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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to be getting myself a king really soon, but it's my first snake and I'd like to know what you guys think is the best substrate to use. Some have recommended newspaper/kitchen towel but I'd like something a bit more "natural", if you know what I mean? Problem being, there are so many different things out there I don't know which one to go for! I know not to use certain things such as pine shavings and calci-sand etc. But out of the safe options I don't know which I should be going for. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Never pine or cedar as it's toxic to reptiles.

I wouldn't go with any kind of sand personally, it can get inbetween their scales and cause problems.

IMO the best substrate for a king would be aspen. I think it's important that they have the option to burrow, which aspen allows. It's attractive, quite cheap and clumps together really nicely so spot cleaning is easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was veering towards aspen to be honest, but someone mentioned reptile carpet on a care sheet. Definitely don't plan to use sand or toxic wood-shavings. My baby's going to have the best I can give it :)
 

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Woodchip is pretty good too...
Ben
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What kind of woodchip ben? I imagine the reptile carpet idea is lousy for a snake that enjoys burrowing so I'll strike that one from the list :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Right aspen sounds good although I may try both. Are there any problems with introducing different kinds of substrate to find the one it likes best? Will it cause stress to the snake to have its environment changed like that? It might sound like a stupid question but I don't want to unsettle the snake while it's getting used to me. Maybe I'm just being paranoid because I feel like the buying is just around the corner and I want to get everything absolutely right.
 

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Are there any problems with introducing different kinds of substrate to find the one it likes best? Will it cause stress to the snake to have its environment changed like that?
Changing substrates won't upset the snake any more than a really good cleanout of the viv does. Just tends to make them a bit 'explory' whilst they check everything out.

It might sound like a stupid question but I don't want to unsettle the snake while it's getting used to me.
To be honest, as it's your first snake (and i'm assuming it's a baby), I'd recommend using kitchen roll, at least for the first couple of months. If you're not used to handling hatchlings it can be a little nerve wracking, (more cos you're scared of 'breaking' them than anything!!) and it'll be nicer for both of you if you can approach to pick him up calmly and gently. It's easier to find a hatchling if using kitchen roll - even when they hide under it, the bump is obvious. With aspen, it can be more of a 'hunt' - they can disappear far more convincingly. It won't do either of you any good if you convince yourself he's got out and end up sifting the substrate with your fingers to find him...

one other thing worth mentioning (although i'm sure you've already heard) - if you do use loose substrate, it's better not to feed him on it :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks amanda. That's a really useful tip on the kitchen roll. I can quite see why it would be a less stressful starter option! Yes I know not to feed on "bitty" substrate don't worry. I'm probably over protective and paranoid but rather safe than sorry.

I don't have many concerns with the handling issue - have handled loads of animals in my time ranging from sea turtles to baby mice so I have "firm but gentle" down to a pretty fine art! Have also handled a couple of snakes in the past so I'm ok with that side of things I think. I hear what you're saying though - there's nothing like a new baby to get you nervous :)
 

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I have used aspin and beech and hemp all seam good to use...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
aubiose? I've not heard of that before.....I have to make a final decision soon as my baby will be arriving in two weeks with any luck! Just found one at Viper n Vine and calling them tomorrow to reserve him/her. Very very excited right now....
 

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Im using 'corn chip'. This is what the dealers/shops in my part of the world seem to recomend. Im new to snakes, what others on here say will be more accurate & relevant. I belong to an American snake forum, most of them have never heard of corn chip:sad:, they think its a snack food:lol2:!

One member on there advised me not to use it, reckons its harmful if ingested. Shop I bought it from sells it on the grounds of it being harmless & vegetable derived & that it 'clumps' well if soiled.

So far so good with it, the snake is still alive & it does 'clump' nicely, thats when the little minx hasnt s**t in the water bowl!!:eek:oo:

See what the others say, Aspen chippings look very natural, I must say.8)
 

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aubiose? I've not heard of that before.....I have to make a final decision soon as my baby will be arriving in two weeks with any luck! Just found one at Viper n Vine and calling them tomorrow to reserve him/her. Very very excited right now....
its very similar to the normal hemp that some use, but its not as dusty and actually cheaper than hemp from our local shop, many stable suppliers sell it

Aubiose Ltd | The Natural Alternative Horse bedding, the orignal hemp bedding
 

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I use beech woodchip for my corn, I just scoop out the soiled bits when needed & replace it when I give the viv a full clean out.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
LOL now I'm more confused than when I started.....so many recommendations! Chips sound good for being dust free (I'm asthmatic), but not great for a burrowing snake. I think I'll go with kitchen towel then later on aspen. Aubiose sounds great but I can't find anywhere that sells it.
 
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