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Old 07-27-03, 10:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Repti-Bark and Sand for substrate

What kind of snakes and lizards use sand? My bf asked me today, if my Rosy Boa comes from places with sand, why can't I have sand in his enclosure. I did not know why, I just use aspen. Can anyone shed some light?

Also, I went to buy the substrate for my sudan lizard, and all they had that was suitable was repti-bark, which is fir wood chips. The package says it's for high humidity, but my lizard is lower humidity. What kind of wood chips should I use? I'm probably going to have to get something online, because that's all they sell around here.
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Old 07-28-03, 12:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 07-28-03, 01:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The Repti-Bark is fine. The added humidity shouldn't harm your lizard unless mold starts to grow. Sand is bad news for most reptiles, however most snakes, (like your Rosy Boa), probably enjoy it a great deal. If you don't want to use sand, (ad if you do be sure it is sanitized play sand), you may also try a product called 'Lizard Litter'. It's a little on the expensive side, but it resists mold, is absorbant, digestable, and isn't harmful like some pine-based substrates. Good luck, I hope this helped!
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Old 07-28-03, 09:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Rosy boas do not come from sandy areas in the wild. They do come from dry climates, but its not like the Sahara or anything Sand will only lead to problems of impaction of the organs and in the nose and mouth, which can lead to mouthrot as well. They also will have scratched scales and eyecaps. Stick with the aspen. Other alternatives are newspaper, paper towel, beta chip, Carefresh, and crushed walnut.

As for the bark. I wouldm't recommend going with any fir bark just due to the fact that it is a softwood. All softwoods produce oils that are mildly to severaly toxic to herps and small animals. Pine being a very mild one, more of just a mild respiratory irritant, cedar being a powerful neurotoxin. Fir bark is very mild, however I still wouldn't. It isn't so much the humidity, as with bark you can choose your humidity levels by how moist you keep the bark.
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Old 07-28-03, 03:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Out of curiousity, does anyone have valid documents of gut impactions from sand? I did some searching and found nothing on actual impaction from sand, I did find alot of sites where it claims impaction but Im a guy that likes proof. I've used sand for years and still do and Ive honestly never had any bad luck with it, though it did turn my sulcata purple when I used calci-sand.
Nowadays I use sand from a local creek.
Id love to see actual documents.
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Old 07-28-03, 03:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have leopard geckos who got impaction from sand. Can ship you a pice of S*** full of sand if you want :-p
Seriously, my leos started impaction on sand, on crushed walnut also and the coconut mulch thing too. The only thing I found they didn't eat was newspaper and prob cause they can't rip a part off.
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Old 07-28-03, 03:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've used calci-sand for my leopard geckos for a few years now and never had a problem. Maybe it depends on the gecko and how they go about eating/avoiding eating the sand.
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Old 07-28-03, 03:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i'm with Siretsap if you want proof i can mail some poop to ya too. What would you like regular sand, calci-sand, or lizzard litter. LOL the only thing besides (paper towel and newspaper) that they don't eat is bed a beast.
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Old 07-28-03, 04:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hello,
I lost my first gecko to sand impaction. I would send you some poop too but that was almost 10 years ago and i discarded it. LOL I currently use a soft,fine woven cloth material for my gecko enclosures. Their nails don't get stuck,its soft,it looks like sand,and it can't cause impaction.
(I haven't lost a gecko since I stopped using the sand. By the way, impaction can take days to years before it is a problem.)
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Old 07-28-03, 04:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok so hearing all your replies, i think i'm going to switch my sand to something else immediatly! Even though i haven't had a problem i don't want to risk it. So what's best? I'm hearing 'bed a beast', but i'm not sure what that is!
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Old 07-28-03, 05:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Fair enough.. On the gecko speculations; anything on other lizards or turtles/Torts?


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Old 07-28-03, 05:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I know Bob Applegate uses T-rex Calci sand, and there's been others. I've been trying calcisand on my sand skinks and hognose.
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Old 07-28-03, 05:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Linds
"Rosy boas do not come from sandy areas in the wild."

Rosy Habitats include desert, arid scrub, brushland, rocky chaparral-covered foothills. And as we all know, there's plenty of sand in the desert. Rosys come from Southern California, New Mexico, Mexico, and Baja California. They live in dry climates but can usually find them where moisture is available.

Modified to correct a speeelin error. =P

Last edited by enso; 07-28-03 at 05:48 PM..
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Old 07-28-03, 07:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm trying to find carefresh, or bed-a-beast at LEAST, and I swear there isn't any in Los Angeles. Grrr... Can you believe that the ONLY substrate one reptile store has is repti-bark? There's a really cool store in San Diego that has more variety but it's so far.

Maybe I'll just have to use the repti-bark until August when I go to the IRBA exposition.
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Old 07-29-03, 10:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Xain, look on the pagona vitticeps forum for some posts by eyespy over the last two weeks or so in response to questions about sand substrates. I found it very informative.
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