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Top 5 Substrates Sold at Reptile Stores

Today the reptile community is filled with controversy, and for reptile beginners, finding out basic information that is not controversial and confusing, is hard.  The number one concern and complaint we see from beginner reptile hobbyists coming into our reptile store is in regard to this “controversial” information found online. Everyone seems to be torn between what they should do and what they should start with.   What food do I feed? What bedding do I use?  Can my animal get impactions from this? We are going to start to break down many of the questions we get, in order to help point people in the right direction.  We are going to examine the main types of bedding that people are using and we are going to break down our best sellers as well.

There are dozens of factors that are involved in keeping your reptile happy and healthy. Temperature, humidity, food and bedding all come in to play.  Many people don’t realize it, but bedding can play a huge factor in the control of the other important factors for reptile keeping.  For example, bedding that holds water easily can increase the humidity, bedding that is too thick, can block out your heating devices and not allow for enough heat, and having the wrong bedding can cause dozens of complications for your reptile itself.  Below, are the top 5 bedding mediums used, the advantages and disadvantages of all, plus the leading manufacturers of each type. There are a lot more than 5 bedding mediums used in the reptile community today and we will attempt to break down the others in future blog articles.

Coco Fiber-

Coco fiber is probably the number one selling bedding in the Painted Reptile retail facilities. It comes in two forms, a brick and loose. Coco fiber is made from coco husk and is machined and processed down into a very fine form that is similar to dirt.   This is by far the most versatile bedding on the market.  It can be used dry, it can be damp/ wet and it can be used for a variety of animals.  It is affordable and easy to dispose of.  In fact, we have many customers who use it for their plants and garden after they are done using it in their reptile cage.  Since coco fiber is so fine, it is a great substrate for digging, which makes it great for use with amphibians as well.   Due to Coco fiber being so soft it is also easier for passing if ingested. Coco fiber can be used in thicker or thinner layers to help control humidity and temperature inside your cage.

Few advantages:                                                        Few Disadvantages:

  • Cost effective Easily fills water bowls and hide spots
  • Easy to clean Can tend to get in animal eyes because it’s very fine.
  • Versatile
  • Easier to pass then other substrates
  • Lots of manufacturers
  • Great for digging

 

 

Below we have featured 3 Coco fiber products for you to view.

Zoo Med Eco Earth 3 brick

Eco Earth is a compressed coconut fiber that is ideal for burrowing animals. It can be used to increase humidity in an enclosure. 1 brick makes about 7 – 8 liters of substrate. Comes in one brick for $3.99 and three bricks for $9.99

eco-earth

 

Exo Terra Plantation Soil

Exo Terra Plantation Soil is a 100% natural terrarium substrate for frogs, salamanders, and other humidity-loving reptiles and amphibians. Made from compressed coconut husk, it is extremely absorbent and can be used as bedding, an incubation medium or planting substrate, and is naturally bacterial and fungal resistant. Available in 3.6 qt bags or $4.99 or 7.2 qt bags for $6.99

plantation-soil

 

 

Zilla Coconut Husk Brick

Maintain a tropical habitat’s proper humidity with highly absorbent coconut husk, which retains moisture without significant decay. This 100% natural material is thoroughly non-toxic and non-abrasive, and is fully biodegradable. Coconut husk naturally expands to many times its packaged size, making it a safe landing cushion for reptiles that love to jump. Also an ideal medium for egg laying, thanks to its soft texture and easy burrowing.1 brick for $4.99

husk-brick

 

 

 

Orchid Bark or Bark Chips-

Orchid Bark Chips or bark chips are another great and common seller we have in the Painted Reptile retail facilities. Bark chips are not as versatile as Coco fiber and are one of those beddings that come with a lot of controversy.  Bark chips are used by Painted Reptile for species that need flashes of high humidity.  So for species that experience rain fall or high humidity periods or seasons.  Bark is good at holding high humidity when the bark chips have been fully soaked, but when they get spray down they tend to hold the water towards the outside of the bark and that will often quickly evaporate.  This creates periods of high humidity and periods of lower humidity.  Bark chips will tend to be slightly different size chips depending on which company you use.  Bark chips are one of those substrates that tend to be dangerous if ingested.  When ingested they can potentially cause impactions, which is a blockage of the intestinal tract. In other blogs of ours, we have discussed ways to prevent impactions and substrates that tend to cause the most issues.

