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with regard to experience- i have a healthy dragon on drawer liner- you buy it in a roll and its wipe clean, looks better than towel and the roll is about £7 and you get a few floors out of it :)

Opinion- dont put your beardie at risk- youve had the worry once of him/her being impacted why would you risk loose susbtrate again, there are so many alternatives.
 

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I have my beardie on nothing other than the wooden floor of the viv, the floor is wipe clean and it means there is no risk of impaction at all. He's only a juve so will probably put some liner in once he's around one but definately wouldn't ever risk sand or anything else loose that could cause impaction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i dont want to go through that again so im going to move him onto repti carpet (zoomed) iv never been happier to see poop lol!my only problem with the carpet is that he can dig with it in and he likes his digging! but its safer so its going in!
 

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lino X
 

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I've always used sand and had no problems. Is yours young because you only normally get sand impaction in babies. I also use beech chips which I'm no so keen on so I hand feed him bugs or drop them onto an area clear from chipping. I seen him eat one once which worried me. Not sure but I've heard a story of them getting their nails caught in carpet. I'm going to try clay soon as it looks cool and you can mould it yourself, also easy to clean.
 

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I've always used sand and had no problems. Is yours young because you only normally get sand impaction in babies. I also use beech chips which I'm no so keen on so I hand feed him bugs or drop them onto an area clear from chipping. I seen him eat one once which worried me. Not sure but I've heard a story of them getting their nails caught in carpet. I'm going to try clay soon as it looks cool and you can mould it yourself, also easy to clean.
clay raises humidity in the viv i think so just keep an eye on it, if you get a hygrometer you can check it, beardies need no humidity so maybe do a little tester first, youll need somewhere for your beardie to go while you work it out. :)

The OP's beardie is a baby, i would not use sand at all, nor wood chips but especially not as a baby you surely agree there? especially when the beardie has already been impacted once?
 

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I used sand or wood chips for my beardi as he loves digging. Don't think it's fair using lino or tiles as they carnt dig etc
I dont think its fair to present a real risk of impaction, especially seeing as this dragon obviously will use the ground for his dinner! As a baby at the very least its only irresponsible to put the risk there, the amount of people on here asking for advice on impacted dragons is the experience I need, i would never put mine at risk. Havent seen any with problems about not digging
 

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I dont think its fair to present a real risk of impaction, especially seeing as this dragon obviously will use the ground for his dinner! As a baby at the very least its only irresponsible to put the risk there, the amount of people on here asking for advice on impacted dragons is the experience I need, i would never put mine at risk. Havent seen any with problems about not digging
but if they cant dig then you are taken something else way that is natural to them. also why is it irresponsable to put them on sand as babies what do you think they are on in the wild kitchen roll or lino? it just dosnt happen. the breeder i got mine from has been at this for 18 years now never used anything but sand and never had one case of impaction and only heard about impaction twice actually happeneing and that was through woodchip so it just shows how little chance there is of it happeneing.

but clearly its happened to the op so there changing it which is right to do but i reckon they have been unlucky in it happeneing because it dont happen nowhere near as much as people think.
 

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in the wild they live on clay and often rock, im not saying they wont come across sand however. I understand what you say about taking something natural away from them but we dont put a predator in their viv with them do we, and thats natural. As a responsible owner I believe we should make choices that will keep them happy and just as importantly safe. If you can avoid them being hurt why wouldn't you.
 

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loose substrate is always best IMO as this gives the option for digging, bedding down and cooling.
When bearded dragons are hot they tend to dig the top layers of hot substrate out of the way so that they can get cooler with whats underneath.

Unless they have pneumatic drills then i dont see how they can use the natural surrounding to the way they like it.

maybe we could go for the tarmac look with yellow lines either side and a no parking sign. im sure that a reptile like a bearded dragon would be right at home!
 

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Unfortunately the habitats where bearded dragons come from aren't the best example for using loose substrate nor does it justify using it, if anything it only enforces the risk factors of using it.

Yes they live in clay, rock, sand and woodland environments in the wild, but also mortality rates are very high, in the wild dragons are said to typically live 5-8 years if they are lucky enough to be one of the very few that even make it to adulthood, while in captivity tend to live a few years longer.

I know substrate isn't the number one cause but it does add to the unfortunate numbers that die.

That said, its often said that when choosing a substrate, it should be based on the particular individual, so long as they are at an sub adult-adult stage and the substrate is question is suitable for the reptile being kept.


Younger then sub adult bearded dragons (12-14inch) should be kept on a non loose substrate. As even a small amount of sand can cause them serious problems. Once they are at an age where a loose substrate could be used more safely even then only reptile safe/children's play sand should be use, and an extreme watchful approach should be used. If they display sand in there stool, it should be removed, as this indicates they are ingesting it.

Wood chips are the worse thing next to calcium sand, and can never, under any circumstances, can they be justified if used, and any keeper is very irresponsible to do so. Wood chips not only provide an ideal place for bacteria to grow if not change regularly, but also are not digestible and can, if eat, cause server trauma to the dragons system. Calcium sand is very bad if eaten, on contact with the digestion fluid it softens the out side of each stone, then as the stones come into contact with eachother stick together, forming a bigger particle. Clay would be THE ideal substrate to use if it wasn't for the humidity issues that come with it, even when the surface of it appears to be dry there is often a lot of moisture still held beneath it that will raise the humidity and put the dragons health at risk.

I have two dragons, one is on reptile carpet, and the other sand. My carpet lined vivarium houses a neurologically ill dragon, where his hunting skills are very poor, where as the dragon on sand could lick the eye ball of a micro cricket.

Between the use of non loose substrate and sand, should be the consideration of the individual question, there habits and so on.


In the end its the keepers choice, if they choose to ignore sound advice, that has been proven time and time again, then they are 100% responsible of any ill events that pass.

Is caution so bad?
 

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lino tiles papper tolws (maby eco soil)
 
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