OBT substrate.

shiga

Arachnopeon
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Feb 13, 2020
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Hello,

After a few years of keeping Ts I finally decided to adopt an OBT. Though I’ve been studying these little critters there is one thing that interests me and that is the substrate.

I’ve been stalking this forum for a while and notice that most keepers say this is a very hardy species but the substrate needs to be bone dry.

I bought some pre dried coco fibre which is dryish (my partner won’t allow me to bake in the oven and our radiators are too small to place them on top of). It’s still slightly damp but mainly from being in the bag. Will that be ok? I presume it will dry out over time but take a while from being compressed in the enclosure.

I’ve had substrate out to dry for a week but it’s still slightly damp. As in very few elements of it will stick to my hand.

The T is about 7cm DLS.

Sorry if this is a stupid question and the answer is probably obvious but I know keepers have different results with different approaches.
 
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Vanisher

Arachnoking
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I would not use it if very moist. I would buy some other dry substrate instead or dry it out compleatly before using it
 

Colorado Ts

Arachnobaron
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It looks to pretty damp. Maybe spread it out on a counter or something, increase the surface area and dry it for a day or so.
 

shiga

Arachnopeon
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Feb 13, 2020
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It looks to pretty damp. Maybe spread it out on a counter or something, increase the surface area and dry it for a day or so.
Yep afraid that might be the case. I was hoping ‘it will dry out’ might be better. Just means transferring the beauty beast twice.
 

TownesVanZandt

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Here’s a photo (doubt this will help?) It’s not so dry nor damp. I can’t squeeze any water out of it.
Where do you keep the tarantula currently? If you have the time it is best to let it dry out in the enclosure as it is hard to make coco fibre compact enough for burrowing if it is completely dry.
 

shiga

Arachnopeon
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Where do you keep the tarantula currently? If you have the time it is best to let it dry out in the enclosure as it is hard to make coco fibre compact enough for burrowing if it is completely dry.
It’s coming tomorrow.

I could be mistaking damp for it being cold. I did put some in the oven just now and it feels like instant coffee after. And I can’t imagine her making a burrow from that. So possibly dry combination with lightly damp substrate could be ok?
 

Smotzer

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It’s coming tomorrow.

I could be mistaking damp for it being cold. I did put some in the oven just now and it feels like instant coffee after. And I can’t imagine her making a burrow from that. So possibly dry combination with lightly damp substrate could be ok?
Probably would work and put it in the enclosure and pack it down and leave the lid off so it can start to dry out, and maybe put the tarantula in there in a few days.
 

TownesVanZandt

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It’s coming tomorrow.

I could be mistaking damp for it being cold. I did put some in the oven just now and it feels like instant coffee after. And I can’t imagine her making a burrow from that. So possibly dry combination with lightly damp substrate could be ok?
Yes, it doesn´t look soaking wet from the picture so I think it will be okay :)
 

Vanisher

Arachnoking
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Yep afraid that might be the case. I was hoping ‘it will dry out’ might be better. Just means transferring the beauty beast twice.
My advise is not to buy those bricks. For once they are very expensive and second you always have to add water which makes them unsuitable for all exept moist speicies. Buy large sacks of soil or peat or some other type of substrate. Much cheaper and much less moist
 

shiga

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My advise is not to buy those bricks. For once they are very expensive and second you always have to add water which makes them unsuitable for all exept moist speicies. Buy large sacks of soil or peat or some other type of substrate. Much cheaper and much less moist
This time I got it ready-made. But the bag its in keeps it ever so slightly moist. It's damp but not wet. I can't wait for summertime!
 

Vanisher

Arachnoking
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Dont you have any garden stores in your area? They always have large bags of soil that often is very cheap. Yes the soil is often slightly moist in those bags, but not comparable as moist as the brick you place in water
 

shiga

Arachnopeon
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Yeah, lots of garden stores. But I always worry they're not pesticide-free (even if they state they are) considering it's not made for Ts specifically.
 

chanda

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The coconut fiber by itself (at least in my experience) does not stick together well enough to support burrowing. It's better if you mix in sand or plain, cheap topsoil - both readily available at most garden stores. I use playground sand and what passes for "topsoil" (but is mostly composted forest products, rather than actual dirt). Just read the labels and make sure manure or other fertilizers are not part of the mix. They usually won't be when you're buying the cheap topsoil that is intended for filling holes and stuff. You want to avoid the enriched potting/planting mixes that have fertilizers and/or other products added to them.
 

TownesVanZandt

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The coconut fiber by itself (at least in my experience) does not stick together well enough to support burrowing.
Really? I´ve solely used coco fibre in all my enclosure for years and never had any issues when it comes to burrowing.
 

The Grym Reaper

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Set up the enclosure and let it dry out naturally, if it's well ventilated it'll dry out fully in no time at all.

Yeah, lots of garden stores. But I always worry they're not pesticide-free (even if they state they are) considering it's not made for Ts specifically.
Westland topsoil from B&M or Wickes is fine, been using it for years without issue.
 

jezzy607

Arachnobaron
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Your obt will not die if substrate is moist, as long as enclosure is ventilated. Substrate doesn't NEED to be dry, but this species can handle living in dry substrate. Where they live has a good rainy season, it's not like they all die when the monsoon rains come lol. I moisten the substrate of mine and allow it to dry out between waterings (like a houseplant), never had issues doing this in 20 years.
 
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