Best ways to keep substrate moist?

Roachesintheivy

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Jun 14, 2018
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First and foremost, apologies if there is a thread like this that has already been posted. I looked through some searches on moist/wet substrate and some A. seemanni threads, but I couldn't find quite what I was looking for.

For tarantulas, what are the best ways to keep substrates moist? What are the best substrates for a moist enclosure? I use a large kritter keeper for my A. seemanni,which is a great size for her but it means she get a lot of ventilation.The coco fiber that I use dries out super quick, to the point where re-wetting it with a trickle of water means I risk flooding her burrow, but just spraying it doesn't wet it enough. I can only wet the surface but every layer is a bit too dry.

I know I've read info about this topic before, but I'm refreshing my research after a stagnant period where I've had to focus on other things. I've cared for my Ts continuously but I'm turning my gaze back to them as much as I can to make sure they're in tip-top shape- and the moist enclosure thing has been a big issue for me for a while. So, how can I alter her substrate/setup to help it stay moist? I've seen people use organic top soil and sphagnum moss. Would that be a good idea? Any suggestions would be helpful. Thank you.
 

Vanessa

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Personally, I will pour water with my bottle down the sides and corners of the enclosure. I have a squeeze bottle with a spout that is perfect for that purpose. That way, the top remains dry, while the under layers are damp. You might want to consider blocking some of the top ventilation if things are drying out too much. Blocking the top directly over the water dish might help.
If I were to keep a moisture loving species in a KK, then I would drill some holes in the sides and block off the top entirely.
 

Roachesintheivy

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Personally, I will pour water with my bottle down the sides and corners of the enclosure. I have a squeeze bottle with a spout that is perfect for that purpose. That way, the top remains dry, while the under layers are damp. You might want to consider blocking some of the top ventilation if things are drying out too much. Blocking the top directly over the water dish might help.
If I were to keep a moisture loving species in a KK, then I would drill some holes in the sides and block off the top entirely.
Hmm... I've tried pouring down the sides, but that brings up the burrow-flooding issue again. The water always seems to collect in there, no matter where I pour, and I always feel bad because Zinna pops her cranky head out like she's saying "Hey! Do you mind?!"
I'll definitely try altering ventilation. maybe I'll do the old trick with covering half of the lid with a moist rag, adding more humidity and stopping more from escaping. I'm going to move her out temporarily for a classroom presentation, so while she's out I'll clean, redecorate and re-wet her enclosure, then start doing the rag thing from there on out.
 

cold blood

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its pretty easy to manipulate water, its gravity driven....just put something under the burrow side to raise it a touch, now when you pour water in it will run down and collect where you want it.
 

Ents189

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Feb 10, 2020
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I like to push a hole in the corners and one on each wall (depending on the size of the enclosure) with my tweezers, then I add water in those holes, it soaks in well and hold the water in the holes until it's absorbed so it doesn't flood the top. Works well for me
 

Roachesintheivy

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its pretty easy to manipulate water, its gravity driven....just put something under the burrow side to raise it a touch, now when you pour water in it will run down and collect where you want it.
Thank you for the advice! My main issue is that Zinna is a weirdo and decided the heart of her burrow had to be in the *middle* of her enclosure, which is probably also the heart of the water problem. When I redo her enclosure I'll restructure some of the cork bark and leaves to encourage her to make a burrow more on one side.
 

vancwa

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My first impression is not enough sub in the enclosure. Post pics.
 

Roachesintheivy

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Sounds like a larger enclosure would help.
My first impression is not enough sub in the enclosure. Post pics.
You are both correct.The sub drying out means it kind of "shrinks", meaning less digging room, and honestly, even though her enclosure feels like it's a good size just eyeing it, I'm probably going to change my mind as soon as I coax my T out of her burrow. She's molted once already since I got her, and she's bigger than my two other Ts. I would post pics but I am unable to do that at the moment.
 

jezzy607

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Flooding the burrow is only temporary until the water soaks into the substrate. Sure the T usually runs out when this happens, but I've seen them go right back in and take a drink and chill. After the water soaks in, if they aren't already back in their burrow, they return.
 
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