What kind of bedding or substrate should you use for the bottom cage of your ball python cage?
Choosing the best bedding for ball pythons is far from being easy. This is because there are a lot of different products to choose from that are available in the market and by the different opinions of a lot of internet forums.
Looking for the best substrate for your python can be hard, but to make your search a lot easier, in this article, it will discuss some of the best ball python beddings available in the market.
Let’s see what kinds of beddings are available.
- About Substrate and Furnishings
- Maintaining the Snake’s Enclosure
- 12 Best Bedding for Ball Python
- 1. Coconut Husks
- 2. Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding
- 3. Aspen Shavings
- 4. Peat Moss
- 5. Cypress Mulch
- 6. Orchid Bark
- 7. Artificial Turf
- 8. Newsprint Bedding
- 9. Reptichip Premium Coconut Substrate
- 10. Carpet Bedding
- 11. Paper Towels
- 12. Lugarti Natural Bedding
- The Humidity Level
About Substrate and Furnishings
Out in the wild, most pythons tend to live in savannas and grassland habitats, and primarily residing in rodent burrows underground. The relative humidity underground is much higher than above ground, the savanna is not actually a moist place, but pythons also tend to do well with a secure hide that is filled with damp moss. Most snakes are shy, by staying in a tight and mossy place, the snake will feel safer and secure than in open spaces.
When you use beddings for snakes, avoid using beddings made from cedar because it is toxic to all kinds of snakes.
And when you design your pet’s terrarium, always keep in mind that snakes have a secretive nature. They like places where they can constantly hide. Provide them with a lot of hiding places in all the cool and warm regions of its enclosure.
Also, add climbing structures where your snakes can coil themselves up, just avoid over-crowding your pet’s tank.
Maintaining the Snake’s Enclosure
It is necessary to always keep your python’s tank clean and spotless. If there are traces of urine and feces in the tank remove them as soon as you can.
You can do a complete tank cleaning every 30 days, remove all cage accessories and change all the used substrate or beddings if needed. Disinfect the tank with a 5 percent solution of bleach. Rinse it thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely before returning or replacing the beddings, accessories, and of course, the snake.
Like mentioned earlier, pythons have a secretive nature and love places where they can hide. A good example of cage accessories is a couple of hiding boxes. Flowerpots can also be a good hide box for them.
12 Best Bedding for Ball Python
Like mentioned earlier, in this article it will help you choose one of the best bedding options for your pet snake. I will provide reviews and the products pros and cons to help you choose the best bedding for your pet
1. Coconut Husks
This is a kind of inert substrate, meaning it’s unlikely to have nasty parasites and bugs in it. This product is also environmentally friendly since it is a waste from coconut milk industries.
It also has other benefits when it is used as bedding for your bed snake. The coconut fiber can help absorb moisture and liquids inside the tank making it easier to clean it. They also smell good and look pretty great inside the tank.
The only downside of this kind of substrate is that how it quickly absorbs the moist and liquids, is the opposite when it’s time to dry out the fibers. This will make the tank more humid than before, so make sure that it’s dry before putting it in the tank.
2. Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding
This is a good substrate that actually holds humidity really well and it isn’t dusty like the sand.
A lot of people really love using this product because it has no smell, it can be easily cleaned, and it absorbs liquid really well. Not only is it loved by individuals, it is also loved by reptiles like the ball python. Owners said that since they’ve used reptile prime their pets have been tunneling through non-stop.
Also, it is not heavy, messy, won’t mold, and can absorb odors inside the enclosure. You can also use this bedding to grow plants with. The product has become really popular when Brian Barczyk, a well-known reptile breeder, has teamed up with the products’ company.
I honestly don’t see any downside from this product, it is definitely one of the best substrate available in the market.
3. Aspen Shavings
This is the most popular bedding for ball pythons, most snake owners prefer to buy this in the market because it is cheap and easy to carry home.
Because of the popularity of the product, they are pretty to find in online and physical pet stores. The beddings also look great in the snake’s tank because of its light color. The particles also look fluffy making them a good moist absorbent, it also helps urine, water spilled, and feces to dry out quickly keeping the tank fresh and clean.
Also, the snake’s seems to love digging through the shavings, especially the young ones. This can help add an environmental enrichment on the snake’s surrounding.
And honestly, I can’t really find a downside to this product. Though there are a few buyers that complain that the product is dusty. I personally think that they have accidentally a low-quality and thought that all products are the same.
4. Peat Moss
This is another great bedding for your pet snake, though it shouldn’t be used as your main substrate. This is best used when your pet is changing its skin, this kind of substrate can help remove its old skin faster
Moss bedding can increase the humidity of the tank helping your pet to have an easier time to shed out of its old skin. Most pet owners’ uses moss to create hides with moist.
The downside of this kind is that it can acquire mites or bugs in it because of the moist and dirt. But that can be avoided if the beddings are changed once or twice a week.
5. Cypress Mulch
Cypress bedding can be a good bedding choice if you want to increase the humidity level of the enclosure. If you open a bag of cypress mulch you will notice that the fresh ones are a bit moist. But if you don’t want an increase in the tanks humidity level then you can dry it out before putting it inside the enclosure.
