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Has anyone ever actually experienced impaction, or any other problem from keeping snakes (appropriate species that would live in sandy environments anyway) on sand?

every says it's sooooo bad, it's basically just a matter of time before your snake dies a horrible death. Has this ever 'actually' happened to anyone?

Another thread with the guy keeping a boa on soil, where everyone told him he had to take the soil out, has prompted the question.

I mean when someone posts a picture of a Sunbeam happily living in a tray of loose soil, everyone thinks it great, but a boa constrictor will immeadiately die? How different do you think their digestive systems are?
 

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I keep my boas on a mix of soil, sand, bark chippings and moss. I like the the mix and it helps with humidity.

My boas have all died though and instead of changing substrate I just change snakes - this bit was a joke, not much of one, but a joke all the same.

In the OP's thread, did comment but that was about keeping locusts in with the snake - nothing will convince me this is a good idea
 

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I've seen someone keep them on compost, when they crap on it he puts it on the garden, very green I thought.
 

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i keep my boas on trex forest bed and have done for 3 years never hada problem with jordans digestive track
 

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to be honest if anything was going to cause a problem with compaction I would have thought that big bits of bark chipping would be more risky than I bit of soil
 

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My kenyan sand boa has lived on sand for six years and counting....


I've got other stuff on substrate and by and large the only reason I don't use pretty substrate for everything is for hygiene reasons.
The FWC is kept on coco fibre and the royals and adult corns are on Aubious.
I clear an area of substrate for most of them when feeding but I don't panic too much. In some cased I remove the animal completely. In the falsies' case I stick some newspaper down and put mouse/rat on the newspaper just in case.
The KSB just gets fed in its viv. So long as mouse is dry, no sand sticks to it. And frankly, if my KSB couldn't cope with digesting a teensy bit of calcium sand (shock horror!!) I'd be questioning my husbandry...

My personal opinion only of course.

Kat
 

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What are the benefits to keeping on sand / soil?

Personally I'm not a fan for the species I keep.
 

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I lost my first ever corn snake due to keeping him on that Calci-Sand stuff.

I didn't know any better to begin with, as it came with one of those kits from the petshop, and I took all the advice from them!
 

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I lost my first ever corn snake due to keeping him on that Calci-Sand stuff.

I didn't know any better to begin with, as it came with one of those kits from the petshop, and I took all the advice from them!
I keep my Kenyan sand boa on dry play-sand, and feed her outside the viv. She was kept on (in?) calci-sand when I got her, as advised by the store, but she got a very nasty RI and I almost lost her; it seemed to be due, at least in part, to dust from the calci-sand. But she likes her play sand, and she's been very happy so far.
 

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I can't see how soil would be any more likely to cause impaction than aspen, which loads of people use without problems - if anything, I should have thought a loose compost/soil would pass through the snake's digestive system far easier than wood chippings/aspen shavings etc, as the particles are so much smaller. Having said that, I wouldn't particularly fancy using it for a boa; it would look good, but finding dark-coloured boa poo would be a pain.
 

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Yes, I don't really know why I take my KSB out of the viv to feed her...after all, there's not going to be anybody in her natural habitat to stand over her and make sure she doesn't swallow any sand with her prey, is there?! Just force of habit, I suppose. I don't think she'd mind much either way...
 

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Well me and the gf currently keep our KSB on aspen, would be nice to put her on sand if people think it works ok, have heard mixed reviews about it, we feed her in a tub anyway and shes a super feeder.

Aspen does hold the burrows well tho, So play sand is good for a KSB?
 

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I can only speak from my personal experience of one snake...but yes, Rosie seems to love it, and do very well in it.
 

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my ksb's and rough scaled sand boas are on/in sand mixed with aspen - don't feed in the rubs - no probs so far. If I remember right though sand boas don't actually live in pure sand it's more of a mix of earth/dirt/sand etc - I guess only snakes like sidewinders live on pure sand - well the pics you see of them on documentaries always show them sidewinding over sand.

Our leo though had a prolapse from eating the sand - she is a bit daft and eats any substrate so now she is on kitchen lino with plenty of rocks to climb and rest on. The prolapse was dealt with fine by the vet, but the amount of sand he extracted from her was unreal.
 

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My Russian sand boa has been on sand for 18 years also my Javlini for 12 yeas withour any problems.
I have heard of impaction cases but never actually known anyones snakes that have had the problem.#Lizards seem to be a different matter.
 

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I use a range of substrates for various snakes, from orchid bark to aspen and play sand, but my favourite is a mixture of potting compost (the kind without any additives!), peat, sand with either some bark chips mixed in or a few grades of gravel. Forest species get more peat and compost in the mix, species from dry habitats get more sand. I have never had a problem with impaction.

The benefits of this type of substrate over things like newspaper are not just aesthetic; all snakes like to burrow around to some extent. I am sure it does them good, and a lot of "difficult to keep" species have done very well for me in this kind of setup.

Francis
 
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