Few advantages:                                                        Few Disadvantages:

  • Cost effective Can get moldy if overly wet
  • Easy to clean Can tend to cause impactions if eaten.
  • Lots of manufacturers
  • Great for quick humidity

Below we have featured 3 Bark Chip products for you to view.

 

 

Zilla Bedding Bark Blend

Reptiles from a variety of habitats…from the tropics to northern forests…will thrive in additive-free Douglas Fir bark. Loose and light enough to encourage natural burrowing behavior, this material promotes the free transfer of heat and moisture essential for the health of cold-blooded pets. Made of 100% natural ingredients harvested in the USA, and readily biodegrade in a backyard compost at the end of its useful life.  Comes in 4qt $6.99 for 8qt $9.99 for and 24 qt for $21.99

bark-bedding-zilla

 

 

Galapagos Jurassic Fir Bark

Galapagos Jurassic Fir Bark is a newer bran on the market and although they do not have a lot of product descriptions they are still a brand with multiple fantastic products.

jurassic-fir

 

Painted Reptile Bark Bedding

Bark bedding is such a universal substrate to use in reptile cages. It can be used for many different reptiles and provides a natural environment for the animal to flourish. Be sure to feed in a separate container to prevent ingestion of bedding. Need some cool looking food and water bowls for your reptile cage? Make The Painted Reptile your one-stop-shop. With the lowest prices around, we are sure you’ll find everything you’re looking for to please your reptile needs.

painted-rpetile-bark

 

Cypress Mulch-

Cypress mulch is an all-time favorite for reptiles who need high humidity.  This shredded bedding easily holds water easily and tends to retain it better than other beddings.  Cypress is also made by different companies and is one of the leading reptile beddings that we sell.  Cypress tends to be longer pieces that are harder to ingest by smaller reptiles but can still be ingested by larger reptiles.  Although, we do notice larger reptiles are better at removing unwanted debris from their mouth and the larger the bedding piece the harder it is to swallow. Cypress can be used dry and still be functional bedding for multiple reptile species.

Few advantages:                                                        Few Disadvantages:

  • Cost effective Doesn’t moldy if overly wet
  • Easy to clean Can tend to cause impactions if eaten.
  • Lots of manufacturers
  • Great for high humidity
  • Harder to ingest than other beddings
  • Can be used dry

 

Below we have featured 3 Cypress Mulch products for you to view.

Painted Reptile Cypress Bedding

This is 100% Cypress Bedding! (NOT mixed). Ideal for tons of different reptiles, and used by top reptile breeders! Cypress bedding is another universal substrate to use in reptiles cages. It can be used for many different reptiles and provides a natural environment for the animal to flourish. Be sure to feed in a separate container to prevent ingestion of bedding. Need some cool looking food and water bowls for your reptile cage?

painted-reptile-cypres

 

Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding

Zoo Meds Forest Floor is a natural cypress mulch substrate. It provides your terrarium with a natural “forest floor” look while retaining moisture to provide humidity to the enclosure.

forest_floor_2

 

T-Rex cypress bedding

This premium, tropical substrate is twice-milled for a cleaner, safer, and ultimate ground cover. T-Rex Cypress Bed is manufactured from renewable resources and is breeder tested and recommended. Cypress Bed is a humidity-holding substrate which is great for Boas, Tortoises, Hermit Crabs, Crested Geckos and more.

t_rex_cypress_bedding_10_quart_7

 

Aspen Shavings–

Aspen shavings are a wood based bedding that comes in multiple forms or shapes. Painted Reptile tends to sell mostly shredded aspen, but they have flakey Aspen, along with more solid thicker aspen piece. Aspen is usually used for animals that need lower humidity as the shavings easily get wet and moldy. Aspen is a light weight bedding that is great for burrowing and digging around in.  Many keepers use Aspen Shavings for species like Kenyan Sand Boas, Corn Snakes, King Snakes and many more.  Aspen tends to be relatively dust free compared to other beddings and doesn’t have the intense smells, like pine or cedar. Aspen is affordable and easy to clean out of your enclosure. Unlike other reptile beddings Aspen Shavings will be made by manufacturers other than reptile manufacturers.  These companies are marketing their Aspen Shavings to mammal keepers and will be useable by reptiles as long as they are not chemical treated.

