When it comes to researching substrates for your reptile, you will encounter a seemingly endless array of options.
Many reptile owners like the reusable aspect of the Zoo Med Repti Bark, but how does it stack up when compared to other substrates?
Knowing all of the ins and outs of this substrate can help you decide if your enclosure will benefit from the addition of this bark.
If you are ready to learn more about Repti Bark before you buy, here is what you need to know.
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Do We Recommend Repti Bark?
Overall, the Repti Bark is a decent product if you have an enclosure that needs to maintain high humidity.
However, you may encounter some mold growth on the surface if you spray it too liberally and it is unable to absorb all of the water. To this end, it is best to mix the Repti Bark with another substrate like coconut fiber.
It also depends on what kind of reptile you intend to use it for. Zoo Med Repti Bark is great for reptiles that need higher humidity levels and that love to burrow.
What Is Repti Bark Made Of?
The Zoo Med Repti Bark is made entirely of pure fir bark. This makes it ideal for reptiles who need a higher humidity level in the enclosure, as fir bark tends to absorb and hold onto moisture.
You will not find any large sticks, dust, or dirt in this bedding.
What Size are the Repti Bark Nuggets?
There can be a wide range of sizes in the pieces of the Repti Bark. To show you what to expect, I took the smallest and the biggest part I could find in my bag. The smallest nugget was 0.5 centimeters long, while the longest nugget was 4 centimeters long.
Does Repti Bark Hold Humidity?
This is marketed as a substrate ideal for humidity-loving reptiles, and many people find that it does a great job.
Other substrates may hold moisture better, but this one is sufficient for most types of enclosures.
If you really want something that is going to hold moisture long-term, it is best to mix this substrate with something else like a coconut fiber substrate.
To test this bedding, I sprayed it with water. I found that it didn’t really soak up the water which might lead it to dry faster under a heat lamp.
This is why a combination of Repti Bark and coconut fiber, which is more absorbent, can be great for enclosures needing high humidity.
It can mold quickly if you get it too wet, though. Even if you need to spray it down daily, try not to saturate the surface too much.
Repti Bark has a hard time absorbing excess water which can cause it to develop a thin layer of mold over the top where the water sat.
How To Clean Zoo Med Repti Bark
The Repti Bark is fairly easy to clean, though the package recommendations include a discontinued product (Zoo Med Wipe Out 2).
Instead of using this cleaner, most people find that soaking the nuggets in a bucket of hot water is sufficient. Allow it to soak in one container, then drain, rinse, and soak again.
When finished, you do not have to wait for it to dry completely. As this is designed for reptiles who need higher humidity, you can reintroduce it to your enclosure at 15 percent moisture.
How Do You Disinfect Repti Bark?
Many people recommend disinfecting Repti Bark in the microwave, but this shouldn’t be done. It can actually accelerate the growth of bacteria.
The recommended product to use (Zoo Med Wipe Out 2) has been discontinued, but you can find other disinfectants designed for cleaning like Beaphar Deep Clean Disinfectant.
The best thing you can do to minimize bacteria growth is to spot-clean the cage daily.
Can You Reuse Repti Bark?
Repti Bark should be cleaned every two to three months, but it can be reused after this. Some people find that they have to clean more frequently depending on how messy their reptiles are.
While other fibers combined with Repti Bark might need to be replaced, these nuggets can actually be reused.
How Often Should You Change Repti Bark?
If you clean this substrate every two to three months, it should last a while. Most people can stretch a bag of Repti Bark for at least six months.
However, if it starts to mold or retain an odor, you may need to replace it sooner.
Does Repti Bark Have Mites?
I used a magnifying glass to see if I could find any mites. My bag did not have any mites. However, many people do find mites in their Repti Bark.
Fortunately, you will typically only find wood mites in this type of substrate, which will not harm your reptile. They consume plant matter, so you might find them on your reptile’s snacks.
To kill wood mites, you can bake the Repti Bark in the oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes.
What Reptiles Can You Use Repti Bark For?
As the package indicates, Zoo Med Repti Bark is uniquely designed for reptiles who need a higher humidity level in their enclosure. Reptiles that can use this substrate include:
- Green iguanas
- Ball pythons
- Corn snakes
- Turtles and tortoises
- Crested geckos
Repti Bark not the ideal choice for bearded dragons or leopard geckos. However, you may be able to use it with these types of reptiles if you combine it with soil substrates for digging and burrowing.
Keep in mind that messy eaters should not be fed on this substrate due to the risk of impaction. If you have a reptile who is a messy eater and cannot be fed in a separate enclosure, you should not get Repti Bark.
Overall, the Zoo Med Repti Bark is great for a small number of reptiles who need an enclosure with a high humidity level. It is a reusable substrate, saving you money if you take the time to disinfect and clean it on a regular basis.
However, it can also grow mold fairly quickly and can cause impaction if your reptile is a messy eater. You will need to carefully consider whether this substrate is the right move for your reptile.
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