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  • [Substrate] AstroTurf as substrate?

    I'm still setting up my first cage and I was considering different substrates.

    The main cons I've found:
    aspen reduces humidity
    newspaper is not easily accessible for me
    paper towels are more likely to be consumed on accident
    reptile carpet is hard to find in large sizes

    solutions for these in order addressed:
    daily misting (might not be always possible)
    dollar tree Sunday paper
    feed in a separate container
    not sure about reptile carpet solution which leads to my question...


    Would outdoor quality AstroTurf be a bad idea? If not, how would one clean it? Have two rolls, when one is soiled, pull it out and spray it with a F10 cleaning solution and set it out to try?

  • #2
    Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

    AstroTurf is a lousy choice because it falls apart (little-bitty pieces) and is hard to clean (feces remaining in crevices make for an unhealthy & stinky habitat).

    A better choice (IMO) is to cut to size some of the indoor-outdoor carpeting sold in large hardware/home improvement stores (the kind with no backing, just thick nylon fibers, comes in various colors like tan, gray, brown,
    and green). It's fairly stiff & stays down very well (though it does soften some with time), it's hand washable (& can be disinfected w/ diluted bleach, just make sure no lingering bleach smell remains as it's not good for pets).

    When I've used it, I had at least 2 cut per cage, so when one got dirty, the other could be used right away while the dirty one gets washed. Best to cut slightly longer & wider than cage floor, then notch the corners so
    they fold up easily. Wash it in the bathtub or a large laundry sink. Because it's nylon fibers, it drip-dries fast too. (again, you don't want the kind with pile or loops, just the flat carpeting)

    Carpet has no effect on humidity...it's not drying (like Carefresh is) & doesn't foster mold when it's moist. It has excellent traction, something that paper does not (unless you buy the disposable expensive corrugated stuff).
    "Reptile carpet" sold in petstores is very expensive for what you get...trust me, the carpet I'm describing comes on huge rolls (like 12' wide) & it's sold by the foot, a bargain! (especially since it lasts nearly forever!!!)
    You can also roll up any remnants of the carpet to make tunnel-type hiding places for your snake...it's quite useful. (especially if your snake will be outgrowing many plastic hides they sell)

    Oh, one more thing: if you're using UTH heating, you'll find the heat rises EASILY thru this carpet substrate, much better than thru thick aspen or mulch that many like to use. And you won't be getting little pieces
    stuck in your snake's mouth either. The heat rising thru carpet is diffused and while you should ALWAYS use a thermostat to regulate any UTH, this carpet is not easily flammable (like shavings or paper).

    Only issue: always best to feed your snake IN it's cage, but ALWAYS put their dinner on a "plate" of some kind. (a box lid, a real non-breakable plate, whatever...) Because: snakes open their mouths very wide and sometimes
    manage to hook their teeth into the carpet fibers. When this happens they panic, pull back & can damage their teeth/mouth in the process. So just be sure not to feed them ON the carpet.

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    • #3
      Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

      [MENTION=13772]Noelle7206[/MENTION] , Thank you. I'll look up this suggestion. What I've heard about F10 is that it is relatively safe to use around animals and is used in veterinary clinics. It is also sometimes used with in foggers to treat respiratory infections. $20 on amazon doesn't seem unreasonable.

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      • #4
        Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

        Yes, I use F10 as well, it's good, as is chlorhexidine for disinfecting cages. But in order for any disinfectant to work you must remove the contaminants first, so just spraying it on dirty carpet isn't the way to clean them,
        you need some soap. I'm not crazy about bleach either but it's very effective (AND cheap) especially for things that won't retain the odor. I think it's more practical for soaking carpets but it's your call, they all work.

        And yes, I'm familiar with the technique some say to use (F10 fog for R.I.'s) but personally I'm not convinced that's a healthy treatment...read the cautions on F10 & decide for yourself. Not saying that it hasn't cleared
        up some R.I.'s -I don't doubt that it has worked for some- just wonder about long-term health issues. (petstores used to put pieces of dog/cat flea collars in their snake cages to kill mites, that worked alright, but later
        the snake died slowly from the poison. Some sellers have a different agenda than a person who loves their pets.)

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        • #5
          Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

          Thank you.

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          • #6
            Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

            Personally, I would recommend something disposable like aspen or paper. It's so much easier to just clean the enclosure and replace the substrate rather than trying to scrub poo out of a reusable liner. I use Uline Indented Kraft Paper for all of my tubs. Newspaper is slippery and can make them feel insecure, so the indented stuff gives them something to grab onto. A 360' roll lasts just about forever.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

              I use craft paper in my tubs as well and I use paper towels in my enclosures, both clean easy are cheap and I feed on both with no issues.

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              • #8
                Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

                How does this paper handle moisture? Does it pull it out of the air? It says biodegradable... does that mean if water spills on it that it will fall apart?

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                • #9
                  Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

                  If there are any grocery stores near you, talk to the manager and ask if they would be willing to give you their out-of-date circulars each week. I have a friend who works at a grocery store who snags them for me, as otherwise they just go to the recycle center. The paper used isn't the kind for the glossy ads, and it's thicker and rougher than regular newspaper so it works well - and it's free.

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                  • #10
                    Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

                    Originally posted by acephantom903 View Post
                    How does this paper handle moisture? Does it pull it out of the air? It says biodegradable... does that mean if water spills on it that it will fall apart?
                    It works well with the humidity needs and the only time it falls apart is when it get really wet but for the most part even after a BM I'm able to just fold it up and throw it away. Best thing is you can cut several out so cleanup is quick

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                    • #11
                      Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

                      I'll give that a try. How do you throw it away without smell?

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                      • #12
                        Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

                        When I clean it out I just toss it in a plastic bag and put it on the outside trash. I used to use a diaper genie but buying refills gets old.

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                        • #13
                          Re: AstroTurf as substrate?

                          Sounds good. I don't have a sense of smell so smell doesn't bother me... Other people might not appreciate my room/apartment smelling like I don't ever clean the bathroom.

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