rate the substrate

krystal

Arachnodite
Old Timer
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Jul 18, 2002
Messages
381
esu's lizard litter--molds very easily when kept moist.

esu's jungle mix--every bag i've ever purchaced is infested with mites--you can see them everywhere. if you are caught between a rock and a hard place and have to get this, i suggest opening the bag and either dumping out the contents onto something flat that you can spread it out on and constantly shine halogen or heat lamps on it for three weeks or so, or just leave the jungle mix in the bag, place it in your closet, and let the substrate slowly dry itself out over the period of a year or so, mixing it every three weeks. this will eventually cause all of the mites to die.

t-rex's expandable forest bed--my a. geniculata hates this stuff--she's been climbing the walls ever since i switched her substrate (from the dried-for-a-year jungle mix). it's been infested by mold and little white ball-thingies have covered the terra cotta planter she uses as a hide.

zoo med's repti bark--seems to work okay with my pterror who loves it for its easy maneuverability when reconstructing her burrow that i usually destroy every time i try to recover a moult or attempt to clean up a little.

shultz's cactus soil--what i'm currently using now for my spiderlings. contains no pesticides or other chemicals, but has styrofoam chunks in it. seems to work okay thus far.

coconut bark--i've never used this stuff, but i've heard (probably here) that it molds easily and is not recommended. more info would be helpful.

soil with "water retaining" crystals--i'm anxious to try this type of substrate, but would like feedback before doing so. please let me know of any experiences you or someone you know may have had with "special" or regular soil. i'm thinking plain old potting soil just might be the way to go.
 
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Mojo Jojo

Arachnoking
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Nov 3, 2002
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Hi Krystal.

I believe forrest floor and bed a beast are both shredded coconut. I never had a problem with forrest floor, but when I switced to bed a beast, I noticed that it had a very strong odor, either of mold or pesticide. I made some posts about that, and when I got all the feedback on it, I decided that i wouldn't ever use either again. (The logic being, is that coconuts are a cash crop. Because of this, there is a high probability that pesticide is used on them. Don't want to risk putting this in with my critters and killing them.)

I think I tried jungle mix once, and yes, MITES. Wont do that again.

Lizard Litter just looks bad.

Reptibark: I've never even thought of using that.

Schultz Cactus Soil: That styraphome is probably vermiculite.

Tried soil, don't really like.

PEAT! I have been using peat for a while. It naturally resists mold. By adding different levels of vermiculite, you can have an easier time regulating its moisture content.

BD

PS - My geniculata climbs the walls EVERY time that I change her substrate. I have her housed in a ten gallon aquarium. Most recently, when putting some more substrate, I finally decided to take the advice of putting enough in to only allow the spider one bodys length worth of glass.
 

rodney

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 31, 2002
Messages
7
i really like forest floor. im changing all mine over, no mite or mold problems and it looks good too. rodney
 

Mojo Jojo

Arachnoking
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Nov 3, 2002
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Oh yeah! Isn't there really fine sand in Schultz's Desert Blend? I could be wrong, but I think its in there. Anyways, it seems to me, that I have read that sand can mess up a tarantulas booklungs.

Bd
 

Chris

Arachnoknight
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Aug 9, 2002
Messages
284
I have tried the forest floor.... never noticed mites in mine though. I might have been lucky or it might have been because of the winter up here.

The substrate I have had the most success with is a mixture of peat, soil, vermiculite and repti-bark for some substance.

For the dry species (usambaras and rosies) I have tried large grain desert floor. It looks like poppyseeds almost and they seem to really like it. Its too large to get into the book lungs and irritate them and with some silk it turns into a nice bed for them as long as I have a hide provided.
 

Dean W

Arachnosquire
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Dec 30, 2002
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has anyone tried sand with larger grains? at the petshop close to my home, they sell this stuff called "Calci-sand". And its comes ina variety of colors ( with all natural dyes), and when it comes to lizards and stuff, if they injest some, its digested easily, and since its calcium, its good for em so im sure it couldn't harm a T.It also has larger grains, and absolutely no dust. Im still not sure if i should try it tho, whatcha think?
 

Lycanthrope

Arachnolord
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Oct 10, 2002
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soil with "water retaining" crystals--i'm anxious to try this type of substrate, but would like feedback before doing so. please let me know of any experiences you or someone you know may have had with "special" or regular soil. i'm thinking plain old potting soil just might be the way to go.
i used this for a while. it will grow mold if kept too moist, and if you let it dry out good luck getting it to hold moisture again. it drys in large hard clumps too, so occasionally you have to break down the soil in your hand. i switched to peat/vermiculite and have no plans of switching back anytime soon.
 

Steve Nunn

Arachnoprince
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Joined
Aug 30, 2002
Messages
1,777
Originally posted by krystal
esu's lizard litter--molds very easily when kept moist.

t-rex's expandable forest bed--my a. geniculata hates this stuff--she's been climbing the walls ever since i switched her substrate (from the dried-for-a-year jungle mix). it's been infested by mold and little white ball-thingies have covered the terra cotta planter she uses as a hide.

