Humid hides

A new area where you can share your existing housing and habitat ideas by posting photos, and where you can discuss ways to optimise and improve both indoor and outdoor habitats, no matter where you live.

Re: Humid hides

Postby vikki01 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:27 pm

I am certainly glad to have found this forum. On several occasions i have thought about changing things that i carefully originally researched simply because they have been recommended somewhere - for example i currently use topsoil in indoor tables but did consider coco coir but then i stop and think what Andy would say about getting things as close as possible to what they would have in their natural environment so the topsoil is staying put (along with the stones/pebbles etc!)
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Re: Humid hides

Postby Sandy » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:15 am

vikki01 wrote:I am certainly glad to have found this forum. On several occasions i have thought about changing things that i carefully originally researched simply because they have been recommended somewhere - for example i currently use topsoil in indoor tables but did consider coco coir but then i stop and think what Andy would say about getting things as close as possible to what they would have in their natural environment so the topsoil is staying put (along with the stones/pebbles etc!)


This is how I have kept my tortoises for the last 30yrs and have very little problems with them:0)
I have a good tortoise vet locally but thankfully I have not had to use him, apart from micro chipping.
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Re: Humid hides

Postby Tortoise Trust » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:12 am

vikki01 wrote:I am certainly glad to have found this forum. On several occasions i have thought about changing things that i carefully originally researched simply because they have been recommended somewhere - for example i currently use topsoil in indoor tables but did consider coco coir


This is one of those totally artificial substrates often recommended.

However, I wonder if those using/recommending it have bothered to do even cursory research on its Material Hazard profile?

I suspect not. Example:

http://www.tis-gdv.de/tis_e/ware/fasern ... okosfa.htm

Cargo safety advisory

"Since coconut fiber very readily absorbs oxygen, before anybody enters the hold, it must be ventilated and, if necessary, a gas measurement carried out, since a shortage of oxygen may endanger life"


That is not the only hazard:

"Coconut fiber is very highly susceptible to self-heating due to moisture"


"Moisture results in attack by microorganisms: mildew stains: brownish to black spots with a musty odor caused by bacteria (Mesentericus, Subtilis and Proteus species). Mold: green mold caused by Penicillium glaucum and Aspergillus glaucus. Red mold caused by Penicillium purpurgenum"


Not something I would suggest is safe for tortoises.
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Re: Humid hides

Postby vikki01 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:31 pm

Wow that is scary - I definitely made the right decision to stick with topsoil:) it looks like it could quite easily pose a fire hazard if it dried out under heat lamps(which it could easily do so if it dries out as quick as topsoil:()As you say I guess people haven't looked into it and am not sure why people use it instead of topsoil - maybe convenience of it coming in small dehydrated bricks but would definitely rather lug some bags of topsoil around and have to dry it out a bit first than take all the risks that the coco coir poses.
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Re: Humid hides

Postby Clara » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:08 pm

Me too Vikki01. The same people who advocate the use of coco coir are vehement in their opposition to mixing topsoil with play sand saying that it is an irritant. Totally ignorant of the value of good drainage, not to mention its mild abrasion on all those lumpy shells. No stones allowed either unless they are the large smooth river pebble type and yet they will tolerate shards of slate. Absolutely nonsensical.

Really don't know if I can stay on that forum - I think its affecting my blood pressure lol

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Re: Humid hides

Postby Bigjoe » Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:20 am

Clara can you PM me a link to this interesting forum please ..lots of crap out there for sale one of my favourite ones...Turtle pebbles...a bag of stones. :roll: ..do you recall the post on the Tortoise block
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=10840
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Re: Humid hides

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:08 am

Clara wrote:Me too Vikki01. The same people who advocate the use of coco coir are vehement in their opposition to mixing topsoil with play sand saying that it is an irritant.


That is complete and utter trash. Pure nonsense.

First, we have used it successfully for decades and have never had one single problem in (literally) many, many hundreds of tortoises that we have used it with.

Second, those people need to get themselves a 'plane ticket and get out to North Africa, Turkey, Greece, Italy, S. France or Spain and take close look at how tortoises REALLY LIVE. It would be far more productive than pontificating endlessly on the likes of Facebook.

The 'disconnect' between many pet keepers and nature is frankly horrifying.

If they took the trouble to go and look and see for themselves, they might begin to understand.
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Re: Humid hides

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:44 am

Anyone who seriously believes that stony, sandy substrates are somehow 'dangerous' or harmful really has a lot of explaining to do. One thing they have to explain away is this:

Testudo hermanni

Image

and this (Testudo graeca graeca)

Image

Why are such tortoises 100% healthy, or even alive? Why are there good, healthy populations on such habitats?

Where can we find Testudo species living on coconut fibres (or anything remotely similar) in the wild? A map reference would be helpful.....
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Re: Humid hides

Postby Clara » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:32 pm

Thank you Joe, yes I do remember your experiment. It made me stop using coco coir for hanging baskets and thank fully I had already read the articles on TT about it so it has never been anywhere near my torts. I will pm you - it will be good to have some support but you had better warn Miss Paula that you will be spluttering with rage on occasion. ;0

Andy, I know, I know - so wish I could put it all so succinctly and have the photographic resources to back up my comments. Sorry to have got your ire up too haha.

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Re: Humid hides

Postby Tortoise Trust » Sun Sep 06, 2015 8:53 am

Clara wrote: I will pm you - it will be good to have some support but you had better warn Miss Paula that you will be spluttering with rage on occasion. ;0

Andy, I know, I know - so wish I could put it all so succinctly and have the photographic resources to back up my comments. Sorry to have got your ire up too haha.

Clara


One big problem is that certain 'groups' and forums are packed with pet-trade people. They have a vested (financial) interest in pushing over-priced commercialised junk onto people, and in trashing anyone who dares to argue with them. It is very frustrating - and one reason why I prefer to direct my time in more productive directions than trying to have an intelligent discussion with them. I have tried in the past, but it proved a complete waste of time.

In my opinion, some of the stuff out there is absolutely totally insane. I recall one 'discussion' where a silly person kept insisting that G. sulcata live in a 'humid habitat'. No amount of evidence, climate data or even photos had any impact. As far as I know she is still spreading that nonsense... and there are always those who believe it. It is a crazy world out there. I had someone else insist that Testudo graeca do not ever estivate. When I produced evidence that they do, and also pointed out that I live in their natural habitat and can study them 365 days a year, I was accused of lying about it! WHY I would "lie" about something like that I have no idea, but in their mind, if I disagreed with them I MUST be lying, because they KNEW THE TRUTH! This from a person 3,000 miles away who had not so much as ever set foot in Testudo habitat. That's the kind of weirdness that is unfortunately all over the internet. You can't win with that mindset involved.
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