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ok sand

Discussion in 'Substrates/Bedding/Flooring' started by xzcarloszx, Apr 15, 2005.

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  1. xzcarloszx

    xzcarloszx Active Member

    ok i know sand is bad but i have a seperate feeding tank so ingestion isnt a problem. So since thats out the way who can recommend me a really good brand of sand that i should buy??? :D
  2. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    Beardies use their tongue as you use your fingers and nose. They explore their surroundings with it so ingestion is *always* a problem.
  3. esbat

    esbat Reptile Rescue Premium Member

    If you must use sand, washed playground sand is best. Buy it though, don't scoop it from the playground. If your BD is under 5" you shouldn't use sand at all, too risky.
  4. Hide Clyde

    Hide Clyde Elite Member

    Washed Play Sand.
  5. geckoguy14

    geckoguy14 Elite Member

    honey, i would NOT use sand at all. My beardy loves to lick EVERYTHING! it will even lick my hand, the carpet...everything... Sand is just not safe for anything but full grown adults is what i would say. Reptile carpet is inexpenisive, pretty, and easy to clean. USE IT!

    good luck,
  6. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    IMO sand is fine, particularly for larger dragons,. we have never had any problems using it. It really is a personal decision.

    But you need to be informed of all the facts before you decide whether or not to use it; as said, even if you are not feeding on it there is still the risk of impaction. Beardies use their tongues to taste things, to test if they are food and to test their surroundings. Having said that, we feed our beardies in their enclosures and again have never had any problems. I've found that they tend to lick it quite a bit when you first put it in, as it is new and they need to check it out!

    If you do decide to use sand then washed play sand is finer grade and cheap to buy. If you decide against then you can use newspaper, paper towels, or for something more aesthetically pleasing reptile carpet or the plastic "grass" stuff you can get (can't remember the product name :p )
  7. xzcarloszx

    xzcarloszx Active Member

    my lizards arent the licking type.there 4 months old and around 9-10 inches long. i really dont like paper towels i looks really ugly. And with the reptile carpet how do u clean it??? And if i get washed play sand do i have to filter it or do anything to it?
  8. Shoobly

    Shoobly Elite Member

    Okay, I would say 4 months is still much too young to house your beardies on sand. I personally don't like the risks that using sand poses, so I'd rather be on the safe side and use a solid substrate.
    I use tan shelf liner, it's really nice looking and it's so easy to clean - best of all, there's no risk of impaction!
    ReptiCarpet is pretty easy to clean. I'd first recommend buying two pieces of it so you can alternate them. Like when one gets dirty you can just throw it in the washing machine and put the other piece in.
  9. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    If you choose reptile carpet, you should buy a duplicate set to replace with while you clean and dry the first set.
    According to another member, you should clean it in a 5% bleach solution and let it dry very well before placing it in the terrarium again.
    But the package probably has a printed suggestion on how to clean it.
  10. Hide Clyde

    Hide Clyde Elite Member

    As you probably have noticed substrates are a big bone of contention. If you use sand then you must screen it to get all the big pieces out and then bake in the oven at 225 for about an hour to be sure you have killed anything living in it. I have read lots on all sorts of different substrates and found lots of people using each kind. I still don't know what I am going to use myself. Sand has a lot of good points! It looks good, is easy to clean and is cheap. It's bad point is the chance of impaction. Depending on who you talk to it's anywhere from great to a death sentence. In the wild the ground is a hard dirt and small bits of rock---It's a wonder any have survived at all!
  11. mike420

    mike420 Member

    Sand is not only a problem with impaction, but I think its unsanitary too. Think about it, any liquid or wet part of poop seeps through the sand, under the first layer, so you may scoop it out, and it looks clean, but underneath its all gross, and poopy. Kinda gross. My beardie likes to fingerpaint with her poop a lot of the time.... which makes a huge mess, and it may get burried, or atleast some of it before you see it. Or veggies and stuff may get burried too.
    Like said, beardies lick their surroundings, even if you dont see it, Im sure you dont monitor them 24/7, so you can see them lick a lot of the time.
    I use ceramic tile, easy to clean,and looks rocky, and natural. You can also use actual slate, or slate tile, which looks even nicer.
  12. joeking

    joeking Elite Member

    Yeah make sure you do something with it I'm after buying substraight and bugs are after crawling out of it:S
  13. JohnC

    JohnC Elite Member

    I have always used playsand for my adult beardies and have never had the slightest problem. They ingest very little sand, when they chase and eat crickets, they catch them with their tongue skillfully without taking in sand. I have inspected their droppings and have found hardly any or no sand.
    There will be the odd beardie that behaves abnormally and eats the sand deliberately, this one should obviously be kept on a different substrate.
    For newly hatched baby beardies, I use no substrate at all and clean the viv floor frequently.
    When they are bigger, they are kept on paper, when about 6 months they go onto sand.
  14. Bev&Dan

    Bev&Dan Active Member


    the sand that i use for my reps is T-REX bone aid calci-sand, this sand is good because it looks good and is available in a wide range of colors ranging from natural sand to glow in the dark.

    this sand is also good because it is 100% digestible and if it was to be ingested by acident it will dissolve and brake down in the reps gut and intestine. it is also easy to clean and any water that is spilt on it dose not sink through to the bottom of the viv as it is absorbed by it right away.

    i have kept my leos on this type of san for a number of years with no problems at all. i hope that this helps with your choice.

  15. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Calci-sand is bigger grains and quite sharp. It's not recommended for any herp really other than by pet stores. It's prety and it sells, and they like to push it but it isn't safe for any herp.
    This thread is old but educational.
  16. furryscaly

    furryscaly Elite Member

    Yeah, calci sand = bad stuff. If an acute impaction doesn't occur, a chronic impaction could be present and you'd never even know it.

