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Do corn snakes like sand?
When it comes to equipping your vivarium, may people struggle on the decision of substrate. But do corn snakes like sand? Most breeders and veteran snake owner will always tell you to stay away from sand. Although sand may seem like a natural substrate for a corn snake, it can actually cause some complications.
(Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find ‘Other related articles you might like’, once you are done reading).
Corn snakes will burrow beneath whatever substrate you decide. A good substrate should stay dry, and allow the heat, (from your heat mat) to easily rise through the vivarium. Sand can actually stop the heat from ever filling the snake vivarium. This may cause your snake to become cold and begin to burrow.
The problem this causes is that corn snake will actually ingest some of the grains. This will cause impactions and a lot of discomfort for your corn snake. Corn snakes don’t have eye lids, so as they burrows the grains can actually scratch the skin over their eyes. This can cause a lot of irritation and stress for your corn snake.
Sand also isn’t very absorbent. This will increase the chance of bacteria and fungal growth, which you really don’t want. Sand can also irritate a corn snakes skin, as some of the grains can cause abrasions to their scales.
What about Silica sand from a reptile shop…
Silica sand is condensed, packed sand, which is vivaria ready. But only for specific reptiles. NOT ALL. Silica sand is so grand so fine that is does not conduct heat evenly throughout a vivarium. Silica sand is also covered in dust. Even after washing and drying, dust will still be present. The long term damage caused, from exposure to dust can cause silicosis disease of the lungs.
Thats right, the disease is actually named after the product.
Other bad substrates to avoid…
Pine and Cedar Wood Shavings
Pine/Cedar shavings give off an amazing aroma and are very soft. So this may be tempting to a beginner snake owner. However this can cause some very serious neurological damage for corn snakes. Unable to get away this can actually have some long lasting damage also. Cedar shaving and plicatic acid destroys the cells that line corn snakes lungs. So it’s best to stay away from pine or cedar.
Bark and Wood Chipping’s
Bark and wood chipping’s are also a massive no. Chipping’s have sharp, pointy, sticky out bits, that are going to do more damage than good. A corn snakes skin is very soft. Therefore it is fragile, which can be damaged very easily. Slithering over the sharp edges can cause impaction and even internal organ damage in serious cases. So it’s recommended to stay away from these also.
Finding the correct substrate for your reptile can be very challenging. Whether this be with lizards or snakes, it’s definitely worth knowing what to look out for, for different reptiles. Remember it has to be safe, dust free, absorbent, non toxic and not irritating for the skin.There is plenty more information on what substrate’s are best for your corn snake on another page.
To find out the best substrate for your corn snake click here.
Most Recommended For Corn Snakes
Bathing Water Bowl – Click Here
Heat Lamp and Guard – Click Here
Reliable Thermometer – Click Here
Vivarium/Enclosure – Click Here
Climbing Branches – Click Here
Hydrometer – Click Here