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coco peat vs potting soil substrate

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Corpload, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Corpload

    Corpload Arachnopeon

    hello people..

    just need some advice here....

    when i start petting T's, i never used other substrate, i only used coco peat(coco fibre) for my T'substrate.....

    and now want to try using potting soil for my T'substrate...

    is there any tips before i proceed with using any potting soil as substrate?

    did i need to soak potting soil into water as i must did to coco peat before?

    is it really good and safe for my T;s?

    please advice!!!...
  2. i tried using it once and it drs and crack no matter how much i watered it >> thats why i stay with coco fibers :) hope i helped
  3. Corpload

    Corpload Arachnopeon

    thank groovys...you mean potting soil easily dry?...how many species oyu owned?
  4. I personally advise against potting soil. As it may contain a plethora of-


    Mold spores


    (from personal experience with cheap potting soils baby centipedes)

    and all sorts of other nasty things.

    why not just use peat? Its simple. cheap easy to find hold moisture well and again can be thrown into the garden when done.

    a bale of peat for over 4 cubic feet it like 12 bucks. I have many Ts, and it has lasted over a year.

    besides, you never know whats going to be in potting soil(chemical wise) even stuff labeled "organic" will have chemicals, and is more or less a marketing ploy, Unless it is of course actually "certified organic" which then is still 80% peat moss.
  5. webbedone

    webbedone Arachnobaron

    IMHO eco earth cocofiber is the best thing i ever tried, i tried potting soil and most of my T's were pacing back and forth flipping out about it, plus looking for a 100% natural potting soil with no fertilizers that are harmful to T's are a pain in the butt, i tried Sphagnum and peat and i found out that in some more humid enclosures mold developed easily, some people use mulch and barks but i think those are too abrasive and can lead to excess stress, blisters and increase puncture injury risk. Now jungle mix isnt too bad i do use it with some of my T's and Ground up wallnut shells are good too.
  6. Corpload

    Corpload Arachnopeon

    thanks codykrr & webbe....i think i stick with coco peat for now...more safer...: )
  7. The trick with potting soil is to put it in place moist, push it down so it compacts, and then dry it with a fan. Then it is real hard and stays in place. Not good for burrowers, but opportunistic tarantulas prefer a firm substrate to one as fluffy as dry potting soil.

    Coco has some of the same properties but in my experience doesn't start as fluffy or get as compacted. I guess in that sense I like it a little better.

    Actually, potting soil doesn't look as good. That's its problem. That's probably the main reason I use coco fiber.

    I don't think tarantulas particularly like either. They would prefer soil (i.e., dirt) or something even harder if they could.
  8. i was doing it for a scienceproject on natural moistue retainers. i had a g.rosea on potting soil and another on coco fiber 50/50 peat the secound worked better
  9. Just to clarify, "coco peat" and sphangum peat moss(which is what I was refering too) are two different things.

    To the person they said had Peat mold. I dont see how....Peat is pretty acidic, which make it a very uninhabitable substrate for mold to form or grow. this makes it a very good substrate.

    coco coir or coco fiber. is alot less acid, doesnt pack down very hard there for allowing air in the substrate. which is a perfect place for mold.

    besides. as mentions in another thread. stuff like ECO earth and other brands of compacted coco fiber are at around a 300% mark up just because it is sold in the pet trade. why pay that much?

    Go to lowes. look for "premier brand sphagnum peat moss" it comes in a huge block.

    The only down side to peat, is

    It has some sticks in it every now and again. there pretty easy to pick out though.

    it is very dusty. my solution it to use hot tap water and spray it down(in a tub or bucket) just enough to make it damp.
  10. possumburg

    possumburg Arachnosquire

    Just want to add that at my Lowes they didn't have Premier brand, but they had Majestic Earth brand. Same thing just different brand, maybe depends on locality, not sure.
  11. ^ well thanks for adding that. It comes in a square bale too?
  12. HAGAR

    HAGAR Arachnosquire

    I have to agree with cody on this one.

    I use to use coco fiber and i kept finding mold every now and then.
    Ever since i crossed over to peat i haven't found any mold and my t's seem to enjoy the peat more than the coco. But perhaps my t's are special lol
  13. Durandal

    Durandal Arachnosquire

    What's the harm in leaving them in?
  14. I used potting soil for a long time, but gave it up and switched to coco fiber. Potting soils don't distribute the moisture as well as coco fiber does, and if you get wet spots you get mold, mushrooms, etc. If it dries out it seems more resistant to absorbing water. Coco fiber works well for me, but isn't as good for burrows. My tarantulas still burrow in it, but the burrows aren't as solid as with soil. Also, it's much more convenient to store a few dry bricks of coco fiber than a bag or two of potting soil.

    Coco fiber still isn't the perfect substrate that I'd like to find, but it works better for me than potting soil.
  15. JimM

    JimM Arachnoangel Old Timer

    Again, coco fiber is a waste of money.
    Peat is the way to go. It's availalbe, cheap to buy in bulk,
    and zero drawbacks.

    Try buying a few cubit feet of coco fiber and see how much it
    costs you. :rolleyes:
  16. possumburg

    possumburg Arachnosquire

    Yeah same size, wouldn't surprise me if they are bagged at the same facility. Just wanted to add that because I went crazy scanning all those bags looking for the bright green Premier one lol.
  17. I guess you could leave the sticks in the peat moss. But remember wood molds. put it may puncture the Ts abdomen. I just find it best to pick them out.
  18. minus drift wod ~~ or at least it hasent on me
  19. Drift wood molds bad....A lot of Dart frog vivariums are left to "settle" for at least a month or two because a lot of the drift woods they use will grow mold untill fully saturated with moisture.

    the only wood that wont mold I can think of is Cork bark. And even then its really just the bark that doesnt mold. sometime you will get pieces that arent cleaned very well and will have what appears to be black stuff on the back side of the bark. Thats actually the wood left over from stripping the bark off the tree. This is why I take a spoon and scrap it off until I see clean cork. this method has proved to work well for me.
  20. GForce14063

    GForce14063 Arachnobaron Old Timer

    What I use is peatmoss that I strain through a metal screen that is a lid for aquarium to get all the sticks and debri out and then I mix in vermiculite to maintain moisture and keeps the substrate loose for burrowing.
    I have been thinking about adding water crystals for species that need to maintain a higher humidity type enviroment.
    I also microwave the substrate for 5 minutes to kill any mold spores or critters that might possibly be inhabiting the substrate.