Best substrate for sand boa

What are the best substrates for breeding sand boas ? Currently using sani chips…


I have heard a lot of people have been successful using 50% dry coco fiber and 50% play sand mix. I don’t keep them so this is just what I have heard people using and recommending. I don’t know anything about sani chips but I looked them up quickly and they seem like they would also work well.


I’ve found sani chips to be the best substrate for my group of sand boas as well.


I use shredded aspen, though I suspect chipped aspen would work just as well if not better.


I have seen a lot of people go with sani chips as a sand substitute, since it behaves a bit like sand and you can get it in those huge bulk bags. (I also have not owned sand boas but this is just what I’ve seen around here and from other responsible keepers)


I don’t breed sand boas but I have kept them in the past and I have one now. I agree with @jawramik about using shredded aspen. My boy does very well in it with no shedding issues at all. I had a breeder tell me a long time ago that sand alone was one of the worst things to keep a sand boa in because of the lack of humidity it provides. Sand boas need more humidity than one would think. He kept all of his in shredded aspen.

I’m not criticizing any of the other suggestions at all because obviously other substrates can work well too! :+1::snake::blush:


I personally would recommend shredded aspen.


It’s going to vary on your climate. I’ve kept mine on aspen before and she didn’t have the best sheds. I offered her a humid hide and she spent 90% of her time in there. So I switched to a dirt mix and kept one corner moist to give her different options

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Yes so true. Climate definitely plays a big part……

We have a few breeding pairs and the last 2 years we have been keeping ours on wood chip/shavings. It will hold tunnels, keeps good humidity in our dry climate, easy to clean, and seems easy for them to get off prey items and out if their mouth. We keep in a ve rack and tubs for reference.


My sand boa is in a tub as well which helps with humidity. The shavings in your picture look like the shredded aspen. Pretty sand boas too! I make check into the shavings……

Thank you for sharing! :blush::snake::pray:


I like it. Thanks

My sand boa was kept on play sand for the first 10 years of her life before she came to me. She was perfectly healthy and her previous keeper said she never had any issues shedding. I’ve heard of other people keeping them on sand with no reported issues, so I think they can probably be just fine on sand…but I don’t think it’s the best.

I opted to switch to aspen for a few reasons. First of all, sand is heavy. And messy. I hate dealing with it, hoisting bags of it, having it get everywhere when I had to lift the snake or any of her decor out of the enclosure. I also didn’t like that it didn’t hold tunnels. Sand just collapses in on itself. Lastly, I felt like it was too easy for her to ingest substrate with the really fine sand that stuck to her f/t mice. Aspen doesn’t stick to the mice nearly so much, it’s lighter, it hold tunnels, and it’s not quite so messy. I definitely think there are better options than sand. I think a lot of people just assume they should use sand because they’re called sand boas, but in reality, in the wild, they’ll live in any area with soil loose enough to burrow into.


Yes I agree with you that sand boas can and are kept on sand with no issues. And yes, because they are called “sand” boas, I suppose it could be natural to assume that sand should be the substrate of choice. Imho, risk of impaction looms the greatest issue if the boa is fed its enclosure. That’s a biggie. All of the other inconveniences you mentioned would put sand at the bottom of the list for me.

But of course to each his own as long as the snake is well cared for. That’s should be all that counts in the end! :heart::blush::snake::sunglasses: