How does my loose substrate look?

MeanCrayons

Member
I am making the switch today to loose substrate. Larry has a clean bill of health via our vet, eating like a champ, and temps/UV are great and monitored with an infared gun and solarmeter. I am hand mixing and shooting for 50%play sand/30%organic soil/10% excavator clay/10% Australian habitat substrate (leftover from old dig box). I am just eye balling and estimating the mixture. I have sifted it lightly for woodchips etc. I plan of sifting it more and baking it in the oven at 350F for 3 hours. How does THIS look in terms of consistency? It got darker than I expected and I'm not sure if that's because of the added Australian habitat stuff or if I have too much soil in there.
 

Attachments

  • 4LywcJR.jpg
    4LywcJR.jpg
    219.1 KB · Views: 121

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
It looks pretty good to me, one word of caution though. If your beardie is young, i personality would feed in a different tote till it is older to avoid chance of impaction.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
It probably got darker because there is a little moisture in it. It should lighten a little once heated and dried.

Personally I just use sand, but if that ends up working for you and your dragon then there isn't anything wrong with the mix.

-Brandon
 

MeanCrayons

Member
Original Poster
It looks pretty good to me, one word of caution though. If your beardie is young, i personality would feed in a different tote till it is older to avoid chance of impaction.
Larry is 11-12 months old now. He is fed with a small pyrex bowl as his plate so the dubias/worms would never be on the sand as it is escape-proof and will be raised from the sand. That should be okay like that, right?

It probably got darker because there is a little moisture in it. It should lighten a little once heated and dried.

Personally I just use sand, but if that ends up working for you and your dragon then there isn't anything wrong with the mix.

-Brandon
Thank you. I baked it at 350F for about 40 minutes (planned for longer but I saw a lot of posts about just 20-30 minutes being perfectly fine) and am letting it cool down now. It is definitely lightening up after being in the oven. Once inside the 4x2x2, should I spray it down to pack it at all or just let it be?
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Yeah as long as the bugs aren't running on the loose substrate you should be fine. At 10 to 11 months he is probably 18 to 19 inches anyway. I would keep an eye on him for the first couple days though just to make sure he isn't eating it. I have had 2 that tries to eat the excavator clay, and 2 others that always trys to eat rock "shrugs" , silly dragons lol.
 

MeanCrayons

Member
Original Poster
Yeah as long as the bugs aren't running on the loose substrate you should be fine. At 10 to 11 months he is probably 18 to 19 inches anyway. I would keep an eye on him for the first couple days though just to make sure he isn't eating it. I have had 2 that tries to eat the excavator clay, and 2 others that always trys to eat rock "shrugs" , silly dragons lol.
I gave him a digbox a few months ago as a test run with just the clay and Australian habitat stuff. He had a couple licks of it and then went about being his derpy self and digging. I will definitely keep an eye on it though. If I had to say he's a little bit longer than 19". I'll measure him tomorrow actually. Thanks for all the help.

edit: I also hand picked the woodchips and a piece of glass out of the soil and then strained the rest of it to catch anything else as a precaution.
 

MeanCrayons

Member
Original Poster
HERE are some photos of the enclosure after the substrate change. Larry immediately got off his hammock where he spends every minute and started exploring and being much more active than usual. Temps are still the same for basking as I did not raise the platform and instead put sand around it. UV range is still 3-4.5 around his basking spot, ~1 on the top of the sand, and it diminishes to 0 on the cool side. He gave the sand a few licks at first, but I haven't seen him eating any sand other than that. :geek:
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Looks pretty darned nice (y)
(y)(y)
 

Members online

Latest resources

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

I just set Swordtail's timer for his bath and paused it so I could actually fill his soaking bowl up and he crawled over my phone and canceled the timer 🤣
Mirage came out of brumation on April 26. He was doing great. On May 2 he started acting funny. We just redid his tank, and he keeps going into one of his hides. He just lays there. He shows no intrest in food. HELP!
is tape safe for fixing something in my leopard geckos hide?
Day 3 of brumation. It's a struggle. I really miss my little guy. 😔
Mirage entered brumation yesterday, I'm gonna miss hanging out with my little guy.

Forum statistics

Threads
156,296
Messages
1,259,834
Members
76,167
Latest member
Kay.marie
Top Bottom