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  • Alternate Substrates

    I was curious to find out if anyone is/have used silica crystals (sometimes used for cat litter). It absorbs heat quite easily, as well as extra moisture, and has natural odor scrubbing properties, plus it's cheap where I am iin Eastern Canada. Thoughts? Advice?

  • #2
    Re: Alternate Substrates

    I would never put my boas on that.

    I don't think that it would be healthy to keep boas on silica at all. and on top of that, it would suck your humidity out, which is bad.

    another thing that comes to mind is , it would probably be horribly uncomfortable to be forced to lay in that stuff 24/7. Imagine being forced to lay naked in a small room full of kitty litter; Do you think you'd be a very happy person?

    I personally would stick with aspen type wood bedding. It doesn't have an overpowering smell to the snakes, doesn't give splinters like a lot of wood bedding does, and the animals can actually use it to hide themselves.

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    • #3
      Re: Alternate Substrates

      Gah....never, EVER use that stuff. For any animal IMHO - the dust is evil, it's far too drying and is just a mess. Cats have been known to develop respiratory problems among others because of the high amounts of essentially toxic dust.

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      • #4
        Re: Alternate Substrates

        I agree, that can't be good. I would stick with Aspen if you need to have a substrate that is pleasing to the eye. It's not as pretty to look at but nothing beats old fashioned news paper

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        • #5
          Re: Alternate Substrates

          Definately not a good idea. I would stick with aspen, or newspaper. You could even use both to make clean up a little easier. I

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          • #6
            Re: Alternate Substrates

            Can't you do some damage to your snake by using aspen or wood shavings. With breathing it in and such, I heard that somewhere before..........Am I wrong?

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            • #7
              Re: Alternate Substrates

              Aspen is a popular substrate to use and doesn't cause the same respiratory effects seen with pine, cedar, and other fragrant, oily woods.

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              • #8
                Re: Alternate Substrates

                Originally posted by jhsulliv View Post
                Aspen is a popular substrate to use and doesn't cause the same respiratory effects seen with pine, cedar, and other fragrant, oily woods.
                Excellent. Should the aspen shavings be treated in anyway. Like maybe heat-treated in the oven?

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                • #9
                  Re: Alternate Substrates

                  I'm curious I like Aspen makes clean up quite easy. Boas are comfortable in it.
                  My question is what Brands do people like and Where do you like to purchase it? Also in what quantity for those who have many Boas?
                  Thanks Lar M

                  Boas By Klevitz

                  Lar M
                  Boas By Klevitz

                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: Alternate Substrates

                    I have a 6 foot boaphile I use newspaper on the cool end and aspen on the heated end. That way they can choose where they want to be. Sometimes I switch it around to keep it exciting for the snakes. I am sure in the wild they have many different substrate changes through out the day so I try to change things around when I clean. They seem to like it and explore when they get back in.
                    I hope this is ok for them. Any thoughts on this?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Alternate Substrates

                      Originally posted by Herplover101 View Post
                      Excellent. Should the aspen shavings be treated in anyway. Like maybe heat-treated in the oven?
                      When I used aspen I never did anything except use it right out of the bag and never had issues with any type of insect or parasite in a freshly opened bag. I also only bought well-known brands from well-known companies though. The only reason I stopped using it was that for me it was not cost-effective with multiple snakes, it was messy, and newspaper was easier to feed on. The only times I ever had issues with any type of bedding having bugs (rodent or snake bedding) was when I left it in a closet in an unsealed bag.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Alternate Substrates

                        Originally posted by jhsulliv View Post
                        When I used aspen I never did anything except use it right out of the bag and never had issues with any type of insect or parasite in a freshly opened bag. I also only bought well-known brands from well-known companies though. The only reason I stopped using it was that for me it was not cost-effective with multiple snakes, it was messy, and newspaper was easier to feed on. The only times I ever had issues with any type of bedding having bugs (rodent or snake bedding) was when I left it in a closet in an unsealed bag.
                        Thanks for the reply. I just cleaned his cage and put about 1-2 inches of aspen chips in there. I also found this while surfing the net if anyone is interested. It talks about all kinds of substrates, pros/cons etc.

                        http://www.twistedserpent.com/substrates.html

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                        • #13
                          Re: Alternate Substrates

                          I use indented kraft paper. You can get it in different widths. I prefer 24inch fits my boaphiles nicely. Very absorbent. Cheap and you can get it in huge rolls.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Alternate Substrates

                            Alphapha pellets, better known as rabbit pellets.
                            Seems weird but it works.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Alternate Substrates

                              Wow ...... it seems that all people use are paper towels, wood shavings or other recycled papers. I guess I'm special! lol

                              I use green outdoor carpeting from Home Depot. When it gets urates or feces on it you roll it up, take it out and put another mat down while you wash that one. I have 4 in rotation and it really really really helps for snakes that have difficulty in shedding. Cuz it's a bit rough it helps peel the shed off. And cleaning is a breeze. Just spray it with a hose outside or in the shower. And ANOTHER plus .... mites can't live in it very easily! Just one or 2 rinses and those suckers go down the drain! Plus it's a nice grass green shade.

                              Nixx

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