Choosing the best substrate for a Red Footed tortoise is very important for their health and well-being. When it comes to a substrate for a Red Footed tortoise, you want to make sure it retains humidity well and is easy to dig through.
Best substrate for a Red Footed tortoise
The best substrate for a Red Footed tortoise is Compressed Coconut Fiber. It is great at retaining moisture and suppressing bad odors.
Aside from coconut fiber, other good substrates for a Red Footed tortoise include forest floor and microchip coconut substrate.
Compressed coconut fiber is an excellent substrate for your Red Footed tortoise. It is very soft and easy for your tortoise to dig through. It also does a good job of maintaining the proper humidity levels in the enclosure.
The cheapest place to buy it is here on amazon for around $20.
Compressed coconut fiber is also great at absorbing liquid and waster, which will certainly help with the smell of your enclosure.
Since it helps aid plant growth, it is also a great option if you plan on putting plants in your indoor tortoise enclosure. Also, since it is 100% natural, you can dispose it outside or in a compost bin when you switch out the substrate.
Sometimes, this substrate does get a little dry, so it is important to spray it with a water spray bottle every couple of days. Also, when you go to purchase a substrate for your red-footed tortoise, make sure to buy enough to cover the enclosure.
Similar to compressed coconut fiber, microchip coconut substrate is great for retaining humidity in your enclosure. It is also great at absorbing bad odors from your tortoise’s waste.
It is also good at retaining heat, which will make your tortoises basking spot warmer for longer periods of time.
The only downside with this substrate is that the chips are not as easy to dig through. While it doesn’t happen frequently, there is also a small change your tortoise ingests some of the larger chips, which could cause digestion issues.
Forest floor is a another great choice for substrate. In fact, Red Footed tortoises originally come from forest edges, so this substrate is very natural for them.
It is made from grinded up pieces of cypress tree bark. While it isn’t as good at repelling odor, it is great at retaining humidity in your enclosure. You can also grow live plants in it.
While these chips are bigger than the compressed coconut fiber, it is still very easy for your tortoise to dig through it, especially for a baby red-footed tortoise that isn’t as strong.
However, it is important to make sure that your tortoise doesn’t eat any of the bark chips, as it can cause digestive issues. The best way to avoid this is to feed your tortoise in a separate bowl that sits on top of the substrate.
Now that you have a good idea of what type substrate you will need, there are some more things to consider.
How much substrate do you need for a Red Footed tortoise?
You will want to have around 4-6 inches of substrate for your Red Footed tortoise. This is because Red Footed tortoise love to dig, and they need enough depth to crawl through their holes.
Red Footed tortoise dig for many reasons, including to regulate body temperature, humidity, and to lay eggs. They also like to dig when they are bored.
How often should you spray your substrate?
It is important to spray your substrate with water every week or so. This will help retain moisture in your enclosure and prevent the substrate from drying out.
Adding water will also help break down some of the waste that is in the substrate, which will help with smell.
How often should you replace substrate?
While it depends on the type of substrate you are using, you should generally replace it every 6 months. You should replace the substrate when you notice that it dries up quickly. It is also time to replace substrate when it starts to get smelly.
If you are using a natural substrate, you can simply dispose of the substrate outside or in a compost bin. You can even use some of them to grow plants.