Choosing the Proper Type of Tortoise Bedding
Many people own a pet turtle or tortoise, which requires learning about special needs of this creature such as proper diet, water, vitamins, cage, and even tortoise bedding. Although a reptile, the tortoise is just like any other living creature in that it likes to be comfortable in its environment. In the wild, the tortoise would scavenger for the type of materials it prefers to sleep on but in captivity, it depends on its owner to make the right choices.
Many benefits come with owning a pet such as this but the fact that the tortoise is extremely adaptable to captivity is just one. However, 13 different families of tortoises exist, accounting for more than 250 unique species. These reptiles, also known as Chelonians are found around the world, some living in the ocean, some in rivers and lakes, some forests and grasslands, and others deserts. While there are so many different types of tortoises, only 50 are actually maintained as pets.
The actual type of habitat would depend on the type of reptile and its natural habitat. To keep a tortoise healthy, it needs the right diet but also the right bedding. In fact, these creatures will use their bedding and natural environment to feel safe and protected so when being kept as a pet, the goal is to recreated the same sense of peace for them. Of the tortoise species that people keep as pets, only four basic habitats would need to be recreated in a home environment.
Aquatic and Semi-Aquatic Tortoises
Also referred to as water tortoises, these species live close to the water. An aquatic species would need bedding within an aquarium. Of course, check with a local pet store or reptile specialist to purchase the appropriate size of aquarium for the size and species of tortoise. For this type of water tortoise, it would be best to keep it outside during the warmer months near a pond or water feature. Additionally, it would be important to have a large, flat rock near the water, as well as floating vegetation in the water where the tortoise can bask in the sun.
Then for semi-aquatic species, the tortoise bedding would consist of an aquarium but the need for water would not be as great as that of an aquatic tortoise. The best solution would be to anchor an aquarium to the ground during the warmer months so one side is almost even with the ground’s surface. That way, the tortoise could climb in and out at will. For water, a simple dish placed in one corner would suffice. Now, a semi-aquatic tortoise needs land to roam so some people will actually create a blocked in area outdoors.
For the person who wants to keep this type of reptile as a pet would need to provide bedding accordingly. These creatures live primarily on land so they do not need as much as water species. The most common environment would be in a terrarium instead of an aquarium. Since tortoise bedding for this species would not involve water, the thinner glass sides of the terrarium would work just fine. Even so, if kept outdoors the tortoise would need shelter and a water dish in one corner.
Although sea tortoises have their own tortoise bedding beneath the water, this species is not a pet and in fact, keeping them in captivity is illegal. Therefore, a person would never need to worry about tortoise bedding for the sea tortoise species.
As a part of the tortoise environment, having something to lie on in the sun is essential. These reptiles actually sun themselves as a way of naturally regulating the body’s temperature. Heat also encourages the tortoise to eat and makes digestion easier. For tortoises kept in partial or full water, a small, submersible heater would keep the water temperature between 75 and 85 degrees.
Finally, the tortoise bedding would also include shelter, especially when kept outdoors. Along with good sunlight, the environment would need edible vegetation, small twigs, sphagnum moss substrate, etc to serve as shelter, bedding, and some of the creatures diet.