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  1. #1
    Registered User sIeepymoon's Avatar
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    let's talk bedding!

    I've been curious to what other ball python owners use for substrate in their tank

    I currently use cypress mulch and this soft soil-like substrate underneath (it's something very similar to coconut fiber), but I'd like to have something else to choose from. So if you have any great BP substrate brands or kinds - feel free to share!<3 !Can also be substrate found in online stores!


    Also, if you have any tips on what to avoid as well that would be lovely

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    C.Marie (09-11-2018)

  3. #2
    Registered User C.Marie's Avatar
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    Common substrate are coco chips or fiber this are wonderful for humidity, and another is paper products kitchen roll, news pepper, or Reptile lines it all depends if you are going for ocd clean or more natural, I avoid pine, caeder, since the oils in these are not good for your scaled friend. I know someone with more experience will chime in any moment best wishes to you always..
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    sIeepymoon (09-13-2018)

  5. #3
    Registered User MissterDog's Avatar
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    Reptichip is what I use and enjoy the most.
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    sIeepymoon (09-13-2018)

  7. #4
    Registered User sIeepymoon's Avatar
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    Re: let's talk bedding!

    Quote Originally Posted by C.Marie View Post
    Common substrate are coco chips or fiber this are wonderful for humidity, and another is paper products kitchen roll, news pepper, or Reptile lines it all depends if you are going for ocd clean or more natural, I avoid pine, caeder, since the oils in these are not good for your scaled friend. I know someone with more experience will chime in any moment best wishes to you always..
    I use about two not-too-thick layers of newspaper underneath the bedding so I can just roll it up into a substrate burrito, makes it a tad easier to clean.

    TIL; i never knew that oils were in pine and cedar bedding, thank you!!
    Last edited by sIeepymoon; 09-12-2018 at 06:44 AM. Reason: grammar mistakes oops

  8. #5
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    Any safe bedding will work for ball pythons. I currently use ReptiChip for all my snakes (you could use prococo at half the price ive just never tried it). I have also used butcher paper, Unprinted newspaper, paper towels, aspen, and Eco-Earth. All of them were practically the same. All my snakes ate, and all of them shed well. I do NOT advise butcher paper. It cost me about $20 for 8 months (20 snakes and I still have half of the roll left) of bedding. It does not soak ANYTHING though, so everytime there's pee or poo you have to wash your snake because there will be pee dripping off of them. It was awful and took forever to finish my daily cleanings. I heard unprinted newspaper was more absorbent. I purchased 70 Lb of it and switched to Reptichip before using it so I don't have a personal review on it. I'm in love with the cleaning\humidity levels of Reptichip.
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    sIeepymoon (09-13-2018)

  10. #6
    Registered User craigafrechette's Avatar
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    I use a blend of eco earth and repti-bark. I have for years and don't see myself changing that any time soon.
    It holds humidity well, absorbs odor well and looks naturalistic.
    The exception is my hognose, which I use Aspen for. I don't like aspen, but he burrows like crazy in it so I use it for his benefit.
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    sIeepymoon (09-13-2018)

  12. #7
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    I used aspen for awhile, but it got EVERYWHERE. Iíd take clean clothes out of the dryer and find little bits of aspen still stuck in places. The only good thing about it was that it made it very easy to spot pee and poop because of the color. But what made me switch was when my snake got a mouthful of it with his dinner one night and couldnít get rid of the bits, and I had to pick them out of his mouth with tweezers. I switched to coco chip/coir and used that for awhile.

    I recently converted the cage to bio-active, meaning that now thereís several inches of actual soil with plants in it, and springtails and isopods to help process waste. It still needs to be spot cleaned, although Iíve heard of setups like this that eventually get a sufficiently large and established population of cleaner bugs that they devour poop and shed skin almost before the owner has a chance to see it. Mineís still pretty new, so Iím not expecting that anytime soon.

    Mostly, I donít think it matters to the snake that much once he gets used to the new smells and texture of whatever you switch to. Some people recommend using different things in different parts of the cage just for the enrichment and variety. The actual soil substrate does have a few real benefits for the snake though: One is that humidity is a lot more stable and stays higher without having to close off as much ventilation to the cage, so there can be more fresh air circulating without sacrificing humidity.
    The other is that I created some burrows in the substrate, which are another kind of hide and similar to a burrow the snake might use in the wild. But in particular, my house gets really hot in the summer, and the burrows into the soil stay a bit cooler and offer a refuge from the heat (again, just like they would in the wild).

    The benefit to me is that plants are pretty, and the plants love it, and even though they get squashed sometimes they bounce right back. If they get pooped on, I cut off that part and it grows back. So Iím pretty happy with it so far.

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    sIeepymoon (09-13-2018)

  14. #8
    Registered User Tessellate's Avatar
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    Has anyone used the soft shredded bedding that they make for hamsters and other small mammals? I've always wondered if you can use that with snakes. For me I switch between Aspen and coconut fiber, whichever one is available when I need to get more substrate. The coconut fiber is great for humidity but it does lightly stain their skin sometimes, and it's hard to find the pee spots. Aspen makes it easier to spot clean because stuff shows up better, but it is a little dry.

  15. #9
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    Re: let's talk bedding!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tessellate View Post
    Has anyone used the soft shredded bedding that they make for hamsters and other small mammals? I've always wondered if you can use that with snakes. For me I switch between Aspen and coconut fiber, whichever one is available when I need to get more substrate. The coconut fiber is great for humidity but it does lightly stain their skin sometimes, and it's hard to find the pee spots. Aspen makes it easier to spot clean because stuff shows up better, but it is a little dry.
    I used it for a corn snake for awhile. It's not great for humidity, so take that into consideration. If your house gets dry either from A/C in the summer or because it's drier in the winter (due to a low dew point outside, in addition to however much your heating system dries the air further), deeper coco chip/coir substrate will make humidity a lot easier to manage. If your house is generally 80+ and 60% humidity, I'm sure it would be fine.

  16. #10
    Registered User Tessellate's Avatar
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    Re: let's talk bedding!

    That's good to know, I was thinking of using it for temp holding tubs like when I'm doing a deep clean, or just to have on hand if a snake makes a BIG mess and I don't have enough substrate atm, since the CareFresh stuff is cheaper. Or even in a cold side hide so the snake could burrow a bit...like a python ball pit. Thanks for the info!

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