Do you intend to use leopard gecko sand substrate for your habitats? You’ll have to know that sand, though popular, can sometimes cause complications. To help you know more about sand and help you with possible solutions in case you run into trouble, here’s some advice on using this substrate material.
Basic Must Knows
To start, sand is a popular choice as a substrate material. It is relatively cheap and easy to handle. Spot cleaning is effortless… you just dig out the spot that has the lizard litter and that’s about it. Imagine doing this with other substrates like newspapers or paper towels. Add to this the fact that you can easily replace the sand in case you want to clean out the entire tank.
It’s best that you regularly check the sand for droppings and other unwanted materials like crickets or insect leftovers. With the ease that you can clean up the sand, you shouldn’t have any problems cleaning out the tank daily. You should also clean out the entire tank, replacing the sand and scrubbing the walls, at least once a month. Make sure you scrub the entire tank with an antiseptic as some trace materials can stay inside the tank undetected by the human senses.
You need to make sure that you are using an appropriate thickness or grain for your sand substrate. Leopard gecko sand for substrate materials are usually around.5 millimeter thick although finding consistently sized sand can sometimes be hard. Just ask around your local shops to find the thickness you want.
You can use thicker sand but beware that the thicker you go the higher the risk of running into sand ingestion problems. Lizards hunt their food around the tank and it isn’t unusual for them to get a mouthful of sand along with their cricket meals. This can lead to sand build ups in their digestive tracks and can eventually lead to problems like intestinal impaction.
Ingesting Too Much Sand
This is one of the worst problems that sand can cause. Should you run into this problem, you can try using mineral oil to help the lizard’s digestive system pass out the extra material stuck inside. You’d usually want to avoid using sand for baby lizards or particularly small lizards since their relatively smaller size makes the sand that much bigger when compared to their digestive tracts. If your lizard starts to become inactive or lethargic and its belly starts to get too hard, these may be the first signs that he or she has ingested too much sand.
Other Problems and Alternatives
You really want to check the sand for any other chemicals or pesticides that can cause harm, especially if they are ingested. You can ask the store where you got it from to make sure that no harmful materials are present in your substrate. If sand is proving to be a bit too much trouble and you need some alternatives, you can try pea gravel, newspapers, paper towels, stones, and artificial turf. Some even suggest using the tank itself and going without a floor material. These lizards are usually neat and they will pick a particular part of the tank to do their ‘dirty business’.