Monday, June 23, 2008

She's Asking About Tortoise Substrates

I appeared because I get the computer for a bit while my fantasy author, Sandy Lender, gets ready for her doctor appointment. Lo and behold, she's in tears. A complete wreck.

Imagine my distress. At first, I thought maybe she'd killed off a character in the Choices trilogy because I've seen what that does to her. It's not pretty.

No, something horrible happened here in the apartment. One of the pancake tortoises died. Blueberry. (Yes, his name was Blueberry.) She had just come in from burying him amid the violets she'd planted the other weekend when I arrived so she was still weepy. Poor dear little tortoise. He'd always had a very soft plastron so she believes she'd done a poor job of measuring out his calcium powder on his food, etc. I don't believe there's any point in her putting on eye makeup to go to her doctor appointment... She's quite a mess right now.

Her question, for anyone knowledgeable about pancake tortoises, is what type of substrate do you use in your tortoise's habitat? She's raised Buttermilk (that's the other pancake tortoise) for about 10 years on a reptile mulch sold in regular commercial pet stores. She once tried the calcium-enriched sand-like substrate sold in specialty pet stores/reptile pet stores, but fear of compaction and not being able to monitor calcium intake should the tortoises ingest the substrate became an issue. (I never thought I'd get an education on turtle and tortoise husbandry by helping her with fantasy book marketing and promotion.)

If anyone out there has tortoise substrate suggestions, especially for pancake tortoises, Sandy would be thrilled to hear them.

All my best,
Nigel Taiman
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