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

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  1. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    What would you recommend as substrate for my dragons cage? Right now he is on the bare floor of the cage because he has been eating everything I put in there, he's eaten a ton of sand, crushed walnut shells (I know, they are bad to begin with), astro-turf, paper towels, newspaper...I even tried just laying a towel across the bottom of the cage so he could get some traction, and I came in to feed him and he had the corner of it in his mouth! I want him to have something to grip onto, but I dont want him endangering himself! Any suggestions would be wonderful!
  2. venus

    venus Founding Member

    You can try shelf liner, I have heard of several people useing that.
  3. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    Your beardie eats everything you put inside his cage? Are you feeding him enough?
  4. Shoobly

    Shoobly Elite Member

    LOVE shelf liner!

    Yeah, I also recommend trying out shelf liner (the non adhesive kind) as a substrate. It looks nice, and it's really easy to clean. Here's a pic of my beardie (Dax)'s tank with the shelf liner in it:


    And here's a few pics of my beardie:


    Good luck with shelf liner, if your beardie doesn't have a problem with it, you'll love it too!
  5. esbat

    esbat Reptile Rescue Premium Member

    I use outdoor carpet, it looks nice and it's easy to clean.
  6. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Admittedly my first thought was the same as rbl's - beardies test things and can occasionally mistake things for food (we recently had to take out the plastic plant in our juv's tank for example, as they kept mistaking it for real greens), but your dragon shouldn't be eating everything. It's perfectly normal for particle substrates to be accidently eaten on occasion when the beardie tastes it, like sand, but he shouldn't purposefully eat paper and other substrates - how much and how often are you feeding him, and what are you feeding?

    Re: the substrate, the shelf liner does look like a good option, or I would stick with paper towels, particularly if the beardie is still small.
  7. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    He eats a ton, he's getting collards, mustard, yellow squash, and other greens everyday, and he eats most of it, and if he eats most of it early in the day I give him a little more, and every other day he gets some crickets or pinkies or mealies, usually 4-6, anything that he can get the corners up he tries to eat! I dont kow what to do....I guess i'll try the shelf liner. He's really healthy aside from the whole substarte thing, and he doesnt have any signs of stress...i dunno...thanks
  8. geckoguy14

    geckoguy14 Elite Member

    don't feed too many pinkies, one every month or so is plenty, i would feed more crix and stuff. how old is he? i feed mine veggies daily and crix every other day, i ususally feed him crix till he stops eating. which is what you probably should do,
  9. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    He only gets pinkies as a rare treat, and if i feed him crickets until he doesnt eat any more, he'll eat over 3 dozen, isn't that a little excessive? He's probably 3 years old or so, it is hard to gage since he came from a friend who didnt take proper care of him, and she can't remember when she purchased him...(it's really sad, he had NEVER been handled until I got him in november) He has tamed down alot and fattened up, but he still eats his flooring, he did it in his old cage too, but my friend doesnt know if he used to do it when she had him...she only fed him crickets like once a week and lettuce every other day :-( Anyways, I just want to find something to put on his floor so he doesnt slide all over the place, although admittied ly it is easier to clean up without substrate. I just feel bad for him, but i dont want him hurting himself.
  10. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Wow that certainly is a lot of food for a dragon his age - be carefuk, at his age I wouldn't feed him until he stops, as they can overeat and become unhealthily obese. That's more a general rule for babies, to feed until they stop. The shelf liner sounds like your best bet. :)
  11. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    Rachel is right unless you are feeding him small crickets. If he eats 3 dozen adult crickets, then when he poops it must be like Armageddon and you have to call the haz-mat team to clean it up! =)

    Eating subtract can be a reflex from his past experience. I once adopted a dog that ate his own poo because he was chained to his dog house and left without food for days. After a few weeks of regular food, he began cutting down his poo and after a few months, stopped eating it at all.
  12. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Yeah, I think i'll try the shelf liner, as long as he can't get the corners up, he probably wont try to eat it. He is just a pain in the behind! I try not to feed him too much, because you're right, dragon poop after 3 dozen crickets is not pleasant...but if i pay my sister off she'll clean it up :-D I dunno. Hopefully he doesnt eat the shelf liner.....ugh....frusterating....
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Not feeding an animal properly in order to limit the amount of waste clean up is not a good idea. It may in fact be the reason for him eating the substrate. He's hungry and looking for food!
    The simplest way to cut down on cage cleaning is to water train them. If you take them out a bit after the lights come on and place them in a sink or tub with a couple of inches of warm water they will do their business there and not in the cage. Just be sure that if it is a sink or tub used for human use that you disinfect it afterwards. Both my beardies as well as my iguana are trained in this way. It definately cuts down on the maintainence!
  14. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    I don't under feed my dragon. He eats plenty and is very healthy aside from his predisposition to eating substrate. I am not by any means starving him. My iguanas are trained to go outside of their habitats, but the dragon has been stubborn to repeated attempts to train him. He goes every day at about the same spot in his tank, but he wont go outside of his cage. He has a couple times, but never regularly. I'm going to take him to the vet, but I am between vets at the moment, my last vet proved his idiocy to me in treating my iguana and i will not be using him anymore...I dunno, its time he got a check up anyways, from someone who know what he's doing.
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I apologize if I misunderstood but that is the way it came across!
    Anyway the behavior could be the result of the dragon having been underfed when your friend had him.
  16. jmherp

    jmherp Elite Member

    you could also try having a few pieces of tile, maybe a sandy color or something to put down for substrate, they can even come textured, but i dont think he could get this up to get in his mouth...just a thought, good luck!!!
  17. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    yeah, maybe tile, but it would have to be textured, because I feel so bad for him when he slides around his cage trying to catch crickets! I don't know, I'd probably have to cut it to fit since it is a custom enclosure and it is an odd size, good suggestion though, i'll keep it in mind.

    It's okay that you misunderstood merlin, he's a real pig, but it could be from previous mistreatment, I dont know, he's just so frusterating! Agh!
  18. Van1ty

    Van1ty Member

    wow.. you have a pretty determined dragon when it comes to eating everything.. maybe he feels the need to eat what he can, when he can, kinda like shelter animals..

    regardless.. i would try the tile if he tries to eat the shelfliner.
    in the meantime (and im sure you know this) give him as much salad as he will eat. i do not think a diet of alot of salad items would cause the problem that big protien diet would cause.
  19. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Yeah he's been eating fewer and fewer greens lately, he seems more interested in trying to eat anything that is not edible...he had a go at a bath towel last night, he would not let go! I found some carpeting that i'm going to try, i'll just have to secure the edges really well. How does everyone feel about calci-sand? Not for the substarte eater, but i'm looking into getting another dragon, and i've heard good things and bad things about it. So frusterating.....Also he seems really restless lately, since i took alll of the lining stuff out of his cage he just sits and trys to dig at the corners all day.
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would steer clear of the Calcium Sand. It is NOT as digestable as they claim and actually encourages them to eat the substrate resulting in impaction! If you intend on sand (for adults only!) washed play sand is your best bet.
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