Any problems with 50/50 coconut chips and fiber?

tylerdpeter

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I recently got a couple huge bricks from Prococo and have put a couple of my Ts on the 50/50 mix with no problems yet.
I have a few hobbyists telling me that even Coconut chips are bad, like other wood chips.
Coconut isn't toxic and the chips are considerably softer and less abrasive.

Should I change the substrate or will they be okay?

Any input is appreciated.
 

beaker41

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Why would chips be bad ? I guess they might be if you've got a fall issue... But why would you have a fall issue ?
 

shining

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I do not believe anyone around here is going to advocate the use of wood chips in any arachnid or herp enclosures. Maybe posting a pic of it and specifying what T it is inhabiting that enclosure would help in determining the danger level it poses.

Also, if you use the search forums function you can find this topic touched on many times and there never was a pro to using it in any discussion, just cons.
 

Vanessa

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Wood chips are normally made from either pine or cedar and both of those woods are extremely dangerous to most animals, especially invertebrates, because they contain phenol which is a natural insecticide. I don't know why pet stores even sell the stuff when it is deadly for everyone from spiders to guinea pigs. The only thing that pine and cedar chips or shavings are good for is stuffing in potpourri satchels for your underwear drawer.
I think that the minute that someone hears 'wood chips' or 'wood shavings' they assume that they are bad for everyone, but some woods will not be. Coco and aspen chips and shavings are not going to be harmful because they don't contain phenol.
The only thing I would be concerned with is that the chips can be a falling hazard, if they are large enough and sharp edged, that using chips alone is tough substrate for a tarantula to live on and will not allow for any burrowing and other natural behaviours, and that they can absorb a lot of the moisture out of the surroundings very quickly and might cause dehydration.
 

EulersK

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Wood chips are normally made from either pine or cedar and both of those woods are extremely dangerous to most animals, especially invertebrates, because they contain phenol which is a natural insecticide. I don't know why pet stores even sell the stuff when it is deadly for everyone from spiders to guinea pigs. The only thing that pine and cedar chips or shavings are good for is stuffing in potpourri satchels for your underwear drawer.
I think that the minute that someone hears 'wood chips' or 'wood shavings' they assume that they are bad for everyone, but some woods will not be. Coco and aspen chips and shavings are not going to be harmful because they don't contain phenol.
The only thing I would be concerned with is that the chips can be a falling hazard, if they are large enough and sharp edged, that using chips alone is tough substrate for a tarantula to live on and will not allow for any burrowing and other natural behaviours, and that they can absorb a lot of the moisture out of the surroundings very quickly and might cause dehydration.
I recently made a thread about a strange injury my B. albopilosum sustained. It was determined that it was a sore from dragging an overly plump abdomen on the substrate - while this was my fault from overfeeding, I imagine that the same thing could happen with wood chips.
 

Vanessa

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I recently made a thread about a strange injury my B. albopilosum sustained. It was determined that it was a sore from dragging an overly plump abdomen on the substrate - while this was my fault from overfeeding, I imagine that the same thing could happen with wood chips.
Dragging themselves over cork bark could cause the same type of rubbing injury with chubby spiders. Chips move, while cork bark doesn't.
I am not suggesting that anyone keep their spiders on coco chips alone, but a 50/50 mix is probably not going to be issue as long as the chips are not huge. Coco chips are fairly soft, they aren't like regular wood. I would describe them as being more fibrous than woody. They are coco fiber chips that come from the husk, they are not wood in the real sense.
They aren't walking around on soft substrate 100% of the time in the wild - they crawl over lots of wood and rocks and other debris. I know that we should be minimizing the potential for injuries, but I don't think having a bit of coco chips is a huge danger to them.
 

EulersK

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Dragging themselves over cork bark could cause the same type of rubbing injury with chubby spiders. Chips move, while cork bark doesn't.
I am not suggesting that anyone keep their spiders on coco chips alone, but a 50/50 mix is probably not going to be issue as long as the chips are not huge. Coco chips are fairly soft, they aren't like regular wood. I would describe them as being more fibrous than woody. They are coco fiber chips that come from the husk, they are not wood in the real sense.
They aren't walking around on soft substrate 100% of the time in the wild - they crawl over lots of wood and rocks and other debris. I know that we should be minimizing the potential for injuries, but I don't think having a bit of coco chips is a huge danger to them.
I actually didn't know coco chips were a thing. I've never heard of them before. They sound like they'd hold moisture pretty well, so they may have some applications in that regard. I was picturing something along the lines of typical wood chips - you're right, I wouldn't be too worried about what you're describing.
 