    What I prefer to do is either provide an artificial habitat for my herps (such as the paper towels, carpet, etc)...or mimic their natural habitat. Beardies come from areas with hard packed sand/ soil, rocks, and scrub, so that's what I'd try and recreate if you really don't want the ugly artificial look. If a bearded dragon can survive on it in the wild, it shouldn't be much different in captivity as long as you do a good job of mimicking it.

    To create said habitat, I'd try using pure, clean top soil (not stuff dug up from a yard, and not potting soil as it has a lot of added crap in it). Mix this with cleaned playsand, such as that used for children's sandboxes (as mentioned, don't go collecting from sandboxes, just buy new stuff). You'd have to experiment to get the right ratio of sand:soil, but there should probably be more soil than sand so it actually stays packed. Then add it to the tank, and pack it down hard. Get it wet and keep packing so it's as tight down as you can get it. Then apply heat lamps to it so it dries.

    I'm not 100% sure this will even work to get the desired results, but it's worth a shot. If not, the resulting sand/ soil mixture will still be just as safe, or more so, than playsand by itself would have been.

    Here're some links that show bearded dragons in their natural habitat, to give you some ideas. Their habitat ranges from sandy regions, to rocky regions, to areas with more scrub and trees. It's also a pain in the butt to find any good pics of them in their natural habitat, cause they're such common pets almost all pics found are of captive dragons :p
  17. joeking

    joeking Elite Member

    with the reptile carpet you just wash it in mild detergent...if you buy it it usually has the directions writen on it. It's quite easy to clean and I would think sand would be a bit of a pain. I've heard that floor tiles are great and easy to clean and you can get sand stone or natural looking stuff or funky if you like.
  18. SpeacilK

    SpeacilK Elite Member

    i know this is a little old but i would like to add my two cents.

    First off is the pro's and con's of sand.

    Pro's: Sand has a nice "natural" look to it and it easy to land scape and the dragon can dig in it.

    Con's: sand is exteremely dirty. spot cleaning isn't enough as the wet part (esspecially from a veggie main diet like of an adult) seeps into and the only way to clean it well is to totally take it out and replace it every 3 weeks to a month. expensive. it also ahs the risk of impaction

    Calcium Sand = Crap in a bag. Its colorful but not anywhere near as digestible as they say it is. Calsi Sand is sharp,large, dies your anaimals whacky colors, and when mixed with the stomach acids of a bearded dragon turns into a substance not unlike salt water taffy, only to harden again further in the digestive system. all in all i would say all experiecned keepers know this stuff is colorful crap.

    Sand/Dirt mixture: possibly one of the worst. not only is dirt as suseptible to impaction as sand, but top soil and other soils (evne those w/o additives or fertilizers) have a HIGH chance of carrying diseases, getting very dirty, and causing the little known about disease of yellow fungus. it's harder to clean then just normal playsand too, which puts it as one of my top not to use lists.

    while im at it i tohught i'd point out some pro's and con's of other substrates as well.

    Lizard litter aka crushed walnut shells. i don't even know the pro;s to this one. it is hard, sharp, impaction risk is high, i's harder to clean because of thebigger peices. the only pro is it has a neat look, while it's cacpable of cutting through a lizards intestine is swallowed (they seem to have forgotten to put that on the bag)

    Lizard carpet: lizard carpet comes in three colors, green grey and blue. it is simple to clean using either a 5% bleach mixture or simply giving it a washing in the washing machine. the con's is it is flat, offers no digging room, and is stainable if you don't wash it.

    Newspaper: pro's: when you use the funnies you get a joke during the morning feeding. (im just messing) it has a very low impaciton risk (i won't say none because it isn't thick and can get torn off going after a cricket, evne then it is usually digested. Cleaning is easy as long as you get a weekend paper. con: its not as "natural looking" as the others and it very bland.

    tile: pro's: it is a very good substrate as cleaning is as easy as using a clorox wipe, it wears down nails, comes in a variety of colors, textures, designs, and it very clean. con's: no digging room, not so natural looking, flat.

    solid non adhesive shelf liner: never use the adhesive kind as it gives off fumes under great heat. use the solid kind as the bumby and holey kind can wrap around and pull out a nail. ouch. pros are it is easy to clean, machine washable, different colors, one solid peice means no hidhing prey, and no impacion risk.. Con's are not as nautral looking, flat, offers no diggin.

    butcher paper: pro's little impaction risk, one peice perfectly fit means no hiding prey, cheap, easy to clean (just throw away and put down new peice.) con's: not as natural, no digging, flat.

    wood chip: these are bad substrates. they are large choking size, impaciton size, sharp,and dirty, when they get wet they often harbor mold. not evne natural looking. not pros to it.

    bed-a-beast: b-a-b is not suggested for dragons as it habors to much humidty and along with poor husbandry will cause an upper respitory infection. also a risk of impaction.

    those are the most common substrates inuse today. If you insist on sand that is your choice. You must throughly wash it until the water runs clear, bake it, and every week i suggest rescreening it as crud builds up very often. still is a risk of imapciton, as is why i don't use it. the choise is altimatley yours i just thought you should know the pros and cons of all the substrates available and commonly used. and even though i will say you can use it, i would never use it on a beardie until 6 months and 12 inches.

  19. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    If I ever get a beardie I will put it on slate sheets or some other sheet type of stone. It may not be the easiest to clean but its also no the hardest. No risk of impaction and it will also hold heat It looks natural as well :D
  20. Play sand from Home Depot. 50 lbs for about $5.00
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