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Old 10-25-2022, 04:14 AM   #1
heidii
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Default Question on Substrates

Hi, everyone. I will be housing a new hamster in the next couple weeks so trying to get a cage sorted right now. I've been looking into a few new substrates as I do want to try most commonly kept items in the hamster keeping hobby just so I can formulate my own opinions really.
I know Megazorb gets used by quite a few people, so I bought an 85l bag of it to try it out myself. I know some people find it too dusty, but personally I've found Kaytee and Fitch to also be really dusty, and have had to wipe down the glass panels on my cages due to the dust. Has anyone used Megazorb before, and if so, how do you feel about it? If it's too dusty I'll find another use away from the animals for it.

Also, I was looking at sands as I've only ever bought one bag of sand that I found to not be dusty at all. Komodo was horrifically dusty (or at least the bags I got) so I bought the Exo Terra red sand. It was perfect, so when it ran out I got another couple bags, but this time it was really dusty. I don't want to use play sand either.

I was looking online and found some reptile sand that was actually "silica sand". That doesn't seem massively safe right?
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Old 10-25-2022, 04:32 AM   #2
cloudy
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Default Re: Question on Substrates

I thought silica was another word for sand and all sand had silica but I may be wrong. I know you did not get on with the komodo sand but I used that and have not found it dusty.

It is becoming really hard to find nice paper bedding that is not dusty. I still have the kaytee I bought before I even adopted a hamster as I have not finished it. I bought a tiny bag of Fitch and found it hard.
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Old 10-25-2022, 04:47 AM   #3
heidii
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Default Re: Question on Substrates

Ah, I figured. I think it has to be batch by batch, since every single person I talk to has different experiences with kaytee, fitch and sands. Seems quality control may of just simmered down. Maybe because of COVID? What colour Kaytee did you get? Thought I'd "splurge" and pay the extra few quid for the brown paper bedding this time, see if that's any different to the white.
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Old 10-25-2022, 04:55 AM   #4
cloudy
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Default Re: Question on Substrates

It really does seem there is no consistency with substrates. I have the white kaytee. I thought that may be best just in case there were any signs of blood or anything so I could spot it.

I hope the brown one is better. I heard it is not as soft but everybody seems to say different! It is confusing.
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Old 10-25-2022, 05:10 AM   #5
sushi_78
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Default Re: Question on Substrates

I used Megazorb for a while but found it horrendously dusty. It also smells weird and can't really be burrowed in.

I've never had a dusty batch of Fitch and I have bought many bags. Maybe you had a bad batch. Generally I find it's zero dust.

Silica sand is safe, as is quartz (reptile sands that aren't calcium will usually be silica or quartz) but it's not my preferred type as I find it really smells when peed on. I use sepiolite-based chinchilla sands of various brands.
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Old 10-25-2022, 06:19 AM   #6
heidii
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Default Re: Question on Substrates

I had quite a few bags of Fitch as I rescued some skinny pigs who did better on paper bedding than wood shavings. The last few I had, leading up to the time I got my Syrian, were just super dusty.

I think I do also want all my hamsters to be in some naturalistic enclosures, so white bedding is also unideal. I'll try again in the future though, especially for any rescues
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Old 10-25-2022, 06:27 AM   #7
cloudy
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Default Re: Question on Substrates

Is the hamster one you a fostering or one who will live with you?
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Old 10-25-2022, 07:07 AM   #8
heidii
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Default Re: Question on Substrates

This will be one who will stay with me I have one rescue at the moment, who I believe will be hard to rehome because he definitely is the most needy hamster I've met. No trouble with him, just used the last of my remaining bedding on him.
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Old 10-25-2022, 07:24 AM   #9
cloudy
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Default Re: Question on Substrates

I am so happy for you! Congratulations on your newbie. I look forward to hearing about them.
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Old 10-25-2022, 08:09 AM   #10
heidii
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Default Re: Question on Substrates

Very excited for him to come home too
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