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Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

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Laughing Hyena
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Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby Laughing Hyena » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:53 pm

I've been using Newspaper because I've been reading online that Bearded Dragons can eat the sand and can cause them to become impacted. But yet I've also heard online sand is fine as wild Bearded Dragons are on it all the time in the Australian Deserts. I'm about to buy a 40 Gallon tank and it comes with sand to use for the tank and just curious if it be alright to use?
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby Ash » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:46 pm

This link goes over all the substrates that are good or bad for beardies: http://beardeddragoncaresheet.weebly.com/housing.html. It's one of the best caresheets I have found about them.

Sand is a very debatable substrate. Many keep theirs on it without issue, and others have experienced impaction in theirs. There is bad sand, and safer sand. Pet store brands are typically a no-no. Here's a quote from the above website:

What's not debated is that most pet store sands are lethal. They cause an appalling number of impactions, are dusty, dye your Bearded Dragon funky colors...they are simply bad news


So if you're buying the sand from the pet store, I would definitely say no.

How's your beardie doing? Has he gotten big yet? I know you've had him for quite some time.
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby KingObeat » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:42 am

I've been told that most of the new reptile sands(Zoo med's)are safe to use. Although I haven't used any of them. I don't like to use sand because it can be messy. My substrait of choice is sani chips/habi chips. It's easy to clean, doesn't make as bad a mess, haven't heard any stories of it cosing impaction, and doesn't smell. Only downsides are that it can be hard to find and a little pricey.
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby minervasden » Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:26 am

Sand can be used for adult bearded dragons only but it has more negatives than positives. It should also never be used for an individual that will eat it. Larger granules and better than a fine sand as less likely to be consumed. However, beardies are large enough to choose to munch on any grade.

Slate or ceramic tiles are great and what I use as beardies don't require a particulate substrate.. Very easy to clean. I use an indoor/outdoor rated tile so any spills/waste/ other moisture are not a problem. I do suggest going to the store and picking them out in person so you get ones with texture. I picked some out online but when I went to Lowe's they were super slick so had to choose differently. Tiles are great heat conductors. There are so many colors/ patterns to fit any decor.

Unless you have an oddly shaped enclosure, you should be able to get tiles that fit snugly so no grouting needed. You can remove tiles as needed for cleaning or buy two sets.

If you go with sand there is no benefit of pet store sands over basic play sand.
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby Laughing Hyena » Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:22 pm

Ash wrote:This link goes over all the substrates that are good or bad for beardies: http://beardeddragoncaresheet.weebly.com/housing.html. It's one of the best caresheets I have found about them.

Sand is a very debatable substrate. Many keep theirs on it without issue, and others have experienced impaction in theirs. There is bad sand, and safer sand. Pet store brands are typically a no-no. Here's a quote from the above website:

What's not debated is that most pet store sands are lethal. They cause an appalling number of impactions, are dusty, dye your Bearded Dragon funky colors...they are simply bad news


So if you're buying the sand from the pet store, I would definitely say no.

How's your beardie doing? Has he gotten big yet? I know you've had him for quite some time.
Hes doing good! He's about the size of my hand now that I have to use two hands to support him he's around 18 inches right now including tail. The vet told me he's probably not going to get much bigger and told me hes an overall healthy happy Lizard! :) Except for the fact I have to get him to eat more greens which he just refuses alot! Who knew Bearded Dragons can be so stubborn when it comes to veggies?
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby Ash » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:13 am

I've been pretty happy with ZooMed's stuff, so if theirs is proven to be safe, then I'd go with them if you do want yours on sand.

Glad to hear he's doing well and that he's growing up. :) Hopefully you can get him to start eating the greens.
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby Laughing Hyena » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:01 pm

Ash wrote:I've been pretty happy with ZooMed's stuff, so if theirs is proven to be safe, then I'd go with them if you do want yours on sand.

Glad to hear he's doing well and that he's growing up. :) Hopefully you can get him to start eating the greens.
I actually might think mine might be a female actually I've seen male Bearded Dragons in pet stores and they were a bit bigger and the females were around the same size as mine and not as big as the males plus mine don't head bob like the males do.
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby Ash » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:05 pm

lol, I wish lizards were easier to sex when younger, like snakes. Can't remember what you named your beardie? Are you gonna change or feminize "her" name if she does turn out female?
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby naja-naja » Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:46 pm

The best type of substrate you can get for a beardie is wheat bran. The plain stuff you can get from the grocery or health foods store, it's designed to be consumed by humans so you know its safe, it is pure fibre so it will not impact the beardie, it will not rot or anything like that due to the low humidity requirements of bearded dragons, and it's like sand so they can burrow down and be like they would in the wild, also the crickets will eat it too so if you accidentally leave live crickets in there at night they won't bite the beardie.

For anyone unfamiliar with the product (or in case it is sold under different names in the US) here is the first link I got when I Googled 'wheat bran in the US'

http://www.bobsredmill.com/wheat-bran.html
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby veralidaine » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:00 pm

^ That's really interesting. I don't have a beardie but I always find it neat to hear about innovations like this. I see on the website that you can get a 20 lb bag for 18$ Would that be too pricey for the amount for beardie owners? If so, you could maybe find a cheaper supply of wheat bran at an animal feed shop
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby naja-naja » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:58 am

it's really light stuff so 20lbs would go a long way (actually it says a 25lb bag for $17.45) it's about 45l volume (extrapolating from 15g=1/4cup) about 1.6 cubic feet. that much will provide a 5'x2' floor area tank with a 2'' covering, or you could make substrate changes out of it if you had a smaller tank. a 40 gallon tank is either 4'x1' floor area or 3'x18'' so you would get between 2 or 3 bedding changes out of the 25lb bag, not bad for $18.
the same stuff can be got in your local super market/health store/wherever but i wouldn't know what size or price bag they sell it for.
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:01 pm

But that price will double with shipping. So it's really closer to $40

Yes you can buy it at a farm and feed store reasonably in big bags and save on the shipping.
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Re: Should I use sand or not for my Bearded Dragons tank?

Postby naja-naja » Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:47 pm

TamanduaGirl wrote:But that price will double with shipping. So it's really closer to $40

Yes you can buy it at a farm and feed store reasonably in big bags and save on the shipping.

i'm assuming that people will buy it local to them, it's such a common product there's no need to have it shipped from anywhere, considering it's just 1 tank you wouldn't need to buy huge bags of it, 2 or 3 small bags from a supermarket would be enough.
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