Apart from all the parameters of a crested gecko’s tank, like the humidity and temperature levels, another important parameter to take care of is the substrate. The substrate you use for the tank should be safe for your crested gecko.
Sphagnum moss is one of the safest and best materials that you can use to create the substrate layer of your pet crested gecko’s tank.
What Is Sphagnum Moss?
Sphagnum moss technically refers to an entire large genus of mosses with over 380 species under its umbrella. But, generally speaking, sphagnum moss is the fibrous, dead, and dried part of the sphagnum moss plant.
Sphagnum moss is fibrous and voluminous, and it retains a lot of moisture. This makes it an attractive choice for the substrate of a crested gecko’s enclosure.
This way, your pet crested gecko will be able to rest on the floor of the enclosure comfortably, especially during shedding or laying eggs.
Sphagnum moss is collected from the live moss on the surface of bogs and wetlands. After this moss is harvested, it is dried to produce a chunk of pure sphagnum moss without any additional dried matter added to it.
Uses Of Sphagnum Moss
As a pet crested gecko owner, the application of sphagnum moss for you will be related to substrates and tank setups.
But, other than being a great material for creating the substrate layer of your pet crested gecko’s tank, it has two other interesting applications:
1 – Soilless Potting Medium for Succulents and Orchids
If you love succulents and orchids, then the lump of sphagnum moss that you purchased for your crested gecko tank will have another useful application for you.
You can use sphagnum moss as a soilless potting medium for succulents and orchids. You can either go completely soilless or have a mixture of soil and sphagnum moss.
Sphagnum moss retains moisture and it is light and breathable. Moreover, it does not become overly soggy. So, your succulents and orchids won’t face root rot issues.
However, using a mixture of soil and sphagnum moss is recommended because the moss does not retain nutrients. So, if you use pure sphagnum moss and no soil, you will need to frequently add fertilizers.
2 – Artsy Decorations
If you want to add some organic, earthy décor to your rooms, you can use sphagnum moss to either wrap around hanging baskets that hold climbers or make some frills of the moss and leave them hanging around the windows.
You can even add sphagnum moss to a vase or an empty tank to fill up the empty spaces with an earthy aesthetic.
Is Sphagnum Moss Safe For Crested Geckos?
Yes, sphagnum moss is completely safe for crested geckos.
Sphagnum moss is lightweight and easy to spot-clean. It retains moisture and does not impede the humidity levels of the enclosure.
Even if your crested gecko accidentally ingests some sphagnum moss, it won’t be very harmful. Unlike other substrates, there is no risk of toxicity or impaction associated with the accidental ingestion of sphagnum moss by a crested gecko.
So, if your crested gecko does ingest a little bit of this moss, it will be able to pass it through defecation. This is because sphagnum moss is soft and breaks down easily when ingested.
Despite retaining substantial moisture, sphagnum moss does not promote bacterial or fungal growth. And being easy to spot-clean, sphagnum moss is also a hygienic choice for your crested gecko’s tank.
How Do You Use Sphagnum Moss On A Crested Gecko?
Sphagnum moss is used to create the layer of substrate for the tank of a pet crested gecko. While some crested gecko owners prefer to fill the substrate layer with just sphagnum moss, it is often recommended that you use it as a mixture with soil.
A good ratio will be to mix 2 parts of soil with 1 part of sphagnum moss. This will ensure that your crested gecko’s tank has a substrate layer that:
- Retains moisture (due to sphagnum moss)
- Does not become easily compacted (due to soil)
- Contains nutrients to plant live foliage (again, due to soil)
Sphagnum moss is a great choice for the substrate of a crested gecko’s tank. It is lightweight and easy to spot-clean, so it is hygienic.
It does not cause impaction or toxicity in your crested gecko even if it accidentally ingests some sphagnum moss.
This makes sphagnum moss a safe choice as well. And sphagnum moss also retains moisture. So, it is one of the best choices to make the substrate layer of your crested gecko’s tank.