Substrate variations

blackacidevil

Arachnobaron
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I see that most people use peat moss mixed with vermiculite or something along those lines. I've been keeping my T's on FOREST BED and despite recent posts (thank God for this forum) it has worked out well since they are kept pretty dry. Now that I'm keeping more T's with higher humidity I would like to use a different substrate.
What percentages of each "soil" do you guys use?
(e.g. 40% moss-60%vermiculite)


I know I can probably search this forum and find info but I'd like to get different philosophies on one thread (and I'm lazy;P ) .
 

minax

Arachnoknight
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I usually use the common ratio of 50% peat moss and 50% potting soil. The soil seems to help the moss retain moisture better. I usually just add vermiculite when needed by mixing it in and letting the amount be dictated by the situation and species. Look for a thread from me in a day or so on experimenting with vermiculite and using it a unusual way. And try to find good quality, clean potting soil for your mix.
 

bodc21

Arachnojason
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with my avic's i use 75 percent vermiculite and 25 percent peat moss
with all my other t's i use 50/50 peat and vermiculite
 

Godzilla2000

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Originally posted by blackacidevil
I see that most people use peat moss mixed with vermiculite or something along those lines. I've been keeping my T's on FOREST BED and despite recent posts (thank God for this forum) it has worked out well since they are kept pretty dry. Now that I'm keeping more T's with higher humidity I would like to use a different substrate.
What percentages of each "soil" do you guys use?
(e.g. 40% moss-60%vermiculite)


I know I can probably search this forum and find info but I'd like to get different philosophies on one thread (and I'm lazy;P ) .
I'm finding that different species of tarantula prefer different types of substrate. For instance, my Rosie prefers the forest bed substrate while my Cobalt likes the peat moss. I guess finding the right substrate is all a matter of experimenting with each individual breed on a one on one basis.
 

LunarFaery

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Re: Re: Substrate variations

Originally posted by Godzilla2000
I'm finding that different species of tarantula prefer different types of substrate. For instance, my Rosie prefers the forest bed substrate while my Cobalt likes the peat moss. I guess finding the right substrate is all a matter of experimenting with each individual breed on a one on one basis.
Ok please forgive me but I need to know....how do you know your ts dont like their substrate? They cant scream and say MOM this bed is to hard, this bed is to soft....ahh this one is just right.

Im serious tho. Ive place my first order and I need to get this figured out :confused:

Jen
 

MizM

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Well, which species have you ordered?:?
 

LunarFaery

ArachnoDiva
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Originally posted by terridumonte
Well, which species have you ordered?:?
Well Ive ordered a A. veriscolor, A. metallic and a B. Smithi. Ive put a deposit down on a very pretty T. blondi that can live in her current habitat for a few more months. Not quite sure on the mix but I belive she said its on 100% peat with something else on the bottom for drainage...for the life of me I cant remember whats its called...its lil white ball looking stuff. Great scientific description LOL

Jen
 

MizM

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For my avicularias, I use pure vermiculite, as they tend to NEVER TOUCH THE GROUND! I like to keep it really moist, so the humidity stays up there. They have a little log and tree and have built their hidey-holes about 7" up off the ground and stay there.

For the smithi, you'll eventually be needing a large enclosure. So use something inexpensive. I tried sphagnum moss, and it worked really well, but smelled very strongly of "wet dirt" when I misted. I personally prefer a mixture with a high percentage of vermiculite.

For my slings, I use pure vermiculite. They can move it around easier to make their little mounds and houses, it stays moist for a longer time, it's sterilzed, it doesn't smell or mold.

It's really a matter of your own preference. We have all probably tried many different combinations before we came up with what we use now.

Remember, cedar is toxic. Newspaper can contain toxic inks. Most "oirganic" substrates rot or promote mice. Carpet and artificial turf can fray, catch on a leg and rip it off.
 

LunarFaery

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Remember, cedar is toxic. Newspaper can contain toxic inks. Most "oirganic" substrates rot or promote mice. Carpet and artificial turf can fray, catch on a leg and rip it off. [/B][/QUOTE]

OUCH Ive planned on using a peat vermiculite mixture. I guess its trial and error from here.

