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:
- DIY naturalistic mix — 50% play sand, 30% plain topsoil, 20% Zoo Med Excavator Clay. Very inexpensive, ingredients can be found at most home improvement stores (except for the clay).
- Lugarti Natural Reptile Bedding — Packs well when prepared correctly, and offers lots of burrowing potential.
- The BioDude Terra Sahara bioactive kit — Complete bioactive substrate kit for semi-arid species. If you set up your bioactive correctly, you won’t have to change out the substrate for years!
- Josh’s Frogs Desert BioBedding Bioactive Substrate — Bioactive-ready substrate base. Performs well with packing down, good drainage, and supporting plants. Smells great, too!
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
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
Keep reading about Sudan plated lizard care:
- Introduction to Sudan Plated Lizards
- Shopping List
- Enclosure Size Requirements
- Lighting & UVB Requirements
- Heating & Temperature Requirements
- Humidity Requirements
- Substrate Options
- Decorating the Enclosure
- Feeding Your Sudan Plated Lizard
- Handling and Taming Tips
- Common Illnesses and General Health Information
- Additional Resources