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how exactly do you measure? knowing i wouldnt be able to get it bang on i tried do focus on 50/50, using a large 4kg protein tub i added half and half of each several times and give it a mix before adding to my viv. still end result it mostly looks like alot more sand over top soil
Sometimes it is simply just trial and error, exact ratios are only a guide, as Az said some people like the sub to be more loose (especially if they are intending to use live plants at a later stage) or to encourage digging behaviour, others prefer it more compact to prevent bits getting stuck between runners etc. It is personal preference how you do it.

Either way there are still benefits whichever way it is sliced. If you wanted to go for an even more naturalistic effect some leaf litter could easily be collected and thrown over patches for added aesthetic appeal.

I just simply fill small empty rub containers of different sizes and then mix in when designing the enclosure until I am happy with the mix, I don’t want my substrates too loose or too firm if that makes sense, Pound world have some good small ones atm.
 

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I take it i will need to line the bottom of my wooden vivarium before putting this in?
would this be ok put together with aquarium silicone and topped off with an edging
being twin wall it may even give me some insulation as viv is on the floor
4mm Clear Polycarbonate Sheet
 

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Are we saying that ingested wooden bark such as orchid bark now pose no problems for impaction ??

I'm sure I read somewhere that whilst snakes can digest bones , beaks and feathers they can't digest wood !!?


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Are we saying that ingested wooden bark such as orchid bark now pose no problems for impaction ??

I'm sure I read somewhere that whilst snakes can digest bones , beaks and feathers they can't digest wood !!?


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What we are saying is that you have to consider the animal you are getting and get a substrate thats suitable for it.

Orchid bark isnt suitable for a beardie, and from what you say wood chips in general arent good for snakes, but some types of gecko will do well on them.

You need to think about the environment they come from, and choose something that matches that kind of environment.
Heavily wooded areas like dense forest, orchid bark is going to be something that might feature, dry desert like environments, then sand or sand/soil, wet marsh like areas, things like peat or coco fibre mixes.
 

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I'm new to reptiles, but I've kept other exotics. The first thing I did when researching ackie monitors was buy a book by and Aussie vet. All he uses is sand, for his MANY species. He's been a reptile vet for many years. He seems to think many cases of reptile impaction is caused by low heat, that they need proper heat to digest and pass waste. In the tarantula community you'll be shouted down for using it...funny, I used to chase tarantulas through the desert as a kid..the sandy desert, where they feed...
 

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Your current substrate is really not suitable for a bearded dragon, you should be looking at a sand/soil mix (and clay content if possible).
Proper husbandry routines will mean it wont dry out, clay content will help it hold and retain both moisture and shape.

Wood chips are dangerous for beardies, and are the number one cause of impaction through ingestion of a foreign object with reptiles.
Shredded corn is not something i am personally familiar with, im hoping its like a hay or hemp like material, rather than corn husks which are not digestable and also known to be impaction risks due to how it doesnt breakdown in the gut and it can absorb water and swell causing a blockage.

The most important thing about substrates is choosing one thats suitable for the animal and also seeks to recreate something like their natural environment.
I've wanted to use clay for my ackie, but was told if it gets damp or wet it sticks to their toes, interferes with shedding, and they end up losing toes. Thoughts? Anyone? Surely the sandy dirt in Australia has clay in it? That one scared me out of using it though. And I have a huge bag of excavator clay just sitting there:sad:
 

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Oz is pretty high clay content yes, but its also more often dry than wet, and when it rains, you get slurry/mud foraperiod which is then baked hard again.


I think what the concern raised to you may be is that if its too consistantly wet, then its an issue.


You might expect a coupleof days a month where its sodden, then dry/arid for the rest, so a bit like in a sense with cresties who love moisture, too wet too often causes problems.


I dont keep ackies, theres a few on here that do, and even breed them, it would be better to ask them, but from what i understand, the substrate needs are very similar to beardies if not the same.
You want a good open space, humidity around 40% in the far cool end, big widebasking area (thats then significantly lower humidity), the option to dig and burrow and then the majority of the surface being dry and firm, but as i said, thats if i am right to think its the same/similar to a beardie.
 

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that makes sense, could you give me some idea of what i should be looking at doing?
I was planning on using topsoil eco earth and play sand, what quantities of each do you recommend and should i water it or leave it dry.
as far as cleaning goes can it be put through a sieve or should it be changed at regular intervals?
 

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I think the best bet is always going to be A) Use a similar substrate to what your reptile is exposed to in its natural environment. B) Don’t cover your reptiles food in copious amounts of substrate.

Simple really and mostly common sense.
 
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