Substrate change?


Old Timer
Jul 21, 2002
I'm planning on changing my pzb's substrate, but I'm a little concerned about how this may affect her feeding. I know T's use the webbing they lay on the substrate to detect their prey, so I was wondering, if I dump out her old substrate- webbing and all, will it mess up her feeding? My pzb just came out of a 7+ month fast two or three months ago, and I don't want to start her off on another one. Should I feed her heavily for a while, and then change it?
I plan to replace her potting soil with pure peat ( not peatmoss, peat). The reason for the change is that to keep up the humidity in her tank, I had been overflowing her waterdish, and / or spraying the substrate. Because of that, the potting soil (either from mold/ mildew or mineral deposits ) has turned white in places, and I do NOT want mold in tank!!
Anyway, I just want to get rid of the junky substrate, and clean up her tank, but without messing up her feeding. What do you think I should do? Any advice would be appreciated!!

Aboreal Rayne

Old Timer
Mar 7, 2003
Substrate changing...

I believe a clean T, is a happy T. I change my T's cage once every one or two months. I have witnessed Pandora eat with, and without that aid of the "web carpet" as I belive it aids the detection. I don't belive this carpet is soley responsilbe for the T being able to hunt, and should be able to take down prey without its' aid. On a side note, my spiders do go through a period of "shock" after this process lasting about a couple of days. After that amount of time is over and they have adapted, a new home and, (if needed) carpet is rebuilt. By then you'll probably be eager to test thier hunting abilities!! Hope this grants some insight....

~Aboreal Rayne~


He Who Rules
Staff member
Jul 16, 2002
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Changing substrate completely is a waste of time and energy. If part of the substrate is "Junky", then just remove the junky part and replace. If you want to change the substrate type, then by all means go ahead, but in general, unless there is a serious disturbance in the substrate (mold, mites, cricket babies) there is no point in doing so. There is no substrate fairy that goes around changing the dirt in T's burrows, so why should you? :) I've had my T's on the same substrate for years with only changing out the junky parts and never had a problem.

If you do change out the substrate, expect a stressed T for a time. I doubt the loss of the web will affect it's hunting ability much, but the stress on the other hand may preclude a loss of appetite.