Props on building more stuff for the beardie!... But I can't help myself, my reptile rescuer in me is coming out.
Calci-sand is one of the worst possible things you can put into a tank, the only thing more dangerous is crushed walnut shells. The package is wrong, it most certainly isn't eatable. I've been given countless Beardies with life threatening compaction because of this stuff, it should be sold as 'death in a bag' and should not be on the market at all.
The labeling on a bag is meant to tell the consumer about the product, without lying, but does not require them to list complications or issues that could arise as a result of its use. (Unless the product were to be used for medicinal purposes.)
This is the description for a product called T-Rex Bone Aid Calci-sand (Calcium Sand). This is how the products sells itself to unsuspecting consumers.
T-Rex Bone Aid Calci-sand: Made of 100% Calcium Carbonate.What the bag doesn't state is that calcium carbonate has a Mallinckrodt Chemicals Material Safety Data Sheet for safe handling. Material Safety Data Sheets are required by companies when a chemical, mineral, solvent, or other product has been proven to cause illness or injury to humans. They are required by law, by all companies, that handle these materials. This is to inform the individual that may be handling this product so they know the consequences of improper handling. If you want to acquire this information for a product you purchased, you can contact the company and request access to this information.
T-Rex Calci-Sand (being a mineral) is safe in direct contact with heating elements. It conducts heat well and it is suitable for use with heat mats or cables buried under it to a shallow depth. It does not harbor mites and inhibits the growth of molds or fungus.
T-Rex Calci-Sand makes spot cleaning both easy and accurate. Calci-Sand clumps readily to wet waste material, drying it and preventing it from being spread throughout the enclosure.
T-Rex Calci-Sand is now available in nine colors: Chocolate Brown, Red Rock, Natural White, Blue, Green, Cherry Red, Beige, Black ,Glo-in-the-Dark and the newest colors: Black granite and Red Rock Granite. All colors are created with F.D.A. approved natural food colorants.
This is the MSDS for dealing with 100% pure calcium carbonate.
Inhalation: Excessive concentrations of a nuisance dust may cause nuisance condition such as coughing, sneezing, and nasal irritation.
Skin Contact: Not expected to be a health hazard from skin exposure.
Eye Contact: No information found, but presumed to cause mechanical irritation.
Chronic Exposure: Excessive oral doses of calcium carbonate may produce alkalosis and hypercalcemi
We are instructed to avoid using this product for longer than 2 weeks unless being monitored by a doctor. Our reptiles are placed on this stuff for months and years at a time. If it isn't safe for us to use for longer than 2 weeks, what make you believe it is safe for your reptile?
As your reptile eats stray food items on the calcium sand, insects in the calcium sand, or randomly licks and consumes the calcium sand, it is also "medicating" itself with an antacid. The more it consumes, the more neutralized the acid in the stomach becomes. In high doses, this can easily lead to an impaction as the reptiles acid would become so neutralized that it would no longer be able to digest any additional calcium sand. The reptiles ability to digest its food adequately can be impaired or can even be halted when excessive amounts have been ingested.
It can also cause constipation. This in itself can be lethal as the body is required to expel the waste and byproducts from the foods consumed. If these are not expelled, toxicity can easily and readily become a serious issue. Toxic waste, once entered into the blood stream, can be fatal.
In excessive doses, calcium carbonate is also noted as causing hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia is an excessive amount of calcium in the blood. This can lead to muscle weakness, psychological issues, nerve damage, spinal column curvature, and other serious issues.
The dust produced by Calcium Sand can be inhaled. As your reptile stirs the dust up and inhales the dust produced and made airborne, they could begin to experience eye and lung irritation.
The ingestion of calcium sand , coupled with their calcium dish you should be providing as well as the dusting of their feeder insects can easily result in devastating consequences. Don't use this stuff and help educate anyone who tries to tell you otherwise.
On top of that, you're lizard is basically living in a big litter box, it's full of bacteria. It turns into bunches of goo inside (as it mentioned earlier, clumps fast for 'easy cleanup' only this happens inside your pet) your lizard causing death and it's no where near what they live on in the wild. Beardies rarely come across any sand, they spend most of their lives on hard, compact clay. There is no such thing as safe sand, no loose substrate is. A good close to natural choice is slate tile or if you want something easy to clean, paper towel, reptile carpet, newspaper yada yada.