Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

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Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Staygold » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:56 pm

Hi, my bearded dragon glass surfs a lot and I'm planning on putting a dig box in there to see if it helps. But my research has left me with a few questions.
First, how big should the Dig box be if she is 18 in Long?
Second, does the dig box go on the hot or cool side?
Third, Which substrate is the best? Below I have listed the options I have come across or think might work. I have not listed the ones that I am not willing to use because I don't think they are good, such as ground Walnut shells, sand Etc. And I I'm wondering if anybody else has used any, and had any problems with it, or any suggestions.

1. Flaxseed: is it toxic to them? Can it cause impaction? What kind of flaxseed? I have seen pictures with a lighter flaxseed, but in real life I have only seen darker flax seeds. Hence the question for cool spot or hot side cuz I think the darker seed would get a lot warmer than the lighter ones I have seen online.
2. Soft blanket: how small of pieces and does it really act like a dig box or just a fluffy bed.
3. Bird feed: would it cause impaction? Is it toxic? Too Dusty? What if I wipe it off with a towel to get rid of the Dust.
4. Millet: is it digestible? Dusty? Cause impaction?
5. Alfalfa pellets: is it digestible? Cause impaction? Dusty?
6. Dried vegetables: would they choke on them being dry? Dusty?
7. Rice: is it digestible? Would it cause impaction? Toxic?
8. Quinoa: is it digestible? Toxic? Would it cause impaction?
9. Barley: toxic? Digestible? Would it cause impaction?
10. Dirt: toxic? Too Dusty if it dries out? Raise humidity too much if it's moist?

Any help, input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I would prefer something that can't cause her eye or nose problems. Nothing toxic obviously. And no chance or very very very small chance of impaction. Thank you for any help.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:39 pm

A dig box in the enclosure could get fairly messy. Usually people build them with damp play sand and topsoil combo, but that is usually for laying eggs and often built in a bin that is external to the enclosure. Probably the safest and cleanest way to go is to pile up fleece scraps or small fleece blankets. You can keep piling them up high enough to allow burrowing and if they need to be cleaned you can just toss them in the washer. The fleece isn't looped so it won't get stuck on nails as they dig.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Staygold » Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:10 pm

CooperDragon wrote:A dig box in the enclosure could get fairly messy. Usually people build them with damp play sand and topsoil combo, but that is usually for laying eggs and often built in a bin that is external to the enclosure. Probably the safest and cleanest way to go is to pile up fleece scraps or small fleece blankets. You can keep piling them up high enough to allow burrowing and if they need to be cleaned you can just toss them in the washer. The fleece isn't looped so it won't get stuck on nails as they dig.

That is the one I am leaning towards, because I think it would be the safest. I was just wondering if it worked as an actual digging thing for them. Thank you for answering.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby CooperDragon » Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:47 pm

I use the fleece blankets from pampered beardies and my guy will dig around and burrow in them. I have about 4 of them piled in his tank and one under each of the portable lights in the house and he'll kind of bat at them with his hands in a digging motion and build them into a burrow. It's not really a natural solution, but I feel that it's a pretty good compromise for their captive setups.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Staygold » Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:04 am

CooperDragon wrote:I use the fleece blankets from pampered beardies and my guy will dig around and burrow in them. I have about 4 of them piled in his tank and one under each of the portable lights in the house and he'll kind of bat at them with his hands in a digging motion and build them into a burrow. It's not really a natural solution, but I feel that it's a pretty good compromise for their captive setups.

That's pretty much what I was thinking is that it's the safest one. I did cut up a bunch of fleece for her and put a dig box in her cage. Maybe I shouldn't have because she's had so many changes lately , and I don't know if she liked it because she has started brumating on me with food in her belly. Anyway I hope the video shed some light and if anybody else finds anything on the topic I would love to hear it.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Staygold » Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:34 am

Staygold wrote:
CooperDragon wrote:I use the fleece blankets from pampered beardies and my guy will dig around and burrow in them. I have about 4 of them piled in his tank and one under each of the portable lights in the house and he'll kind of bat at them with his hands in a digging motion and build them into a burrow. It's not really a natural solution, but I feel that it's a pretty good compromise for their captive setups.

