Question Regarding Mixing Sand and Excavator Clay

biohazard1324

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I keep seeing that mixing excavator clay and sand is the best substrate but I'm not sure whether it means quite literally mix the two together or use both in the same enclosure (i.e. set up burrows and caverns like it shows on the cavern kit) maybe I'm just slow, anything helps.
 

jrh3

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I keep seeing that mixing excavator clay and sand is the best substrate but I'm not sure whether it means quite literally mix the two together or use both in the same enclosure (i.e. set up burrows and caverns like it shows on the cavern kit) maybe I'm just slow, anything helps.
Where did you see this at? I have never read where sand and excavator clay is best. In my opinion its probably the worst, I would rate it right next to aquarium gravel.

Coco fiber or top soil are probably your best options.
 

Almadabes

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I have also not seen this often...

The few references to that clay and sand I have seen are about mixing it with other things as an additive to help with burrowing- top soil, coco, peat, etc
Using it as a majority of the substrate I would not recommend but I haven't had much exp with it.
I'd say soil or coco should be the majority of the substrate.
 

Matt Man

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Soil and Coco Fibre, sometimes I toss in some Peat and Vermiculite
 

Dorifto

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excavator clay is basically clay with sand, so adding more sand will make the mix weaker.

I wouldn´t use clay excavator as a substrate for Ts, even for the desert ones. A much better option would be a mix of topsoil and a clay based substrate. This will give you a very nice substrate for burrowers, even the topsoil alone will work flawlessly.
 

mickiem

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Sand + clay = concrete. I'm not sure this could ever be a good idea! For my sand swimming skinks I use 1 part excavator clay, 3 parts Jurassic sand and 2 parts pine fines. But that is a unique set up. For average set ups I would use cocoa fiber, leaf compost, pine fines and shredded, rotten hardwoods. You can tell from others' comments that anything goes. Except concrete. Do mention what animals you are containing and you will get more specific suggestions and advice. Or if you don't have anything that will eat the substrate you can use cocoa fiber alone.
 

Matt Man

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but don't use any Pine Based stuff with your Ts, phenols (aromatic hydrocarbons) aren't good for your Ts
 

mickiem

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Good advice, @Matt Man . Also don't use pine or other resinous woods (fir, eucalyptus, juniper, cedar, etc.) with millipeds.
 

PGRVII

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I have 2 slings in a mix of about 60%excavator,30% sand and 10% soil. So far both are doing well. I also made a 12x12x12" exoterra a habitat for my M.balfouri. Definitely provides some challenges to work with but I liked it for this project. Hope this helps!

http://instagr.am/p/B9FMvV_BCya/
 

Matt Man

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Good advice, @Matt Man . Also don't use pine or other resinous woods (fir, eucalyptus, juniper, cedar, etc.) with millipeds.
Yes, anything that has a lovely smell is throwing off aromatic hydrocarbons (phenols) which is unhealthy in a semi closed environment
 
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