Hi,
I don't know if this is the same product, but Bed-a-Beast is BAD, BAD, BAD.

A friend of mine, Lance May, bought some and found of all things, a cigarette but in it. Nicotine is a powerful pesticide so using it could have killed any inverts he used this product on.

It's a mass produced coconut fibre product and the fact that a but was found in it says that they don't screen the product any where near well enough in my opinion.

I wouldn't comment on other substrates though, this topic is hot enough as it is ;)

Cheers,
Steve
 

petitegreeneyes

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
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Sep 26, 2002
Messages
1,114
I use the Forest bed which after soaking breaks down to a nice dirt like mixture and I mix vermiculite with it and I love the stuff. Never had a problem with it so far.
 

Vayu Son

Avatar of Anansi
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Jul 19, 2002
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809
><

Calci-sand is important for some reptiles such as leopard geckos due to their tendency to ingest sand. Normal sand causes blocking in their intestinal track and will eventually kill them, the calci sand allows them to digest it and retreive the calcium they are lacking. Leads me to believe that the sand in their natural environment is rich in minerals.



I have tried many different substrates for the T's and I find the easiest method is a mix of 75% peat moss and 25% vermiculate. For some spiderlings and arboreals I use straight vermiculate, for some I use straight peat. You can get bags of the stuff at hardware stores(just make sure it is nothing more than itself, no added fertilizers. Best ive used yet is STA-GREEN brand for both, from lowes.

-V
 

Theraphosa

Arachnoknight
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Nov 10, 2002
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296
I didn't know bedabeast was bad for Ts... I've been using it for 2 days already... I might change to something different.. do you guys think "Fluker Farms Moss Bedding" is a good substrate for tarantulas? btw where do you guys buy vermiculate at?
here's the link for moss bedding http://www.petsmart.com/products/product_19247.shtml
 

Seath

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
17
Originally posted by Theraposa
btw where do you guys buy vermiculate at?
Vermiculate can be purchased at almost any hardware, floral, garden supply store. And it is also in places like Wal-Mart, Target ect. Look in the garden department..

j
 

Theraphosa

Arachnoknight
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Nov 10, 2002
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296
cool.... thanks.. I just went to Lowe's and found Vermiculate and peat moss
 

galeogirl

Arachnoprince
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Aug 15, 2002
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I use a mix of soil and peat moss with a layer of sphagnum moss for tropical species to help retain moisture.
 

Kenny

Arachnoknight
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Aug 7, 2002
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294
Jungle mix

I don't know the brand of mine right now because I can't find the bag, never thought about it really.

I have had jungle mix since July last year and some coconut substrate mixed in and I've never had any problem what so ever.
I've tried to find/catch any mites, but I can't find any.
I do clean my cages very,very carefully from food left overs and I keep the cages a little on the drier side even with a spieces that is requested to have somewhat more humidty. I mist like 80% on cage walls and the rest on the substrate.

I have 2 Versicolors, 1 is 3+ inches and the other one is 2 inches.
1 M.Earth Tiger(Thorelli), 1 P.Irminia, 1 A.Avic, 1 A.Braunhenseni 2 inches, 1 Green Bottle blue, one 7 inches Chaco female, and one 3 inch G.Pulchra.

They have all molted so far without problem several times each and lived on this jungle mix, any problems, nope.

If you ask 1 question about substrate you get 1000 answers/opinions back IME.:)

Kenny
 
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T

Tarantula

Guest
I have successfully used bed a beast, vermiculite, potting soil and reptibark and have never had a problem with mites or retainging moisture.
 

Ephesians

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
353
Oh my goodness, was that Krystal? Dear God, we haven't seen you in ages, not that I recollect, anyway. Hrm...actually it's been so long I've switched handles since then. Nice to see you again. (or have I just strategically been missing a buttload of posts?)

Marcus
(The dude you and arachnopunks brought over from tarantulas.com about a year ago...not that you'd remember..lol.)
 

Ephesians

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Sep 12, 2002
Messages
353
Oh yeah...and for substrate...two words....Peat Moss baby. wait, that's three...whatever.
 

Jobe

Arachnoknight
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Joined
Oct 9, 2002
Messages
187
I dont got the benefit of brands here, and the only bedding i can get is this hamster-habbitat thingy...so all substrates are more or less from plant nurseries...

I have tried :

Pure Soil...
Bad...too many damn things live in it...

Microwaved Soil/vermiculite...
So far so good, but recently had a funguss outbreak in the tank...curse our soils...

Laterite...:)
This tank was set up with the H.Albostriatum as a guinnea pig as i was getting desperate for a decent local substrate. There has been no problems except that this soil retains moisture poorly. Also not good for burrowers as it doesnt hold together too good(need to figure a good mix here). No moss/parasite problems so far as well...and the high iron oxide content of this substrate doesnt seem to cause any probs with the T, and it also gives a really nice contrasting base for the T too :D

-ed
 
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