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Discussion Starter #1
hi, im kinda new to all of this, as myself and my boyfriend have recently bought an 18month old spur thighed tortoise. We love him to bits, but the only problem is that we have noticed that his bedding/substrate really smells. i think the stuff we use is alfalfa pelets and straw-which was recommended by the woman in the shop. we have only had him a week, and already the stuff really smells. we were told that we only need to change his bedding once a month, is that right? ive also read on the internet lots of conflicting advice about what type of substrate is best to use. can anybody on here recommend a type? maybe one that doesnt smell so bad?

many thanks!
 

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Did you buy him from a petshop?What sort of housing are you keeping him in?chuck the substrate away,the best you can use is a 50/50 mix of playsand and top soil,or you can use hemp which you can get from horse supply shops!
hth
 

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we bought him from a reptile shop, it had lots of different breed of tortoises and all other reptiles. houseing wise we have a 3ft x 2ft x 2ft vivarium, they said it would be big enough for him for the next 3 years while he grows.can you buy the 50/50 mix, or do you just mix it yourself? which would be better and smells the least, the sand or the hemp?
Thanks very much for your help!
 

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Hello, i have also recently purchased a tortoise and i am slowly learning a few rights and wrongs. One of the main thing i now know is DO NOT KEEP HIM IN A VIV!!, it is not good for him and im sure that is what everyone on this site will also tell you, it could actually kill him and i am being serious. My tortoise is housed in a tortoise table and i have purchased a bag of playsand from argos only 2.50 and a bag of topsoil from b&q also 2.50. I simply poured half the sand and half the soil in and stirred it around until it was mixed and there is still loads left at least enough to change it again about 5 times. Good luck and i hope that helps x
 

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great advice from Tammy.im afraid yet again somebody has been conned into buying unnecesery equipment from a petshop! please get your tortoise out of that viv as soon as you can-if you dont your tortoise will be lucky to see out the next 3 years-sorry to be harsh but its true! the temps do not very enough as torts need a cool and a warm end,also glass will stress him out as he will constantly try to get out,an old drawer or big storage box would be better-i got 1 from homebase for £4!What are you feeding him?? try these sites:
www.tortoisetrust.org
www.shelledwarriors.co.uk
www.yahoo.com/group/tortsmad
hth
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks very much for all your advice! im so upset that we have conned into buy a viv when we dont need one. If we are to keep him in a storage box or draw, do we need to regulate the tempertaure in there at all? cuz the pet shop told us that because he's a greek spur tortoise, he needs the UV light on 9 hours a day, and we bought all the temperature regulating stuff too. did we buy all these things for nothing? also, should we keep a water bowl in there for him? we have been doing for the past week, as this is what we were told to do, but ive been reading on the internet conflicting arguments, some say no you shouldnt keep a water bowl, others say yes and change the water everyday! You guys all seem to know what your talking about, and you have the experience, so any help would be great. thanks.
 

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See if you can take it back to the shop for a refund,if not theres a classified section on here and someone may buy it from you!
in my box i have an 8% uvb strip light and a 60watt spotbulb in a desktop lamp holder(just in one corner) you can also get combined heat and light bulbs from somehere not sure where though! i leave mine both on for 12 hours a day on a timer and they are both off over night. if you go to the photos section of the tortsmad group there are loads of photos of peoples enclosures(mines under kerrys tortoise)
definatly keep the water bowl and also give him a warm bath everyday so he can empty his bowls and keep hydrated,what are you feeding him?
hth
 

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Discussion Starter #8
we were given a list a good and bad foods to feed him. Good things include Leeks, Continental lettuce, parsnips, basil, sow thistle, dandilion leaves, carrot tops and watercress. we were also told to sprinkle a calcuim mix over his food everytime we feed him.we also bought a tortoise feeding manuel by AC Highfield. So ppl would recommend that we make a tortoise table for him, or keep him in a storage box with a mixture of play sand and top soil? Should we take him outside everyday to let him have a mooch about?
 

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**Good things include Leeks,

Leeks are a member of the onion family and actually toxic to torts

**Continental lettuce,

OK in moderation

** parsnips,

Not good

** basil,

Unlikely your tort would touch it, but not toxic as such

** sow thistle, dandilion leaves,

Excellent

**carrot tops

Not good

**watercress.

The actual green bunched watercress is good, but those little punnets of salad cress will inhibit the uptake of calcium being a member oif the cabbage family

** we were also told to sprinkle a calcuim mix over his food everytime we feed him.

Nutrobal is best

**we also bought a tortoise feeding manuel by AC Highfield.

Excellent - wonder why they gave such rubbish advice on feeding if they sold this book

** So ppl would recommend that we make a tortoise table for him, or keep him in a storage box with a mixture of play sand and top soil?

Yes

**Should we take him outside everyday to let him have a mooch about?

It would be better to take his whole enclsure out. Torts do not generally like a change of scenery. They would spend most of the time checking it out at each visit and may just get stressed, or even worse lost :(
Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks very much everyone, you have all been a massive help! i just hope that we can stop these pets shops from selling these torts and giving people the totally wrong advice. i will try and post some pics on tortmad over the weekend, so you can see him in his new non-lethal tort table home!
 

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VIV don't always kill.

I've found this thread interesting as i want to change my tortoises substrate. They are currently on Herbi floor pelets but this creates a lot of dust!!, so wanted to change it to something else. How safe is 50/50 play sand and top soil? How long have people kept their tortoises on this type of substrate for? I would also like to say that my tortoises are 12years old nearly 13, living in a VIV 8ftx2ftx2ft venturing outside when in the summer months. The vet and breeder have checked them over say they're in excellent condition.:2thumb:
 

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I've found this thread interesting as i want to change my tortoises substrate. They are currently on Herbi floor pelets but this creates a lot of dust!!, so wanted to change it to something else. How safe is 50/50 play sand and top soil? How long have people kept their tortoises on this type of substrate for? I would also like to say that my tortoises are 12years old nearly 13, living in a VIV 8ftx2ftx2ft venturing outside when in the summer months. The vet and breeder have checked them over say they're in excellent condition.:2thumb:
Haha you will shortly be burnt at the stake!:lol2: Got to say that although you have been lucky, yours is not the recommended method- tables and bought topsoil/sand mix (70/30) are the way forward, apparently. But well done on keeping yours healthy!:2thumb:
 
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