Reptiles and Amphibians
Bedding Guide: Choose the Right Bedding and Substrate for Your Reptiles and Amphibians.
Bedding is part of the décor, the overall feel of the terrarium, and helps create a natural habitat. Animals bury themselves in it to hide, and many pets rely on it for nesting material. Its insulation value warms cold-blooded herps, and tropical pets appreciate the humidity it can provide. So choosing bedding, litter, or liner with the right attributes makes a significant impact on the daily well-being and, ultimately, the lifespan of your pet.
Substrate Properties Chart
Cage Substrates: Zilla
- Promotes the transfer of heat and moisture inside the enclosure
- 100% organic, made from natural bark
- Oven-dried to eliminate pests
- Ideal bedding depth in the enclosure is 1 to 2-inches, remove and replace bedding as needed
- Ideal for chameleons, frogs, snakes, skinks, and rainforest geckos.
Coconut Husk Brick
- Made from 100% organic coconut fiber
- Highly absorbent bedding retains moisture and expands to cover the bottom of a 55-gallon enclosure
- Keeps terrarium humidity at a high level
- Ideal bedding depth in enclosure is 1 to 2-inches, remove and replace bedding as needed
- Ideal for chameleons, rainforest geckos, frogs, toads, and egg incubation
- Ground English walnut shells replicate a natural environment
- Will not scratch glass like sand
- Stimulates natural digging and burrowing behavior
- Ideal bedding depth in enclosure is 1 to 2-inches, remove and replace bedding monthly
- Ideal for desert dwelling reptiles such as adult bearded dragons, monitors, desert skinks, and Uromastyx
- Sphagnum moss and fir shavings blend
- 100% natural which is ideal for tropical and forest habitats
- Retains high level of humidity
- Perfect bedding depth in enclosure is 1 to 2-inches, remove and replace bedding as needed
- Ideal for frogs, rainforest geckos, toads, and snakes
Snake & Lizard Litter
- Laboratory grade aspen chips
- The choice of many professional herpetologists
- Hypo-allergenic contains no harmful oils
- Chip size makes spot cleaning easy
- Ideal for snakes, monitors, skinks, and geckos
Reptile Bedding & Litter
- 100% Natural alfalfa-based bedding is not harmful when eaten
- Safe for herbivorous and carnivorous reptiles
- Ultra-absorbent bedding
- Ideal bedding depth in enclosure is 1 to 2-inches, remove and replace bedding as needed
- Ideal for all habitats, especially iguanas, monitors, juvenile bearded dragons, land turtles and tortoises
- A low maintenance bedding, cut to size as needed
- Safe because it cannot be digested like other substrates, a good alternative especially for juvenile reptiles
- Treated to reduce odors
- Easy to clean with cold tap water
- Absorbent, non-abrasive material will not irritate reptiles
- All-natural beaked moss holds moisture and maintains humidity
- Provides a realistic setting by providing a lush green landscape
- Completely natural (no dyes or chemicals)
- Ideal for chameleons, frogs, green anoles, toads, rainforest geckos, salamanders, newts
Cage Substrates: Zoo Med
Hermit Soil™ is a compressed coconut fiber substrate that is ideal for Hermit Crab enclosures. It increases humidity and allows burrowing. Mix with Hermit Crab Sand, or use alone.
- Naturally absorbs odor and breaks down waste products.
- One compressed brick will expand to make 7-8 liters of substrate.
- Made from an eco-friendly, renewable resource.
Laboratory Grade Heat Treated Aspen Wood Chips for all types of adult desert lizards or snakes. Highly absorbent bedding that clumps, making it easy to clean and remove waste.
- Free of shavings, slivers, excessive dust (99% dust-free), and foreign material
- Excellent for Bearded Dragons, Uromastyx Lizards, Geckos, Desert type Skinks, Boas, Pythons, Rat Snakes, (Corn Snakes), King Snakes, and other desert reptile species.
A special blend of Peat Moss, soil, sand, and carbon.
- Create tropical set-ups in Naturalistic Terrariums and Paludariums.
- Burrowing and egg-laying substrate allows for natural behaviors.
- Plant Growing soil for live plants such as:
- Miniature Orchids.
- And/or Carnivorous Plants.
- Added carbon helps to aerate the soil and improve the drainage of ReptiSoil™.
A natural, fine quartz desert sand. The sand stimulates natural digging and burrowing behavior.
- Makes for a great egg-laying medium when mixed 50/50 with Zoo Med’s Eco Earth® Substrate.
- Excellent for Bearded Dragons and other agamid lizards
- Leopard Geckos
- Soft-Shell Turtles (Aquarium application)
- Tarantulas & Scorpions
- Uromastyx Lizards
- Sand Boas
- Sandfish Lizards
- Collared Lizards
- Desert Iguanas
- Desert and Semi-Terrestrial Skinks (Schneiders, Ocellated, or Sand)
- Leopard Lizards (Gambelia Sp.)
- Girdle-tailed, Plated, or Armadillo-Type Lizards
- Burrowing Frogs (Spadefoot, True Toads), and more.
Aquatic River Pebbles
All-natural river rock pebbles for aquatic turtle aquarium or terrariums. Rocks create a natural river bed look in your enclosure. Safe for all sizes of aquatic turtles. Easy to clean and reusable.
- Great For Red-eared Sliders, Map Turtles, Painted Turtles, Musk Turtles, Cooters, and other fully aquatic turtles.
- NOT for softshell turtles. Use Zoo Med’s ReptiSand®
Aspen Snake Bedding
#1 Preferred snake bedding by professional herpetoculturists worldwide! It provides a safe, naturalistic substrate that allows snakes, lizards, and small animals to form burrows and nests as they would in the wild. It has a 191% absorbency rating and is odorless-safe for all snakes.
