that many people on here think it is not worth the extra money and use sterilised top soil from somewhere like Wickes instead.

I know people add oyster shell to their tables in certain areas, such as around the water dish to reduce the mud factor, but I wasn't aware of it being used as a major substrate for the table. I thought eating a bit was ok as it is a source of calcium but havent done a lot of reasearch as I have never used it.

Basically if you are in doubt as to what to do, go to Wickes and buy a bag of sterilised top soil for a few quid and try that - that's what most people on here (including myself) are doing. You may have to pick out some bits of hair or stones over time as they appear, this can be avoided if you use a garden sieve on it but that's a lot of work.

Hope this helps...
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Last edited by houseofcutler; 01-03-2012 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
Merlin M
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I use tortoise life in my table seems to be fine, yeah we get some in the water but no more than I did when I used other substrates, and my little guy is happy marching over it and digging in it...
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
kkenny
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The best for Hermanns and many other torts is Top Soil - just regular from Homebase or anywhere. I use this in about 80% of the enclosure with Readi Grass for variation.

Eating Oyster shell is good, plenty of calcium in it, I also have this in my enclosure. Not sure if your info about that is correct so hopefullly someone else will comment.

I have in the past used Tortoise Life without problems but it is expensive so dont bother anymore, it does need to moistened or it is very dry like sand.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:23 PM   #5
Merlin M
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I have to admit from reading on here next time I will probably just get some top soil and play sand
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:16 PM   #6
EJ
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If you were using the hemp without any problems... why change it? I hope you didn't change it on the say so of one person. Many people parrot advice without actually knowing if the information is good or not either from personal experience or the first hand experience of others. Try to look at many different sources of information to get a good idea of what is going to work for you and your tortoise.

I've used hemp for many years but it is hard to come by here in the states. I mainly use it on my smaller tortoises but I also use shredded aspen bedding which has the same texture as the hemp.

I think your original substrate and set up is just fine. Your tortoise has told you what the best substrate is for him by the way he acted when you changed it.

Btw... tortoises like change less than you or I.

Crushed oyster shell can be a good substrate to use but it needs to be misted to keep the dust down. I was also concerned with the tortoise ingesting the stuff. I wouldn't use it on a tortoise that is smaller than 5cm SCL. If the tortoise is consuming too much of the stuff... remove the tortoise or the substrate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TortoisePepé View Post
I have currently been using a combination of both dried grass and hemp bedding for my little 1 year old hermanns, Pepé. After recently reading up on hemp bedding and the dangers, i decided to change my substrate.
I purchased the tortoise life (mix of soil, sand & limestone), and also purchased crushed oyster shell from the shelled warrior shop..
I received the tortoise life yesterday so gave it a go, an hour after putting the substrate into my torts table i went to check on him and he was not himself at all, his eye was covered in the substrate, i washed it from his eye, as i did this he was clearly in distress.. his eye became rather inflamed and puffy. After lots of tortoise cuddles he calmed himself down and today his eye is much better. I am now clearly too scared to use this again, but gave the oyster shell a go as im low on dried grass, He is now trying to eat the oyster shell, i know it is normal for torts to check out their new surroundings, however due to the rough edges, and after googling it, became aware that it was dangerous if the torts ate it and it also wore down the underneath of the shell causing infection. Again in a state of panick removed it, (im not very good with change). I am now wondering wether there is either a different reccomended substrate other than his dried grass and dried flowers, and wether i should use the oyster shell or is it best i dont?
Sorry for gigantic message..
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Last edited by EJ; 01-03-2012 at 05:21 PM.
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