Few advantages:                                                        Few Disadvantages:

  • Cost effective Gets moldy easily
  • Easy to clean Can tend to cause impactions if eaten.
  • Lots of manufacturers
  • Great for low humidity
  • Harder to ingest than other beddings
  • Light weight
  • Good for burrowing

Below we have featured 3 Aspen Shavings products for you to view.

T-Rex Aspen Bedding

Manufactured from renewable resources, Aspen Bed is a perfect snake and reptile substrate. Breeder tested and recommended, Aspen Bed is non-toxic and virtually dust-free. Comes is 160 qt for $46.99

t-rex_aspen_bedding_160_quarts_7

 

 

Galapagos Aspen Dig

Galapagos Aspen Dig is a newer bran on the market and although they do not have a lot of product descriptions they are still a brand with multiple fantastic products.  Comes in 8qt for $9.99

 

galapagos-aspen

 

Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding

Provides a safe, naturalistic substrate that allows snakes, lizards, and small animals to form burrows and nests as they would in the wild. It has a 191% absorbency rating and is odorless-safe for all snakes. No toxic oils like cedar and other similar wood shavings. Can also be used for birds, lizards, tortoises, turtles, tarantulas, and insects. Comes in 4qt for $3.99 8qt for $8.99 and 24qt for $14.99

aspen_bedding_zoo-med

 

 

Sphagnum Moss-                                                                                                                                             

Sphagnum moss is a common selling moss in the reptile community. Used for animals that need high humidity this moss is great for amphibians, like frogs, toads, salamanders and newts.  Sphagnum moss can also be used as an additive substrate to help increase humidity, for example mixing it with Eco Earth to help increase the humidity or the length at which the bedding stays humid.  Sphagnum moss tends to dry out quickly even though it is good for increased humidity, but if it is not regularly sprayed the moss will dry out often.  Sphagnum moss can be dunk under water and then squeezed out to get the desired starting moisture.  Sphagnum moss is also a great additive to cages to help make a desired look or feel in your particular setup.  Besides all the features listed above the sphagnum moss is also great for being used in humid hides for the animals to assist is shedding.

Few advantages:                                                        Few Disadvantages:

  • Cost effective Can hold excess water
  • Easy to clean Grows pest easier than other beddings.
  • Lots of manufacturers
  • Great for high humidity
  • Good for amphibians
  • Can be used for decoration

Below we have featured 3 Sphagnum Moss products for you to view.

Painted Reptile Green Sphagnum Moss

This is an excellent substrate to help keep humidity high in a cage or living terrarium! Its so soft and stays moist for a very long time! We use different spray or misting systems to keep the moss moist. You could also add a beautiful waterfall to your reptile cage to make it look extra beautiful! This substrate is great for amphibians, salamanders, certain species of snakes and any other animal that might need high This is an excellent substrate to help keep humidity high in a cage or living terrarium! It’s so soft and stays moist for a very long time! We use different spray or misting systems to keep the moss moist. You could also add a beautiful waterfall to your reptile cage to make it look extra beautiful.
Comes in  4qt $3.99 8qt $5.99 16qt $11.99

prgreen_sphagnum_moss_7

 

Zoo Med New Zealand Sphagnum Moss

Zoo Med’s New Zealand Sphagnum Moss is preferred over any other type of moss for terrarium use due to its unique softness and amazing moisture-holding ability. This lush, carpet-like moss can hold moisture up to 20 times its dry weight! We love to use this for our frogs, geckos, and other reptiles that need high humidity.  Comes in 80 cubic inches for $5.50

zoo_med_new_zealand_sphagnum_

 

New Zealand Sphagnum Moss

New Zealand Sphagnum Moss is some of the best moss you can purchase for holding humidity. It stays moist long and looks great in your terrarium! Comes in 100g for $9.50 150g $10.50 for 500g for $20.50 and a 100g compressed brick for $8.50

 new_zealand_sphagnum_moss_compressed

 

To purchase all the items listed above, please visit out website    https://www.paintedreptile.com


 

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