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Substrate Concern

Discussion in 'Rainbow Boas' started by jtroutt19, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. jtroutt19

    jtroutt19 Member

    So I am the proud new owner of a brb. Its a female about 6 months old. I am keeping her currently in a 10gal tank. My substrate choice is ecoearth with reptibark on top in a small layer. I've used eco earth with all my snakes.

    She likes to spend a lot of the time buried which I'm cool with. Last night I pulled her up to check on her and she had a small amount trapped right inside her lip. Not all the way in her mouth just right on the inside. She couldn't of swallowed it. I thought no big deal. But today I got her out and there was a whole lot more stuck in the same spot. She kept yawning but couldn't get it out of that area. I ended up cleaning it out with some q-tips and it's all clean now. My worry is mouth rot if it stays in there for a long time. So is there a better substrate to use. Maybe just the reptibark by itself? Let me know
     
  2. mdeford09

    mdeford09 Well-Known Member

    You could try peat moss instead of Eco Earth. I find it is ground a bit finer and usually more powdery and best of all, it is a heck of a lot cheaper. You can get a 50lb bale of the stuff at lowes for around 9-15 bucks and it is 100% organic so no worries about pesticides or things like that :)
     
  3. jtroutt19

    jtroutt19 Member

    the whole point in me using the Eco earth was to do live plants because you can use it as a soil so I'm looking for an alternative to use as a soil that won't get compacted up on the edges of her mouth.
     
  4. mdeford09

    mdeford09 Well-Known Member

    Peat moss is the number one substrate used in nearly all potting soils in the world... it is like the golden material for growing plants, lol.
     
  5. mdeford09

    mdeford09 Well-Known Member

    PS... don't confuse Peat Moss for Long Fiber Sphagnum... While they are the same plant, Peat Moss is the older dead moss that has been ground into a fine powder.
     
  6. jtroutt19

    jtroutt19 Member

    You are saying that it is finely ground. Wouldn't it cause the same issues I am dealing with now. The eco earth is fine as well. I guess I should go look at the stuff
     
  7. mdeford09

    mdeford09 Well-Known Member

    It is entirely possible... I was just giving you another option. I have used both Eco Earth and Peat Moss and at times even mixed the two. But, in my experience the peat moss was ground more fine so it shouldn't wrap around his mouth.

    If you want something that is pretty and you don't mind feeding in a seperate cage, you could always put Long Fiber Sphagnum. It is very pretty stuff (depending on the quality you purchase) and animals LOVE it. My toads most certainly prefer it over all other substrates. The issue is if they eat it, it can cause impactions... If you're going to try LFS, I recommend buying it from amazon.

    Unless you have a local garden center that carries decent stuff, all you're going to be able to find in your walmarts and Lowes is the "Mosser Lee" brand. It is SUPER old and decayed and is mostly stems and twigs.

    Here is the brand that I purchase for my Carnivorous Plants... Let me know if you want comparison pics between this stuff and the mosser lee brand... Amazon.com : SuperMoss (22325) Orchid Sphagnum Moss Dried, Natural, 1lb Mini Bale : Patio, Lawn & Garden

    Zoo Med does sell the same stuff online and at petsmart but they usually want between 13-20 bucks for 190 grams.. That link to amazon is around 1200 grams for 33 bucks.. MUCH cheaper.
     
  8. ExoJoe

    ExoJoe Established Member

    I've always wondered if the big bails of peat moss were an acceptable substrate. My company has a hardware store. I might have to buy some for my moisture needing animals.
     
  9. jtroutt19

    jtroutt19 Member

    Well here is what I am going to do. I've spent almost 400 bucks this pay period and had to go the cheapest most effective route. A friend of mine had a 10 quart bag of reptibark he gave me that so I am going to do a really thin layer of eco earth maybe a half inch or less. Then about an inch and a half of bark. I am thinking that will keep her on the surface and using her hides instead of burrowing. I am going to rinse the bark first to remove small particles that could cause the same issue.
     
  10. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    I have and still do use eco earth, sphagnum peat moss, and cypress mulch. The peat will cause the same issues as the eco earth. The cypress will be the least likely to get under the lips, but will be harder to burrow in. I've had snakes get the stuff under their lips before, and it doesn't seem to hurt anything, and won't cause an impaction if they do swallow some. The bark might, if they end up swallowing a large enough piece.
     
    mshrmheadcharge likes this.
  11. jtroutt19

    jtroutt19 Member

    I do not and have never feed a snake in their main terrarium. So unless she get a hankering for bark She should be ok they are fairly large pieces
     
  12. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    That's up to you, and is fine. All my animals are fed in their enclosures, so I usually avoid anything not finely shredded. But the whole feeding in/out debate could be a long thread on it's own, so I'll skip that. No wrong way there anyway.
     
  13. jtroutt19

    jtroutt19 Member

    Right I hear what you're saying there. I have always Fed outside of my enclosures and I will just share why I do that. My first snake I ever owned was 10 years ago and was a red tail boa. I started feeding him outside his enclosure in the beginning but after about 6 months I switch to feeding him in his enclosure. After about a month of feedings he started striking at me when I reach inside his enclosure. So I switched back to feedings outside of the enclosure and he eventually stopped striking at me.
     

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