Choosing a substrate for your Reptile

There are many options in substrates for your amphibian or reptile’s terrarium, but which is the best option? When choosing a substrate for your terrarium, it is important to keep it as close to your pet’s natural environment as possible. A natural terrarium will reduce stress and keep your pet in good health. No single type of substrate will work for all pets and it is important to research your specific pet and make the best choice for them. Here are some typical substrate options for creating naturalistic terrariums:

Desert Dwellers

Desert snakes, reptiles, tortoises and turtles will benefit from fine-grain sand. This creates a more natural desert-like environment. Use a sand sifter to clean the sand. This will prolong the life of the sand. You will need to replace the sand periodically.

Woodland & Forest Dwellers

These herptile species will prefer a soft substrate that allows for shallow burrowing and ground hunting. Using a reptile-specific coconut fibre provides comfort and safety for their natural activities. This is also a great option for live plants. Arboreal reptiles will also benefit from this natural substrate but you can also use retile carpet which is easier to clean.

Rain Forest Dwellers

Amphibians are accustomed to high humidity and moisture of the rain forest. It is important to choose a substrate that is resistant to mold but can hold moisture. Using reptile-specific mosses or a wood/moss blend would be a good choice.

By Michelle Edmundson

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