Substrate

Ariel

Arachnoprince
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Alright, so I use 100% peat moss in all of my enclosure. It's cheap and I love the stuff. However I have noticed that when it dries out it tends to clump and create spaces between it and the wall of the enclosure. For awhile, I didn't care, It didn't look great but it wasn't doing any harm. Well last night when I was feeding my B. vagans two crickets decided that space would be a great hiding spot! So now neither I or my poor hungry B. vagans can get to them.

So my question is, how do I prevent the peat moss from clumping and separating from the wall like that?
 

Redneck

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Try mixing it with coco fibers.. I use 100% coco fibers.. I buy the bricks.. Three bricks for like 9 bucks.. Last forever...
 

GPulchra

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Jul 21, 2010
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Alright, so I use 100% peat moss in all of my enclosure. It's cheap and I love the stuff. However I have noticed that when it dries out it tends to clump and create spaces between it and the wall of the enclosure. For awhile, I didn't care, It didn't look great but it wasn't doing any harm. Well last night when I was feeding my B. vagans two crickets decided that space would be a great hiding spot! So now neither I or my poor hungry B. vagans can get to them.

So my question is, how do I prevent the peat moss from clumping and separating from the wall like that?
Peat moss is often used as a potting soil. It is made of mostly decomposed sphagnum. I don't think you can prevent it, sorry. Just use coco fiber- it's cheap and available in bricks at your LPS.
 
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Ariel

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Try mixing it with coco fibers.. I use 100% coco fibers.. I buy the bricks.. Three bricks for like 9 bucks.. Last forever...
Really, I always remembered those bricks being rather pricy, which is why I used peat moss. I can get 2 cubic feet for like...$10.
 

GPulchra

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Really, I always remembered those bricks being rather pricy, which is why I used peat moss. I can get 2 cubic feet for like...$10.
I filled a whole Ralph's bag for a $5 brick. And it's higher quality than peat.
 

Redneck

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Really, I always remembered those bricks being rather pricy, which is why I used peat moss. I can get 2 cubic feet for like...$10.
I have never used anything other than the coco fibers.. I get them at Petco.. A pack of 3 for $9... Its like a value deal or whatever.. They sell a single brick for $4.and some change... I think.. I havent had to buy any in a while.. I bought 6 bricks when I was having ant problem... I am still working on the first 3 brick.. The others have not been opened..

But since you use the peat you wont be using as much coco fibers.. I would do like a 60% Peat moss/40% Coco fibers if you want to keep using the peat moss.. That way you dont go through either that fast..

Like I said though.. Personally.. I like the Coco fibers.. They stay moist if need be.. They dry out real nicely.. Work for anything.. Hold strong for burrows... Ect.. Ect...
 

Hobo

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Hey there, Ariel.

I use sphagnum peat too. I find it tends to mold a lot less and is a LOT cheaper (at least here in Canada) than coco fibre, even the non-pet brand. I also encounter exactly what you describe (it happens to cocfibre too, but nowhere near as much. I think it has something to do with how fine peat is compared to coco coir. It just clumps and settles together more as it dries).
Moistening won't work, so you can scratch that.
If you don't pack it down so much when you set it up, I've found it lessens the effect.
What I've been doing is simply pouring more peat in the little space between the enclosure and the peat block. Dried peat. It's worked so far. Simple solution, I guess :p

I actually have a P. lugardi with a burrow in one of those "shrunken peat blocks". I've purposely haven't filled in the space because it looks neat :)
yeah, the crickets hide down there, but they always manage to become eaten.
 

Ariel

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Thanks Hobo, now that I think about it, I think you're right. The one enclosure I'm really having an issue with I really packed the substrate down. I've noticed it less in other enclousures I didn't really do that in. I really don't want to get any coco fibre, at least right now while I've still got 2 bags of peat moss to go through, so this is really helpful. thank you! :) do you find your P. lugardi was able to build a pretty stable burrow in it? because I've acctually got a P. lugardi heading my way as we speak. {D
 

Hobo

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Thanks Hobo, now that I think about it, I think you're right. The one enclosure I'm really having an issue with I really packed the substrate down. I've noticed it less in other enclousures I didn't really do that in. I really don't want to get any coco fibre, at least right now while I've still got 2 bags of peat moss to go through, so this is really helpful. thank you! :) do you find your P. lugardi was able to build a pretty stable burrow in it? because I've acctually got a P. lugardi heading my way as we speak. {D
Both my H. lividum and P. lugardi have extensive, stable burrows in nothing but peat, so I'd say yes. My C. fimbriatus has one too, but at .75", I don't think he counts:)
 

mischiefhaze

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I use the coco fiber myself. Haven't been using it long, but so far it's great. The stuff smells like clean dirt. lol How can you go wrong with that.
 

curiousme

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We were using all peat, but were finding that when it dried out it basically needed to be rehydrated again to 'look' stable. We now use a little of everything/ whatever we have on hand. I think Mr. Gone's favorite right now is peat, mixed with coco fiber, potting soil and a little paver's sand. Really though, any mixture of those substrates is better for humidity and stability, IOE. :D

Personally, I don't like coco fiber only enclosures, because they look 'hairy' and unnatural. It works fine, but isn't what I would prefer.
 

Ariel

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We were using all peat, but were finding that when it dried out it basically needed to be rehydrated again to 'look' stable. We now use a little of everything/ whatever we have on hand. I think Mr. Gone's favorite right now is peat, mixed with coco fiber, potting soil and a little paver's sand. Really though, any mixture of those substrates is better for humidity and stability, IOE. :D

Personally, I don't like coco fiber only enclosures, because they look 'hairy' and unnatural. It works fine, but isn't what I would prefer.
I might have to try mixing some stuff. thanks for the suggestion. :D
 

TalonAWD

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Yep Sphagnum peat moss does that. I mix in a little vermiculite, the very fine stuff. It helps prevent it by allowing moisture to hold longer. If you mist every once in a while, it will also prevent it from clumping up.

I like the fact that its slightly acidic and therefore mold is not a problem with it. I have my Maraca comunial with it and the humidity is at 90% all the time with limited ventillation and never did the substrate get mold. In fact its still at 90% and its been over a month.
 

Terry D

Arachnodemon
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Hey y'all, I find this a little strange, ime. I've been using 100% peat + packing it and have yet to observe this problem. Y'all let me know if you find any additional info/ reason for it. Terry
 

Nomadinexile

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Really, I always remembered those bricks being rather pricy, which is why I used peat moss. I can get 2 cubic feet for like...$10.
Try Gardening or Hydroponic stores. They buy a ton of the stuff and price it accordingly. I couldn't afford to buy the stuff at the pet stores. It's wayyyy pricy there. But it's "dirt" cheap at the Hydro stores. And I've read up on the stuff a lot too. The stuff at the Hydro stores is at least as good if not better.

Let me check real quick...

National Garden Wholesale

3.5 gallon (expanded) bricks, $2.38
50 liter 38 lbs. $33
11 lbs bale, 70 liters expanded, $16.50

Those are just a few options, and you can order online @ n-g-w.com


Hydrofarm is another option and can also be found online. They also have good webpages to look at if you are bored.
 
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