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Best Centipede Substrate

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by styrafoamcow, Mar 10, 2018.

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    Hello, I was wondering what you all use for your centipdes substrate. I usually use potting/garden soil mixed with peat moss. Generally it works very well but sometimes it starts to look kind of stale or not very appealing. So let me know you're prefered substrates and share advice :)

    Here are a couple images of the centipedes and enclosures. I actually stopped putting live plants in the enclosures recently because everytime I do and it isnt winter hundreds of fungus gnats show up. Anyone else experience this poblem and find a work around? DSC03421.JPG DSC03460.JPG DSC03481.JPG DSC03214.JPG
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  2. Daniel Edwards

    Daniel Edwards Arachnosquire Active Member

    I mix plain sand with eco earth and make it deep. My scolopendra s Subspinipes is brooding nymphs in her burrow. My pedes thrive on this mix. Deadly Tarantula Girl and Planet Scolopendra on YouTube have good videos as well.
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  3. OK thanks for the advice. I wouldn't have thought to use a lot of sand just because I figured soil that could hold moisture would be better. I will checkout their videos to see how they do it. I have been doin it this way for years now and wanted to improve upon it because I know there are ways I could improve their substrate.
  4. Daniel Edwards

    Daniel Edwards Arachnosquire Active Member

    I know the point you are getting at. But sandy soil can still be kept damp. Works well and holds up to their burrowing. Looks good too.
  5. I will have to try it. I have used a small amount of sand before in my mixtures and it worked well so I guess I will start using more. I bet it is usefull in keeping the substrate loose and non stale.
  6. Daniel Edwards

    Daniel Edwards Arachnosquire Active Member

    I haven't had to change them often.
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  7. RTTB

    RTTB Arachnoprince Active Member

    Eco earth and sand.
  8. basin79

    basin79 Arachnoking Active Member

    I use Irish moss peat for my pedes and tarantulas that require damp substrate. It's slightly acidic which really helps in stopping mould. Add springtails and you've got a great set up.
  9. I guess this must be a good mix since you both have said that. I will definitely try it :)
    That sounds nice. You only use the peat moss? and thanks for the advice :)
  10. basin79

    basin79 Arachnoking Active Member

    Yes. Just that and springtails to clean up the remains.
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  11. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoknight Active Member

    I also mix eco earth and sand, works very good and supports burrowing.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Staehilomyces

    Staehilomyces Arachnoprince Active Member

    I use a 50/50 mix of coco peat and sand. My sub isn't as deep as most, but my pedes seem to be fine - they can still burrow if they want, but they usually hide under leaf litter or sphagnum, with the pedes I've had for longer spending almost all of their time on the surface.
  13. Ratmosphere

    Ratmosphere Arachnoprince Active Member

    You have perilite in there? Also, I use cocofiber mixed with sand.
  14. That sounds nice and I have mine about 4 inches deep max and they do well with that and they all stay burrowed until nightime for the most part. That is good advice thank you.
    I do not and ok I am definitely going to use sand as well from now on
  15. Staehilomyces

    Staehilomyces Arachnoprince Active Member

    Just for visuals, here is how I set up my pedes. That's not to say that my way is the only right way, but it's worked for me, the pedes are healthy, and I get to see them out a lot. By the way, @Daniel Edwards thanks for recommending my YT channel!
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  16. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnodemon Active Member

    I use about 50% coir, over 40% peat moss, and the rest is made of sand. The peat moss and springtails do an excellent job of preventing mold. I also mix in large chunks of moss, it gives the substrate a good structure and keep it from getting too compact. Moss also looks nice on the surface as decoration although it may get dragged under. Your substrate isn't bad, but if the main issue you dislike about it is that it looks unappealing, just add more decorations like moss, leaf litter, bark chips, or bits of grit or gravel. A varied substrate with different textures is also more comfortable for 'pedes as it resembles the environment under hiding spots in the wild.

    Most of my centipedes are from Asia and so they love this mix, but your South American 'pede in the first pic would probably prefer a drier substrate than the one I mentioned with more moss and pieces of bark (kind of like the subspinipes in pic 2 but drier). Desert centipedes will take even more sand and grit so the organic material isn't too important so long as it can be burrowed in.

    Live plants are nice but fungus gnats do seem to follow them around. I get them from time to time in my potted plants and my invert enclosures. If you want to keep live plants in with the centipedes I think ignoring the gnats might just be easiest.

    Also, lovely multidens in the last pic. Haven't seen too many of the brown/red morph in the US.
  17. Daniel Edwards

    Daniel Edwards Arachnosquire Active Member

    No problem! Glad to support! Your videos and setups are always in point! Maybe everyone's local micro climate matters? In Virginia USA the temps can vary greatly as does weather. I never have humidity problems here however.
  18. kermitdsk

    kermitdsk Arachnosquire Active Member

    I use wood/garden earth mixed with sand. In one corner of the enclosures I have sphagnum moss same high like the substrate. That's the place where I to water so you have different wet substrate. And of course springtails.
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  19. Daniel Edwards

    Daniel Edwards Arachnosquire Active Member

    I clearly need to look into springtails. Where can I get springtails info?
  20. LawnShrimp

    LawnShrimp Arachnodemon Active Member

    Springtails are not complicated, just little 6-legged relatives of insects that like moisture and detritus. They do well on scraps of prey and centipede droppings and are extremely easy to culture, taking only a month or two to mature and breed. They also eat spores, preventing potentially harmful fungi/mold and pests like mites from appearing.

    I found two species in the roots of the same potted fern, and from the 20-ish individuals collected I have several thousand a year later. You can also order starter cultures online from dart frog or terrarium online stores.