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Bed a beast Vs Peat moss


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#1 shelledfriends

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 09:36 PM

Hi Folks,
In the past i have used just plain moist peat moss as substrate and i have also tried using just plain bed-a-beast as substrate. I also tried 50% play sand and 50% peat moss as substrate.

In all these cases i found that the damp peat moss or bed-a-beast got stuck to the tortoise feet and eventually got dragged into the water dish which was then a big mess.

So i moved away from these and started using Orchid bark (which is esentially fir bark) but keeping the humidity high with this one is a challenge.

Recently a friend told me that the substrate level humidity is more important for redfoots and yellofoots than just the ambient humidity, how true is this?

So i am now considering using bed-a-beast or peat moss and am weighing the proc and cons.

In another post someone mentioned that with moss there is potential for mold growth. I have never had a problem with damp peat moss so i am not sure if the person was talking about peat moss or long fiber sphagnum moss. Any thoughts?

Also, if the peat moss or bed-a-beast gets into the water and the tortoise ends up drinking that water then is it harmful?

How damp should the peat moss or bed-a-beast be for yellowfoot or redfoot hatchlings?

Thank you.
Michael

#2 LV426

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 11:46 PM

Since I use bed a beast I can only report on it. I find that if you saturate it completely and then let the top layer dry a bit then it doesn't track so badly. I also use flat sandstone on one 1/4 of the enclosure or indoor outdoor carpet, which helps grab the substrate off of them before they get to the water dish. This minimizes tracking. The rocks also make a good feeding and basking platform and provides belly heat which can aid in digestion.

My redfoots are in thoroughly saturated bed a beast and I pour in about 1 liter of water every two days and mix it up. The top dries under the heat but the love to burrow in it so some does stick to them. However, bed a beast sinks in the water dish so it is not consumed and the water stays clear unlike with dirt which just makes the water muddy.

#3 shelledfriends

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 11:55 PM

So you use just 100% bed a beast and no play sand?

Michael

#4 BirdLady68

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 12:04 AM

At my work, we sell a product that is cocont coir (loose "bed-a-beast)and peat moss and I've been using that mixed 50/50 with play sand. Works great! So, why not mix bed-a-beast and peat moss? The play sand seems to make it not stick so much. LV426 is correct is saying to wet it and it doesn't stick so much. When it dries a little it seems to form a "crust" which sticks together and not on feet.

#5 LisaD

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 09:38 AM

I use both. In hot, humid, balmy dry native Florida conditions I have to really use the substrate that retains the moisture necessary to promote a good humid area for my torts this includes the arid loving speices whom I also provide a small area of their quarters for humid love area...they use it to poop on but hey they use it. Anyhow I find bed a beast retains it better then peat mix but if you mix the peat with repti bark bits OR cypress mulch indeed it retains it the same almost as the bed beast mix. Yes, you are right humnid is very important for the red and yellow feets. If you aren't careful by all means yes mold can develop in your tort pen I have had this happen only under the water dish pan that was on top of the substrate. So I decided to put it on top of rocks and playground sand and it never happened again. They won't drink the bed a beast or peat no worries it sinks in the water dish or it floats but it stays together they dunk their heads in but I've never seen them take anything but their water when they do. This goes for other torts who are on sand they don't consume sand during water drinking either that may be in there from them walking through it. It should be damp enough so that you can lay a paper towel on top and it would be damp but not saturatingly wet that it would need to be wrung out. That was method I learned and have had succes with.

#6 shelledfriends

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 11:31 AM

Hi Lisa,
So you use a mix of bed a beast and play sand?

When you say "It should be damp enough so that you can lay a paper towel on top and it would be damp but not saturatingly wet that it would need to be wrung out" do you mean that if i lay a paper towel on the substrate it will get moist but not soaked with water when i haveto wrig it out?

Thank you.

Michael

#7 nat_the_brat

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 11:51 AM

I have used peat moss for most of my humidity loving torts and turts, mostly because I don't have acces to cypress and the bed a beast is not regularly avaliable. I have found it to work well, hold humidity well, I have no concern about impaction and to top it off, I haven't seen it mold yet so its easy to maintain.

happy birthday by the way!

#8 shelledfriends

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 09:47 PM

Thanks Nat. Yes i have used peat moss before and no i didn't mix play sand with it. Anyways, it worked well but it was just messy as an indoor substrate because the guys kept on peeing on it.

Thanks for the wishes.

Michael

Edited by shelledfriends, 08 January 2006 - 09:55 PM.


#9 LisaD

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 05:56 AM

Hi Lisa,
So you use a mix of bed a beast and play sand?

When you say "It should be damp enough so that you can lay a paper towel on top and it would be damp but not saturatingly wet that it would need to be wrung out" do you mean that if i lay a paper towel on the substrate it will get moist but not soaked with water when i haveto wrig it out?

Thank you.

Michael

B) Yep yep that is precisely what I was advised and I have always had good things using the technique. Steve (Mouhtifan) has always been making a case of the importance of humidity and I finally heeded his advice last season. He is right as always. I've had good results adding this area even for arid loving torts.

#10 BirdLady68

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 06:48 PM

Having a little humity for arid type tortoises to retreat to seems to eliminate runny noses (at least) in Leopards.

#11 nat_the_brat

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 01:38 PM

Having a little humity for arid type tortoises to retreat to seems to eliminate runny noses (at least) in Leopards.



i have found that to be true for my sulcatas to




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