Bedding?

TarantuChimp

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
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May 12, 2003
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149
I have been out today to get some new tank filler, and I was advised to buy Eco-Earth its similer to Bed a Beast, compacted cocnut husk in water and then it expands..I was wondering if anyone here has used it and knows any problems with it, i am afraid of attracting mites as it is organic? not a silly question I hope.
 

LCDXX

Arachnosquire
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Apr 10, 2003
Messages
136
I've used Eco-Earth before on a few occassions, though in my experience I've found to use it as a "filler" of sorts in regular potting soil (say, 3/1 ratio).

It really depends on what species you're using it with. If you have an arboreal, like an Avic for example, by all means toss a couple hand-fulls in there. If you are working with a burrower, then you'll definitely want to mix it with generous amounts of potting soil (no fertilizer/pesticides!).

In either case, however, I use a mix... one of those compact bricks (expanded with water per package directions) to about 25-30 pounds (1/2 to 3/4 of a bag) of potting soil. It helps retain a certain amount of moisture to the substrate for jungle species, and when thoroughly dried out it provides a nice texture to the soil which aids in burrowing. You can accent this mixture by holding out a couple of cups full to add to the surface area of the substrate to provide a more variable living space, though I find sphagnum moss to be more pleasing on the eye.... or you could use a combination of both, though it doesn't matter at all because it only benefits you, the observer... the T doesn't really give a crap.

The coconut husks are (I believe) somewhat resistant to most common molds and vermin, though you should still make an effort to monitor any abnormal coloration or growth - and clean regularly as you see fit.

LCDXX
 

MizM

Arachnoprincess
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Just a note... I'm not sure how many of you use perlite, but I just kind of had a strange experience with it.

Was cleaing out the crix sty and had tons of perlite sitting around. I thought I'd just use it straight... it would be easier to spot the little buggers at feeding time. Well, for 2 weeks I had a 95% death rate. Hmmmm. Have changed back to my favorite straight verm and now no problems. I'm wondering if they inhaled the dust or something. And if so... could it harm Ts?

I will no longer use it in my peat mix for water retention because I'm not absolutely 100% positive about it's safety. If in doubt... I LEAVE IT OUT!

Just sharing... if it's a bad thing don't want ANYTHING to happen to ANYONE'S Ts!:D
 

Charlie

Arachnobaron
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Aug 27, 2002
Messages
368
Coconit mold?

I always heard thta coconut was more prone to molds. Was I given bad information?

-Charlie
 

esmoot

Arachnobaron
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Dec 21, 2002
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526
I keep almost all of my 150+ t's on coconut and have never had a problem. The only time it will have mold groth is if you have you humidity% way to high.
 

Sean

Arachnodemon
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Mar 18, 2003
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718
I use the stuff with my potting soil with my high humitity T's i use probably a 3/1 mix of it as well, i never use wood chip type stuff all by its slef with any of my aniamls its all a mix of stuff
 

Mojo Jojo

Arachnoking
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Nov 3, 2002
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Coconuts are a cashcrop and thus probably treated with pestacide.

I've had mixed results with the stuff (before the above statement was pointed out to myself).

A couple of time, it reeked of mold right after expanding.

Jon
 

Buspirone

Arachnoprince
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Mar 10, 2003
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Originally posted by MizM
Just a note... I'm not sure how many of you use perlite, but I just kind of had a strange experience with it.

Was cleaing out the crix sty and had tons of perlite sitting around. I thought I'd just use it straight... it would be easier to spot the little buggers at feeding time. Well, for 2 weeks I had a 95% death rate. Hmmmm. Have changed back to my favorite straight verm and now no problems. I'm wondering if they inhaled the dust or something. And if so... could it harm Ts?

I will no longer use it in my peat mix for water retention because I'm not absolutely 100% positive about it's safety. If in doubt... I LEAVE IT OUT!

Just sharing... if it's a bad thing don't want ANYTHING to happen to ANYONE'S Ts!:D
Perlite isn't used to retain moisture. Its used to keep soil from compacting, aerate soil and improve drainage. Used soley it is a hazard but in a mix of other materials in low quanitties it shouldn't pose a problem. Perlite is essentially puffed glass . It is extremely porous and has thousands of microscopic sharp edges. Wet perlite will also raise the humidity very quickly because of its porus surface. You can do well to avoid perlite all together but if you decide to use a commercial potting mix or potting soil you will be hard pressed to not find some small quanity of perlite in the mix. I'm using a cactus and succulent potting mix in some of my enclosures and it has small amounts of perlite and sand. I havn't see any problems with it. The other major components of the mixture cancel out the otherwise bad qualities of perlite and sand. All things considered the safest route is to use peat and vermiculite since both have been used extensively for a long time in tarantula keeping and are PROVEN safe and adequate substrates.
 

rknralf

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Jul 19, 2002
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With a majority of my larger tarantulas, I use a 100% Peat Moss substrate. It retains moisture well and provides enough stability for burrowing. For smaller tarantulas, I mix Peat Moss and Vermiculite about 60/40. This adds even more moister retention to keep the humidity high for spiderlings.
I've moved away from potting soil as I cannot locate 100% pure dirt. All of it has one or more additives and I don't want to risk losing any of my spiders.
Also, you can purchase a large bag of Peat Moss for around $8.00 and that usually lasts for several months. If you get it though, read the ingredients to verify that it is 100% pure Sphagnum Peat Moss.
Ralph
 

LCDXX

Arachnosquire
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Apr 10, 2003
Messages
136
Lowe's (the hardware store) carries 100% pure, untainted potting soil for like $1.27 (40lb. bag).

Never thought about using cactus mix, though... interesting.

LCDXX
 

MizM

Arachnoprincess
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Jan 13, 2003
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So, basically I put little bugs on little glass! NO WONDER:eek:

Guess it's a blonde thing!
 

Buspirone

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Mar 10, 2003
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Originally posted by LCDXX
Lowe's (the hardware store) carries 100% pure, untainted potting soil for like $1.27 (40lb. bag).

Never thought about using cactus mix, though... interesting.

LCDXX
If you sift the soil or top soil through a screen that you buy in the store you'll be amazed at the variety of things you will find in some brands that aren't soil. I take a gallon of soil and do that to determine if its a brand that I want to use for gardening and other projects. I've found ashphalt, clumps of tar, peices of metal, cigarette filters/butts, crushed glass similar to car glass and so on.
 

LCDXX

Arachnosquire
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Apr 10, 2003
Messages
136
Originally posted by Buspirone
If you sift the soil or top soil through a screen that you buy in the store you'll be amazed at the variety of things you will find in some brands that aren't soil. I take a gallon of soil and do that to determine if its a brand that I want to use for gardening and other projects. I've found ashphalt, clumps of tar, peices of metal, cigarette filters/butts, crushed glass similar to car glass and so on.
Very true, but being in the midwest, I'm better off purchasing soil at a store than attempting to collect it from my own backyard that's surrounded by fertilizer/pesticide ridden farmland.

Any substrate, no matter what the composition, origin, foreign debris, chemical, or biological content - sifted or not - could be scrutinized to the point that no substrate in existence is suitable. Even the substrate found a specimen's native environment is subject to some form of irregularity.

LCDXX
 
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