Structural integrity help for burrowing species

pissybaboon

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
24
Hi guys,

I was just curious as to the substrate mixes one might use for burrowing species such as p. Muticus or p. Murinus. I have mine temporarily on straight eco earth, but her burrow collapsed and I feel bad. I just wanted to know of a good mix that provides some stability for her. What do you guys use?
 

Walker253

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
556
Some use straight dirt. I use aproximately 45% each coco fiber and peat moss, about 10% playground sand and a handful or two (depending on how much soil used) vermiculite. It seems to hold up very well. I have a big female P muticus that has a big burrow under about 14" of the mix and it's solid. All my other burrowers have about the same set up as well.
 

pissybaboon

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
24
Some use straight dirt. I use aproximately 45% each coco fiber and peat moss, about 10% playground sand and a handful or two (depending on how much soil used) vermiculite. It seems to hold up very well. I have a big female P muticus that has a big burrow under about 14" of the mix and it's solid. All my other burrowers have about the same set up as well.
Very nice. So I'm guessing I'll just have to play around with my ratios for them. Thank you!
 

ledzeppelin

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
434
Idk why is so many collapsed burrow posts these days :D My spiders web the hell out of their burrows and they hold perfectly. I use straight peat moss :D
 

pissybaboon

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
24
Idk why is so many collapsed burrow posts these days :D My spiders web the hell out of their burrows and they hold perfectly. I use straight peat moss :D
Yeah, mine usually do that too. Sometimes they just collapse. I feel bad, though, because she worked hard on it.
 

Andrea82

Arachnoemperor
Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
3,674
Well...it's not like those burrowers have to get the kids to school, go to work, do groceries and stuff...:D
I use cocofiber as well, no collapsing so far. :)
 

JoshDM020

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Messages
358
The trick to coco fiber is packing it down tight. If yiu switch to soil, dont pack it because itll be too hard once dry
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
While the type of substrate helps, I find that if you properly pack the substrate when you put it in, you are likely to have less collapse. I make sure the substrate is slightly damp and press it down pretty tight. This means I have to use a lot more dirt per enclosure and they dig up a lot more when they burrow but I don't get collapsing.

As for what I use it's mainly cocofiber and dirt with a bit of local black sand. I started with it in my burrower enclosures and now I use it for pretty much all the species.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
The trick to coco fiber is packing it down tight. If you switch to soil, don't pack it because it'll be too hard once dry
I pack all my substrate down and so far all the Ts that want to burrow have. Some packed, filtered topsoil shouldn't be much of a problem to them.

Toppsoil is a lot more stable than cocofiber so it doesn't have to be packed as hard but I doubt the T will notice much either way.
 

gypsy cola

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
195
I use some type of jungle substrate. I think its eco earth. It works for me. I even use it for my arid species (after I dry it out). Never collapses and shapes nicely. Molding is very rare.
 

Caseyface

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
57
I have never had any issues with burrows collapsing. I generally use a mix of 60% coco fiber, 20% vermiculite, and 10% shredded organic moss. I will also pack this down.

Then I add a little loose substrate and any decorative plants/moss. :)
 

Tanner Dzula

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
190
Depending on the species, I've either use Straight cocofiber (Arid species) or a mix of mostly cocofiber and finely shredded Sphagnum moss, with a layer of just moss on top (semi-tropical/tropical species)

or a mixture of moss, top soil and peat(swamp dwellers).

I've yet to have an issue with collapsing so far. it really just depends on the species though. most of my species though are either crazy good webber( GBB/OBT) or just master architects(curly hairs and vegans haha)
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
12,079
The trick to coco fiber is packing it down tight. If yiu switch to soil, dont pack it because itll be too hard once dry

This^^...Aside from top soil, all the other subs need to be pressed down firmly and compacted tightly. Do this and you won't have burrow collapses.

Conversely, I have seen topsoil dry to almost concrete hard when compacted tightly...IME top soil holds up well to burrows without any tamping at all.
 

Trenor

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jan 28, 2016
Messages
1,899
Conversely, I have seen topsoil dry to almost concrete hard when compacted tightly.
Are you sure they didn't grab the QUIKRETE mix by accident? :D
Maybe the dirt had a decent amount of lime in it so it got hard as it dried.

I've been tempted to go down to Dad's and get some red/yellow clay from his back fields and see how that goes. I imagine if frogs, snakes, and field rats can make burrows in it the Ts should be good. The only thing I worry about is adding moisture once it starts drying out without flooding the burrow. Well that and it would likely be a big pain if I need to dig the T up for some reason. That's why I've been mixing cocofiber or peat moss in the fill dirt. It seems to disperse the moisture more evenly throughout the substrate.
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
12,079
Are you sure they didn't grab the QUIKRETE mix by accident? :D
Maybe the dirt had a decent amount of lime in it so it got hard as it dried.

I've been tempted to go down to Dad's and get some red/yellow clay from his back fields and see how that goes. I imagine if frogs, snakes, and field rats can make burrows in it the Ts should be good. The only thing I worry about is adding moisture once it starts drying out without flooding the burrow. Well that and it would likely be a big pain if I need to dig the T up for some reason.
Lol, no the same stuff I use all the time. When I first started using it, I didn't recognize the difference and did press it down...looked really nice....when I re housed, I realized why none ever burrowed....It came out like bricks, I had a hard time even breaking it to remove it as the force required would have put the enclosure in jeopardy.
 
Last edited:

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 19, 2014
Messages
12,079
That's why I've been mixing cocofiber or peat moss in the fill dirt. It seems to disperse the moisture more evenly throughout the substrate.
I don't generally mix, but I have at times when I needed to use the last of something else. I actually do like the mixture you use...lightens things up a little and it doesn't dry quite as fast.
 

GreyPsyche

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 19, 2016
Messages
92
I use about 2/3rds top soil, 1/3 peat moss. I like it, works well for all my Ts. My only fossorial lines hers with web though.
 
Top