Tortoise, like many pets, need good bedding for tortoise in order to live in an ideal environment. The best bedding for tortoise will help the pet’s habitat to be cleaner and more ideal.
The best bedding for tortoises play an important role in determining their longevity and well-being. But so much bedding for a tortoise is available right now so choosing the one that fits and is safe for tortoise becomes more challenging.
If you choose a bedding that does not match tortoise, it becomes dangerous as it can affect the digestive system and even more severely it can lead to death for tortoise.
Beginners should especially exercise caution when choosing bedding for tortoise house. To help you limit your choices, we have objectively and carefully compiled the best bedding for tortoise list below.
Top 6 Best Bedding For Tortoise 2020 [Review]
#1 Zoo Med Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate (Editor’s Choice)
Zoo Med is a very well known manufacturer and their products are well received by customers. And this coconut fiber substrate is ideal for use as bedding for tortoises.
This substrate is all-natural coconut fiber that has been carefully removed from impurities. It is safe to use on tortoise or any other amphibian. And this substrate is also suitable for all tortoise habitat setups.
This substrate holds moisture very well and is also soft enough not to injure tortoise. If you want the moisture in the tortoise’s tank to be larger, you can soak this coconut fiber before adding it to the tank.
In particular, this substrate is also very environmentally friendly. After using the tortoise tank, instead of throwing it away, put this substrate under the tree and it will be very beneficial to the plant.
This is also a coconut substrate and is safe to use on tortoise. It is small pieces of coir that have been compressed, after adding water these pieces of coir will expand to 72 quarts.
It is a soft substrate, which retains moisture well and does not negatively affect the tortoise’s digestive or respiratory systems. The big plus of this substrate is that it is dust-free and very easy to clean.
If you want to maintain the moisture in the tortoise’s tank, you can add water to the substrate without misting several times. You can also reuse this substrate by drying it in the sun.
It is also an environmentally friendly substrate and contains no harmful chemicals.
However this coconut bedding for tortoise doesn’t come at a friendly price on a limited budget.
#3 Galapagos Cypress Tank Mulch Forest Floor Bedding (High Absorbency)
In addition to coconut fiber bedding for tortoise, you can try using cypress mulch for tortoise’s tank. It is a substrate that is especially effective in reducing waste odors and maintaining constant humidity in tortoise’s tanks.
The cypress mulch is safe for tortoise’s digestive system if they ingest this substrate. This substrate has been removed, washed away impurities and parasites so it will not adversely affect the health of tortoise.
This substrate absorbs very well, it significantly reduces odors from tortoise waste. And it also retains moisture well, you don’t need to mist spray it many times.
It is well structured so that the tortoise can burrow or hide. However this substrate is not suitable for bedding for baby tortoise.
#4 Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding (Best safety)
Here is another bedding for outdoor tortoise house from Zoo Med that you should add to your list of preferences. It is a completely natural cypress mulch for tortoise bedding that does not contain any harmful ingredients.
This substrate is a popular choice for owners of amphibians and reptiles. It is also ideal for reproducing tortoise’s natural habitat.
It is a substrate that is prized for its safety with tortoise. Its texture is smaller and softer than the product above. So it is also ideal for baby tortoise and those with the most sensitive skin.
However, this substrate is still slightly dusty and it may affect the tortoise’s nose and eyes as they burrow.
#5 Fluker Labs Repta-Bark All Natural Bedding (Prevents excessive moisture)
Fluker’s is a reputable manufacturer in the industry and their products are well received. This substrate is made from all-natural bark, which is friendly to tortoise’s health and the environment.
It is extremely effective at absorbing the excess moisture in the tortoise’s tank, thereby maintaining the humidity at the ideal level. It also absorbs water well, so you can also soak it in water before placing it in the tortoise’s tank to maintain moisture.
This substrate has a mild and natural fragrance. It also contributes to reducing odors from tortoise waste and urine.
It has a soft texture, carefully handled to remove sharp pieces that could injure the tortoise when it burrows. However we do not highly recommend using this substrate on baby tortoise.
#6 Kaytee All Natural Aspen Bedding (Natural Bedding)
Can I use aspen bedding for my tortoise? Of course you can. Aspen is a good substrate and is safe for any tortoise age. You can use it as bedding for baby tortoise or reproductive tortoise.
Although aspen bedding is commonly used in cages of rabbits or hamsters, it is also a safe substrate to use on tortoise. This substrate is completely soft, without any sharp textures or impurities found.
It is also dust-free, so it does not affect tortoise’s breathing or eyes. This substrate is ideal for resting, burrowing and building a suitable habitat.
