best substrate for blue tongue skinks

Best Substrate For Blue Tongue Skinks: A Complete Guide

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If you have already made up your mind to bring a new Blue Tongue Skink in your home, but you are still confused about which substrate to use, then don’t be so. I get your frustration over deciding & choosing the best substrate for blue tongue skinks. Being a first-time lizard owner can also be overwhelming. In this article, I will tell you what are the best substrates for blue tongue skinks.
 
I’ve talked about the substrate requirement according to different subspecies of blue tongue skink. Choosing the best substrate in a market full of varieties can be daunting and overwhelming. Just because of this reason, I came up with a list of the substrates that you can use for blue tongue skink. Let’s first quickly know what the best substrates for blue tongue skinks are.

What Is The Best Substrate For Blue Tongue Skinks?

Cypress Mulch, Leaf Litter, Coco Fiber, Aspen Wood Bedding, & Paper towel are the best substrates for blue tongue skinks. Online, you can find reptile prime coconut fiber as the best substrate for its easy to clean, non-toxic, absorbent, and naturally encouraging burrowing qualities. 

There are many other substrates in the market full of different types and qualities; it can be confusing to select the most suitable one. Let’s learn in detail if you want to invest in a substrate or not. Here, further, we will discuss the best substrates for blue tongue skink and its subspecies in more detail.

Best Substrate For Blue Tongue Skinks

best substrate for blue tongue skinks
best substrate for blue tongue skinks

Here are the best substrate for blue tongue skinks and how they are helpful.


Paper Towels

Paper towels might not look appealing, but it is cheap and readily available. You can easily change it as well. It is always considered as one of the best substrate types for juvenile blue tongue skink. If you are planning to clean their faeces, paper covers help greatly. It is also best for quarantining young blue tongue skinks. It not only helps in removing your skin’s faeces, but you can also use it if your skink is suffering from parasites or illness.


Aspenwood Bedding.

Believe it or not but I recently learned that aspen wood bedding makes the best choice for any blue tongue skink species. Aspenwood bedding tends to be very lightweight and easy to place or remove. It also helps in absorbing the smell and the waste, making it perfect for the skink. It also encourages burrowing. If you want to keep your blue tongue skink in a naturalistic-looking enclosure, consider adding aspen wood bedding.

However, it would help if you made sure of the comfort level of your skin. When choosing an aspen wood bedding, consider getting hypoallergenic and filtered considerable savings or chips. Avoid getting aspen wood dust or small pieces as your skink is likely to be ingested and choke them.

Cypress Mulch

The blue tongue skink species who need lower humidity levels also need substrate like Cypress mulch. Cyprus mulch like substrate, will always keep their bedding dry. 

Coco fiber

I have recently learned that Coco fiber works great for blue tongue skink requiring higher humidity. Although they are great for lizards that need higher humidity, Coco fibre can promote microorganisms’ growth. Another concern of having a Coco fiber substrate is that a blue tongue skink can ingest it. However, you can always use Coco fiber to create a bioactive setup.

Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Substrate

It is one of those perfect substrates that you might be looking for. It is 100% organic but expensive. It is excellent for all blue tongue skinks and their subspecies. It is recommended to mix this prime coconut fiber substrate with Cypress mulch or topsoil.

The most significant benefit of having this substrate is its ability to retain humidity. It is odorless, easy to clean, absorbent, and 100% organic. It also smells great and is dust-free. The most significant advantages of having reptile coconut fiber are the following.

  • It is eco-friendly.
  • It is best for all blue tanks, Skinks, and its subspecies.
  • It comes in a recyclable and reusable bag.
  • It gives your lizard a natural feel.
  • It effectively absorbs water and waste.
  • It is excellent in reducing foul odor & smell great.
  • It is dust-free and can even use it to plant flowers.

