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Eco Earth As A substrate: Is it Good?

Eco earth as a substrate is a question I have received from a few audience members and I did some research to help get an answer

Some people are going to debate you on this if you talk to them about it so if you talk to some expert owners I would be ready for it

eco earth as a substrate

What is Eco earth?

Eco earth as a substrate is made up of compressed coconut fibers. You will find this kind of substrate inside some vivariums

They are great for keeping moisture inside them. Some other substrates aren’t great at keeping moisture inside and that’s why some people love Eco earth as a substrate

When water and high moisture are inside the Eco earth it creates a spongy feel. When you press on it you will see it indent

Now this would be an excellent substrate for a reptile that needs high humidity levels but leopard geckos don’t need high humidity levels

many new leopard gecko owners tend to overthink what their leopard gecko needs and they will worry 24/7 when they first bring them home

I understand you want to be a good parent to your leopard gecko but it’s all going to be ok!

One thing about Eco earth is that it can be expensive compared to other substrates. A lot of owners tend to stick with other substrates like reptile carpet, slate slabs, and wood

One bad thing about eco earth is it really sucks to clean. Same thing with other substrates like sand and wood chips. It’s hard to find the mess which usually makes owners just replace it which is a waste of money and resources

Eco earth will absorb all the poop and pee from your reptile as well as rotten food

This sucks because with humidity it will become a cesspool of bacteria which will make your leopard gecko sick. They will end up getting bacterial infections on their skin. They will also develop respiratory infections when a tank is too dirty and humid

When it gets really nasty in there it will also stink up that room quite bad

The right substrates to use

there are a few I highly recommend you to use. I especially recommend these to new owners as well because of the simplicity of cleaning

Nothing is worse than being a total newbie to owning a reptile and having extra hard things to worry about like bacterial infections and difficult cleaning


Slate is my favorite to use and I use it at home with my reptiles

It’s easy to clean and you can bake it in the oven for bacterial killing action

The bad part of these is they can get a bit expensive but they are totally worth it

I love them and I will never go with anything else

This is the link for slate substrate btw

Slate substrate looks awesome too. It looks like the bottom of an ocean.

Paper towel

You are seeing that right. Paper towel pieces are awesome for substrates. They can be wasteful for sure as to when your leopard gecko pees or poops they will need to be changed

But it’s easy to find, easy to change, and clean. It’s also easy to keep your leopard gecko safe with

Small stones and pebbles can be accidentally ingested by your gecko which causes impaction.

Paper towel doesn’t easily come apart (by the will of your pet) so it would be hard for them to digest them accidentally

Since paper towel is so easy to clean its easy to keep your reptile from getting sick

So this is much better than eco earth as a substrate because you can easily replace it and it’s not too hard to use

The worst thing about paper towel is it’s just ugly but if you don’t care about the looks part then by all means use them all the time

Reptile carpet

Reptile carpet is my second favorite substrate to use for my reptiles

It comes in rolls and you just cut to the size you need for your specific tank and then you’re ready to go

Sometimes what can happen if the carpet is low quality is the fibers will start fraying and coming apart which your reptile can get stuck on

Cleaning the carpet is easy as well

You just remove the carpet, soak it in soap and hot water. Scrub it with a brush, sanitize it, and put it back

I would dry it before putting it back as well

Keeping a clean tank is everything so reptile carpet is a good way to go for your leopard gecko

Substrates to stay away from

These are all just my personal opinion after speaking to many vets over time it’s just easier and safer to stay away from some of these substrates

Picking a substrate and trying out all the different options over time is just too much to handle so let me take care of all that for you!


Sand is a bad substrate for your bearded dragon because your leopard gecko can accidentally inhale or eat the sand causing impaction

Not only is it bad for your reptile but cleaning it is annoying. Sand is plentiful true but when there is poop and food all over the place and some of it will be buried its just not a good idea to have it

Wood chips

These actually have harmful toxins inside which will be harsh on your leopard gecko

Now these toxins are normal for the wood itself but it’s not the best thing for your reptile to be walking around on

Walking around on toxic wood will actually cause irritation on their skin and they will become stressed out

Walnut pieces

So there are some people who think the world of walnut shells but when you break them into pieces they can actually hurt your leopard gecko

They are sharp when broken and that can cause impaction

Beginners notes

Putting all this together is daunting at first but you will get used to the whole idea

you will have your own way of doing things and the pressure and stress will be off

you might not even feel any kind of stress doing this at all as I did but I know many new owners who were so overwhelmed they didn’t know what to do

You can use gravel to hold pieces in place. Slate slabs are going to move around on you so you’re going to need something to keep them in place and you might hear that gravel is a bad idea which it is if you use only that as a substrate. Using gravel to hold the slate slabs together will greatly decrease the amount of actual gravel there is in the tank because the slate slabs will be covering most of the gravel


Eco Earth as a substrate can be good but it’s just not necessary for leopard geckos to have the best environment

Paper towel, slate slabs, and reptile carpet are our favorite substrates to use

Stay away from any substrates that could cause harm or that might take a long time to clean

Keeping the tank as clean as possible as often as possible is important and having a good substrate is vital to do that

My conclusion is there are honestly far better substrates to use than eco earth as a substrate

I would stick to something simple like a paper towel, or reptile carpet

Use these for your leopard gecko

I put together a list of products that you can use to help get you started. All these links are affiliate links so i will get a small commission from the purchase.

Tank for your gecko – adjust to the size you want

Slate substrate – buy as many pieces as needed for the enclosure

calcium supplement – I use this to keep my gecko healthy

Ceramic heater – This will keep the tank warm

Hangout/ Hide decor – They will have fun with this