Sudan Plated Lizard Substrate Options

sudan plated lizard substrate photo - sand
Contributed by Rene Mantei

Sudan plated lizard substrate is the material used to cover the floor of your pet’s enclosure — in other words, bedding. While it may seem like mostly an aesthetic choice, the substrate you use also plays a role in humidity retention, foot cushioning, keeping nails filed, and encouraging natural behaviors such as digging.

Best plated lizard substrates

In their natural habitat, Sudan plated lizard substrate is sandy, nutrient-poor soil, and their bodies have adapted to running around on and even occasionally ingesting this material. So the best plated lizard substrates are going to mimic natural conditions:

Sudan plated lizards need at least 4-6” (10cm) of substrate for digging and burrowing. Some sources recommend a deeper substrate layer approximately 1/3 of the enclosure’s total height. So for a 36” tall enclosure, the substrate layer would be 10-12” deep to facilitate optimal burrowing.

A note on bioactive substrates

Bioactive enclosures are often considered “self-cleaning” because they harness the processes of nature to keep bacteria and mold in check. They take a lot of work to set up, but once you have it going, they’re fairly low-maintenance and absolutely beautiful. For more information on how to get started with bioactivity, read my blog posts on the subject and join Bioactive Reptile & Amphibian Setups USA on Facebook.

Okay plated lizard substrates

These substrates are cheap, sterile, and make cleaning easy. They’re not a good permanent option, but work well for a plated lizard in quarantine.

  • Paper towels
  • Newspaper

Bad plated lizard substrates

These substrates pose significant heath risks to your pet plated lizard, and should not be used at all.

  • Calcium/vitamin sand
  • Ground walnut shell
  • Coconut fiber (ex: Eco Earth, Plantation Soil)
  • Reptile carpet

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