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Thread: My solution to ugly paper towels

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    Thumbs up My solution to ugly paper towels

    So earlier this summer, i set out to solve a problem that has always bothered me. I much prefer the look of a naturalistic loose substrate, but cleaning them is a pain and the fear for impaction to great. So i started doing some research on different things i could use for substrate. I ended up finding compressed rubber artificial mulch mats. I buy them at home depot ($20 for a 6'X3' mat) and cut them to fit our cages. Then i soak them in a bleach solution bath, rinse them off and let them dry. They look great, are very easy to clean, and have zero risk for impaction.


    To clean them i remove them from the tank and soak them in a hot chlorhexidine solution, then rinse them off in the shower and there good to go right back in the cages.


    I also use clear silicone to fit pieces to the backs of all our 10-40 gallon tanks. They make a great looking background as well and provide a great easy climbing surface.




    A close up view of the mats




    One of the mats after cutting out a floor for a 25 gallon hex tank



    complete hex cage



    Some 4 gallon juvie cages with rubber substrate



    as you can see they make good flooring substrate as well as backgrounds







    I still use paper towels for anyone under 5 grams, but I have one by one replaced all our cages with this rubber substrate over this last summer and have had no problems whatsoever.

    I think its a great way to set up good looking easy to clean and safe cages!
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    Neat. How do you clean it? Just take it out, replace with one and wash the dirty piece?

    How much was it for a large piece?

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    To clean them i remove them from the tank and soak them in a hot chlorhexidine solution, then rinse them off in the shower and there good to go right back in the cages.

    There $20 for a 6'X3' piece at home depot. (they may not carry them during the winter though)
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    What's chlorhexidine? I'm interested in getting some of this substrate to eliminate the constant buying of paper towels and to stop my mother from telling me that my gecko uses to many paper towels. :l

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3DArtist2496 View Post
    What's chlorhexidine? I'm interested in getting some of this substrate to eliminate the constant buying of paper towels and to stop my mother from telling me that my gecko uses to many paper towels. :l
    Chlorhexadine <- Link.

    I can't tell very well from those pictures... It's not loose substrate? If I'm understanding the product right, it's pretty much a cleaner reptile carpet? I really like the way it looks, wouldn't mind making a project out of it.
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    @Elise.m

    Thanks!

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    Wow, that looks great!

    I'd love to use this, but my problem is I have tall flowers/plants that have a small base, and need to be packed into the coco fiber to keep them from falling over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AltitudeExotics View Post
    To clean them i remove them from the tank and soak them in a hot chlorhexidine solution, then rinse them off in the shower and there good to go right back in the cages.

    There $20 for a 6'X3' piece at home depot. (they may not carry them during the winter though)
    I have always been told to leave chlorhexidine out of warm areas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elise.m View Post
    Chlorhexadine <- Link.

    I can't tell very well from those pictures... It's not loose substrate? If I'm understanding the product right, it's pretty much a cleaner reptile carpet? I really like the way it looks, wouldn't mind making a project out of it.

    Its made up of thin strips of rubber, but its all compressed (kind of glued) together into a mat, so its one solid piece. It doesn't break apart, and even when our geckos bite it going after a cricket, it doesn't come apart so they cant swallow it. I like it because it has the appearance of loose substrate, which i have always loved, but without the risk of causing impaction because they cant swallow it.
    www.altitudeexotics.com

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    How thick is it 1/2 " or so..?
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