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Husbandry and Basic Care General stuff about keeping and maintaining cornsnakes in captivity.

aspen/eco earth
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Old 11-20-2009, 12:36 PM   #1
aspen/eco earth

hi all, i still dont want my corn yet... (damn expo is taking too long to
anyway i already ordered a 16 quart bag of aspen from that site!!!) but now i am thinking of putting eco earth instead( the cages on youtube just look so damn cool).. but i know that corn snakes like to borrow in things.. i was just wondering does anyone know if it is ok if I do half aspen and half eco earth.. it is going to be in a 20 gallon long is 30 inch long x 12 in x12..and i wanted to get some vines and stuff for it to climb around. I want a jungle theme but i dont think a corn snake will borrow into the eco earth.
Also i will be feeding F/T outside of main tank in a rubbermaid tub. so no impaction( i hope).. i would like it to feel good and alone and get to borrow which is why i am getting about half apsen since i already bought it anyway..
PLease help someone..thanks alot
Old 11-20-2009, 12:54 PM   #2
When we first started keeping corns we used eco earth. The only thing I didn't like about it was our anery would burrow in it, get her nostrils blocked and sneeze a lot. After that we switched to aspen. No issues now.
Old 11-20-2009, 01:16 PM   #3
I use eco earth with all of our snakes. I have never once had an issue with it. I know most here on this site use aspen but I don't like the way it looks. The eco earth just has a more natural look to it. 6 years now and no issues here.
Old 11-20-2009, 02:19 PM   #4
Teddy Roosevelt
Snakes can burrow in aspen as well. I would say it depends more on how much humidity you need. For example, I have aspen and I regret it a bit now because it's quite dry in AZ and difficult to keep the tank humid without covering it with plastic. Afer I change the tank this month, I may get a package of eco-earth and mix it with the aspen on a 1:3 ratio, earth:aspen. Except for their ability to hold humidity, there is little difference. Although if you're not a fan of cleaning up, the eco earht may be more time-consuming.
Old 11-20-2009, 02:22 PM   #5
I won't deny that at all... eco earth is more time consuming during clean up.
Old 11-20-2009, 07:51 PM   #6
I don't mind the whole clean up thing... I don't think that one baby corn snake should make that much of a mess...and the whole reason I am asking this is because after getting the aspen in the mail..I just don't like the way it look anymore. I live in ny so it is not really that dry.but its started to get cold now.. I just think that the eco earth looks more real..I was thinking about use the eco earth and let it dry out before adding the snake.. do the people that use eco earth leave it dry or keep it moist by misting.?
Old 11-20-2009, 08:07 PM   #7
Also to pepper: does the ratio of aspen to eco earth work for you?...does the aspen get all over the placce or does it stay at one end
Old 11-20-2009, 10:59 PM   #8
Just my experience and opinion here...but I would not use it for a couple of reasons.

1. We used it for our very first snake and it loved to burrow in it. We thought this was great for it must have made the snake feel like it would if it was in the wild. One of the problems was the Eco Earth when dry is quite dusty and fine, it would get in the nostrils of the snake, this problem also occurred if we kept it moist, but then it seemed to pack the nostrils till they were plugged. Over time the snake started to sneeze quite a bit.

2. When the snake releases it's excrement it has urates, stool and a liquid substance(sorry do not know the technical name), all of which contain bacteria and microbes. In the Aspen it all soaks up in the shavings directly around the actual excrement making it almost completely removable. In the Eco Earth the liquid portion soaks into the minute fibrous particles and does not always from a nice neat clump to remove, esp. if the Eco Earth is moist at all. Thus bacteria, microbes and parasites have a better chance to be spread in the Eco Earth.

3. When both moist and dry Eco Earth is very easily tracked into the snakes water bowl. This can then be drank and potentially cause impaction, not as much of a concern with bigger snakes but it is more of a concern with the smaller younger hatchlings and juveniles. Aspen is seldom tracked into the water dish and is shredded or shaved large enough that it generally can't be drank.

4. Add behavior 1.(burrowing and inadvertently inhaling the Eco Earth) to issue 2. (higher chances of bacteria, microbe and parasite growth in the substrate) and you have a higher chance for a respiratory infection which happened with our first snake, whom we no longer have.

After the incident with the first snake, we immediately changed to Aspen. I find it is much easier to spot clean, the viv/tank/tub stays cleaner, don't have to change the water daily due to substrate in it, all of our snakes love to burrow in it, it is far cheaper and it is recommended by the reptile vet.

I am not saying that others have not managed with it, this is just my experience and opinion. Some thoughts to consider.
Old 11-20-2009, 11:07 PM   #9
The only time I used EcoEarth was as a trial in my ATB's viv to see if it would help with the humidity. She ended up getting mites. I'm not necessarily saying it was from the bedding, but I wouldn't doubt it, as she was completely healthy prior to that and none of my other snakes had them (the only difference between her and the others is that she was on EcoEarth instead of aspen or ReptiBark). Needless to say, I don't use it anymore...

Aspen is great for the corns. You can get it in a few different types, shredded, Sani-Chips, regular small animal type shavings, so you might find one that you like the looks of. I personally prefer the shredded for my younger corns and I'm going to be trying the Sani-Chips once I find a place to get it at a reasonable cost.
Old 11-20-2009, 11:32 PM   #10
WOW asbit you are just great... i surely will not be using eco earth, i guess i will just deal with the look of the aspen and make it look nice in the tank. thanks alot. by the way, what kind of decoration do you guys have in the tank? any vines? or plants?... also is there a section on this forum for showing your tank set up..if not i think we should start one. I would love to see how some people have their corn's tank.

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