Vanessa

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They are the outside of the coconut and look like this in chip form....
20273895-Coconut-Coir-Husk-Fiber-Chips-Surface-Texture-close-up-background-Stock-Photo.jpg
 

shining

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Dragging themselves over cork bark could cause the same type of rubbing injury with chubby spiders. Chips move, while cork bark doesn't.
I am not suggesting that anyone keep their spiders on coco chips alone, but a 50/50 mix is probably not going to be issue as long as the chips are not huge. Coco chips are fairly soft, they aren't like regular wood. I would describe them as being more fibrous than woody. They are coco fiber chips that come from the husk, they are not wood in the real sense.
They aren't walking around on soft substrate 100% of the time in the wild - they crawl over lots of wood and rocks and other debris. I know that we should be minimizing the potential for injuries, but I don't think having a bit of coco chips is a huge danger to them.
If you adopted a terrestrial T in an enclosure with 50% 1/2" x 1/2" squares of coconut chips would you leave it in there or switch it out?
 

Vanessa

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They sound like they'd hold moisture pretty well, so they may have some applications in that regard.
They are extremely good at retaining moisture and release it like a sponge when the surrounding substrate gets too dry. They self regulate moisture. They play a huge role in horticulture.
 

Vanessa

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If you adopted a terrestrial T in an enclosure with 50% 1/2" x 1/2" squares of coconut chips would you leave it in there or switch it out?
It depends. If it were a burrowing species, then I would switch it out because it is not good for allowing them to burrow. If it were coco underneath that they could burrow in with some of the chips on top, then I would leave it.
If it were an opportunistic burrower, who was comfortable with using a hide instead of burrowing, then I would definitely leave them on it as long as it was dry enough.
 
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shining

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It depends. If it were a burrowing species, then I would switch it out because it is not good for allowing them to burrow. If it were coco underneath that they could burrow in with some of the chips on top, then I would leave it.
If it were an opportunistic burrower, who was comfortable with using a hide instead of burrowing, then I would definitely leave them on it as long as it was dry enough.
You wouldn't be worried about the T injuring a leg on a shifting chunk of wood square?
 

Vanessa

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You wouldn't be worried about the T injuring a leg on a shifting chunk of wood square?
Coco fiber chips aren't the same as wood. Did you catch the post above where I put up a photo of it? It isn't wood, it is the husk of the coconut and it is much softer than wood.
I worry about my guys getting injured a lot of ways - rubbing up against the top of the enclosure, having their cork bark fall on top of them, burrowing under their water dish and having it come down on them, hooking a leg in the air holes that I have put in the sides and top. There are actually a lot of things that they can injure themselves on.
I would worry less about the coco fiber chips than I worry about some other things.
 

shining

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Coco fiber chips aren't the same as wood. Did you catch the post above where I put up a photo of it? It isn't wood, it is the husk of the coconut and it is much softer than wood.
I worry about my guys getting injured a lot of ways - rubbing up against the top of the enclosure, having their cork bark fall on top of them, burrowing under their water dish and having it come down on them, hooking a leg in the air holes that I have put in the sides and top. There are actually a lot of things that they can injure themselves on.
I would worry less about the coco fiber chips than I worry about some other things.
I know exactly what the stuff is, I've used it before. The stuff can roll. I'd like to hear what the "gods" have to say if they make an appearance.
 

EulersK

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I know exactly what the stuff is, I've used it before. The stuff can roll. I'd like to hear what the "gods" have to say if they make an appearance.
Please don't call experienced members "gods" :shifty: @VanessaS gave a great explanation, and I'm walking away having learned something from her. The "gods" don't know everything either, and they can learn from less experienced keepers like ourselves as well. Everyone has something to offer.
 

shining

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Please don't call experienced members "gods" :shifty: @VanessaS gave a great explanation, and I'm walking away having learned something from her. The "gods" don't know everything either, and they can learn from less experienced keepers like ourselves as well. Everyone has something to offer.
Oh no, she did explain what it is well. I know that members that have less time on the boards can be more knowledgeable that old timers. I wasn't referring to the old timers on here otherwise I would've mentioned the "great old ones". What I was referring to was what will happen, fate, "gods" was a neutrally religious term. I didn't want to stir anything up like that thread in the watering hole. Touchy subjects, mang.
 

EulersK

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Oh no, she did explain what it is well. I know that members that have less time on the boards can be more knowledgeable that old timers. I wasn't referring to the old timers on here otherwise I would've mentioned the "great old ones". What I was referring to was what will happen, fate, "gods" was a neutrally religious term. I didn't want to stir anything up like that thread in the watering hole. Touchy subjects, mang.
It appears as if I missed your subtle reference to fate. My apologies!
 
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