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Substrate preference poll

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by pelo, Feb 27, 2004.

preferred substrate??

  1. 100% potting soil

    109 vote(s)
  2. 80% potting soil-20%mulch

    22 vote(s)
  3. 100% peat moss

    363 vote(s)
  4. 100% vermiculite

    34 vote(s)
  5. 50/50 peat/vermiculite

    95 vote(s)
  6. 50/50 potting soil/peat moss

    104 vote(s)
  7. 50/50 potting soil/vermiculite

    35 vote(s)
  8. 75% peat moss-25% vermiculite

    61 vote(s)
  9. 75% vermicuite-25% peat moss

    13 vote(s)
  10. other...please state in reply post

    413 vote(s)
  1. Czalz

    Czalz Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I'm really not intending to be a smarty pants, but are we talking about potting soil, or the .99 bags of compost you buy at the store?
    If you've ever had to buy real potting soil, then you'd know it is actually referred to as a soil free mixture, and it already contains good amounts of peat moss and vermiculite, perlite, and other key ingredients.
    It just seems odd to me that someone would mix potting soil at a ratio of 50/50 with peat moss, or 75/25 with vermiculite since it already contains these things as an alternative to dirt.
  2. Spectre45

    Spectre45 Arachnopeon

    How about an A. seemani? Pet store has one for $25, the G. rosea is $20, and I think I'd much rather start out with the A. seemani. Peat moss straight from the bag ok for it as well, or should it be moistened first. Also, do they need a bit more humidity?
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2005
  3. David_F

    David_F Arachnoprince Old Timer

    That would work for A. seemanni also but I prefer to moisten the substrate and tamp it down fairly good. It seems to help the tarantula construct a more stable burrow.
  4. xgrafcorex

    xgrafcorex Thread Killer Old Timer


    i use the eco earth coconut shavings too and i have a small amount of spanish most but more to mix up the look of the set up
  5. Coco

    I use the EcoEarth Coconut bricks cause it doesnt deplete Peat bogs, It looks natural, and I have had no molding problems even with high humidity (i do have slow spinning ventilation fans on the hood though). it holds moisture so well it just makes humidity levels easy to controll... i happen to like the smell, the dry bricks store easily, it looks natural, its not dusty when dry and the big plus is the burrowing...

    its great for burrowing if its humid, i would guess it would be good dry to, but i have had no experience with a dry burrow yet.
  6. Imegnixs_Cinder

    Imegnixs_Cinder Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I voted 100% Vermiculite, I find it light weight, easy to keep moist if needbe, easy to clean and cheap. I tried peat once and never again the top would dry out too fast and the bottom would stay damp and go mouldy, I just couldn't get on with it at all.
  7. Fini

    Fini Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I <heart> coconut peat! I'm using it for a lot of different projects and I find it's relatively inexpensive and resistant to all kinds of pests.
  8. Ann

    Ann Arachnopeon

    Right now I'm experimenting with half my enclosures on a peat/vermiculite mix and half on coconut fiber. I'm especially interested in my p. rufilata and my p. murinus- both tend to fill up their webs with substrate- so I have one on each type to see what works best.
  9. Entropy

    Entropy Arachnopeon

    Coconut fiber from Eco Earth is what I use.
  10. liverlips

    liverlips Arachnopeon

    I vote for the other-other...

    I use something like 75% peat moss, 15% vermiculite, and 10% sand on my GBB...the peat moss will grow mold if its damp often, but I have zero problems with mold because its so dry.
  11. eman

    eman Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I totally agree with Pelo on this one - I've been using good quality top soil with around 20-30% "composted" cedar mulch for over 6 years now and it has been fantastic. I've been keeping Ts for over 10 years and have tried just about any substrate you could think of. I've found invariably that quality top soil with composted cedar mulch (80-20% ratio or more), a little clean sand (for certain species) a variety of leaves and certain types of bark make a killer substrate for most Ts. Moreover, you will never have any issues with mold, fungus or parasites as long as you let the soil dry out every now and then, be diligent enough to pick up any prey remains and ensure proper ventilation (much like in their native habitats).

    Other substrates that work well are coconut fiber and vermiculite - I don't find them particularly appealing and I don't find that Ts will choose them over the above mentioned soil-based mixture.

    What many people don't realize is that peat moss is highly acidic and in reality most Ts don't actually like it - they do learn to adapt to it (especially when it is kept dry) and will generally do well but this is not what they live on in their native habitats... Just because a fairly large percentage of people use it (especially in the US) with varying degrees of success, does not make it "the substrate of choice".

    Also, the notion of cedar being "toxic" is commonly misconstrued and simply regurgitated from other sources without any form of scientific backing. The fact of the matter is that yes, some forms of cedar do repel certain insects... However, I have yet to read any scientific data indicating that cedar is "toxic" to arachnids - much less in the form of sterilized or composted mulch. Quite to the contrary, I've found that cedar mulch really helps in keeping a well balanced and healthy soil PH - for those of you who don't know what that means, read here: http://www.thegardenhelper.com/acidsoil.html

    Bottom line is, Ts react in a variety of ways to the chemical elements of the soil they are on - and after extensive observation, I can safely say that they certainly do prefer a healthy, well balanced soil-based mixture over any other substrate. Again, many people have a good degree of success with peat moss... it's up to you to draw your own conclusions by personal experience. ;)

    Ask Rick W. what he thinks the best substrate is... soil. I think his field experience alone should be proof enough.

    I have great soil mixture pics if anyone is interested.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2005
  12. fleshstain

    fleshstain Arachnoknight Old Timer

    all my tarantula's and snake are fine with straight out of the bag lizard litter....a couple of my burrowers i have in ground coconut shell....it's lighter than the litter so it helps to keep burrows from collapsing....

    BGBYTOY Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Eco-earth, Or other coconut fiber.
  14. DaleGribble

    DaleGribble Arachnopeon

    Yes! I see many other people have discovered the coconut. I think it is the perfect substrate. Every day when someone asks "what kind of substrate should I use?" the answer should always be coconut!
  15. moricollins

    moricollins Arachnoking Old Timer

    I use a mix of peat moss and organic black earth soil, usually.

    What I'm using as substrate now is a premade mix, of black earth soil, peat moss and horticultural sand, and I like it A LOT.
  16. Stefan-V

    Stefan-V Arachnoknight Old Timer


    I haven't had problems with mold yet and I don't think i will. I keep 2 of my A.seemani on very moist fiber and little ventilation, so they don't hide all the time. It works perfect to me! They come out every day. People should try this.
  17. PhormictopusMan

    PhormictopusMan Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Coconut fibre and peat moss. Thats what mine demand....
  18. tarangela2

    tarangela2 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Other subsrate

    i use this stuff called lizard litter i got from petco, it is ground walnut shells. i put this over a mix of vermiculite and cactus potting soil. the bottom stays moist and the cover discourages 'little critters'

    the Ts seem to like it, not hanging from the ceiling!:clap:
  19. tarangela2

    tarangela2 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    that probably means she doesn't like it! you should try adding some soil or something.
  20. Camberwell

    Camberwell Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Other: Coconut Fibre and little vermiculite