Thank you for your help :)
 

MizM

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That sounds fine. Just fiddle with it 'til you and your T are happy!!:D
 

blackacidevil

Arachnobaron
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So

more vermiculite = more humidity


I know in theory it sounds good but through experience is it that easy?
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by blackacidevil
more vermiculite = more humidity


I know in theory it sounds good but through experience is it that easy?
Never bothering to measure humidity in tanks, I don't know that it necessarily equals that. What it does equal without a doubt is greater moisture holding capacity of the substrate, which for burrowers and terrestrials probably does create a higher local humidity.
 

ahkiu

Arachnosquire
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hi

what does everyone think of coir as a substrate? it's made from coconut husk and similar to peat in texture.

just wondering if anyone has experience using this :)
 

Code Monkey

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Re: coir
Some people use it and even like it - it does have great moisture retaining capabilities. But, it also has greater capabilities of supporting fungus, mites, and insect larvae.
I use it for dry tanks on occasion just because it looks different but would never use it for anybody I was going to keep moist.

The chunked coir I've not had any problems with and use it some for "texture" in moist tanks, though.
 

blackacidevil

Arachnobaron
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Sand & Aquarium gravel

What do you guys think about mixing in some sand or aquarium gravel? I have some leftover purple repti-cal sand from my Lizard that died a long time ago......could I throw some of that in there. Also, does anyone mix in aquarium gravel (when I was young and had my first T I kept it on 100% aquarium rocks...OUCH! for 8 years)
 

Code Monkey

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Re: sand/gravel

The word from Stan Shultz, and I agree, is that it's probably not a particularly bad thing. He routinely pipes up on the mailing lists whenever someone is ready to lynch the shop owner for having a G. rosea on sand that in spite of the general belief in the hobby, there's no reason to believe it's going to harm the T under normal circumstances.

But, it's not a particulary good thing, either. It doesn't hold moisture or absorb waste, and it is abrasive if the T is large enough to be dragging its abdomen.

To me, the only reason to use these things is if the aesthetics of the tank outweighs your desire to provide the least intrusive, most supportive substrate.
 

TheSpiderHouse

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I agree with what Code Monkey said. Just going to expound a bit. I wouldn't suggest sand with any T that requires higher humidity levels.. like Code said, it doesn't hold moisture well. If it's a substrate for burrowers, it also doesn't hold tunnels/burrows very well.. it tends to collapse. It also is a great home to some bugs you might not want to share your T's home with. If you have a species that would not be affected by these conditions, then I suppose it would be an ok substrate.
 

sunnymarcie

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The coir is a major NO! NO! I used that stuff on my orchids,
an man did they collect bugs!
Coconut husk chips are ok for a little texture, but not too much.

For the T's I use fine ground peat and vermiculite:0) They seem
to like it. My Rosie has spun a carpet, so she does not even touch
it, except to hunt or drink:) Even then I think she has pretty much covered all of it with web.


..........for the life of me I cant remember whats its called...its lil white ball looking stuff. Great scientific description LOL!:)
Lunar I think it's perlite, not sure:? Similar to vermiculite but
I'm not sure what it's made of:? Maybe someone else will tell
us:confused: :p
 

LunarFaery

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Originally posted by sunnymarcie
The coir is a major NO! NO! I used that stuff on my orchids,
an man did they collect bugs!
Coconut husk chips are ok for a little texture, but not too much.

For the T's I use fine ground peat and vermiculite:0) They seem
to like it. My Rosie has spun a carpet, so she does not even touch
it, except to hunt or drink:) Even then I think she has pretty much covered all of it with web.


..........for the life of me I cant remember whats its called...its lil white ball looking stuff. Great scientific description LOL!:)
Lunar I think it's perlite, not sure:? Similar to vermiculite but
I'm not sure what it's made of:? Maybe someone else will tell
us:confused: :p
yes its perlite...I found it at walmart...gotta love walmart

Ive got my avic versicolors habitat set up with it.....and from all the condensation in there I know its doing good with the humidity. Glad I found that this weeked cause my spiders are coming today WHOO HOOO :cool:

I did look on the package and all it says is perlite...sorry not much help on what its made out of from me.

Jen
 

sunnymarcie

Celestial Spider
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Lunar, nothing on the bag? No info at all?
Oh, well, no biggie:)

Well, I know vermiculite is a form of mica, they do something to
it, to make it expand, and it is sterile. That's a plus:)
 
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