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RE: Repti-bark....

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Posted by: JackAsp at Thu Dec 10 03:05:24 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by JackAsp ]  
   

It's not good. I mean, at best you MIGHT get lucky and have him do fine anyway, kind of like some smokers live to be 90. But it's not absorbant, it's mold-friendly at the moisture levels they like, and it's also abrasive to their skin. I'll give you the mosdt common 4 suggestions. Theoretically, smeone else might even chime in, although this forum tends to be SLOW...

1. Brown paper towels. Not the white bleached ones. Many people use them successfully, and it's certainly easy to see when they need changing. And you don't have to worry about substrate ingestion. I prefer something the toad can dig in, but sometimes you get a toad that prefers caves to burrows anyway, so in those cases maybe it doesn't even matter. I've even heard of people wadding them up so it can dig around in there a bit, but haven't tried personally.

2. Extremely clean, high quality spahgnum moss. You might have to shop around a bit to find a brand that isn't full of leaves, twigs, and dirt, all of which can rot and get moldy at the surface, although farther down the moss will preserve them. These impurities also attract a lot of annoying little scavenger gnats and generally give spahagnum a bad name. Cleaner stuff is actually great, as long as the toad isn't eating on it. The acidity is very anti-bacterial. However, it is a swallowing hazard. I've used it for my cane toad for years. She eats hornworms and nonclimbing roaches from a huge dish, so ingestion is not a factor. If I'd been feeding her crickets on it she'd probably have gotten a severe blockage from it by now.

3. Ground coconut husk. That would be Bed-a-Beast and Eco-Earth. Same substance, different companies. It is theoretically possible but not usual for it to cause impactions, but most toad keepers use this and feed the toad crickets on it without difficulty. This allows the exercise option of hunting and chasing prey. Not quite as antibacterial as good sphagnum, not quite as hard to block up on as paper towels, but a good compromise that they can burrow in.
One thing I hate about it is that every time the toad hits the water dish the water turns black, which makes it hard to tell when it's defecated. Even worse if the toad is doing it on land. It also makes it pretty much impossible to tell if the stool looks problematically diffferent.
Also, I've heard many people complain that spahagnum gets musty too quickly. I've found that cocfiber gets musty way faster than clean sphagnum but a bit slower than the dirty cheap lawnstore stuff.

4. Organic potting soil, which a lot of people will swear by. Organic means nothing whatsoever except that it doesn't contain any factory chemicals, but it can still have pretty much anything, good or bad, that's "natural." Some bags of it are great, some are horrible. The people bagging it up really didn't think to check for toad-harmful bacteria, because they figured it was just going to be used for plants. At it's absolute best, it has pretty much the same pros and cons as coconut fiber. At it's worst, it's like coconut fiber with a lot more germs and nematodes in it. Really, I'd say the first three options are the things to chose from, but I mention it because, like the wood-based substrates, it tends to get suggested for them more often than it probably should be.
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0.1 2006 Western Hognose (Bebe)
0.1 age unknown Cane Toad (Hengo)
0.1 2005 White-Banded Sheen Skink (Minerva)
1.0 2006 Northern Diamondback Terrapin (Queequeg)
1.0 2006 Madagascan Speckled "Hognose" (Sigmund)
1.0 2008 Bullsnake (Winkle)
1.2 2008 Eastern Collared Lizards (Pancho, Lupe, and Chica)
2.0 2009 Eastern Collared Lizards (Cesar and Nino)


   

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