- No toxic oils like cedar and other similar wood shavings.
- Also used for birds, lizards, tortoises, turtles, tarantulas, and insects.
- Green products made from renewable resources.
- Easy to clean.
- 99.9% dust-free.
ReptiSand® – Natural Red
ReptiSand® Natural Red and Desert White are natural sand colors with no added dyes or chemicals. It stimulates natural digging and burrowing behavior and is an excellent heat conductor. ReptiSand® creates a very naturalistic and attractive environment for desert reptile species. Great for bearded dragons, sand boas, softshell turtles, etc.
ReptiSand® – Desert White
ReptiSand® Desert White and Natural Red are natural sand colors with no added dyes or chemicals. It stimulates natural digging and burrowing behavior and is an excellent heat conductor. ReptiSand® creates a very naturalistic and attractive environment for desert reptile species. Great for Bearded Dragons, Sand Boas, soft-shell turtles, etc.
All Natural Vitamin-Fortified Calcium Carbonate Substrate. No artificial colors or color sealers. Excellent substrate for Bearded Dragons, Uromastyx Lizards, monitors, geckos (including Leopard Geckos), and desert tortoises.
- Vita-Sand® increases calcium delivery in all desert species of reptiles.
- Fortified with vitamins and beta carotene for increased health benefits.
- It does not contain fat-soluble vitamins, which can be toxic in large doses.
- Ultrafine grade to help prevent impaction from overconsumption.
- Available in 6 colors.
Eco Earth® Coconut Fiber Substrate
Eco Earth® Coconut Fiber Substrate is an eco-friendly product made from the husks of coconuts and is safely composted or recycled into potted plants or gardens.
- Ideal for naturalistic terrarium type set-ups incorporating reptiles, amphibians, or invertebrates.
- Use it damp for tropical species as it naturally absorbs and breaks down odor and waste products.
- Available in loose and compressed brick.
- Add Eco Earth® Coconut Fiber Substrate on top of Zoo Med’s HydroBalls® to create an ideal drainage layer for optimum plant growth, humidity, and drainage in naturalistic terrariums.
Soft, absorbent, non-abrasive carpet for many species of snakes, lizards, tortoises, and insects. Better than non-absorbent Astro-turf type carpets, made of plastic. Great for use as a protective layer when using the ReptiTherm® U.T.H. and loose substrates.
- Now with sizes compatible with small and medium Reptibreeze.
- New colors available, green and tan.
- Made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.
- Washable and easy to clean.
- Safe: Cannot be accidentally ingested by your animals.
- Eco Carpet™ was previously known as Repti Cage Carpet.
Completely natural moss cage substrate for amphibians and wetland environment reptiles.
- Great for use in humidifying shelters for all types of reptiles and amphibians.
- Excellent for use as an egg-laying and incubation medium for a variety of reptiles.
- Available in 5 sizes, including a mini compressed bale size for multiple terrariums.
Forest Floor™ Bedding
Zoo Med’s Forest Floor™ is a natural cypress mulch substrate. It provides your terrarium with a natural “forest floor” look while retaining moisture to provide humidity to the enclosure. Great for snakes, amphibians, or tropical species of tortoises.
Zoo Med’s ReptiBark® made from the bark of fir trees. The perfect substrate for humidity loving reptiles due to its ability to absorb moisture and then release it into the terrarium. Also, the smaller chips provide better moisture retention while preventing live food from hiding in your substrate. Naturally decorative, ReptiBark® provides your terrarium with that tropical rainforest look. ReptiBark® is washable and re-useable.
HydroBalls™ Expanded Clay Terrarium Substrate can be used as a base layer underneath substrates to create an underground water table in your pet’s Terrarium. Add water to create a natural “aquifer” and increase humidity levels for all tropical species. Excellent substrate for live plant root growth in Naturalistic Terrariums®. Use for filtration for a waterfall.
New Zealand Sphagnum Moss
Zoo Med’s New Zealand Sphagnum Moss is preferred over any other type of moss for terrarium use due to its unique softness and amazing moisture-holding ability. This lush, carpet-like moss can hold moisture up to 20 times its dry weight.
- Great for live plants and incredibly long-lasting; after other substrates have decomposed, this moss remains usable and, when washed, is reused several times.
- Harvested using sustainable methods to ensure that it will be around for future generations.
- Holds more water and stays moist longer than any other type of moss.
- Natural compounds in moss prevent it from decomposing in humid environments.
- Excellent top substrate for Zoo Med’s Naturalistic Terrariums.
- For use with most species of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and invertebrates, including Hermit Crabs. And can be used with small snakes, including Green Snakes, Ribbon Snakes, Garter Snakes, etc.
ReptiSand® – Midnight Black
This beautiful “Midnight Black” sand is for all species of desert reptiles. Black sand highlights the colors of all albino and pastel color morphs of lizards and snakes and stimulates natural digging and burrowing behavior. Natural color! No added dyes or chemicals.
This moss is an entirely natural frog moss for frogs, toads, salamanders, garter or green snakes, and all other moss environment species. Use as a top substrate or decorative accent in vivarium/terrarium applications.
- Frog Moss (also called “Pillow Moss”) will come back to life and grow in proper terrarium conditions.
- A beautiful, decorative living moss to accent your naturalistic terrarium.
- Increases humidity in terrariums, making it perfect for all high humidity loving species of reptiles or amphibians.
- When washed, Zoo Med’s Frog Moss can be reused several times before needing to be replaced with new moss.