thesheezy said: So I recently got a sand boa, and I have it on crushed walnut shells because that was what it was on in store, and I don't feed it in its tank so it wont get impacted, but do you have any suggestions for a good substrate that still looks nice in the tank? I love the dessert look and was hoping to keep it that way, but my snakes well being comes first.
Many sand boas don’t truly live in a real desert like one imagines, they will inhabit semi-arid scrublands and similar habitats, as well as craggy/rocky regions. While it’s nice to make something that looks ‘natural’ for these snakes, it’s not always the safest idea.
I don’t like the crushed walnut because it is an impaction risk, you are correct. However, I am a proponent of feeding these snakes in their enclosures. If yours feeds outside of it’s enclosure, that’s fantastic, but IMO if the snake ever gives you feeding troubles, the first thing you should do is offer food in the enclosure.
As for substrate, nothing beats fine aspen or beta chip. It is lightweight, not dusty, quite safe to use, absorbent, and easy to spot clean. It’s also very inexpensive- I buy huge bags of it from a co-op for maybe $15, and two bags will do my entire collection.
Aspen chip is lighter in colour and may give the look you desire. Personally, I’d use this and maybe add some desert-looking cage furniture to make it look nice, if that is your thing.