The sulcata tortoise can be an exciting exotic pet to care for. Living over 70 years old, these slow, stoic creatures were uncommon in the United State up until a decade ago. But because of their unique ability to adapt to different climates, they have become more accessible in the USA. That, plus their curious nature and low cost have made them the ideal tortoise for doting exotic pet owners.
Adult sulcata tortoises thrive best in wide, open spaces especially because of their substantial size. But if you’re caring for a smaller tortoise, such as a hatchling or a baby, then you may be able to keep it in a safe terrarium enclosure until it’s large enough to roam free outdoors. And of course, the basis of any suitable habitat is a worthy substrate. Wondering what’s the best substrate for baby sulcata tortoise pets? Find out here.
Zoo Med Cypress Mulch Forest Floor Bedding
A sulcata tortoise in its natural habitat is inclined to burrow and create a nest. This smaller habitat inside their enclosure is where they might hide to rest and sleep. While the sulcata tortoise might want to dwell in open, fresh, warm air during the day, giving it a small, humid space to burrow can help it hydrate and foster the proper growth of its shell. With the right levels of humidity, a sulcata tortoise can grow a healthy smooth shell.
That’s why the Zoo Med Cypress Mulch Forest Floor Bedding (Click here to check for product prices and availability) makes a good choice for smaller sulcatas and is often considered the best substrate for this type of species. This cypress mulch bedding retains just enough moisture to help cool down your tortoise and promote the proper and healthy development of its shell. Marking out an area in the terrarium using the Zoo Med Cypress Mulch Forest Floor Bedding should provide your pet a cozy little nook where he can rest and relax.
Aside from being good for your tortoise’s shell, there’s the issue of maintenance. The Cypress Mulch Forest Floor Bedding is a preferred material among most exotic pet owners because it’s easy to replace and maintain. The substance retains lots of moisture, and also works as a natural deodorizer. Because the mulch is unrefined and coarse, it makes it easier for pet owners to locate waste and perform spot treatment.
Made from natural cypress, this non-toxic substance is 100% safe for reptiles like the sulcata. The product doesn’t use any harmful chemicals or oils, which most other brands incorporate in order to improve the odor management properties of the substrate. This mulch is as natural as it gets, eliminating odor and maintaining the humidity in your pet’s containment without risking its health which you may be able to learn more about by reading through a care sheet for sulcatas.
Of course, Zoo Med products are also exceptionally affordable. Their cypress mulch can last 5-6 months depending on how you choose to maintain it, allowing you to extend each purchase so that you only buy 1 or 2 bags each year! Talk about low-cost pet maintenance.
Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding
Sulcata tortoises are native to north central Africa. That’s why they prefer warmer, drier environments. For that reason, the Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bed (Click here to check for product prices and availability) may be a good choice for baby sulcatas that are a few months to a few years old. This drier material retains just the right amount of moisture to provide enough humidity without being too wet. The material can thus be a good idea if you’re trying to develop a larger space for your baby sulcata to move around and explore.
The aspen used for the Zoo Med substrate comes from eco-conscios sources. When cut, aspen grows out of its root system, developing a new tree from cut up specimens. So aspen makes a sustainable resource ideal for buyers who want to be more conscious and responsible with their consumer choices.
Of course, aside from that, the aspen shavings from Zoo Med are also particularly easy to clean. Made from premium, natural aspen shavings, the material clumps together loosely when soiled. This allows you to perform spot treatment on your containment to eliminate the need to replace everything all together. A single bedding can last for up to 3 months, depending on how well you maintain the enclosure, so it can be really easy to keep in good condition.
What makes aspen particularly ideal for a sulcata tortoise is the fact that it’s easy to burrow in. In their natural habitat, a sulcata tortoise will dig and burrow and hide itself in leaves and shrubbery. Giving it enough space covered in an aspen bedding should promote and encourage this type of behavior for optimal mental health and wellness. Mixing aspen with other substrates can also help you achieve a similar texture, allowing your tortoise to enjoy the freedom of being able to act and move as it would in the wild.
Price wise, the Zoo Med substrates aren’t hard to maintain. These low cost products are great for budget-conscious pet owners who don’t want to spend a fortune on their pet’s needs. The aspen bedding can be replaced after around 3 months of use, if you’re able to perform spot treatment when necessary. So you might only need to purchase a new bag once every quarter of the year, allowing to you enjoy impressive savings.
Wrapping It Up
Your sulcata tortoise babies need a healthy environment to grow and thrive. With the right care, you might be able to get your pet to enjoy life well into its 70s. Of course your substrate of choice will play a role in the lifespan of your pet, so be sure to make well-informed choices. Be sure to check out our recommendations for the best substrate for baby sulcata tortoise pets and give your little guy a great home to help him thrive and survive as a healthy reptile well into his old age.