“ Brand: ProRep / Type: Aquarium Equipment „
ProRep Tortoise Life Mediterranean Tortoise Substrate
I have always been an animal lover and growing up I used to get very distressed when my pets died, when I was about 12 years old my best friend bought a pet tortoise, I fell instantly in love and after around two years of begging my mum agreed to let me buy one! I will admit we had no idea at the time what we were letting ourselves in for care nor cost wise but I do not think any of us would change anything, he is a member of the family.
Before I start the review I will just mention that when we bought my tortoise the shop thought that it was a wee lady tortoise so I named her Amber, it was not until some 10 years later and he was ill that the vets informed me that we actually had a wee lad tortoise! I decided not to bother changing his name but I now have a male tortoise with a female name lol.
Anyway Amber was around 11 years old when I bought him so is currently around 30 years old now and still plodding around quite happily, he is kept indoors in a large vivarium which is 4 foot by 2 foot although he also has a run outside for summer. Over the years I have tried him on many products for the base of his vivarium. I tried sand but it used to get everywhere, for many years I used to buy a peat free grow bag and pop that inside which he seemed to love but a friend who also keeps them told me that it was not ideal and that a bark chipping would be better for him. We invested in bark chippings but they never really kept clean and if I am going to be brutally honest they were not absorbing the urine smell, it was not nice for him nor me so I found myself wondering what to use, I had read in one of my books that they were best kept on a compost/sand mix but I had no idea how I would measure the mixture and so had a bit of a dig around when I stumbled upon this product on Amazon.
ABOUT THE PRODUCT ....
For those who do not know what I mean by substrate, it is basically the product used in the bottom of the vivarium. Amber is a Russian or Horsfield tortoise which is classified as a mediterranean tortoise, this product has been designed to simulate the kind of terrain that Amber would be walking and burrowing into in the wild whilst being safe for the tortoise.
The substrate is a mix of quality loam, soft sand and limestone, the bag claims that this mixture of ingredients provides the ideal mix of texture and moisture retention whilst simulating the soils found in their natural habitats. The addition of pure limestone to the mixture provides additional calcium if the substrate is eaten. This sentence made me laugh until around 40 seconds of being placed onto his new substrate Amber opened his mouth and started chomping down on it! Clearly they have no tastebuds lol!
Now for anyone like me I also had no idea what loam was, whilst I could see it is a soft feeling soil substance I honestly had no idea so good old google to the rescue! "Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration (about 40-40-20% concentration respectively)"
DIRECTIONS FOR USE ....
There really is not much to using the product, basically once the old substrate has been removed from the vivarium and it has been cleaned out then I simply poured the contents of the bag into the vivarium and spread evenly around. The packing informs us that the product should be at least 5cm's deep for most mediterranean tortoises and russian tortoise's may need it a little deeper because they like to burrow! We already knew this after years of owning this little monster, he digs all day long.
To keep clean you simply remove any droppings and fully replace the product monthly.
The packing also mentions to spray sections of the substrate now and again to provide a local humidity, however since Amber has a habit of tipping his water bath everywhere I do not bother with this.
SIZE AND COST ....
The bag I bought was a 10 litre bag and cost me £7.14
Upon putting the vivarium back together I was really taken with the look of the product, it looks nice and natural, I know this might sound a little odd but the limestone gives a nice scattering of white into the soil and looks nice. The mixture is really soft to the touch and after week 2 is holding up really well to any smells. I have barely needed to do anything to the vivarium if I am honest and I am beyond happy.
WHAT DOES AMBER THINK? ....
Well as I have already stated he does seem to quite like a bit of a chomp on the product however since I have placed this in he really does seem to be a happier tortoise. Hard to tell I know since he does not wag his tail but he seems a lot more chilled out, he keeps falling asleep splayed all over the place which is quite amusing. He is also eating well and just generally seems happier. Oddly my dad looked after him for 3 nights recently and he said to me, I know this sounds odd but Amber seems really happy with his new substrate! So I guess he must be giving off some vibe we are picking up on lol.
WHAT I THINK ....
I really love this product and it will be my new product of choice! I have normally 3 main issues with his substrates and every single one is improved with this product. The first is the smell, some of the other options have not held smell and left me very quickly with a smelly vivarium, this product still smells fresh after just over 2 weeks. The second is dust, every single other product has caused some sort of dust residue, I honestly thought this would as well but as the bag states it is holding the moisture and I have had no extra dust to contend with. Lastly and the most irritating is his digging, normally he digs through his substrate as low as possible and then spends hours digging against the glass which honestly is like listening to nails on a chalk board. This has not happened, he seems to get to a good depth and settles happily in his hole. Win win, he gets settled, I do not get a headache!
I honestly do not know how I was managing without this product and for me it it a 5 stars out of 5 no issues! I can not fault it.