Yeah, some say good, most say worst - I won't use it personally - there's so many other substrates out there, newspaper and paper towels being the safest unless it's for a monitor which needs to dig and burrow.
i would never use it either, i went to the vets the other day to get my leos nose checked as it looked a wee bit sore (all ok tho) and she said that the main thing that she sees is geckos that have been on calcium sand and got really ill from it. I would say the best thing to use is kitchen towel, its cheap, clean, easy to replace and most of all safe : victory:
i am a a great believer in it's benefits over other substrates anything that can help with MBD (very common in reps. more so than impactions) has got to be a good thing.
unfortunately it is given a bad rap because often BD and leos get impactions due to eating it. There is a reason this happens though and that is incorrect husbandry.
My leos have never eaten the sand in an attempt to get more calcium because they are given the levels they need to not want that added boost. you tend to find impactions occurring in animals where the basic diet and husbandry is not as good as it should be. it's a sad fact.
I have not had a problem (touch wood and whistle) in ten years of using it and believe it actually has the added benefit of helping proper bone growth.
I would not recommend using it to someone that has no idea about care and husbandry or their reptile but then again should they really have one!? sadly it is often the case that inexperienced keepers have to deal with the consequences of incorrect husbandry at the animals expense.
reptiles can get impacted on all sorts of substrate it's just that sand gets the worst rap because basically people are not satisfying their reptiles needs..
While we are on the subject what is the main cause of impactions, i hear people say that it is sand ie my vet, but what are the other main causes?? That mbd looks nasty, i make sure i dust my crickets or anything they are going to eat with calcium, somtimes i worry that i may be giving them to much, but i did read that they can overdose on multi vitamins but not on calcium, is that true?
An impaction is a blockage of the digestive system and can be caused by numerous things..usually it is the substrate they are on whether this be sand,bark,coconut husk,moss or the countless others that are out there..
for obvious reasons it tends to happen only with loose substrate although could easily happen with stray fibers from repti carpet or bits of kitchen towel.
basically anything that a rep swallows that cannot be digested has the potential for causing a gut impaction. most come out the other end but some do not..once the blockage has bee formed more and more stuff piles up behind it until the digestive system breaks down and the rep stop feeding and subsequently dies..(unless you intervene)
you can overdose you rep on multi vits. early warning sign is a white discharge from the nose. basically it can harden on the internal organs causing them to shut down. calcium can have the same effect if given in massive dosages over an extended period.