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Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by JNG, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. JNG

    JNG Arachnoknight

    i know its been discussed before. but, its too farback to look for it. but, im goin to petco tomorrow to get some new, different substrate. tired of peat moss. And, besides, got a new OBT comin, so need somethin it can burrow in that will hold up. My A Avic seems to not like the peat moss very much either, but then again. it stays off the ground anyway. so, whats the deal with the coconut stuff. do you have to soak it first, or what? is that the best stuff for burrowers, even though i hope it dont, too much. But, basically wana know what the best stuff is. Thats reasonably priced. And, whats it called?
  2. i hear good things about the coconut stuff but you gotta dry it out before you can use it for most Ts... i've been using potting soil and vermiculite 'cause i can nuke the soil and use it as soon as it's cool{D
  3. SNAFU

    SNAFU Arachnobaron

    The coco fiber is a dry compressed brick and when you soak it, it expands.Takes a while to dry it out but holds moisture very good. I would'nt use it for a P. murinus (OBT) as they like it dry. I have my 4" OBT on plain peat I packed down by hand. They add so much webbing you don't have to worry about the substrate holding up. Even my 1" OBT sling that came in the othe day dug in about 2.5" in the peat and had started adding silk to it.
    If you let it get completely dry though it will probably be o.k. if you want to try it. Its only about $5.00-$6.00 a brick and a little goes a long way.
  4. JNG

    JNG Arachnoknight

    so, pretty much regular peat moss would work, and just pack it?
  5. Sterlingspider

    Sterlingspider Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I find the coconut stuff easier to deal with if you break of chunks of it off of the block and add just enough moisture to soften that up. You pretty much need an ice pick to pry it apart though. :D

    This way you don't have a bucket of sopping wet substrate to dry out and then store.

    Also ice picks are fun. ;)

    I'll usually let it expand out, break up any clumps in it, and microwave it almost dry to kill any mold spores or the like that happen to be living in it. Usually by the time it cools it's well dry enough to use in just about any desert sp. enclosure without having them climb the walls and if you keep the tank generally dry it doesn't hold enough moisture to bother them even if you overflow a water dish on occasion.

    I think the brand I normally get is called Eco Earth.
  6. Endagr8

    Endagr8 Arachnoangel

    Coconut fiber (eco earth) is good enough for any t imo.
  7. I get it just wet enough to expand it, then I press it into place in the enclosure and let it dry in place. In my experience if you dry it out first, it's always fluffy and the T's push it around more, making a mess. It's especially problematic when they push a piece of it into the water dish and the capillary action sucks all the water out.

    My method takes forever (though I have been known to set enclosures on the radiator to speed the process) but the result is a nice firm base that the tarantulas don't web and then roll up and reweb and push around.

    Actually the same thing's true of potting soil. Though if you pack that when wet and let it dry, it gets pretty dang hard. Significantly harder than coco fiber.

    Anyway I would like potting soil or peat just as well as coco fiber, maybe better, except that I find that coco fiber allows the T to stand out a little better. That's the real advantage.
  8. LeilaNami

    LeilaNami Arachnoking Old Timer

    Eco Earth is great but isn't tons of dirt. If you want ALOT of dirt (10 quarts) Bed-A-Beast at PetSmart is usually 5 dollars
  9. But that coconut stuff (bed-a-beast) takes forever to dry! Would it be more reasonable to use the reptile wood chips for a dry species?
  10. fartkowski

    fartkowski Arachnoemperor

    I just use potting soil.
    It's cheap, you get tons of it, and it works great.
    For burowers, I just pack it down.
  11. Sterlingspider

    Sterlingspider Arachnobaron Old Timer

    It doesn't if you stick it in the microwave or oven, and then you have the added bonus of killing off any freeloaders in the substrate.

    Besides, I wouldn't be too thrilled at using wood chips exclusively for any T, and the OP was talking about an OBT which will need something burrow-able.
  12. D-back

    D-back Arachnoknight

    I use coco fiber in all of my enclosures with success...:) .....I prepare the substrate exactly like Sterlingspider...If you want it dry, leave it longer in the microwave...but be careful!!....watch it closely!!....A fire in the kitchen isn't very funny....:shame:
  13. testdasi

    testdasi Arachnoangel

    I bought the already dried out coco. :D

    Before that, when I was still using the coco brick, I wet and then hand squeezed all the water out and then dried the moist substrate in front of my heater. Keep my room more humid (the coco doesn't have any odor).
  14. Even in an oven it takes forever. I had it in my oven on broil and it only dried the top 1/8 in.
  15. Yes. I cooked it in the oven and it took long enough that I forgot about it and it started smelling because it was burninating.
  16. I don't go with the cheapest stuff, because I only need a small amount at a time. I buy NatureSubstrate SoftBed, in the already expanded form. Its organic, which I love. I like that coconut fiber is a renewable source, and it does its job pretty well.
  17. I've always thought it was so strange that people keep talking about how wonderful it is that coco fiber is a renewable resource. Unless you are using some really wierd definition of "renewable" all the common substrates (except vermiculite) are renewable. Probably organic too.

    Coco fiber is sweet stuff. But the hippie tree hugginess of it is not very special at all.

    Now if you used recycled garbage or something, that would be planet hugging.
  18. I just bought a brick of the coco-fiber today. I add water and expend it then I leave it sit out in its tub to dry out. It takes awhile but it also adds to the humidity level of the room anyway. Once it is completely dry I make another enclosure and then find a new bug to put in it.
  19. Sterlingspider

    Sterlingspider Arachnobaron Old Timer

    This is why I use the microwave. :D

    When people talk about it being renewable I think most people are comparing it with peat, which is not very renewable at all.