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  1. #1
    Elite Member replover's Avatar
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    Oolite sand for substrate healthy

    Alright, I don't know where else to put this because there is no substrate section, but since impaction etc. leads to health problems, I'm putting this under "health".

    Ok. My two bearded dragons are getting bigger and I think can move on from paper towels to sand substrate. I know that the care sheets recommend "playsand" and to avoid "Silica sand". However, the "Playsand" available in my country are the same sand used for construction (i.e. sharp edges). Therefore, I have to look for an alternative. I want something for a display terrarium that is more decorative than newspaper or paper towel, but at the same time quite practical.

    I heard from leopard gecko owners than Oolite sand is almost completely round is shape, very fine, and is a good choice for lizard substrate. They are supposedly very low impaction risk, so I have been told.

    Is this information correct? Is Ooilite sand ok to use? They are meant for substrate in fish tanks.

    Also, if I were to use sand, will 1) crickets, 2) roaches, and 3) worms respectively all burrow into the sand and never get eaten?

    I have also heard of people using "grass pellets" with great success for desert terrariums. These are the pellets that are used to feed small mammals such as rabbits. They get moldy in humid conditions but since the Bearded Dragons need low humidity it should be perfect. I do know for a fact that worms burrow right into them though.






  2. #2
    Founding Member venus's Avatar
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    Re: Oolite sand for substrate healthy?

    I've never worked with that sand but I know a few on here have. Hopefully they can shed some light. I do however suggest, if you decided to use sand, you should really feed the Bearded Dragons outside of the enclosure 1) so the insects cant hide and 2) so when the Bearded Dragon trys to catch the insect it is not getting a tongue full of sand as well. Pellets are not a good choice either. It will still get moldy and smell when the Bearded Dragon poops.

    **I moved your thread to Herp Habitats (Substrate) Section
    MARSHA

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  3. #3
    Kittes are so nice! MoogleBass's Avatar
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    Re: Oolite sand for substrate healthy?

    Zane is the man to talk to about this stuff. He knows it well.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Oolite sand for substrate healthy?

    If by 'Oolite' you mean Ooid, which I assume you do, then it is likely better than 'river' or 'beach' sand.

    Most 'sand' is made up of quartz- hardness 7, basically glass. Hard to digest, no? Ooid sand is made up of some sort of center that is very tiny. It can be, most commonly, iron or some kind of foram (microscopic sea organism test <skeleton>). As waves wash it around in a tropical, shallow marine environment, calcium carbonate adds on making nice, spherical layers. Why does this matter to you?...

    Because calcium carbonate is good. It dissolves readily in weak acids so a strong acid like stomach acid will basically destroy it. This leaves you with, at worst, an iron core or some other garbage that can be passed very, very easily. It is also rounder and not at all angled, as even rounded or sub rounded sand can be. It's is always round...

    Put some vinegar on it and see if it bubbles. Am I right? If not, then it's not Ooids that I'm thinking of and Oolite has nothing to do with this and is a strange misnomer.


    Edit: Roaches are fast and CAN burrow (mostly the youngins you feed to your reps do it) and worms, mealies, supers etc WILL do it. There are types of caterpillar, ie. silkworms, that won't burrow into substrate. Crickets don't burrow and maintain an overall stupidity factor equal or greater to "suicide by jumping into the water dish for no reason".
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  5. #5
    Founding Member venus's Avatar
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    Re: Oolite sand for substrate healthy?

    Quote Originally Posted by KrokadilyanGuy3 View Post
    Oolite is pretty decent stuff to use. It's a round, meadium type sand which hardly clumps (Certain circumstances causes this) and kinda looks neat. This is one of the sands I was referring to in the Marine stores. Just go for the larger sizes if possible. I am using this stuff.

    Just remember to watch out for Silica. If you see any bags making mention of Quartz, stay clear of that. (One in the same.)

    EDIT: Some play sand is also Oolite sands, so read the lables because some is also made from Quartz(Silica). Just another option for you.
    Anthony, here is a post I found about what you are talking about.

    Nope, I believe he means Oolite , possibly the same thing,then again maybe not
    MARSHA

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  6. #6
    Elite Member replover's Avatar
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    Re: Oolite sand for substrate healthy?

    I mean Oolite sand. I actually saw the bags in the fish shop. I don't know about Ooid sand and not sure if it is the same thing but I doubt it.

    Ok so I guess Oolite sand is ok to use from Marsha's quote. I also know to steer clear from anything that has quarts/silica in it. However, why do they say to stick to the larger sizes? I would athought that the larger they are the more easily they impact?

    Also, what do people use then other than paper towels and newspaper? Afterall, they don't ahve paper towels and newspapers in the wild. And people have good looking terrariums. There's gotta be something more natural looking that won't cause problems for my Bearded Dragons... Paper towels look stupid. I don't want to frame my van goghs with freezer wrap over a wooden frame anymore.

  7. #7
    Subscribed User Moshpitrockchick's Avatar
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    Re: Oolite sand for substrate healthy?

    Sandstone and slate look nice, right now I have black carpet that is mostly covered with large flat pieces of slate. When they get dirty they just get taken out and scrubbed off.
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  8. #8
    Founding Member venus's Avatar
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    Re: Oolite sand for substrate healthy?

    Black shelf liner looks great too. I use that alot and then just decorate up the tank...
    MARSHA

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  9. #9
    Elite Member replover's Avatar
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    Re: Oolite sand for substrate healthy?

    Any pics?

  10. #10
    Elite Member KrokadilyanGuy3's Avatar
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    Re: Oolite sand for substrate healthy?

    I mentioned the larger grains of sand usually do not clump. Clumping is what often causes the majority of impaction. The larger grains also resist being picked up by the animal's tongue. The only problem with this is that it's hard to find round particles.

    Slate is awesome, too.

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