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What's the best substrate for babies

Discussion in 'Substrates/Bedding/Flooring' started by Marine, Sep 25, 2006.

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  1. Marine

    Marine Elite Member

    What's the best substrate for baby bearded dragons? I currently have them on calci-sand, but was told to get rid of it. So, what is safe to use, but will also keep them from getting too much heat(or burned) from the under-tank heater? And that they can't ingest if chasing crickets & might accidentally eat the substrate? What to use? Any suggestions? thanks, Marine
  2. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Without a doubt get rid of the sand. I use newspaper or paper towels. Easy to clean and no worries of impactation. If your worried about the UTH becoming too hot, invest in a rheostat. I use them on all my set ups.
  3. venus

    venus Founding Member

    I use paper towels for babies and shelf liner for adults. The best way for a dragon not to ingest substrate is to feed them in a seperate container, this way you wont have any crickets hiding and have the chance they chew on your beardie after lights out.
  4. Marine

    Marine Elite Member

    Yeah, I kinda found out the hard way 2 years ago about the crickets eating/biting your happened with my savannah monitor-she has a few small spots on her tail from the crickets getting to her). Now, I always make sure they have eaten all the crickets after 10 minutes, before I catch and put away any uneaten ones - but these guys are little pigs(the new baby bearded dragons), have never not finished eating the crickets I put in there! I only feed about 12-15 crickets (size ranging from pinheads to 1/4" long crickets) 3 times a day! And they eat them all along with their veggies (mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, squash, carrots, blueberries) and have some commercial beardie dry food ground up bite size in there too (haven't noticed them eat the dry food yet tho). I plan on changing the cage substrate asap, just wanted to know what to use after I remove the calci-sand... thanks, Marine
  5. Marine

    Marine Elite Member

    BTW, what about cage carpet? Can it be used or is it too rough for their underbellies? I used to use it on my snakes, but it was too rough and caused irritation to their bellies-so they are on aspen shavings. Maybe because beardeds have legs this wont be a problem? Let me know what you all think on cage carpet too. thanks, Marine
  6. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Carpet can be used, most people dont because it isn't as easy to clean as shelf liner. I use carpet with slate tiles over most of it.
  7. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member


    Whoever told you calci-sand is dangerous did you a favor. Calci-sand is worse than normal play sand. It is made out of calcium carbonate (which is why they say it is digestible) and has some severe side effects they don't list.

    Calci-sand IS 100% digestible. Anything made of pure calcium is. The problem is, an animal would never be able to eat large quantities without getting an impaction because calcium carbonate is an acid neutralizer. (Thats why Tumms and other antiacids are loaded with the stuff!) The more they eat, the less their stomachs can digest what they are eating. lol It's a catch 22!

    I also suggest paper towel, newspaper, butchers block, tile, linoleum (tough to walk on), and just about anything else that isn't a particulate substrate. lol
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Yep mine are on newspaper!
    And try leaving the pellets intact and moistening them.
    It makes them soft and it also is giving the dragons water.
  9. Marine

    Marine Elite Member

    thanks all, I think I'll give the cage carpet a try, I have plenty of it left over from when I used it with my snakes, but I can't use carpet with them anymore, caused too many problems. If the carpet don't work out, I'll try shelf liner. Thanks everyone to all your suggestions! Marine
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