Your Honest Opinion on Substrate

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glitch_in_the_system":22337 said:
Here is my opinion:

Some animals are very active and like to dig. If so providing them the cleanest, safest particle substrate and monitor the situation seems appropriate.

My dragon has been on multiple particle substrates over the years and seemingly hated them all. When she had sand she would avoid being on the sand and instead stayed on the rocks or log all the time. Hence I no longer even consider particle substrates for her.

When I did use particle substrates I battled several complications: when I received my dragon she was impacted from being on calci-sand and being fed meal worms. She started out on reptile carpet. Which was alright be stained easily and was often a pain to clean. Once through the impaction and approximately 12" long Obie was put onto crushed walnut shells because I fell for the false advertising of it being completely digestible. I nixed the walnut shells after learning of the serious health risks it imposed. Then I went to washed and sifted playsand. As I said before she avoided it like the plague. Not sure why. Then I switched to loam when the Germans introduced the board to the idea. She didn't seem to mind it but it was hard to keep clean and the area around the tank always smelled like damp soil. So I switched once more to bed a beast and dealt with a mite infestation that popped up almost immediately after it was introduced. I tried shredded pine bedding after it was recommended by someone I knew who had a blue tongue skink. Obie then got a yellow fungus infection which was a long tough battle. I gave up on all particle substrates at that point and switched to shelf liner which worked great but I didn't like having to replace it because of stains from the fecal matter and having to remove the whole thing from the tank. After building Obie's new 4x2x2 I installed slate tiles which have been wonderful. She seems to love it, it looks cool and clean, is easy to clean, and holds heat well. The only problem I have had with Slate is that it can actually overheat because its dark color absorbs the light/heat.


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I'm curious if there is a down side to tile. (previous poster mentioned this, but didn't elaborate.)

I got some slate tile cut to fit today, and plan on replacing the vita-sand with it.


Hatchling Member
SlabOMeat":f11df said:
I'm curious if there is a down side to tile. (previous poster mentioned this, but didn't elaborate.)

I got some slate tile cut to fit today, and plan on replacing the vita-sand with it.
tile creates a dryer tank and with higher basking temps you may dehydrate your dragon quicker and also if they fall on it from a decent height, they can injure themselves and it can hinder some natural behaviors like digging


We used paper towel until my beardie was 3 months old. It was easy to keep clean and kept her happy.
Then we went to slate tile. Again, the easier to keep clean the happier I am.
Lately she has been trying to dig, so I bought a bag of reptile sand and dumped it in the corner. The grains are so soft she loves to snuggle in it too sleep.
Beardies come from the Australian desert. They live in sand.
Use what apeals to you and your beardie. I like easy to clean and take care of.
I am not against play sand, but if I was sleeping in it I would prefer the finer softer sand.
Our set up is slate tile with a corner of sand. A water bowl, big peice of drift wood and a fake plant.


Hatchling Member
redlizzy":f4071 said:
Beardies come from the Australian desert. They live in sand.

They comne from a variety of enviroments, and the majority of it is arid woodlands, and they spend most times basking on limbs, bushes, and rocks. They dig in dirt to bury lay their eggs.

But i agree on use what you feel is right, just be careful for the health of your beardie :study:
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