Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Bearded Dragon Substrate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    277
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default Bearded Dragon Substrate

    This is a topic I have gone over with pet store employees, breeders, Bearded Dragon owners, some A-hole, know-it-all at a certain reptile store here in Michigan and no one can come to one conclusion. Therefore, I am here to ask again. Recently, we built a 7 foot by 3 foot cage for our year-in-a-half old Bearded Dragon, Megatron. He is currently on Bed-A-Beast, but we dont like it. Therefore, we would like to know what kind of substrate is safe and what is bad. At one point, we had him on the Walnut Substrate and heard it was absolutely horrible by breeders and great from a worker at Pruess Pets. I heard that repti-bark is also bad. Therefore, WHAT CAN WE USE? We like the Calcium sand, but I have worked with that stuff and I much rather it not get compacted in his stomach (he does dig his head into the dirt/sand and potentially eat it when he is catching crickets.)

    Any advice would be great and I know a lot is going to be conflicting, but if you own a Bearded Dragon and have had great success for many years, LET ME KNOW!
    ..JESSICA..
    | 5.2.2 Crested Gecko | 1.1.0 Leopard Gecko | 1.1.0 Horned Frog | 1.0.2 Panther Gecko |
    | 1.0.1 Bearded Dragon | 1.0 Uromastyx | 1.0 Tiger Salamander | 1.0 Sand Boa |
    | 1.0.0 Gargoyle Gecko | 0.1.0 Mossy Leaftail Gecko |
    | 1.0.0 Mini Lop-Pancakes | 2.1.0 Cats- Bailey, Rufus & Abbey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Western, PA
    Posts
    2,146
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts

    Default

    I kept all my big lizards (iguana,tegu,uromastyx,frilled dragon and beardie) all on tile floors. They can't eat it, You can buy nice stone patterns and easy to clean.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lawrence, KS
    Posts
    1,690
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I agree, that or paper towels. Just make sure with the tile that it doesn't get too hot! I think it's just the tiles with glossy finishes that you are supposed to watch out for, but I am not 100% sure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Toledo Ohio
    Posts
    7,125
    Thanks
    32
    Thanked 108 Times in 80 Posts

    Default

    The best substrate is nothing particle. Particle substrates with beardies tend to hold to much humidity, or make it so that there isnt enough humidity (ie using sand). Also using a substrate does a few other things:
    1. higher chance of impaction, play sand considered the "safest", it still runs quite a risk of an impaction. Calcisand isnt digestable and is easily impactable, and walnut sand...err well just google bearded dragon autopsy and you can see for yourself what that stuff does.
    2. Substrate is never clean even after you spot clean. Once your beardie poops in it, it quickly grows alot of bacteria. Beardies tend to have high moisture content feces due to their high veggie intake when adults (ie more water in the diet). Because of this, it will quickly grow bacteria, which is why beardie tanks grow stinky quickly. And because of this, the substrate should be completely change bi weekly.
    3. They are not a desert species and wouldnt normally be found in sand, they are a shrub land where the dirt is very compact and not loose like the soils you find in the pet stores, and are high in large pebble debris.

    Honestly the safest and cleanest substrates are paper towels, newspaper, reptile carpet, slate, tile, non adhesive shelf liner. All of these are easy to clean, and easy to properly watch for poops to insure healthy poops, and no accidental injestion from insect hunting. What do I use? Reptile Carpet, I have it cut into sections in her tank, so when she poops, she only poops on one section so only that section needs to be taken out to clean. Any good vet will tell you the same, particle substrates should be avoided at all costs with this species. For beardies, I believe impaction is about the number one reason why they come into our office, so many people try putting them on sand and dirt not realizing their intestial track is really narrow, causing for impactions easily.
    lets just say I have a lot of stuff
    www.sublimereptiles.com
    Facebook
    BOI

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    New JERSEY
    Posts
    5,687
    Thanks
    162
    Thanked 338 Times in 171 Posts

