One of the most popular pet pythons is the ball python. These are shy and they are best for captives this is because of their small size and manageable nature. They have some remarkable colours and patterns in which they come. These are native and also found in the areas of Western as well as central Africa. These are popularly known as the Royal Python in some parts of the world and in Africa.
These are awesome pets and also very suitable for those who are keeping a first-time pet. The breeders create a lot of colour variations and patterns which are never seen before. Also, these species are very well suitable for captivity and would thrive keeling in view of their health and wellness.
In case you are new to the world of pythons then it is important to know which kind of substrate you should use for them. Simply, the substrate is something that is considered flooring in the enclosure of your reptile. It is similar to the flooring that you keep in your home, in the case of reptiles it is considered as a substrate.
The substrate is very important for the reptile’s health and affects the husbandry and also has a major role in the lifespan of these species.
So, when you are planning to keep a python home it is very important that you take care and look for the proper substrate and the one which is very suitable for it.
The type of substrate you use, its depth as well as the substrate will also have a great impact on your pet’s health. So, you should go through the complete article to know about the best substrates and the right substrate for your pet’s health.
- 1 Things to look for while buying the substrate
- 2 The Best Substrate for Ball Python
- 2.1 1. Zoo med aspen snake bedding
- 2.2 2. Zoo med forest floor bedding
- 2.3 3. Zilla Snake and lizard litter
- 2.4 5. Repti chip premium coconut substrate
- 2.5 6. Reptile prime coconut fibre bedding substrate
- 2.6 7. Zoo med repti cage carpet for reptile cages
- 2.7 The substrates to be avoided for a ball python
- 2.8 Sand
- 2.9 Pine and shavings of cedar
- 2.10 Gravel
- 2.11 Artificial carpet
- 2.12 Recycled fibre
- 2.13 Conclusion:
Things to look for while buying the substrate
Before you look into the best options from which you can select, it is important that you are able to compare the substrates with each other.
Below are the criteria mentioned which you can go through before you shop the substrate for your pet. After going through this you will be able to know the best pick for your pet.
Water retention and Humidity
These pythons originate from Africa and in the forests and grasslands. The humidity in these areas is also high. The substrate will help in maintaining and affecting the humidity level of the enclosure.
This is not a common habit but most of the pythons prefer burrowing in the substrate. The substrate that is loose is also very suitable for providing them with a good and enriching life.
There are substrates that might attract mites or pests and encourage their growth. This might not be suitable for your pet and it is important that you know the substrates that will not lead to the development of such pests.
If you are finding that the substrate is suitable and has all the requirements that you would need for your pet, the thing that might affect your choice will be the price, the piece of the substrate may range from low to high cost.
It is important that you keep the cleaning process in mind as well while you are buying the substrate.
There are a lot of options from which you can easily choose. Some might be available easily while some might need you to visit a special store or order it online.
This is based on the choice of the users. It does not matter what look your substrate gives to your pet, but the owner might want to keep the pet maintaining the aesthetics.
Risk of impaction
There are cases when the pet ingests the substrate accidentally. It might lead to impaction. There are minimal impaction issues while some might even be extreme.
The Best Substrate for Ball Python
Let us now look at some of the best substrates that you can buy for your ball python. These are the best in terms of the requirement as well as the need for the substrate.
1. Zoo med aspen snake bedding
This is one of the best beddings that you can purchase for your ball python. It absorbs 200% of its weight in water. The dust it creates in the enclosure is minimal and using this the enclosure looks clean and tidy. Also, the substrate is fluffy therefore your ball python can bury it. The smell of the substrate is also less.
It can be used for bedding purposes in the case of other reptiles as well.
- Less odour
- Looks clean and neat
- Reptile can burrow
- For all reptiles
2. Zoo med forest floor bedding
This bedding is cypress mulch and 100% rich. This substrate stays moist and also helps the python to stay comfortable while it is in the enclosure. This is especially suitable if it is shedding. This substrate is also very suitable in case of the other reptiles like turtles, frogs, lizards and snakes. The pack of 24 quarts would be highly suitable for an aquarium of 55 gallons.
