Home Made Burrowing Substrate?

Creepy Crawling Guy

Arachnopeon
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Mar 6, 2017
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i was wandering if i can make a home made burrowing substrate ,buying a excavator clay or desert sand is kinda hard from my location.

and did someone already make a home made burrowing subst. ?? and if you do can you tell me what did you use??

im thinking if i can use materials lying around the house
ex.
i got 1 kilo of vibro sand(filtered and washed sand, no dust)
lots and lots of organic fertilized soil
loam soil(close to clay soil)
chalky soil
bunch of coconut husk
shredded wood(so shredded it looks like sand) i forgot what type of wood it is but my best guest is its a mango tree
(everything in the list has been sanitized 1 week under the sun 1 week on the counter and 10 minutes in the microwave)

im thinking of mixing a bunch of these and look if scorp can burrow or not

if you have home made recipe can i take a peek at them? so i can get a general idea ^^
 

user 666

Arachnobaron
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Jan 27, 2017
Messages
351
FWIW, my tarantulas are happy to borrow in coco fiber - but that could be probably too expensive for you.

Is there a reason why plain old dirt isn't god enough?
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
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Messages
1,765
Organic only soil. Don't use treated fertilizer with Perlite and all the additives.
 

Creepy Crawling Guy

Arachnopeon
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Mar 6, 2017
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48
What kind of substrate do you need, dry desert or a more humid tropical type?
i going for dry desert

FWIW, my tarantulas are happy to borrow in coco fiber - but that could be probably too expensive for you.

Is there a reason why plain old dirt isn't god enough?
well the one that my scorp have right now is not suitable for burrowing and im thinking to get a burrowing scorpion i just want to prepare the enclosure before hand

Organic only soil. Don't use treated fertilizer with Perlite and all the additives.
i would never use anything that had industrial fertilizer in it every fertilized soil i have is made in my backyard only (50% soil and 50% earthworm poop)
 

user 666

Arachnobaron
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Jan 27, 2017
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going for dry desert
So what you really want is texture rather than burrowing substrate.

I have found that a 4-4-1 mix of coco fiber, play sand, and tunneling clay makes for a great desert soil substrate for my Ts - they happily dig burrows in it.

Someone on here is using a similar mix for his scorpions, although I can't find the thread at the moment.
 

Creepy Crawling Guy

Arachnopeon
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Mar 6, 2017
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Might be me lol. I use cocofiber. Excavator clay and sand mixture to make my burrowing substrate for scorps

This is the enclosure for a baby P. Transvaalicus. Lightly compacted
did you mixed this your self ? can you share your procedure and ratio
 

ArachnoDrew

Arachnoprince
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I don't have exact ratio... to be honest. I "eyeballed" most the time. It's trial and error with them sometimes I'll compact or to hard or add too much E clay and it becomes too solid. I would start with 60% sand 10-15% cocofiber and the last 20-25% E clay.

E clay is what's going to be what gives u the trial and error part. If it's for a smaller Specimen try a tad less clay and don't compact so tightly after you mix with water....For a larger or matured animal who's enclosure will go untampered with for a long period of time. i would compact tight.will hold a better structure
 

ArachnoDrew

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And by trial and error. I test with the scorps (they're all I own) I leave It in the enclosure after about the first inch has dried . And place a flat hide over a pre started indentation exposed by over night maybe a day or 2 if they haven't burrowed . It's probably too hard
 

Creepy Crawling Guy

Arachnopeon
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Mar 6, 2017
Messages
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I don't have exact ratio... to be honest. I "eyeballed" most the time. It's trial and error with them sometimes I'll compact or to hard or add too much E clay and it becomes too solid. I would start with 60% sand 10-15% cocofiber and the last 20-25% E clay.

E clay is what's going to be what gives u the trial and error part. If it's for a smaller Specimen try a tad less clay and don't compact so tightly after you mix with water....For a larger or matured animal who's enclosure will go untampered with for a long period of time. i would compact tight.will hold a better structure
thanks ill try this method
 

brolloks

Arachnobaron
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Apr 6, 2016
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348
I also could not find excavator clay in my area so I bought bentonite clay which is readily available since it is used at health spa's and such.
The smallest quantity I could get was a 50KG bag about 110 pounds, and it was "dirt" cheap. ;)

I mix the clay with play pen sand, about 3% clay to the amount of sand used. Personally I find if I mix more than 3% clay the mixture becomes as hard as cement.
 

ArachnoDrew

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3%?? And it's that hard? Must be something different with the materials your using
 

user 666

Arachnobaron
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I also could not find excavator clay in my area so I bought bentonite clay which is readily available since it is used at health spa's and such.
The smallest quantity I could get was a 50KG bag about 110 pounds, and it was "dirt" cheap. ;)

I mix the clay with play pen sand, about 3% clay to the amount of sand used. Personally I find if I mix more than 3% clay the mixture becomes as hard as cement.
You should mix in regular dirt, too (or coco fiber). I think that would bring it closer to the desert sand found in the southwest.
 

Creepy Crawling Guy

Arachnopeon
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Messages
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I also could not find excavator clay in my area so I bought bentonite clay which is readily available since it is used at health spa's and such.
The smallest quantity I could get was a 50KG bag about 110 pounds, and it was "dirt" cheap. ;)

I mix the clay with play pen sand, about 3% clay to the amount of sand used. Personally I find if I mix more than 3% clay the mixture becomes as hard as cement.
bentonite would be good for forest/humid enclosure coz it absorb too much water and expand when wet like a sponge but that could be a double edged sword coz thats a good breeding ground for fungus
 

brolloks

Arachnobaron
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Na, bentonite clay is perfectly safe to use. Been using it for a while now and I know of a few other people that use it.
As for mixing different substrates into it, yes I have actually mixed different colors of sand and things into it. I like to experiment and see what works and looks good.
 

brolloks

Arachnobaron
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bentonite would be good for forest/humid enclosure coz it absorb too much water and expand when wet like a sponge but that could be a double edged sword coz thats a good breeding ground for fungus
You get two types of bentonite clay, get the one that does not expand. And of course wait for the mixture to dry out completely before introducing your scorpion or you will have issues.

Sodium Bentonite is the one that expands, Calcium Bentonite is the one that does not.
 
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