Problems with play sand

Jacobchinarian

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Aug 2, 2010
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So I just bought some play sand I was thinking of using for a brachypelma smithi. I haven't tried it yet and I was curious to see what you guys think. It isn't the ultra fine stuff that cakes so what are the problems?
 

dannyboypede

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Sand is rough and abrasive. It may present molting, burrow building, and breathing problems. It is also quite heavy and expensive. While I cannot prove that these problems actually occur, it is better to not take the risk and just go with Coco fiber or Peat moss.
Just my 0.2,
Dan
 

Jacobchinarian

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Sand is rough and abrasive. It may present molting, burrow building, and breathing problems. It is also quite heavy and expensive. While I cannot prove that these problems actually occur, it is better to not take the risk and just go with Coco fiber or Peat moss.
Just my 0.2,
Dan
Your probably right but it is actualy 1/3 of the price of petsmarts substrate. Plus my dad had a pzb on sand for years when he was a kid.
 

NikiP

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Your probably right but it is actualy 1/3 of the price of petsmarts substrate. Plus my dad had a pzb on sand for years when he was a kid.
I paid around $10 for my 3cu ft bale of peat moss. It'll last you a LONG time unless you have oodles of spiders.
 

Chris_Skeleton

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Your probably right but it is actualy 1/3 of the price of petsmarts substrate. Plus my dad had a pzb on sand for years when he was a kid.
That doesn't mean the T liked it.

I got a 2 cu. ft. bale of peat for $10 at TSC. Don't buy sub from petstores, they mark it up too much.
 

bobusboy

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That doesn't mean the T liked it.

I got a 2 cu. ft. bale of peat for $10 at TSC. Don't buy sub from petstores, they mark it up too much.

+1

I buy sub from pet stores just because I'm a fan of coconut coir and its easy to buy the non compressed stuff because i buy spiders so infrequently.

Sand seems to be a no go for Ts due to the formation of their book lungs, some sand+something hybrid soil might be good if you have an arid T. But even then I wouldn't.
 

jimip

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play sand seems to find its self in all keeping hobbys every few years, but it seems to me its always rejected before to long because of laundry lists of alleged problems. ive done no research and have seen none made, but ive never heard of peat or coco fiber doing much of anything terrible. i would just stick to the stuff no one can even claim killed there pet.
 

Jacobchinarian

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Could people please start posting horror or success stories with sand. Im interested to hear the results
 

codykrr

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Play sand is SILCA sand. Which is FAR to abrasive on the Tarantula's abdomen. There isnt any "breathing" problems, but molting, burrowing, and abrasion seem to be the biggest issue. Tarantulas abdomen's are rather delicate, and will be rubbed raw over a period of time. not to mention sand is a horrible sub to hold moisture, which will cause molting issues.

Yes it has been done. But why would you risk it?

Like mentioned. A bale of sphagnum peat moss is like 10 bucks for 3 cu at lowes. it will last forever, resists mold and mites alot better that coco coir, and compacts better for burrowing.

If you insist on using coco coir, please, save yourself some money and buy it in bulk from garden nurseries.

Petstore products are usually marked up around 350% to 400% actual value. (retail crap).

Also, just because "your dad did it for years" does not mean his Tarantula was "happy".....:rolleyes:
 

jimip

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Could people please start posting horror or success stories with sand. Im interested to hear the results
i had a beardie once that almost died of compaction. vet swears up and down that it was the play sand. switched it over to calcisand and it never had an issue again. not so much horror but still it was a close call with a beloved pet
 

Jacobchinarian

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Also, just because "your dad did it for years" does not mean his Tarantula was "happy"
Well how do you know it wasn't happy. It lived on it for a long time without any problems. Also brachypelma smithi, the tarantula I'm getting, come from deserts and like it bone dry. Humidity won't be a problem. Also don't they live on sand in the wild? I would never keep a high humidity tarantula on sand.
 

jimip

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Well how do you know it wasn't happy. It lived on it for a long time without any problems. Also brachypelma smithi, the tarantula I'm getting, come from deserts and like it bone dry. Humidity won't be a problem. Also don't they live on sand in the wild? I would never keep a high humidity tarantula on sand.
everything ive read puts this on costs.... which are never truely bone dry, usualy theres enough moisture in the air.... theres nothing like a breeze coming off a large body of water.
 

codykrr

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Well how do you know it wasn't happy. It lived on it for a long time without any problems. Also brachypelma smithi, the tarantula I'm getting, come from deserts and like it bone dry. Humidity won't be a problem. Also don't they live on sand in the wild? I would never keep a high humidity tarantula on sand.
I am sorry, but you asked..I answered. Also, you should consider researching the spiders you get before you get them!:rolleyes:

As B. smithi do not come from where it is "bone dry"....haha

They come from the hills of the southwestern mexican coastline where humidity can reach around 65% to 70%.....

and dont live on sand.;)

---------- Post added at 02:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:47 AM ----------

to add. There might be SOME sand but defiantly not from a "bone dry desert"

might check this out.