Another important thing that the users need to keep in mind while buying this substrate is that if your pet ingests this substrate it might result in splinters. This is because the substrate is made of wooden chips.
- Highly absorbent and comfortable
- Suitable during shedding
- Made of wooden chips and results in splinters on ingestion
3. Zilla Snake and lizard litter
This is made of heat-treated aspen and these are in chips. These are highly suitable for lizards, geckos, skinks and other reptiles as well. The pack of 14 quarts will help to cover a 20-gallon aquarium. The size of the chips helps in easy cleaning. To keep the odour of the substrate in control the material is treated with ground eucalyptus.
In addition to this, it is 100% biodegradable as well as it has a high moisture absorbency ratio.
- High moisture absorbency
- Less odour
- Easy to clean
- Suitable for 20-gallon tank
5. Repti chip premium coconut substrate
This is not in the mat form. The substrate is in the form of loose bedding and is available in form of a compressed block. Once the substrate is broken and water is added to it, it would expand to 72 quarts. Also, since it is natural there are minimal odours and it also retains high moisture.
It is 100% organic and has the quality of sustainability.
- Highly sustainable
- Less odour
- High moisture retaining capacity.
- Loose bedding form might lead to impaction
6. Reptile prime coconut fibre bedding substrate
This substrate is in the form of loose bedding and is made of coconut coir. Also, it is a refined husk and absorbs moisture. The odour of the substrate is also less.
According to the manufacturer, the product is of high quality and can resist fungal growth for about a month.
- Less odour
- Moisture absorbency
- Resists fungal growth
- Risk of impaction
7. Zoo med repti cage carpet for reptile cages
This product is also known as the eco carpet. The product is made through materials that are recyclable. It is soft and the owners of the ball python like to use this product as the liner. This substrate helps to protect the snake from the bottom of the cage that is cold.
This is the substrate that you would prefer to buy more than one. So, you can use one substrate and wash the other one. Moreover, if the users live in an environment that has its humidity-controlled then they can surely use this product.
- Helps to protect the pet from the cold cage
- Made from recyclable material
- Might not be suitable for a humid environment
The substrates to be avoided for a ball python
It is better that you know beforehand the substrate that is suitable for the pet rather than dealing with the after-effects later on.
So here we have mentioned 5 substrates that the users should not buy for their ball python and along with it reasons are also mentioned.
This is a common substrate and is unfortunately not preferable as it leads to the growth of mould. Also, it reduced the level of humidity and might also cause irritation in the respiratory tract of the ball python. Moreover, sand might cause impaction in the ball pythons if they ingest it accidentally.
So it is better than the pet owners avoid using sand as a substrate.
Pine and shavings of cedar
These might appear to be natural and you may think that this is one of the most suitable substrates for your pet. But this is not the case, these release some harmful oils and along with those compounds in the air. This might result in neurological damage and might also lead to irritation or infection in the ball python.
You might be aware by now of how dangerous is impaction for the reptiles and if you choose the wrong substrate then it might even result in dangerous health conditions.
The gravel, when considered for a substrate, is easily ingestible therefore it can lead to impaction. So, this is a bad option if you are selecting substrates for your pet. Another con of this substrate is that it does not absorb odour or moisture.
As with the pine and cedar shavings, this substrate is also regarded to release some harmful compounds in the air. This might even lead to neurological or respiratory issues. As it is not so good in absorption therefore it can create a mess. Also, after cleaning for a few times it might even break. Also, it might create a disaster while cleaning.
This substrate is dusty and might dry out easily. This cannot be used in burrowing and might even lead to impaction. The substrate is not so comfortable for the ball python.
There are a lot of substrate choices that are ideal. One of the best choices from which the users can choose will depend on the situation as well as the preference. The users have an open choice of doing the experiment but it is seen that some substrates might not work well. So, some users even try mixing substrates so that it remains safe and comfortable.
Choose accordingly and always take care of the risk of impaction. If you do not find the substrate suitable replace it.