I just got two sulcata hatchlings...after a year of research I thought I had gathered enough information to care for these guys but I am worrying myself that I am not doing the best things for them.
Here is what I have for them....a rubbermaid concrete mixing tub, with top soil and sand as a substrate. I took a feeding bucket from Walmart and cut a door in it for a hide. I also poked holes in the hide to ziptie a sponge to the inside ceiling for a little humidity. This is all under a powersun 100W UVB heat bulb. I keep the hot side at about 85-87 degrees and the cool side at 77 degrees. The lamp is on 12 hours/day, with nightime temps down to 75 degrees. I have dry orchard grass hay for them to eat however, they do not eat it. As an attempt to acclimate them to the hay I have choped it up and mixed it with kale. I also have vitamin and calcium supplement however I haven't used it yet, because I am trying to get them to eat the hay. I soak them daily for 15 minutes.
My main question is...is this the best substrate for two sulcata hatchlings to be on.? They are a couple of months old (2.25 ins. and 2.5 ins). I am worried that they are going to ingest too much sand and dirt and it willl get impacted. The breeder that I got the sulcatas from used and suggested alfalfa pellets...from my research I found that these had too much protein and risked dehydration because it would dry out their environment. Dehydration being the same reason not to use paper towells, newspapers, etc. What would be a better substrate that would keep them from getting impacted but still assure they would stay hydrated and have the microclimates?
If anyone has any diet suggestions or ideas that I am not doing please feel free...anything else that you read that should be improved would be appreciated as well. Many thanks.