B. smithi habitat pics here
 

Nerri1029

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I have used lots of diff substrates:

- pure coconut
- pure peat
- sand ( back in the 90's before AB)
- What I've found to work the best in mixtures.

any ONE type will present some problems.

too high moisture, too abrasive, too little humidity retention... etc.

Cactus soil from Shultz is ideal for most IMO.

I like fibers - better burrows
I like water to be able to soak in and stay. - T's dig to increase humidity.
I like aeration - cuts now on mold.

my 2 cents.
 

Moltar

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Ditto on what they said about not using (only) sand.

I do mix sand into some of my substrates (depending on the species) but I always use what Lowes labels as "desert sand". This is natural sand collected from... deserts, I guess. It isn't sharp and abrasive like playground sand or masonry sand which is ground up from scrap aggregate. If you need sand in an enclosure I recommend using that. It should be in the same section as potting soil.
 
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curiousme

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This question has come up a lot lately. Here is an older(not recent) thread with good answers to your your question. :)
 
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Jacobchinarian

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I am sorry, but you asked..I answered. Also, you shoold consider researching the spiders you get before you get them!

As B. smithi do not come from where it is "bone dry"....haha

They come from the hills of the southwestern mexican coastline where humidity can reach around 65% to 70%.....

and dont live on sand.

---------- Post added at 02:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:47 AM ----------

to add. There might be SOME sand but defiantly not from a "bone dry desert"
Sorry I guess your right about that I did ask. And by bone dry I ment they only need a water bowl for added humidity. Also I haven't bought the tarantula yet. This is part of my research.
 
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TrentinG

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Im no expert, but i use plain old vermiculite from lowes. I run it through a sifter in water to get all the dust and stuff out, then for my burrowers i just mix it with coco fiber, about 50-50. I havent had any mold in any of the tanks with vermiculite ever! And iv'e had mold with all coco fiber :8o Just a thought!
 

sjl197

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Thankfully some decent replies started to come out here.

I can't see any point to stickng to one type of substrate alone, as said, one substrate doesn't have all desirable properties. Plus different species have different preferences.

It is extreemely useful to find out how the species live in the wild and try to replicate that. B.smithi certainly do not live in deserts nor other very arid regions. They are found along the pacific coast of NE Mexico and in areas of rather dense scrub vegetation. This shades the areas they live in, and this species tends to be found near water courses (small rivers or arroyos) meaning that humidy is even higher than surrounding areas. I would say humidity around 60% is appropriate.

The natural soil in much of their range contains decent amounts of sand, but also balanced with dry clay that binds it to be compact and not loose dust. You will probably be best to mix a little sand with peat moss and some coir. This mix allows you to keep part of the enclosure moist, and other areas dry. Then the spider can move between areas as it prefers, eg to the moister area while moulting.

Naturally these spiders rarely dig burrows but live in large scrapes made by other animals or under large rocks. Naturally the deepest part of the scapes
are cooler and moister than the surroundings.

Just to repeat, they don't live in deserts and won't thrive on pure dry sand..
Ps. I am writing this from Mexico right now....
 

Jacobchinarian

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Aug 2, 2010
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Thankfully some decent replies started to come out here.

I can't see any point to stickng to one type of substrate alone, as said, one substrate doesn't have all desirable properties. Plus different species have different preferences.

It is extreemely useful to find out how the species live in the wild and try to replicate that. B.smithi certainly do not live in deserts nor other very arid regions. They are found along the pacific coast of NE Mexico and in areas of rather dense scrub vegetation. This shades the areas they live in, and this species tends to be found near water courses (small rivers or arroyos) meaning that humidy is even higher than surrounding areas. I would say humidity around 60% is appropriate.

The natural soil in much of their range contains decent amounts of sand, but also balanced with dry clay that binds it to be compact and not loose dust. You will probably be best to mix a little sand with peat moss and some coir. This mix allows you to keep part of the enclosure moist, and other areas dry. Then the spider can move between areas as it prefers, eg to the moister area while moulting.

Naturally these spiders rarely dig burrows but live in large scrapes made by other animals or under large rocks. Naturally the deepest part of the scapes
are cooler and moister than the surroundings.

Just to repeat, they don't live in deserts and won't thrive on pure dry sand..
Ps. I am writing this from Mexico right now....
Ok I will add some stuff to it. When I origionly bought the sand I was going to add some peat moss but home depot was out for the season and all they had was peat moss with a huge amount of nitrates and fertilizers. Ill check lowes and if they don't have it I'll buy some online. I haven't even ordered the tarantula so I have plenty of time to change things.
 
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