The aspen bedding comes at a cheap price and you can buy it at many local stores. You can buy it on Amazon as well, which comes with quite a lot of deals.
The downside to this substrate however is that it does not hold moisture well and it is quite dry. That means you must regularly use the humidifier.
What Beddings Should I Avoid Using for Tortoise?
As we mentioned earlier, there are lots of bedding for tortoise today and not all are of good quality. There are also lots of bedding that are advertised as safe to use on tortoise, but the quality is not.
Beginners should learn about what substrates they should avoid using in tortoise tanks. If bedding is used wrongly on tortoise, problems will be more serious than you might think.
Unsafe bedding will have extremely negative effects on tortoise’s digestive system, especially the stomach when swallowed. Chewing and eating substrate is a natural behavior of tortoise and it is not surprising that they eat substrate in captivity.
So unnatural substrates, sharp texture and large size should be the things you should avoid choosing.
Some of the unsafe substrates that you should avoid using for tortoise include pine barks, walnut shells, food pellets, cedars, soil and sand. The less dangerous substrates are also not recommended, reptile carpets, newspapers or hemp.
These substrates are not suitable for bedding for tortoise. But if you have to use one of them for some reason, mix it with a safe substrate at a ratio of 1/3.
You should also pay attention to the substrate’s ability to absorb moisture and deodorize it. A good bedding will not cause tortoise’s crippling effects.
How Much Substrate Bedding Should I Put Down?
Besides feeding on substrates, tortoise has another common natural behavior of burrowing or simply sleeping while burying in the substrate. That action helps them feel more comfortable and secure when living in an unfamiliar environment.
If they cannot satisfy this digging behavior, they will become stressed and lead to many other problems such as loss of appetite and inactivity. And preventing this natural behavior of tortoise is very cruel.
But many people don’t know how much substrate is enough to create a comfortable digging environment. Whereas too much use of bedding will result in waste and using too little will not be enough for tortoise to burrow.
Using 2-3 inches of substrate is ideal. This is enough for the tortoise to burrow comfortably without wasting.
If you want to use less substrate to save money, there is one tip that you should keep in mind. Fill the substrate together to create an angle with great depth, while the rest of the area may use less substrate. So the tortoise can burrow in that corner and still save a lot of substrate.
How Often Should I Change the Bedding?
Of course the frequency of bedding changes for tortoise will depend on its condition. If tortoise defecates a lot or if bed conditions like temperature and humidity affect bedding much, frequency of bedding changes will be different.
So there are no set frequency change rules for tortoise. Usually however, a bedding for tortoise should be changed every 2-3 weeks.
With bedding that is highly absorbent, and highly moisturizing, you should change them every 2 weeks. And with drier substrates you can change it after 3 weeks.
But to make sure tortoise’s habitat is clean and safest, you should clean certain areas daily. Observe which area has the most tortoise waste and clean up the area.
That will ensure tortoise is not affected by any factors from its habitat to its health. That will also help prolong the time to take bedding instead.
How To Pick The Best Bedding For Tortoise?
The first thing that you should pay attention to when choosing bedding for tortoise is its safety. Make tortoise health safe bedding as it involves many problems.
We have covered some of the bedding that you should avoid above and you can go through a bit to read it again.
What you need to remember is that choosing bedding that is completely natural and has a soft texture so as not to harm tortoise.
Tortoise really needs moisture in his tank and you really need to provide it with a bedding that can keep the humidity in the tank at a stable level.
A good bedding for tortoise will combine perfectly with a humidifier to provide an ideal habitat for your pets. It will retain the moisture that the humidifier creates, and then will retain that moisture for many hours.
So you won’t need to turn on your humidifier multiple times or manually mist several times a day.
It is advisable to choose bedding that will expand after reaching the water as they will also dry out quickly in the sun. That allows you to reuse this substrate or simply use it for a variety of other purposes.
There are many types of bedding for tortoise today and they also vary in price. There are many types of bedding that come cheaply but also have lots of prices that will surprise you.
Although we should not judge quality by price, most high-priced substrates are of good quality. And that is also the main reason why they are so priced.
But there are also plenty of substrates that come at a reasonable price that have a good working effect. However, you will also need to spend some time and effort searching for them.
There is a trick that you can apply to your budget if you can’t find one with the right price tag. That is, you can mix two types of substrates at different prices to soothe your wallet.
But make sure that the substrates you choose are of good quality and that they are safe enough to use in tortoise tanks.
Although the tortoise may seem like a powerful pet, they are just as sensitive as many other pets. They also maintain their natural behaviors like any other animal, so the substrate greatly affects their health.
If you are inexperienced, do not hesitate to spend a lot of time and effort learning about proper bedding and safety for your pet. That won’t make you regret it.