Coconut Fiber vs Cypress mulch vs other

Which do you use? Why?

There is

Coconut husk (fiber) very fine great with smaller animals, messy with larger animals, absorbent and holds humidity well.

Coconut chips larger pieces of coconut, soft, absorbent and hold humidity well.

Cypress much large hard pieces of cypress, pointy and sharp edges at time, hold humidity well. Cypress mulch found in your local store such as home depot are often blends of different wood.

I use coco fiber for hatchling hognose and adult sand boas as it promotes their natural behaviour.

I use coconut chips with some BP and Carpets


Do you switch the hog noses to Aspen then?

Yes I keep my adults on aspen.

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Do you find the sharp edges of cypress mulch too risky for your reptiles? I have used aspen due to not keeping high humidity reptiles until recently, so these substrates are new to me.

We use all of those things. Depends on species. We use 100% Cypress mulch that is double or triple milled not the stuff home depot or home supply stores sell. No sharp edges at all. It’s actually fairly soft for a wood fiber product.

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Prepping a new block of repti chip tonight. I like the method I use:

  1. cut the top off the bag with utility knife
  2. pull out the card in the side.
  3. Fill the bag with block inside about halfway ish with lukewarm water.
  4. Wait 5 ish minutes, flip block (Still in bag)over
  5. Wait another 5-10 mins, cut off bag, block falls apart in the bin.

Use more or less water depending on your desired dampness of substrate.

I gathered this technique from Morph Mixology on YT. Like it much better than the original method I saw that included dunking the whole block under water and holding it then flipping it over and lifting it manually into holding bin.

First time I did that I dunked it for too long and the now 40lb block disintegrated in my arms and all over my bathtub/bathroom floor when I tried to lift it out lol. Working smarter not harder :joy:


I keep ball pythons, boas and carpets. I use Cypress and Coco husk chips. Cypress mulch holds humidity well but like someone else said it is a coarser mulch and can be in hard chips. I have used it alone but is “flattens” down in the bottom of the tub more than I like. What I do currently is mix cypress and coco just to make coco last a little longer. I have liked mixing it about half and half and it has worked well for me.
I use sani-chips for juvenile ball pythons because that rack holds more humidity and doesn’t need the coco. But all adults are on coco/cypress or a mix of both.

Full disclosure I botched this last night lol didn’t flip it over fast enough so all the water soaked into one half of the block then after I took it out I had to add water to the dry chunk left little by little and it was not working smarter haha

New question on this topic. Recently I have heard staff in a local reptile shop I get supplies from telling new customers to use cypress instead of coco because when coco dries out it then sucks moisture from your reptile whereas cypress does not. I have been keeping/breeding for many years now and frequent this shop over those years but have only recently heard them giving that advice. It’s not product sales related as they have plenty of both in stock so its not like they’re pushing 1 for Inventory reasons.
Does anyone have any knowledge/proof of that happening? What are your resources for info?

In the past I have used both but switched to only coco(chunk & fine) as I don’t like the longer slivery pieces from cypress and have more concern for mouth splinter infections or impaction if ingested. I haven’t heard or read of this coco taking moisture from animals anywhere but this shop. I would imagine since they’re both woodish products that if you allowed either of them to dry out enough(bad humidity control on owners part) that they would have similar effects.