That's pretty much what I was thinking is that it's the safest one. I did cut up a bunch of fleece for her and put a dig box in her cage. Maybe I shouldn't have because she's had so many changes lately , and I don't know if she liked it because she has started brumating on me with food in her belly. Anyway I hope the video shed some light and if anybody else finds anything on the topic I would love to hear it.


Sorry, the site said it was down for maintenance when I posted my response, that message probably makes no sense cuz it didn't post it all. Anyway I need to go to bed because I have to get up in the morning to watch her temperatures. Anyway I will try to find the video again tomorrow. Because yes I did post the name of it, it just didn't show up because the site was down for maintenance.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby AHBD » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:38 pm

The fleece may be a great idea, I'd personally shy away from seeds of any type because there's no way of knowing what problems might come along if it's ingested . I use this in the past as a laybox for females but it doubles as a digbox and it fits in the tank.

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _large.jpg

It's about 22 L x 12 W x 7 H. Plain topsoil + sand mix[ dampened but not wet ] and as pictured the lid is on but a corner is cut out as the door. They love a " private " place and it doesn't spill out too much . Keep it in an area that is around the upper 80's.

As for brumating with food in the belly, it has never hurt my dragons. I would think they know what to do and I haven't seen any evidence of harm from it. Don't worry or fuss about it, your dragon should be fine.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby CooperDragon » Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:25 pm

I haven't seen any issue with them going into brumation with food in their belly either. They tend to want less to eat but will still sometimes have a snack. They poop much less frequently but it just ties in with their system slowing down. Eventually they pass the food through and it doesn't seem to be a big deal to them. I haven't seen negative effects.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Staygold » Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:42 pm

CooperDragon wrote:I use the fleece blankets from pampered beardies and my guy will dig around and burrow in them. I have about 4 of them piled in his tank and one under each of the portable lights in the house and he'll kind of bat at them with his hands in a digging motion and build them into a burrow. It's not really a natural solution, but I feel that it's a pretty good compromise for their captive setups.

Okay. I will look them up. Do you cut them up at all into little squares or strips? And if yes how big are the squares or strips.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Staygold » Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:24 pm

AHBD wrote:The fleece may be a great idea, I'd personally shy away from seeds of any type because there's no way of knowing what problems might come along if it's ingested . I use this in the past as a laybox for females but it doubles as a digbox and it fits in the tank.

https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploa ... _large.jpg

It's about 22 L x 12 W x 7 H. Plain topsoil + sand mix[ dampened but not wet ] and as pictured the lid is on but a corner is cut out as the door. They love a " private " place and it doesn't spill out too much . Keep it in an area that is around the upper 80's.

As for brumating with food in the belly, it has never hurt my dragons. I would think they know what to do and I haven't seen any evidence of harm from it. Don't worry or fuss about it, your dragon should be fine.


Okay. Thank you. With having the Dig box of sand and soil in their cage have you noticed any impaction issues? Because she probably will need a lay box eventually since she is a girl.
As for the food in her belly while brumating. She woke up yesterday for a while and she was awake today for a while, she keeps going to bed really early. For example today she just went to go sleep at noon. But she did poop today, although the year 8 was quite hard and there was some brown crunchy crystally stuff. But she pooped! Yay! I know I am a worry wart but I am very new to this and would like to know that I am doing an above-average job. And I hope with all my research I will get to that point sooner than later.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Staygold » Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:27 pm

CooperDragon wrote:I haven't seen any issue with them going into brumation with food in their belly either. They tend to want less to eat but will still sometimes have a snack. They poop much less frequently but it just ties in with their system slowing down. Eventually they pass the food through and it doesn't seem to be a big deal to them. I haven't seen negative effects.