Inadequate Substrate For Blue Tongue Skinks

inadequate substrate for blue tongue skinks
inadequate substrate for blue tongue skinks

Inadequate Substrate For Blue Tongue Skink
Why Avoid
Walnut Shells 
Blue Tongue Skinks Can Inhale/Ingest This Material While Eating Or Searching For Insects.
Sawdust
If Skink Inhales, It Can Cause Respiratory Issues. Plus, It is Dusty.
The Bark Of The Orchid
Impaction Risks & Injury Risk
Soil From The Outside
Outdoor Soil Carries Many Microorganisms & Bacterias, If Skink Ingest, It Can Be Fatal
Massive/Large Rocks
When Skink Trying To Swallow Small & Large Rocks, It Can Choke or Cause Injury.
Sand 
Sand Tends To Be Very Fine, Easy To Ingest. It Is Extremely Likely To Cause Impaction
Conifer Wood Shavings
Cedar, Fir, Pines Etc. Are Toxic And Can Cause Respiratory Problems



What Substrate To Use For Blue Tongue Skink

Here, we’ll discuss what substrate you can use for blue tongue skink according to its subspecies. 

Blue Tongue Skinks SpeciesSuitable Substrates
Indonesian Blue Tongue SkinksCoconut Fibre Mixed With Peat Moss & Some Cypress Mulch
Eastern Blue Tongue SkinksSugar Cane Mulch
Kei Island Blue Tongue SkinksCypress Mulch Mixed With Sphagnum Moss
Shingleback Blue Tongue SkinksSugar Cane Mulch
Tanimbar Blue Tongue SkinksCypress Mulch Mixed With Topsoil
Northern Blue Tongue SkinksAspen Wood Shavings Or Chips With No Additives
Western Blue Tongue SkinksRecycled Paper Bedding
Irian Jaya Blue Tongue SkinksCoco Fiber Mixed With Peat Moss 
Centralian Blue Tongue SkinksSugar Cane Mulch
Halmahera Blue Tongue SkinksLeaf Litter Mixed With Topsoil & Coco Fiber
Blotched Blue Tongue SkinksCypress Mulch With No Additives
Merauke Blue Tongue SkinksLeaf Litter Mixed With Topsoil & Sphagnum Moss




FAQ

Do Blue Tongue Skinks Need Substrates?

Yes. Blue Tongue Skinks need substrate to thrive, be happy and feel at home, but substrate should not be lose particle-based. I would highly recommend you only use non-particle substrate in your blue tongue skink tank. 

Loose particle substrates such as alfalfa pellets, crushed walnut shells, play sand, calcium sand, and millet are potential health risks to your blue tongue skink. At the same time, non-particle substrates like newspaper, reptile carpet, ceramic tile, leaf litters, paper towels, and rubber shelf liners are all-around safer options.

How Deep Should Blue Tongue Skink Substrate Be?

It is always recommended to pack the substrate 4-6 inches deep in your blue tongue skink tank for best results. It should be composed of natural materials and easy to dig. Although the substrate needs to be loose and easy to dig, it should not pose an impaction risk or issue if ingested. 

Is Forest Floor Good For Blue Tongue Skink?

Yes, the forest floor is suitable for blue tongue skink species that need lower humidity levels. It is also ideal for other species with high humidity level requirements, but the moisture and temperature level needs to be monitored by the owners. Overall, the forest floor doesn’t interfere with the humidity and temperature gradient inside the enclosure.

Best Substrate For Northern Blue Tongue Skinks

Recycled paper, sugar cane mulch, Cypress mulch, aspen wood chips, aspen wood shavings, and paper towels are considered the best substrate for Northern blue tongue skink. Northern blue tongue skinks need lower humidity, and these substrates provide everything by keeping it constant. Eco Earth substrate is another alternative.

Best Substrate For Indonesian Blue Tongue Skinks

As Indonesian blue tongue skink need high humidity level, substrate like coco fiber mixed with peat moss and some Cypress mulch, Cypress mulch mixed with coco fiber, topsoil mixed with Cypress mulch, Coco chips, leaf litter mixed with topsoil, and Sphagnum moss are best. Sphagnum Moss mixed with topsoil & leaf debris are another best substrate for Indonesian blue tongue skink.

Final Thoughts

I hope I have managed to give you all the information needed on the best substrate for the blue tongue skink. If you have any other concerns regarding the substrate, please let me know in the comment section. Share this guide with the others to help them find a suitable substrate according to their skink subspecies. If you liked our article, then please share it with the audience to appreciate us.

Make sure to check out our comprehensive guide on how to care for blue tongue skinks. Let’s meet on another article as well till then, take care and goodbye.

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