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  1. #11
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: A seldom (never?) noted advantage of flat substrate (newspaper, paper towel, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Snow Balls View Post
    My sister uses something like that for her leopard geckos, it’s a very nice idea and cost saving too! I don’t have tanks anymore but might have to use this idea whenever I finally pick up a Green Tree Python


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    I use carpet for my biggest snakes- as so much loose substrate is just such a mess. (I have 19 snakes though, so I wouldn't want to use in all tanks.) I used carpet for the BCI I had for many years too- she did great with it. You can spot clean it, & also disinfect it, & if the snake likes some humidity, it doesn't need to be completely dry to put it back- the water shakes out quickly, though it's easier to have 2 carpets cut per tank, one ready to substitute. I cut them larger than the floor, so they fold up about 3" on all sides (easier if you notch a square from each corner ) & it's thick enough & firm enough that very few snakes will tunnel under it- (maybe a bull snake would, or a king? but none of my snakes ever dig under it.) Another thing I love about it is that UTH heat comes right up thru it easily. It's sold in Lowe's/Home Depot type stores, usually on a 12' roll by the foot- not expensive either, esp. for all the wear you get out of it. Left over pieces can be rolled up & fastened as tunnel-hides, & various other uses. Cuts easily with good scissors. If I only had a few snakes, I'd use it for all, but there's only so many carpets I want to wash. The snakes LOVE the traction too.

    My only caution- if you use it for a snake with long teeth (boa, BP, etc) make SURE they aren't fed directly on it- they can hook their teeth into it when they open their mouth wide to pick up their prey- using a "plate" is essential.

    And again- I'm not keeping BPs any more- so I'm not saying this is a perfect substrate for them- just discussing the many options for substrate. I was going to apologize for being "off topic" but carpet actually IS a "flat substrate" too, just a thicker one with excellent texture, lol. I suppose it could be used for a BP, as long as you provide a really good humid hide also.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-13-2021 at 10:03 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Spicey (10-14-2021),Trinityblood (10-14-2021)

  3. #12
    BPnet Veteran Caitlin's Avatar
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    Aside from a strict quarantine situation I'm not seeing any reason to restrict a captive snake's choices to only flat substrate and a single hide.

    I'd rather offer multiple hides as well as a variety of texture choices. I often put different substrate types in each half of an enclosure, and most of my snakes also have basking shelves that provide a choice between a smooth surface texture and a piece of reptile carpet (this is washed weekly or as needed). My snakes make regular use of all of the choices available to them, ranging from deep substrate to the bare surface of basking shelves. The only reason I can see for a plain flat paper substrate is during quarantine. Over the years I have become less and less willing to accept breeders' use of bare paper, as I've increasingly become unable to agree that keeper convenience should outweigh quality of life for the animals, but that's another topic altogether.
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  5. #13
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: A seldom (never?) noted advantage of flat substrate (newspaper, paper towel, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Trinityblood View Post
    I think they sometimes like a flat surface. I use deepish substrate and my BP tunnels through it like he's half sandboa. I don't know how he does it, but he shovels all of the substrate specifically out from under the warm hide until there's bare bottom under only that hide. And blocks his entrance with the displaced substrate. I find a mountain of substrate next to his hide like it was excavated on purpose.
    If his warm hide is warmed by UTH, that suggests he's trying to get to that warmth- the deep substrates used for BPs actually insulate the floor of the enclosure, preventing much of the heat from rising up where the snake needs it, so they end up burrowing to find it. In any event, I don't think snakes are trying to "get to the flat surface" under the substrate: if you set your snake on a glass table top you'll quickly see their fear & frustration when they're hardly able to move with nothing to grip onto or push off against. The substrate actually provides them with the traction they need to move. If you've ever ice skated (or know someone who does) one of the main ways snakes move forward is just like when an ice skater pushes alternately to each side off the edges of their skate blades. (I've done a bit of ice skating in the past. )
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  6. #14
    Registered User Trinityblood's Avatar
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    Re: A seldom (never?) noted advantage of flat substrate (newspaper, paper towel, etc)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    If his warm hide is warmed by UTH, that suggests he's trying to get to that warmth- the deep substrates used for BPs actually insulate the floor of the enclosure, preventing much of the heat from rising up where the snake needs it, so they end up burrowing to find it. In any event, I don't think snakes are trying to "get to the flat surface" under the substrate: if you set your snake on a glass table top you'll quickly see their fear & frustration when they're hardly able to move with nothing to grip onto or push off against. The substrate actually provides them with the traction they need to move. If you've ever ice skated (or know someone who does) one of the main ways snakes move forward is just like when an ice skater pushes alternately to each side off the edges of their skate blades. (I've done a bit of ice skating in the past. )
    He has a RHP, no UTH. Guess he's trying to cool down? But he has a heat gradient and moves to the cool side just as often as he's in the warm side. He doesn't dig out the cool side.
    Last edited by Trinityblood; 10-14-2021 at 10:29 AM.

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  8. #15
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: A seldom (never?) noted advantage of flat substrate (newspaper, paper towel, etc)

    Just my $0.02, all I see is snakes trying to thermoregulate but also trying to feel secure. OP only provides one hide, so the snake is just trying to stay somewhere it feels safe while also trying to get away or closer to a heat source. My snakes hang out in warm hides after they feed, and as time passes they move into cooler hides because I've given them the options. If the only things I have in the enclosure are one hide and a water bowl then I'd probably be seeing the same movement, but I wouldn't by any means call that a "very obvious advantage" of using a flat substrate if the only "advantage" is you only have to supply a single hide.

    To each their own, but if you have an appropriatly sized enclosure with two hides in it you'll still get the "textbook thermoregulation" OP mentions without forcing your snakes to move a single hide around the enclosure to do it.

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