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Bakin' substrate..

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by agentbsmithi, Jan 13, 2006.

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    ..makin my seemanis new home.

    anyways, im in the process of drying my bed-a-beast as to sterylize it and dry it quicker. i put it on like 200 and im hoping this will be warm enough. i did searches and usually people put it around 200 to 250? also i put the rest outside to dry in the sun. think any bugs or mites will get in it if its out there? i wouldnt wanna defeat the purpose of buying new substrate or anything.
  2. oh yeah, im baking it in the oven haha. forgot to mention that detail.
  3. cacoseraph

    cacoseraph ArachnoGod Old Timer

    i tried drying coconut coir in the microwave one time

    it's possible to set that stuff smoldering, heh
  4. i know it is.

    i have it in the oven right now at 300 degrees and its takin forever just to dry up all the water in it. i got the other half outside in the sun and thats not gonna be dry forever.
  5. cacoseraph

    cacoseraph ArachnoGod Old Timer

    when oven drying i keep stirring the substrate, so it can steam off easiest

    makes your house smell sort of like the forest

  6. haha yeah, smells like a greenhouse. i got the front and back door open.

    ive been stirring it to establish that effect. i cant rush it though, i mean they hold 4 quarts of water so yeah.

    should i even dry it out to "bone-dry" dryness? i have a seemani, and they could use a bit of moisture i think. i wouldnt mind leaving a bit of moisture.
  7. eman

    eman Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Why bother sterilizing the substrate? This will not eliminate mites or any other unwanted pests for very long. Keeping a healthy soil is the way to go. You might want to take a look at the topic of substrates in "Tarantulas and Other Arachnids" (second edition), by Samuel D. Marshall. He explains that he's had the best results using "garden soil" for his ts - mainly because of the bacteria and "unwanted pests" which help keep the soil healthy. ;)

    I've been using top soil for years and the only times I've ever had any issues with mites was mainly due to either poor ventilation, lack of maintenance in removing prey remains or a bad soil mixture to begin with.

    Good luck!
  8. to be frank im not really doing it so much for steralization, mainly to get all the water out. i just dont want it too wet, and i dont wanna sit for hours and let it air dry. evaporation takes sooo long.

    i was going to use topsoil also but i couldnt find any organic kind for some reason? all the topsoil i could find had compost pine and cedar and ash and stuff. i dont even know why its so hard to find plain non chem dirt.
  9. eman

    eman Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Ah, I see.

    Yes, I agree - sometimes just plain unfertilized organic top soil can be a real pain to come across (especially in winter)!

  10. liveprey

    liveprey Arachnosquire Old Timer

    I had that problem also.:) I use coconut now and haven't had any probs. I just squeeze the crap out of it and fill the tanks. It will eventually dry.
  11. haha dude i wrapped half of it in a black t shirt (in case it stains) and just squeezed the hell out of it like they do when they make mozarella haha. i got so much water out but theres still some. i think itll be ok. ill mix it with the dry stuff i baked and it should be ok, you think? i mean id prefer it bone dry, but it doesnt have to be to be alright, does it?
  12. liveprey

    liveprey Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Ha! It'll be fine, just make sure it cools down before you drop in your T or he'll think he's in a sauna.:D
  13. GailC

    GailC Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I just baked some bed-a-beast the other day too, it took like 6 hours at 300 deg F and it was spred real thin on a cookie sheet. Next time I'm going with peat or top soil.
  14. Thoth

    Thoth Arachnoprince Old Timer

    It should be fine with a little bit of moisture. A.seemani like a bit on the humid side. The only t I've encountered that had serious issue with damp substrate was a G.rosea. Even my GBB didn't mind it until it dried out.
  15. cool, thanks for all the tips guys. i decided to bake it for a while and dry out, but i left it a big on the damp side so itll hopefully hold its burrow well. i took a handful and squeezed and a few drops came out but i had to squeeze damn hard.
  16. Hi there, newbie question: do you really want the top soil bone dry? When the T burrows, as my G. Rosea does, won't the burrow collapse if there isn't some moisture in the soil?
  17. eman

    eman Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Good point. Having bone dry top soil does indeed result in dusty thin soil which is useless for burrowers (I am not a proponent of the bone dry theory to begin with). I usually mix my soil with mulch and/or dry leaves, small twigs, bark, etc. This gives the soil proper texture which allows ts to burrow as much as they want without the burrow collapsing. For opportunistic burrowers, I usually provide a large peice of cork bark for them to construct a natural burrow.

    I then allow the soil to dry out a little and water it occasionaly (not too moist). I tend to err on the dry side, just not bone dry. This method has worked very well for me over the years.
  18. with over 380 vivariums in the last 3 years, we've never baked substrate. why? if it's too sterile....well, tomatoe tomOtow...i guess...?
  19. lilmountaingrrl

    lilmountaingrrl Arachnosquire Old Timer

    I use the coconut fiber in my T's & spiders enclosures, and I've never baked it. I havent encountered any problems yet, so I hope I dont run into any in the future. I've looked for topsoil without additives, and cant seem to find any that's undoctored, either. :(
  20. I use either outside soils or a brand named SuperSoil from HomeDepot. SS has no animal products, chemical fetilizers and comes in a brown and white bag with yellow colors fonts...where are you located?