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When Did Aspen Become a Bad Thing?

Discussion in 'Substrates/Bedding/Flooring' started by poomwah, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. poomwah

    poomwah Well-Known Member

    I know a guy who works in a pet shop, we were in there getting some feeder rats tonight, and I showed him a video on my phone of our newest snake, a six month old northern pine. I thought he would like it .
    He immediately pointed at the screen and said "you can't keep him on that. That's aspen. I've lost so many snakes because of aspen" I assumed he meant from impaction so I assured him that I take measures to prevent that. I use a food bowl for the ones that eat in one spot, a paper plate for the ones that move around a little and a plastic tub for those that like to roll around while they are eating.
    But he said "no, its not that, its not good for them, look, see the way he's acting, you can tell he's unhappy, he's trying to get away from the aspen, you need to get him off the aspen right away"
    Is there something I don't know about? I use aspen for everything except hatchlings (paper towels for them). If I really need to stop using it, I need to know.
  2. CryHavoc17

    CryHavoc17 Elite Member

    This is all news to me as well. A lot of people have moved away from aspen as it doesnt hold moisture well like other substrates, but as far as I know there isnt anything wrong with it
  3. Poison

    Poison Elite Member

    Should have asked him to explain why its bad for them. As stated above the main problem with aspen is that it does poor with moister. Sounds like the guy didnt know what he was talking about.
  4. poomwah

    poomwah Well-Known Member

    that's what I thought, this is also the place that argues with me that my rat snake isn't shedding because I don't have a UV light, but he is their "reptile guy" there. and he was very adamant about it, so I figured I should ask and make sure.
    The funniest part is that he said he could tell from the video that my snake was unhappy and trying to get away from the aspen shavings. If anything, I think my snake would be happier if I put more in. He keeps bulldozing them into a huge pile in the middle
    here's the video of the "unhappy snake trying to get away from the aspen".

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2014
  5. Poison

    Poison Elite Member

    Are you sure thats aspen and not pine bedding?
  6. poomwah

    poomwah Well-Known Member

    the bag says aspen and it smells like aspen
    Kaytee Aspen Small Animal Bedding
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Their "reptile guy" is full of it! He doesn't know what he is talking about.
    The snake is behaving normally and looking for a way out. It has nothing to do with the aspen. The stuff is being piled up due to the slickness of the glass bottom and the snake pushing against it. You can reduce this by putting a couple of sheets of newpaper down under the aspen.
    Snakes don't need UVB light and if they did it would have nothing to do with shedding.
    This guy is blowing smoke big time.
  8. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    I've never heard of aspen causing problems (besides not holding humidity). It doesn't have those oils like some pine and cedar beddings do. I rotate between aspen and shredded paper for my corn snake and he's never had issues - for the first year I had him he stayed on aspen exclusively. He actually loves to burrow and hide in it, so I throw a lot in so it's nice and fluffy. I line the bottom of the tank with non-adhesive shelf liner to keep him from sliding around on the glass and pushing it all towards the middle.

    I would agree that your snake looks like it's acting normally... all my snakes, regardless of substrate, look for a way out of their enclosures at least once a day. lol
  9. poomwah

    poomwah Well-Known Member

    thanks everybody, I knew his behavior was normal, I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't something about the aspen that I didn't know about :]
  10. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Sadly just because they work at a petstore and are referred to as the repile guy, still doesn't guarantee they know their stuff. Sounds like the behavior of someone wanting to make some extra sales by selling youma UV light you don't need and some beddding that will do nothing different than what you have. Might be just honestly misinformed too.
  11. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Sums it up perfectly.

    "There has to be a crack or hole here somewhere through which I can escape to freedom!"
  12. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    "When Did Aspen Become a Bad Thing?" - When idiots got a fancy title and now think they are the leading experts and know everything.
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    That statement right there told me all I needed to know about the guy.
    He may have lost a lot of snakes,... but it had nothing to do with aspen.
  14. poomwah

    poomwah Well-Known Member

    and its hilarious to watch because he's usually doing it right toward somebody. If there's only one person in the room, he will be on the side of the enclosure closest to them.
  15. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Makes sense, a lot of animals will learn to associate people with food. Maybe that's his "I'm hungy" dance, lol. I know my sulcatta and my beardies react to my wife because she brings the greens early in the day while I'm at work.

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