Is there an alternate substrate?

Discuss substrates, lighting, heating, enclosure building ideas, share enclosure photos, and talk about any other enclosure-related topics.

Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby AutumnTheBeardie » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:26 am

Hi y’all!

Because Autumn turned one this year, we bought a larger enclosure for her. I’m redoing my room to fit a desert theme, and I want to decorate Autumn’s tank to match. I don’t want to put sand or calcium sand in because it’s too dangerous. Do y’all know of an alternate substrate that looks great with the desert theme? Would clay work? (NOT potter’s clay, btw)

Thanks!

SGS
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:01 am

AutumnTheBeardie wrote:Hi y’all!

Because Autumn turned one this year, we bought a larger enclosure for her. I’m redoing my room to fit a desert theme, and I want to decorate Autumn’s tank to match. I don’t want to put sand or calcium sand in because it’s too dangerous. Do y’all know of an alternate substrate that looks great with the desert theme? Would clay work? (NOT potter’s clay, btw)

Thanks!

SGS


This is typical of flat landscape that is found in the natural habitat of bearded dragons :
Image
The grass is a tough arid resistant grass called spinifex , the soils are highly weathered clay, often rich in iron but poor in organic content.
There are also drought tolerant trees , mainly acacia and mallee


You might get a good look using sandstone boulders (I'm sure you can find these at any garden centre as lots of people buy these to add borders around flower beds and to landscape, like some of these https://anlscape.com.au/Products/sandst ... e-flagging
and https://anlscape.com.au/Products/sandst ... -bush-rock.
As to material to go under these and around them - that's tougher - maybe clay mixed mixed red ochre , mix with water and mold to shape and let air dry …. must be completely air dried (not baked) this will be close to the soil centrals encounter in their natural range.
This is what you SHOULD be trying to reproduce to have the enclosure as authentic as possible.
http://www.territorystories.nt.gov.au/j ... _Creek.pdf
scroll to page p50 and you'll see several examples of the natural habitat in the natural range of central bearded dragons.
Sumarised here
Image

Red stained tilers grout between the boulders and slabs is probably the best bet....lay it fill gaps (to stop bugs from hiding) and let it set and harden , very durable and impervious.
CBDs: Puff (RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old .
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby AutumnTheBeardie » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:34 am

kingofnobbys wrote:
AutumnTheBeardie wrote:Hi y’all!

Because Autumn turned one this year, we bought a larger enclosure for her. I’m redoing my room to fit a desert theme, and I want to decorate Autumn’s tank to match. I don’t want to put sand or calcium sand in because it’s too dangerous. Do y’all know of an alternate substrate that looks great with the desert theme? Would clay work? (NOT potter’s clay, btw)

Thanks!

SGS


This is typical of flat landscape that is found in the natural habitat of bearded dragons :
Image
The grass is a tough arid resistant grass called spinifex , the soils are highly weathered clay, often rich in iron but poor in organic content.
There are also drought tolerant trees , mainly acacia and mallee


You might get a good look using sandstone boulders (I'm sure you can find these at any garden centre as lots of people buy these to add borders around flower beds and to landscape, like some of these https://anlscape.com.au/Products/sandst ... e-flagging
and https://anlscape.com.au/Products/sandst ... -bush-rock.
As to material to go under these and around them - that's tougher - maybe clay mixed mixed red ochre , mix with water and mold to shape and let air dry …. must be completely air dried (not baked) this will be close to the soil centrals encounter in their natural range.
This is what you SHOULD be trying to reproduce to have the enclosure as authentic as possible.
http://www.territorystories.nt.gov.au/j ... _Creek.pdf
scroll to page p50 and you'll see several examples of the natural habitat in the natural range of central bearded dragons.
Sumarised here
Image

Red stained tilers grout between the boulders and slabs is probably the best bet....lay it fill gaps (to stop bugs from hiding) and let it set and harden , very durable and impervious.



Thanks so much!
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:48 am

More details about the natural habitat is here - viewtopic.php?f=34&t=244236
CBDs: Puff (RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old .
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby HippieLizards » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:52 am

Hello,

I Would Use Slate tile, Peel and stick tile, Non adhesive shelf liner, or even linoleum. Sure it isn't Natural but it is safe and that is what IMO is the most important priority is to keep your dragon healthy on a healthy substrate. :D

-HippieLizards.
Slave to three Beardies, one Crested gecko, and a Cat. (R.I.P Thor, You will always be in our hearts).[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby AutumnTheBeardie » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:14 am

HippieLizards wrote:Hello,

I Would Use Slate tile, Peel and stick tile, Non adhesive shelf liner, or even linoleum. Sure it isn't Natural but it is safe and that is what IMO is the most important priority is to keep your dragon healthy on a healthy substrate. :D

-HippieLizards.



Safe is definitely the top priority! Thanks, I am considering using some tile....I’ll check out the others.
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:30 am

AutumnTheBeardie wrote:
HippieLizards wrote:Hello,

I Would Use Slate tile, Peel and stick tile, Non adhesive shelf liner, or even linoleum. Sure it isn't Natural but it is safe and that is what IMO is the most important priority is to keep your dragon healthy on a healthy substrate. :D

-HippieLizards.



Safe is definitely the top priority! Thanks, I am considering using some tile....I’ll check out the others.


Tile is super easy , simply drop the tiles in butting against each other , no glue under them , no grout between them . If a tile needs cleaning lift it and take it outside to get a blast from the garden hose.
CBDs: Puff (RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old .
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby HippieLizards » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:23 am

Yup. I Also blast them with vinegar if they start to get stinky.. I Also use a half and half vinegar/water solution to clean the tanks, It's safe for the beardies (from what my research has told me), and It helps battle stench.
Slave to three Beardies, one Crested gecko, and a Cat. (R.I.P Thor, You will always be in our hearts).[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby AutumnTheBeardie » Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:10 pm

Okay y’all, I decided on some nice, desert-y tile. I still have to cut it to fit, but I’m happy with my purchase. I also bought a few desert plants to put in there too. I will post a picture of the full set up when I’m done cutting and decorating.
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby HippieLizards » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:13 pm

Sweet! :D I Hope the tank turns out well! :blob5:
Slave to three Beardies, one Crested gecko, and a Cat. (R.I.P Thor, You will always be in our hearts).[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:03 pm

AutumnTheBeardie wrote:Okay y’all, I decided on some nice, desert-y tile. I still have to cut it to fit, but I’m happy with my purchase. I also bought a few desert plants to put in there too. I will post a picture of the full set up when I’m done cutting and decorating.


Careful with live plants …. many desert plants (cacti) are poisonous and have dangerous (to beardie's eyes) spikes.

Only plants I'd trust would be desert grasses.
CBDs: Puff (RIP 10Dec2015 @ 3.2 yrs old (aneurism)),Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 @ 4.6 yrs old,Toothless(sudden unexplained death RIP 26Nov2017) @ 2.1 yrs old.Peppa (born 15Nov2015).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Lucky (wild juvenile), cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles (rescued injured),thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016). Fluffy rescued 14Nov2017 about 4 yrs old .
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby CooperDragon » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:53 am

The desert tile works well. I've used that for years now. It looks nice and it's very easy to clean/sanitize.
Image
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Re: Is there an alternate substrate?

Postby HippieLizards » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:19 am

CooperDragon wrote:The desert tile works well. I've used that for years now. It looks nice and it's very easy to clean/sanitize.
I Agree. Tile is 500% better than any type of loose substrate when it comes to cleanliness.
Slave to three Beardies, one Crested gecko, and a Cat. (R.I.P Thor, You will always be in our hearts).[Click image to enlarge]
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