Topsoil And Play Sand for Bearded Dragon

Topsoil and play sand are both good substrates for bearded dragon habitats, however, they should not be used together. Topsoil is a great natural substrate that can be used to create a bioactive enclosure with live plants and other beneficial microorganisms. It holds moisture well, so it’s important to mist regularly or use an automated system.

Play sand is a better choice for desert-dwelling lizards because it will hold less moisture than topsoil and prevent the development of mold or bacteria in the habitat. It also helps provide traction on inclines since bearded dragons like to climb. Both substrates need to be replaced every few months as they can become contaminated over time due to waste from your pet and uneaten food particles, which may attract pests such as mites or cockroaches. Bearded dragons are fascinating and popular reptile pets known for their gentle nature and unique appearance. As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to create a suitable habitat for your bearded dragon that mimics their natural environment. Substrate, the material lining the bottom of the enclosure, is a critical component of their habitat. Two commonly used substrates for bearded dragons are topsoil and play sand. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the benefits, considerations, and steps to create a safe and comfortable habitat using topsoil and play sand for your beloved bearded dragon.

Topsoil And Play Sand for Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons need the right substrate to live a healthy and happy life. A great option for your bearded dragon is a combination of topsoil and play sand – this will provide them with enough room to dig, search for food, exercise, and more! Make sure you check the pH balance of both substrates before combining them together in order to prevent any health complications.

Additionally, regular cleaning should be done as needed to keep their enclosure clean and hygienic. If you went to know more about topsoil and play sand for bearded dragon, keep reading!

How to Sanitize Top Soil for a Reptile Enclosure

Can I Use Topsoil for Bearded Dragons?

No, you should not use topsoil for bearded dragons. Topsoil is a mix of soil, sand, and organic matter that can contain pests or parasites that could be harmful to your dragon. In addition, it is likely to contain fertilizers that are toxic to reptiles and can cause serious health problems if ingested.

It’s best to provide your dragon with specialized reptile bedding, such as cypress mulch or exo terra reptile bark which have been specifically designed for their needs.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Substrate

Selecting the appropriate substrate for your bearded dragon’s enclosure is vital for their overall well-being. The right substrate can help maintain proper humidity levels, promote natural behaviors, facilitate digging, and provide a comfortable surface for your pet to walk on. In the case of bearded dragons, the choice often comes down to topsoil and play sand.

Topsoil is a mixture of soil and organic matter, commonly used in gardening. It is rich in nutrients and provides a naturalistic appearance to the enclosure. Topsoil helps maintain humidity levels and allows your bearded dragon to dig and burrow, a behavior seen in the wild.

Play sand, on the other hand, is fine-grain sand often used in children’s sandboxes. It is ideal for creating a desert-like environment in your bearded dragon’s enclosure and allows for digging and burrowing as well. Play sand is a popular choice due to its affordability and ease of maintenance.

In this guide, we will explore the benefits and considerations of each substrate and provide step-by-step instructions on how to set up your bearded dragon’s habitat using either topsoil or play sand.

Is Play Sand Ok for Bearded Dragons?

The short answer to this question is no; play sand should not be used as a substrate for bearded dragons. This is because it can cause impaction if ingested, which can lead to serious health issues and even death in some cases. Additionally, the dust from play sand can irritate the eyes and respiratory system of your pet beardie.

Instead of using play sand for your bearded dragon’s enclosure, opt for other substrates, such as calcium-based sands or terrarium carpeting, that are specifically designed for reptiles like bearded dragons.

What Sand And Soil Mix for Bearded Dragons?

When it comes to creating the right environment for a bearded dragon, sand and soil mix is an important part of the equation. The ideal substrate should consist of 50-50 sand and soil, such as play or potting soils that don’t contain fertilizers or additives. This will create a safe and comfortable place for your beardie to live while providing adequate drainage so their habitat stays dry.

Additionally, adding pieces of wood, bark chips, or leaves can provide extra enrichment as well as help retain moisture in terrariums with poor ventilation. Finally, you should avoid using calcium sand since this type of product has been known to cause gastrointestinal blockages if ingested by dragons.

What is the Best Topsoil for Bearded Dragons?

Bearded dragons require soil that is well-draining, lightweight, and nutrient-rich. A topsoil specifically designed for reptiles such as bearded dragons is the best option. This type of soil will contain all the essential minerals and vitamins needed to promote healthy growth and development in your pet dragon.

It should also be free of any toxins or contaminants which can harm them. Bearded dragon topsoils are usually made from a mix of organic materials like sphagnum peat moss, coconut coir fiber, vermiculite, and perlite, as well as added nutrients such as calcium carbonate and magnesium sulfate. This combination helps create an ideal substrate for providing proper hydration, insulation, and nourishment for your reptilian friend!

Topsoil And Play Sand for Bearded Dragon


Best Sand for Bearded Dragon

When choosing the right sand for your bearded dragon, it is important to consider the size and texture of the grains. Bearded dragons require a fine-grain substrate that can easily be digested if ingested. The best type of sand to use is calcium-rich play or reptile sand, as this will provide essential minerals while also helping to keep their digestive systems healthy.

Avoid using regular beach sand or other types of sharp-grained sand, which may cause injury or irritation to your pet’s skin and eyes.

Best Loose Substrate for Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons require a loose substrate in their enclosure for comfort and to allow them to burrow. In general, the best type of loose substrate for bearded dragons is either calcium sand or eco-earth. These substrates are non-toxic and absorbent and provide an adequate surface area for digging activities.

