Customer Reviews: Zoo Med Eco Earth Compressed Coconut Fiber Substrate, 3 Bricks
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on October 1, 2012
I bought this item after reading up on Sulcata tortoise care and mixed it with organic topsoil to create an area for my two hatchling Sulcata tortoises to burrow into. I found that rather than burrow into it, they prefer to walk around on the soil and use it as a basking area, so decided to plant several miniature cacti in it for them to eat. It is really easy to work with and I change it every couple of weeks, so it lasts a pretty long time. It's a great product.
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on December 15, 2010
I use three of these bricks in a 75 gallon tank for my Ball Python. Local pet store charges $20 for this pack and Amazon sells for $8. This is the perfect medium to keep your humidity up.....guarantees full sheds too if you keep it moist.
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on September 1, 2015
I wanted a more natural substrate for my feeder mice that wouldn't cost to much.They were previously kept on pelleted pine but despite the claims that it did not contain any harmful oils they started having respiratory issues and were constantly attempting to get out of their cages. Since switching to the coconut fiber that behavior has stopped and they're breathing easier! They love digging through it and burying their food!

My only issue would be that I was a little disappointed with how much it expanded. One block just barely covered the bottom of three 24"Lx13"DX7"H cages. In the picture is 1 block completely fluffed out next to one that's still compressed. So far though it's been the best bedding for my mice so it's worth it for them.
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on November 20, 2011
I bought this to beef up the bedding of my composting worms. They love it, and it hold in moisture very well. Each little brick of coconut fiber expands to a ridiculous height when you set it in a bucket of water. Good stuff!
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on February 15, 2012
I originally reviewed this product with 5 stars as awesome(see original review below, but I had to change my review. I picked up my box turtle the other day to move him to clean the enclosure and noticed that he had some of the fibers from this product by his rear leg, no big deal-I'll just pull it out...WRONG! Turned out to be a HUGE mass of fibers that were embedded and impacted between the inside of his rear leg and his shell, or actually the skin under his shell, actually into his shell cavity. There was so much that I had to call for help from my sister. The turtle was getting too stressed and I couldn't move fast enough holing his leg and getting it out. Double teaming it we pulled out a significant mass of fibers from this coconut fiber substrate, I would guess it was a solid 2 inch mass in the side of his body, pushing so much that his front was swollen to compensate. I won't buy this product again, I am scared for my turtle's life if I do. Instead I found mushroom compost, natural sphagnum moss, sphagnum peat moss and washed play sand. Mixed all of that together and topped it with some additional moss and hay and he is loving it and I am breathing a sigh of relief. I don't wish this experience on anyone so I caution you against using this with animals that burrow and have a shell like turtles and tortoises.

If this product was sifted and the large fibers removed from the powdery coconut then it would be safe, but with the fibers I don't believe it is safe for turtles or tortoises.

I have tried many substrates for my box turtle, and he was just "good" with them. I saw this in the store and bought one brick to try it. Followed the instructions, using hot water and it expanded beautifully, didn't have anything to drain either. Put it in my turtle's cage and he went crazy! He loved it and started digging right away, then ran back and forth and dug himself another hole, he was so cute. He liked it so much I bought a 3 pack and added more, it stays nice and clean, he adores it and moves it around to suit his needs, it is non-toxic and antimicrobial...I won't do anything else. I also notices that he is more energetic and has a better appetite since I added this substrate. I have nothing bad to say about it. WARNING, don't try to expand more than one brick at a time unless you have a big enough container, it does expand considerably and I found out the hard way that it can crack a cheap plastic bucket...
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on April 7, 2012
I used to purchase bricks of coconut fiber/coir from a local gardening store. I moved to another state and have not been able to find bricks of compressed coconut fiber in a local nursery or gardening store. I decided to try this product from amazon. My main use for the coconut fiber is in our vermi-composting system (a composting bin with red worms). I also mix this with finished compost as a potting mix for container plants. The price is comparable to what I paid in-store previously, and with amazon Prime, shipping is fast and convenient. Although it is marketed as a pet product, it has worked really well for my garden purposes. I have purchased this a few times, and I plan to continue purchasing this product from Amazon.
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on October 23, 2011
This did a great job of replacing our old substrate for our hermit crabs. The bricks rehydrated easily and were very cost effective. The crabs actually have been a lot more active since they got into this substrate. A great deal at this price.
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on December 20, 2015
I purchased this product and it was sold by Lake View. The bricks were contaminated with small flies. Fruit flies/gnats. Shortly after I used the first brick my tank started sprouting these little buggers. My hermit crab seemed to get on just fine but they of course still manage to get out of the tank and it was a pain to have to see little flies all the time. Needless to say I broke out the fly paper and the lights. I also trashed the substrate, threw away anything but the trays, boiled/baked shells and trays and started over with a second brick. A week or so later and we were right back to square one. More flies. So I gave up and ordered bricks from petco. I've gotten them from petco before many times and never had this issue. Before I moved my crab into the new substrate I gave him a salt bath. I have never had to do this after I bought him. It stresses him out a TON, but when I did it the little bugs evacuated! It was awful and heartbreaking. Evil evil bugs!

Be careful where you order. The product itself I've used for my hermie for over 5 years and he loves it. But if it is prepared or packaged badly or is from a bad lot, you're going to run into issues!
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on November 2, 2015
I dont know what the negative reviews are about, this stuff worked great for my hermit crabs which I upgraded from a 10 gallon to 40 gallon. I mixed all 3 bricks with some play sand from home depot (recommended by many hermit crab owners as the best sand for hermit crabs) and the end result was perfect. Holds great moisture = humidity, smells good, is ALL NATURAL, and easy to use. I really recommend this stuff especially if you have frogs, toads, or hermit crabs like me. Fyi, home depot has the play sand for $4.99 50lbs bag which is perfect for hermit crabs and im sure many other similar pets
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VINE VOICEon May 17, 2011
I was really happy to find these bricks for such a great price on Amazon. The kids have a hermit crab, and this makes a great substrate for its habitat.
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