I have a Ball Python and a Crested Gecko at home right now and am currently looking into getting a baby hognose from a seller here.
I already have most of what I need for the enclosure, as far as enrichment, hides, heating, etc. I like to do a lot of research before I get a pet, however the only thing I’m still not quite sure of is what substrate to use. I know Hognoses are burrowers and need several inches of substrate, so I’d like to know what more experienced keepers are using!
(Also any recommendations for further tank decor/hides/enrichment that your babies particularly like would be awesome! I like to be able to switch out every so often, to keep things new :D)
I personally use Aspen. I find it holds tunnels well, and because I have so many animals in my collection, one substrate I can buy in bulk is what works best for me. I do know there are others who use a more natural sand/soil mix, or bioactive and have great results, too. What size enclosure do you have?
Yep as @noodlehaus has suggested, shredded aspen works great for a hoggie.
Best of luck to you and your new baby!
I only have one hognose, but he does well on aspen. He was on hemp bedding before I got him and that seemed to work just fine as well. He does tend to be messier than my corns. I have to pull wood chips out of his water dish and clean it quite frequently! But no mold issues.
I also use Aspen for mine. I absolutely hate it and it’s so dusty but I haven’t found anything else that they seem to like as much. Like @solarserpents said because they like to borrow mine constantly get bedding in the water bowls. But if you put it on top of the substrate then they tunnel under and push the bowl over gahhh!!! Sorry vent over… I still love them.
My crested LOVES to just sit beside his wayer bowl and kick substrate into it XD I will definstely go with Aspen since its been recommended by all of you!
Do you have any particular hide or enrichment items that your hog particularly likes?
At the moment I have an 11 gallon because I plan on buying a baby. I’m anticipating having to size up the enclosure anyway, so if you could tell me what size would be good for an adult hognose (most likely a male), that would be perfect! The only reason I’m starting with the 11 gallin is bc it was one I had on hand atm and my living situstion may be changing before they need an upgrade anyway so i can tackle thst then.
Oooh okay!! Aspen seems to be the most recommended so I’ll look for that near me, as well as the Hemp bedding to see which one my baby prefers!!
11 gallons is actually quite large for a hatchling, I’d go with something closer to a 6qt bin if you’re getting a baby. They much prefer smaller spaces that are quite cluttered, and will feed better. You’re going to want lots of plants to hide in, things to hide under. My adult female has a cave hide she loves, digs out under it so she’s basically smushed inside surrounded by substrate. Keep in mind the gender of the snake you purchase will impact the size of adult enclosure you need. Males tend to be quite a bit smaller than females.
Here is a photo of the style of setup I keep my hatchling hognoses in, obviously go with whatever works for you. Bigger enclosure just means making sure there’s enough coverage to make the snake feel safe and secure. The water dish is actually a lidless food storage container. One hide box, one small cork tube, and a plant to cover most of the open area. I keep about 2.5"-3" of substrate in each bin.
The black hide in the picture is great and they come in multiple sizes. I also make use of hamster tunnels and pool tubing cut into sections and buried. I’d like to think they enjoy the pre-built tunnels.
Awww that baby is so cute!!! And yeah i see! I knew they like cluttered environments and burrowing, i just keep forgetting the size difference in snakes since the 11 gallon is the one my ball python just got upgraded from haha.
I’ll definately make sure to grab extra plants and things to fill it up nicely- and maybe look around for an older snake. I want to make sure they’re safe, comfortable and happy after all!
Would you mind if i PMed you and asked a couple more questions?
(Sorry for the delay + spelling errors, I’m normally so much better than this but I’m at work so I’m a bit distracted )
Yeah i have that brand hide for my ball python (though obviously much bigger) and she loves it!! And that’s such a good idea, I’m definately going to have to look into some pre built tunnels!
Feel free to contact me, I’m always up for answering questions!
I really like the black plastic hides. I have tons of them! Lol! However, I have yet to be able to find them in the brick and mortar pet stores. I have always wondered why?……….
Biodegradable, disposable, and free versions? Empty toilet paper/paper towel tubes. If they get pooped on, you can just toss 'em.
I also use aspen.
I second the use of paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Even my big female curls up in them.
Picked up a bunch of fake plants from hobby lobby (you could also try Amazon or any craft store) I just tried to stick with items that were plastic and cloth without the pokey wires sticking out of them or foam accents. That way you can easily soak sanitize and clean them.
The black hides work great. I do use cork hides in some of my enclosures, some have a tendency to poop on them so I put the black hides in instead (with the paper rolls) but everyone gets at least a piece of cork about the size of a coaster so they have something to rub up on when they shed.
They’re awesome little snakes. They can sometimes be messy and opinionated but they’re the best in my opinion. They get addictive. I have like 7 at the moment and they all have their own endearing personalities. Even the hissy one
As others have said aspen is probably your best bet. Just a word of caution- it is more prone to molding than some other substrates but I’ve never had any personal issues. It’s an easy material for them to burrow in and hasn’t caused any blockages so far for my hog.
I’ve found them at my locak Pet Smart (in Tampa Fl.) And they are carried on their online store! So i know that chain at least has them.