Okay. Thank you so much . That makes sense. I was just worried about it rotting in her tummy. Anyway she pooped today! I am so happy! I have never been so happy to have one of my pet's poop, LOL.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Wickedpogana » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:25 pm

The best substrate to house your dragon on is fully functioning Bioactive setups . Only substrate that's ethical if you follow The Animal Welfare act of 2006. 99% of what people use for substrate suppresses all of their natural behaviors and what they have evolved to do for their posterity their mental health and their overall well being . People want a display animal but dont want to give them the tools they need to give them the display they want Offer your animal some substance to do what they would innately and instinctively naturally.
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Wickedpogana » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:31 pm

Staygold wrote:Hi, my bearded dragon glass surfs a lot and I'm planning on putting a dig box in there to see if it helps. But my research has left me with a few questions.
First, how big should the Dig box be if she is 18 in Long?
Second, does the dig box go on the hot or cool side?
Third, Which substrate is the best? Below I have listed the options I have come across or think might work. I have not listed the ones that I am not willing to use because I don't think they are good, such as ground Walnut shells, sand Etc. And I I'm wondering if anybody else has used any, and had any problems with it, or any suggestions.

1. Flaxseed: is it toxic to them? Can it cause impaction? What kind of flaxseed? I have seen pictures with a lighter flaxseed, but in real life I have only seen darker flax seeds. Hence the question for cool spot or hot side cuz I think the darker seed would get a lot warmer than the lighter ones I have seen online.
2. Soft blanket: how small of pieces and does it really act like a dig box or just a fluffy bed.
3. Bird feed: would it cause impaction? Is it toxic? Too Dusty? What if I wipe it off with a towel to get rid of the Dust.
4. Millet: is it digestible? Dusty? Cause impaction?
5. Alfalfa pellets: is it digestible? Cause impaction? Dusty?
6. Dried vegetables: would they choke on them being dry? Dusty?
7. Rice: is it digestible? Would it cause impaction? Toxic?
8. Quinoa: is it digestible? Toxic? Would it cause impaction?
9. Barley: toxic? Digestible? Would it cause impaction?
10. Dirt: toxic? Too Dusty if it dries out? Raise humidity too much if it's moist?

Any help, input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I would prefer something that can't cause her eye or nose problems. Nothing toxic obviously. And no chance or very very very small chance of impaction. Thank you for any help.

You cannot house beardie on seed but a similar reptile that you can do that with is an Uromastyx. Dirt isn't toxic or dusty if your thinking of soil which I'm sure . Dried vegetables is similar to Leaf litter which is used in a bioactive set up . If using a soft blanket should be like a bed area not your substrate they like to dig maybe some rocks or something to help keep nails in check they like to hunt and eat plants aswell. I dont know why you'd suggest flaxseed . But crushed walnut shells is one of the worst things to house a reptile on even if its marketed for it
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Staygold » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:33 pm

Wickedpogana wrote:The best substrate to house your dragon on is fully functioning Bioactive setups . Only substrate that's ethical if you follow The Animal Welfare act of 2006. 99% of what people use for substrate suppresses all of their natural behaviors and what they have evolved to do for their posterity their mental health and their overall well being . People want a display animal but dont want to give them the tools they need to give them the display they want Offer your animal some substance to do what they would innately and instinctively naturally.

But what would be safe substrate for a dig box and not cause impaction?
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Re: Dig box, so many options, where, how big and substrate?

Postby Wickedpogana » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:40 pm

Staygold wrote:
Wickedpogana wrote:The best substrate to house your dragon on is fully functioning Bioactive setups . Only substrate that's ethical if you follow The Animal Welfare act of 2006. 99% of what people use for substrate suppresses all of their natural behaviors and what they have evolved to do for their posterity their mental health and their overall well being . People want a display animal but dont want to give them the tools they need to give them the display they want Offer your animal some substance to do what they would innately and instinctively naturally.

But what would be safe substrate for a dig box and not cause impaction?

Impaction isn't caused by sand or soil or rocks its cause by inadequate care . People who have beardie with impaction has their beardie under the wrong lights and a poor diet they dont provide the fundamentally correct equipment which ends in health issues. A dig box makes no sense logically just make their viv it's own living custodian ecosystem
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