If you are worried about mold growth due to its heavy moisture level, then don’t mind it because cypress mulch is very resistant to mold growth. Just a reminder though, before buying this kind of substrate, make sure that it only contains cypress mulch blend ONLY, some may include pine shavings that can also be toxic to snakes.
The downsides are that some chip size is big and sharp which can hurt your pet’s skin and it cannot be easily dug through by snakes. But all in all, it is still a good bedding choice for your snake.
6. Orchid Bark
If you don’t like the idea of using cypress mulch as a substrate for your python, then you can use an orchid bark as an alternative of cypress mulch.
Since it is an alternative to the previous substrate, it can also help increase the humidity level of the snake’s enclosure. But if you don’t want that then you can dry out the bark first under the sun before putting it in the tank.
The downside of this is that it can overly increase the humidity level of the tank especially if you live in a country that naturally humid.
7. Artificial Turf
Aside from using barks, shavings, and sand-like substrates for your reptile. You can also use artificial grass as bedding.
This can actually work well if you have multiple pieces of it, you can quickly change and remove the soiled pieces with clean ones as soon as you can. In that way, you’ll have enough time to clean and dry it off as long as you want. These materials are very to clean, durable and can last for a long time. You can actually save money with these.
The downside is that the appearance of the artificial grass may deteriorate from being repeatedly washed and your python cannot burrow in it. But it can be comfortable for them since it copies the texture of real grass.
8. Newsprint Bedding
This is one of the best bedding that you can buy for your royal pythons. Most owners that want to be economical and want an easy way of cleaning their pythons cages prefer to buy this one.
It’s fairly cheap on Amazon, can measure for up to 36” by 24”, and contains 325 sheets of newsprint. This is much better than using old newspapers because newspapers can imprint on a pet’s skin when wet.
The only downside is that it is not visually appealing and can a bit bad in the enclosure.
9. Reptichip Premium Coconut Substrate
This substrate is made from the highest quality of coconut that can be found anywhere around the world.
Like any great substrate products, this one can also absorb odors and liquids and retains humidity really well. It is a hundred percent organic and very sustainable. The product is also relatively clean, it doesn’t mites or any of the nasty bugs, it is dust-free, and since it can retain humidity well, you won’t have to mist the enclosure constantly.
The only downside of this product is that it is compressed and packed into a giant brick of chipped coconut, which you’ll have to add water to break it apart. But once you add it with water, it can expand to up to 2.5 cubic feet.
10. Carpet Bedding
This is another kind of substrate for your pet python’s enclosure. Like the artificial turf, this is good for snakes that burrow often. If you want to beddings like these, you should at least get a couple of pieces so that you can change it with a new one while you clean the soiled one.
It is very useful and easy to find in shops since a lot of people also use this as bedding for their pets. Sometimes you can even find unwanted pieces from garage sales. Not only that, they are cheap and can be used multiple time.
The downside is it gets soiled easily and should be changed on a regular basis.
Aside from the products above, you can also a corrugated cardboard as your ball python’s bedding. They come in sheets, easy to cut to easily fit in the enclosure, highly absorbent, inexpensive, and provide a very good exterior for your python.
11. Paper Towels
Aside from newsprints, you can also use paper towels as ball python bedding.
They are cheap, easy to remove, and can be a very comfortable bedding for your snake. You can also easily change the soiled ones with new paper towels as soon as you can. Though, this isn’t suitable if your pet often burrows on its bedding, but still a good option.
Like newsprints, the downside is that it doesn’t look really pretty in the enclosure.
If you are too lazy to go to the grocery store, then you can order a bundle of them in Amazon.
12. Lugarti Natural Bedding
This is a good substrate that actually holds humidity really well and it isn’t dusty like the sand.
This doesn’t contain bugs or other kinds of insects in it. Aside from being natural bedding, you can also mold it, make a landscape from it, and create a firm tunnel or burrows that won’t collapse. This substrate stays firm but is still easy enough for the pet to burrow itself in it.
Also, it is not heavy, messy, won’t mold, and can absorb odors inside the enclosure. You can also use this bedding to grow plants with.
I think the only downside from it is that it’s a bit expensive than other beddings.
The Humidity Level
Humidity is often mentioned on the products, as you know ball pythons also need a high level of humidity in their cages. So if you live in a cold place you can either buy a humidifier for your pet or buy beddings that can help increase the enclosures humidity level.
But if you already live in a place where it high in humidity then you can just buy one of the products above that doesn’t increase the humidity level of the tank. Keeping a good temperature in the tank is one of the key points to keep your snake healthy.
Well there you go, those are the best beddings that you can choose from in the market for your python’s tank. This substrate will help make your pet live much better by adding good flooring to your pet’s enclosure.
Just make sure to buy the appropriate bedding for your pet, the right substrates that’ll give off enough humidity, if you prefer then pick off the one that can give a nice visual appeal on the tank, easy to clean and change, and most importantly if it is liked by your pet python.