    Default

    Ok peeps, laugh all you want.... my answer is "bird seed". shelled millet. I kept Uromastyx on it a few years ago and then moved the beardeds to it. The seeds are also food and easily digestible, good stuff for omnivores. Te seeds also coat the feces and can be scooped like cat litter. When you need to change it out, feed the clean stuff to the birds!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Western, PA
    Posts
    2,146
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragontown View Post
    Ok peeps, laugh all you want.... my answer is "bird seed". shelled millet. I kept Uromastyx on it a few years ago and then moved the beardeds to it. The seeds are also food and easily digestible, good stuff for omnivores. Te seeds also coat the feces and can be scooped like cat litter. When you need to change it out, feed the clean stuff to the birds!
    This! millet was fantastic for our uromastyx. Never had the idea to use it with the dragons. It passes out whole in there poo like corn that way you can see that there always passing it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    277
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Paper towel would be nearly impossible to keep as a substrate for my 1 1/2 old beardie for the simple fact, I have a 6 in a half foot long tank that he runs back and forth in and it would be destroyed in a matter of seconds. What does everyone think of hay? I have seen several cages with hay and millet, but filling the bottom of the size of tank I have would be too expensive, especially changed every 2 weeks.
    How about reptilite? I know Calci sand is bad, but the bag says its completely digestable. Carpet would be a mess because he poops like a horse and cleaning it would never be sufficient.

    I will post pictures of the newly built tank so everyone can see the size of tank I need to add substrate to. The boys are currently assembling the rest of it. Marty of Marty Made cut the glass today for us (because we dont do glass.)
    ..JESSICA..
    | 5.2.2 Crested Gecko | 1.1.0 Leopard Gecko | 1.1.0 Horned Frog | 1.0.2 Panther Gecko |
    | 1.0.1 Bearded Dragon | 1.0 Uromastyx | 1.0 Tiger Salamander | 1.0 Sand Boa |
    | 1.0.0 Gargoyle Gecko | 0.1.0 Mossy Leaftail Gecko |
    | 1.0.0 Mini Lop-Pancakes | 2.1.0 Cats- Bailey, Rufus & Abbey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    4,309
    Thanks
    114
    Thanked 192 Times in 149 Posts

    Default

    Due to the size of the enclosure and your boy likes to dig, could you tile 50% of it and then use millet in the other 50%? IMO, cleaning would be much easier for you this way and he would have a digging section.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    277
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Were trying to train him to poop in one area, so we would be able to do that, but he would just make his tank a complete mess until we get him to use one spot for the bathroom.
    ..JESSICA..
    | 5.2.2 Crested Gecko | 1.1.0 Leopard Gecko | 1.1.0 Horned Frog | 1.0.2 Panther Gecko |
    | 1.0.1 Bearded Dragon | 1.0 Uromastyx | 1.0 Tiger Salamander | 1.0 Sand Boa |
    | 1.0.0 Gargoyle Gecko | 0.1.0 Mossy Leaftail Gecko |
    | 1.0.0 Mini Lop-Pancakes | 2.1.0 Cats- Bailey, Rufus & Abbey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    603
    Thanks
    12
    Thanked 20 Times in 12 Posts

    Default

    Millet is a great idea. I've used nothing but rabbit pellets(alfalfa not poop) for almost 20 years now and have never had a problem.

Similar Threads

  1. another bearded dragon question.
    By Hisatchmo in forum GECKOS AND OTHER LIZARDS
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 03-29-2010, 05:26 PM
  2. Bearded Dragon Help
    By meumcorculum in forum GECKOS AND OTHER LIZARDS
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-21-2008, 06:09 PM
  3. Spot, the Bearded Dragon
    By CarpetShark in forum GECKOS AND OTHER LIZARDS
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-02-2008, 09:20 PM
  4. My new bearded dragon!
    By mikhail in forum ALL OTHER REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 09-09-2006, 01:58 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •