Today there is an abundant amount of coconut husk brands to choose from. Coconut husk substrate is the most popular substrates to choose for your ball python to create the most natural environment. I’ve done the research to show you the top 6 coconut substrates on the market by looking at their textures, how well they hold humidity and price. Here are the 6 best coconut substrates you can get delivered to your door in 2021 from this highest humidity keeper to the lowest price.
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1. Zoo Med Eco Earth loose or compressed substrate
ZooMed brand has been around for 41 years and they stay in business for good reasons.
Their products focus on terrariums and aquatic products so their quality is above most other companies that have a broader range of animal supplies.
A consistent 5 star review on Amazon for compressed blocks yield 7-8 quartz which is about the same amount as their loose substrate, but in a much tinier package.
So why choose a compressed block over the loose substrate?
When rehydrating the blocks occasionally gives off the smell of chemicals or gasoline, but if you can get past the chance of having that smell, then this substrate is definitely for you and your pets.
Exo Terra coco husk is a better option If you want less of a chance for your pet to ingest the substrate.
Their coconut husk has bigger particles so it’s less likely for your animals to ingest and cause impaction, but it does have a mixture of finer coconut husk as well to hold humidity.
Just like the other brands the compact version is cheaper and both types yield the same amount(8 quartz), but be aware that you’ll need a place to store the excess if you opt for compact and you’ll need to do the work to decompress it.
Exo Terra also makes Plantation Soil as an option for coconut substrate. The difference between Exo Terra Coco Husk and Exo Terra Plantation Soil is the texture.
Plantation soil’s fine texture holds humidity so well, its used for tropical species of frogs and geckos and also works for ball pythons.
Remember, finer substrates have a higher chance of being ingested by any pet so keep that in mind, especially if you feed them inside of their enclosure.
The texture is similar to previously listed Eco Earth except Plantation Soil has even finer pieces. Plantation Soil does take longer to soak to loosen up and there are even some claims of the bricks not expanding at all.
For a ball python breeder like me this means spending precious time prepping it for use.
T Rex Coconut Bark is unique for selling bedding in 2 different textures together so you can control how much fine forest bed and how much chunks of husk to mix together based on your preference(very beneficial if you plan on recycling your substrate for plant use).
It only yields 6 quartz which is a fraction of what you can get with the of any other brand compressed bricks. This option would be best if you have 1 or 2 enclosures to cover.
Just the forest bed itself is not optimal for ball pythons since the particles are too fine on its own, but mixing it with coconut husk can help control humidity and make a cozy home for your ball python.
If a DIY mixture is not for you don’t worry they have a loose substrate version also just browse for the options they have.
This brand is my tried and true. I take care of over 30 ball pythons and this one has the most yield while giving me the least amount of issues.
The best benefit of using Reptichip is their 100% money back guarantee.
They only sell compressed blocks but it yields about 72 quartz for per block. The compressed block is a hefty 10 lbs and expanded it fills a storage bin
The downside is that it is not ready to use and needs to be decompressed. With lots of trial and error I have found the best method do get this done. If you don’t have a lot of area to cover then this one may not be for you since it is such a large quantity. Best for high quantity pets or reptile breeders.
A common disappointment with this mixture is that it is dusty even though it is mostly bigger chunks of husk in the mixture. Asthma and allergy-prone beware.
Late Brian Barczyk’s Reptile Prime is a self-promoted dust-free option. Reptile Prime is sold loose only(no compressed blocks here!) and the texture is very fine compared to all substrates listed here. As mentioned before you risk your ball python ingesting this substrate because of its fine texture.
This substrate has 4 stars on Amazon too!
The few bad reviews on this one is that it can easily get caught in mouths and clumps up when wet. It’s definitely a good option if you aren’t looking for the work required in a compressed block.