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baby dragon eating beach sand?

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  • baby dragon eating beach sand?

    Just got a brand new baby bearded dragon with a large tank and sweet lighting/heating setup. All im missing is substrate. So my friend recommended using natural beach sand as substrate since we live so close to a beach. But, after reading this: http://www.beardeddragonlovers.com/b...ed-dragon.html, it claims that baby dragons can swallow beach sand which can probably lead to health problems such as impaction.

    Does anyone have experience with using beach sand as substrate? I get it, it's very fine sand. But will they actually try to eat it? thanks.

  • #2
    If you are feeding live bugs in the enclosure, they will eventually swallow sand as they hunt. If the greens get dragged through the sand - same thing. Sand can also irritate the eyes if it gets in there, the dust can be harmful to the respiratory tract, plus the silicate can cause silicosis - a specific form of lung disease. Because you are keeping them in one small space for their entire lives, the exposure is much more extreme than it would be with brief exposure. It's an unsafe and unnatural substrate for them. They don't live on beaches in the wild; they live on mixed terrain that includes sand, dirt, gravel and rock. You could mix up a custom substrate or do what many do and use slate or ceramic titles as the substrate. You can take them out as they get dirty and easily clean them.

    For a baby, I would absolutely keep him on paper towel. Good luck with your dragon!
    Specializing in Crested Geckos
    Working with Uromastyx | Uroplatus | PI Chahoua
    Also keeping: Australian Shepherds (Chester & Sadie)
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Spyral View Post
      If you are feeding live bugs in the enclosure, they will eventually swallow sand as they hunt. If the greens get dragged through the sand - same thing. Sand can also irritate the eyes if it gets in there, the dust can be harmful to the respiratory tract, plus the silicate can cause silicosis - a specific form of lung disease. Because you are keeping them in one small space for their entire lives, the exposure is much more extreme than it would be with brief exposure. It's an unsafe and unnatural substrate for them. They don't live on beaches in the wild; they live on mixed terrain that includes sand, dirt, gravel and rock. You could mix up a custom substrate or do what many do and use slate or ceramic titles as the substrate. You can take them out as they get dirty and easily clean them.

      For a baby, I would absolutely keep him on paper towel. Good luck with your dragon!
      excellent points! never thought about how the sand can get caught/stuck on their food! thanks!!

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      • #4
        My dragons do well with ceramic tile as a substrate.

        Aliza

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        • #5
          i use ceramic and slate tiles too. easy to clean, keep a couple extra and you can swap them out and clean the dirty ones at your convenience.
          1.0.0 Correlophus ciliatus "MacGruber"
          1.0.0 Pogona vitticeps "J.J."
          0.0.1 Tiliqua gigas evanescens 'Irian Jaya' "Jub-Jub"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by timisimaginary View Post
            i use ceramic and slate tiles too. easy to clean, keep a couple extra and you can swap them out and clean the dirty ones at your convenience.
            Thanks for the recommendation, ill look into it!

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