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Old 21-06-2011, 10:28 PM   #1
Trac3y
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Post Indoor substrate help

I'm in the process of getting my indoor enclosure ready but have a few questions before I start.
I have looked through every single photo of indoor enclosures, most of which are fab.
One thing that striked me is a lot dont seem to have many plants / weeds growing is that for any reason?
If seed type trays are put in and sunken to be level with whichever substrate is used with weeds & plants growing, do tortoises over eat or will they just eat as as they are hungry?
Also which is best, am i right in thinking 100% top soil? I have bought a bag of 'Pro Rep Tortoise Life Substrate, 10ltrs' off the SW website, that's all as far as substrate goes so far. Do they have hay in their house? many of the enclosures in the photos have woodchips, shavings, hay, etc which is best?
Many thanks, Tracey
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Old 21-06-2011, 10:52 PM   #2
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In my indoor enclosure I have 70% topsoil and 30% sand (roughly). Mine just dig down in the soil/sand when they're in their house, so I don't have anything else in there.

I just pick their weeds/plants daily and put them in their enclosure. I am growing weeds in trays and will when ready sink the trays in the soil so they can graze.
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Old 22-06-2011, 11:46 AM   #3
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Hi Tracey I think its quite difficult to keep the plants/weeds alive in a table setting, with the temperatures + torts trampling all over them etc (you will find they dont walk round ANYTHING lol!) I remember planting some pansies in one of mine which looked lovely in the morning, when I came back late after noon one of my Hermans who's very greedy had eaten all the food & all the pansies - even pulled up the roots!

If you really wanted plants you could possibly try a seedtray that you rotated regularly, or something like a cacti/yucka in a pot, so they cant quite reach it, or plastic plants can be quite affective - also consider the aquarium ones (cheap to buy & nice colours)

Sustrate, take Lynnes advise or use just plain top soil straight from the bag, which is what I have used for a while now. One word of warning, is it going to be a Horsefield your getting? if it is id definately use just top soil as the sand seems to irritate their eyes as they like to burrow & I have noticed a lot of people asking for advise on sore horsefield eyes.

Cant comment on the other stuff as havent tried it, you could give it a go, which ever you choose remember to spray it at night, so it doesnt get too dusty.
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Old 22-06-2011, 11:55 AM   #4
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my reason is that I tried it and it failed. they trample over them or they eat them in all in five minutes. also, there's not a lot of plants do well in heat like that for so long each day, cactus maybe
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Old 22-06-2011, 12:51 PM   #5
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Thanks Lynn & Alan that explains a lot! That's where your experience comes in. I'm filled with good intentions of growing things in seed trays and having growing plants in the table. It's not until you try it that you find out why other's don't do it!
I am having either ibera or hermanns off Red Foot Marg, early July
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Old 22-06-2011, 02:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trac3y View Post
Thanks Lynn & Alan that explains a lot! That's where your experience comes in. I'm filled with good intentions of growing things in seed trays and having growing plants in the table. It's not until you try it that you find out why other's don't do it!
I am having either ibera or hermanns off Red Foot Marg, early July
Thats brilliant Tracey, I bet your so excited! You wont go wrong with one of Chris's babies
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Old 22-06-2011, 02:30 PM   #7
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Totally agree with others about trying to grow things

Just wanted to say I had some of that tortoise life stuff and mix in into the top layer of my top soil. It is not an essential going forwards (as it can be quite expensive in the long run) but I quite like using it.

Post some pics when you get your baby!
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Old 22-06-2011, 07:49 PM   #8
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i use tortoise life and spray it was water if it gets a bit to dry but mine love it and its easy to use
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Old 22-06-2011, 09:32 PM   #9
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I mix Tortoise life with topsoil for the little ones as it's got lots of bits of oyster shell etc so if they eat it that's ok.Plain topsoil for the older ones as it gets too expensive otherwise and it's fine for them
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Old 23-06-2011, 12:10 AM   #10
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How much do you pay for tortoise life? Is it expensive?
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