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Old 09-03-2020, 12:10 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2014
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Default Substrate ideas

Hi all, Iím looking to change up the substrate I use for my new hamster. Usually I use three substrates. Meta Zorba for the litter tray, carefresh for the house and aubiose for the cage.

Just wondering what everyone else uses and also where you buy from? Or do you think my current set up is fine? Are there any substrate people would recommend as the best for the cage for digging? Also any money savers would be great

Ps I havenít got my new hamster yet so wonít be upsetting him by changing things up, just getting prepared for his arrival
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Old 09-03-2020, 12:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Substrate ideas

I haven’t heard of Meta Zorba is that a kind of litter? Most things like that don’t tend to be safe for hams if it is litter rather than a substrate? The best thing to use for that is sand, the same as you use in the sand bath, chinchilla sand (not dust) or you can use children’s play sand which needs to be dried in the oven before use.
The best substrate I’ve found after trying many is kaytee clean & cosy, I get mine from Amazon but I’m sure it’s available elsewhere too, it’s a soft paper based substrate similar to fitch but I find it a bit softer, it’s virtually dust free & works well for burrows too. Much better than carefresh.
I haven’t used aubiose but that’s fine too, I think it’s similar to the hemp which I have used & that worked well too a bit dustier than paper substrate though.
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Old 09-03-2020, 01:11 AM   #3
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Default Re: Substrate ideas

I personally like paper based bedding like carefresh the best, I find it holds tunnels really well. I also like to tear up/shred paper towel and tissues for actual nesting material, though considering the current state of the world buying a bunch of toilet paper and such for hamster bedding may not be the best idea. As far as litter trays go I really like using sand. I use play sand from the hardware store so I get like 50lbs of it. I like that it works both as a litter and as a sand bath, though its best if you use a larger container like a cake pan.
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Old 09-03-2020, 02:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Substrate ideas

Hi I use Megazorb (some people don't like the smell) I think that works out the cheapest, especially if you can get if from a local equestrian shop and don't have to pay postage. I have not heard of meta zorba and just wondering if that is a typing error and you meant megazorb?

I also use aubiose and just started using Kaytee clean and cozy. If you buy the biggest bag I think it works out cheaper than carefresh. I don't use carefresh as it made one of my hamsters eyes close up because it was so dusty and I find it very expensive.

Like Cypher says fitch is another one many people use and is more expensive than aubiose and megazorb but buying in bulk works out cheaper. I have that on my list to try.
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Old 09-03-2020, 06:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Substrate ideas

Yea that was meant to be megazorb, autocorrect haha
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Old 09-03-2020, 09:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: Substrate ideas

I use paper bedding for substrate (mainly Fitch but sometimes Kaytee clean and cozy), Chinchilla bathing sand for the litter tray and torn up strips of plain white toilet paper for the nesting material. Just a pile in the cage and they forage for it and pouch it and take it to the nest. Sometimes they take the odd bit of Fitch to the nest as well but they seem to like the strips better.

Fitch is very similar to Carefresh but has no dust. And is just recycled food grade paper. It's sold in bulk in 10kg or 20kg bags. About £22. One of those lasts me about 6 months with a 100cm cage and spot cleaning. Kaytee Clean and cozy comes in a compressed 80 litre bag. I am not sure how long that lasts but that is a similar price £23.

Hemp bedding is very popular though. Some people use Megazorb on here but others found it dusty - maybe it varies.

I can't use hemp bedding as I'm allergic so I stick to the paper bedding and the hamsters really like it too Plain white toilet paper is good for nesting - and easy - just tear each sheet into a few strips. We had one hamster actually used to kind of "weave" the strips and make a sort of ball for a nest - it was very clever!
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Old 09-04-2020, 12:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Substrate ideas

Thanks for ideas all
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