Additionally, these substrates will not be accidentally ingested by your dragon. Ensure that you clean and replace the substrate regularly to keep your dragon’s habitat clean and healthy!

How to Set Up an Enclosure with Topsoil Substrate:

  1. Prepare the Enclosure: Clean the enclosure thoroughly, removing any old substrate or debris.
  2. Select the Topsoil: Choose organic, pesticide-free topsoil from a reputable source. Avoid topsoil with added fertilizers or chemicals.
  3. Layer the Substrate: Add a layer of topsoil to the enclosure, aiming for a depth of 2-3 inches. This allows your bearded dragon to dig comfortably.
  4. Spot Cleaning: Regularly remove feces and any soiled substrate to maintain cleanliness and prevent mold growth.
  5. Humidity Control: Monitor and adjust humidity levels by misting the substrate as needed. Use a hygrometer to ensure proper humidity levels (around 30-40%).
  6. Enrichment: Consider adding live plants or decor to enrich your bearded dragon’s environment.

Bearded Dragon Substrate

When choosing a substrate for your bearded dragon, selecting one that is natural and non-toxic is important. The best options are reptile-safe sand or soil, which can be found at pet stores. When selecting a substrate, make sure to avoid anything containing particles that could be inhaled by the lizard, such as wood shavings or gravel.

Additionally, never use cedar chips as they contain oils that may cause respiratory issues in reptiles. Bearded dragons also need areas of their enclosure with no substrate so they can properly bask and burrow when needed.

Diy Bearded Dragon Substrate

Topsoil And Play Sand for Bearded Dragon

DIY Bearded Dragon Substrate is a great way to provide your pet with an optimal habitat. It’s important to create a substrate that mimics the natural environment of the bearded dragon, providing them with the necessary nutrients and material they need for proper digestion and absorption of their food. DIY substrates can be made from items such as potting soil, sand, coco coir, peat moss, lava rock, or reptile carpeting; each having its own benefits and drawbacks.

Properly mixed together in correct ratios will ensure your bearded dragon lives in comfortable conditions while also being safe from any potential health hazards.

When Can Bearded Dragons Have Sand?

Bearded dragons can have sand as a substrate once they reach adulthood, usually around 9-12 months old. It is highly recommended that you use calcium-based sands like play sand or natural desert sand as it will provide essential minerals to your bearded dragon while helping to maintain the correct pH levels in their enclosure. Before using sand, ensure that all pieces are of uniform size and free from any dust or debris.

Additionally, avoid buying white or colored calcium sands as these can contain dyes and chemicals that may be harmful to your pet.

Best Substrate for Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons require a substrate that is low in dust, absorbent, and can maintain the correct temperature. The best substrates for bearded dragons are calcium-based sands such as Zoo Med ReptiSand or Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate. These materials help to maintain humidity levels while providing an easy-to-clean spotless environment.

They also provide traction and insulation, which helps keep your pet warm or cool depending on their needs at any given time.

Bearded Dragon Substrate Mix

Bearded dragon substrate mix should be a combination of organic materials that are safe for the reptile and easy to clean. The most popular substrate mixes contain items like sand, coconut fiber, orchid bark, peat moss, and vermiculite. It is important to choose a mix with no additives or chemicals as they can be harmful to the bearded dragon’s health.

Additionally, it is important to monitor the humidity levels inside their tank so that the substrate does not become too wet and cause skin irritation in your pet.

Bioactive Substrate for Bearded Dragons

Bioactive substrates are a great way to create a more natural habitat for your bearded dragon. These substrates provide them with plenty of beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms that they need in order to stay healthy and active, as well as provide them with an interesting environment to explore. Not only can the substrate provide nutrition, but it also helps keep their enclosure clean by breaking down waste materials.

Because of this, bioactive substrates are often used in place of traditional sand or gravel-based bedding options.

How to Set Up an Enclosure with Play Sand Substrate:

  1. Prepare the Enclosure: Clean the enclosure thoroughly, removing any old substrate or debris.
  2. Select the Play Sand: Purchase child-safe play sand from a reputable source. Avoid sand with added chemicals or contaminants.
  3. Layer the Substrate: Add a layer of play sand to the enclosure, aiming for a depth of 2-3 inches. This provides ample space for burrowing.
  4. Spot Cleaning: Regularly remove feces and soiled substrate to maintain a clean environment.
  5. Ingestion Prevention: Place food dishes on elevated surfaces to minimize the risk of sand ingestion while feeding.
  6. Hydration: Ensure your bearded dragon has access to clean water at all times. Proper hydration is essential, especially when using a dry substrate like play sand.


In conclusion, providing a bearded dragon with the right substrate is essential for its health and well-being. Topsoil and play sand are both viable options that provide adequate nutrition to a bearded dragons while also allowing them to dig and burrow just as they would in nature. Ultimately, it’s up to you which one of these substrates you decide to use in your terrarium; however, make sure that whichever option you choose is safe for your pet lizard. Thank you for reading our post about topsoil and play sand for bearded dragon.

The choice between topsoil and play sand substrate for your bearded dragon ultimately depends on your preferences and the specific needs of your pet. Both substrates offer unique benefits and considerations. Regardless of your choice, maintaining a clean and hygienic enclosure is crucial for your bearded dragon’s health and well-being.

Remember to regularly monitor your bearded dragon’s behavior, appearance, and appetite. Any signs of discomfort or illness should be promptly addressed by a qualified veterinarian with experience in reptile care. By providing the right substrate and a suitable environment, you can ensure that your bearded dragon thrives in captivity and enjoys a happy, healthy life in your care.

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