why reptile carpet sucks

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why reptile carpet sucks

Postby Jacobsherps » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:55 am

i have used rep carpet my whole life for my leopard gecko and my bearded dragons. i recently learned that there are a number of problems with rep carp that makes me feel bad about keeping my dragons on it. let me get into the main problems.

it stinks!!! the stuff gets so smelly after using it.

Bactria. rep carpet is a host for all kinds of bacteria and fungas. it breeds and can cause respiratory infection if it gets into the air.

so unnatural. this is probably the most obvious because its literally carpet. there is many better options that look tons better for your dragon.
provides ZERO enrichment. bearded dragons naturally like to dig and burrow. in captivity they arent able to do that when kept on a piece of fabric. i dont own any females but they would probably like to have a place to make nests and ovulate.

toes, ouch. bearded dragons obviously have long nails and those can get caught in loose threads if there nails are two long.

feeders. feeder insects are able to get under the carpet. with that said the beardies cant get to them and they can hurt the dragon at night while he/she sleeps.

does tile work?
in my opinion the short answer is no. like carpet it can host bacteria and cause an RI like that.
it also has barely any traction. if your tile is too smooth they will just slide around like the DVD screensaver. tile is great for young beardies because there easier to clean up after. also baby beardies have storm trooper aim when hunting.
if you ask me whats better, tile or carpet, il tell you tile, but if you ask me if tiles the best id say no.

what should i use.
i think the #1 best substrate for bearded dragons is a loose mix of topsoil and and play sand. this make a sandy soil that is very natural to the Australian bush, forests and other places where they come from

what about impaction.
think about this. if all the bearded dragons in Australia got impaction, there would be no bearded dragons in Australia. if all the leopard geckos in Afghanistan got impaction there wouldnt be any leopard geckos in Afghanistan. now you see, if an animal gets a proper diet humidity and heating, like a wild herp, they will be able to pass it with no problem.if you dont have proper husbandry your animal will undoubtedly get impaction. only move to substrate if you are confident in your animals husbantry.
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Re: why reptile carpet sucks

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:21 am

You make good points here. Repticarpet is a pain to keep clean. Running it through the washing machine helps to clean it up pretty well, but that tears it up fairly quickly. Given the cost of the carpet, it's not a great option. Other methods of cleaning aren't very thorough. Perhaps soaking in oxiclean or something like that and hand washing would do, but quite time consuming.

Solid substrate like tile and shelf liner is easy to clean and fairly cheap. poop and bacteria aren't as likely to become trapped and if cleaned and sanitized regularly (especially after coming in contact with poop), they are a relatively sanitary and durable option. The hardness can certainly be an issue. Using an option with a bit of texture is the way to go. The tile is similar to the hard packed clay that is encountered in a lot of their native habitat. It can be tough on their feet if they move around a lot, however. And it does prohibit digging behavior. I have found that putting down fleece blankets or a pile of fleece strips can help with this. The fleece won't get caught in their claws, and it is easy to clean in the washer as needed (and is MUCH more durable than the Repticarpet). It's not perfect, but is a good option for the relatively tiny enclosures we have for them in captivity.

Loose substrate such as sand and topsoil can work if properly tended to and the dragon is otherwise healthy. Dragons who aren't healthy can start to get the soil caked on them (especially in and around their eyes) and ingest it and be unable to pass it. I've seen sand impactions firsthand and they are no fun at all. These loose substrates do provide ability to dig, and the combination of play sand and topsoil is a good option for temporary digging areas such as for a an egg laying box, or a supervised digging bin etc. If they are not monitored and maintained very well, loose substrates will also start to stink as bacteria and mold/mildew can build up. Providing the space and investing the time to build a bioactive system helps keep these issues minimized as an ecosystem is built to handle waste and keep pathogens in check. These are a very good option for a healthy dragon, provided they are built properly and with enough space.

Just as with lighting, it is a compromise between what they have in nature vs what we can provide with current technology and relatively tiny living accommodations. Honestly, I don't think they should have ever been taken from their natural habitat, but that ship sailed long ago so we must do the best we can to care for the ones who now depend on us.

I guess that was a bit of a roundabout and long winded response saying yes, I agree, Repticarpet sucks :lol:
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Re: why reptile carpet sucks

Postby Jacobsherps » Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:37 am

you still can have the problem with bacteria with a loose substrate, i should have said that you can get springtails and isopods which help that problem
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