You're in > TPG Members Forum > Indoor and Outdoor Enclosures > Tortoise Table - bedding

Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 16/03/2010 by ghostofescobar


We are just about to get a Med tortoise and the tortoise table we have has an enclosure at one end (the enclosure has a lid that can be taken off). I know that a good sand/topsoil substrate is best for the open area of the table but what is best to put inside the enclosure at the end of the table? I've read mixed reviews of hemp, some suggestions to use shredded paper, a couple of people suggest hay. Can I please ask for some of your expert guidance.

Thank you very much (by the way Dudley, our new tortoise, is 8 months old).

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 16/03/2010 by ellie2711

hi there, my tortoises are med spur thgihed and i use shredded paper cus its easily replacable and cheap and my tortoises seem to love it because they can dig really deep inside of it.

regards hannah (and my 4 tortoises - Maisie, joe, Daisy and Dennis)

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 16/03/2010 by davesears


We have 4 Hermans and their indoor table has a substrate of 50/50 mix of playpit sand and top soil purchased in bags from B&Q.

They have a sleeping area that is like a large plastic rock with an opening at the front -  made by exo terra, commonly sold in petshops. They sleep in this when they want and just dig down into the 50/50 substrate mix.

I wouldnt use straw or hemp. Shredded paper would be ok.


Dave & Cathy

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 17/03/2010 by tortoise7

I use plain unprinted paper That I buy from Ikea, the one you can buy on roll that children use to paint on! I cut it up into strips while I am watch TV, I usually do a boxful at a time and just scrunch it for a while to soften it up. There is substrate at the bottom for her to snuggle down in and then the paper on the top, I find my adult likes that too and really buries underneath it all. Hope this offers another idea, well done for not wanting to use straw or hemp
Jane, Keya & Molly

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 17/03/2010 by TPGDarren

We tend top use soil here.


Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 15/05/2010 by kerryl

Im a bit worried now! We have a new tortoise and were given lots of damaging advice from the pet shop we brought him from.  He is living in a large indoor rabbit cage with a shallow water tray, slate under his basking lamp and he has a large wooden house which we filled with Hay, is this wrong?? We have used topsoil and play sand substrate.

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 15/05/2010 by VivTPG

Hi, his housing sounds great, the only thing I would remove is the hay, if it gets damp, eg by weeing on it, or from the water bowl etc it will starts growing mould on it, which is bad for torts respiratory system.  Best thing is to put deep sand and soil in the hut so he can bury himself, he will be happy as Larry!!

Regards VivienneClick and drag me down to the editor

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 15/05/2010 by kerryl

Thanks I will take it out now, his substrate is quite deep any way.Click and drag me down to the editor

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 22/08/2010 by Halosmum

Hi, I have had my Hermanns for almost two years now and he is happy and healthy on sheets of newspaper and compressed straw (from pet shops).  I was told this from my specialist reptile vet.  My tortoise also goes out into his 0utdoor playpen on the grass with logs to hide in and shallow dishes of water and rocks to climb etc - when the weather is sunny (most days at present). I feel it is cruel to keep tortoises in cages/vivariums permanently without any outside enclosure.  He literally runs along the grass and comes "alive" in the outdoors.  Please everyone allow your tortoises some outdoor activity whenever you can.

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 03/06/2012 by vdubbeetle

Hi, can anyone please help me.

I',m getting a seven month old spur thigh, and a little confused to what type of heating and light is required.

 Do i need two lights or is there a single combi light i can use.

Where do i get the lamp holders and bulbs etc.

Many thanks  Gill

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 24/07/2014 by Charlotte91

I've been advised by my vet to use hay in my spur thigh's enclosure but I'm not sure it's a good idea with the heat light. Any suggestions?

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 06/09/2014 by Pat Chadwick

I have a Hermann's tortoise who is 8 years I have not let him hibernate at all as I am not sure how to or when and for how long, I have him in a tortoise table, but would like to know the best bedding for him.

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 24/04/2016 by 14Whitley

Hi I was wondering if sawdust is ok for a hermanns tortoise of if there is a better option.  Emma 

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 31/05/2016 by

No I was told never to use sawdust x

Re: Tortoise Table - bedding
Posted: 16/06/2016 by Laura.Cawthorne

Hello, I have an Hermans tortoise and Margined tortoise names are Toothless and Sheldon. We Have got an open top table and currently using beech wooden chips for bedding, which was advise by the the pet shop as they have  the tortoises have use the bedding since they was hatched in August last year. They do seem to like it as they can dig in it but I was just wondering if there was a better bedding that I an use which be better for them. Thank you :) 

Click and drag me down to the editor


web designer: