Top critical review
38 people found this helpful
WARNING!!! Not for shelled animals!
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...