substrate

ithuriel

Arachnoknight
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Aug 11, 2002
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:? hi all, has ive said before i have only had some Ts for a couple months now and considering most of you have quite some experience with Ts i thought id ask the question , what do you think is the best substrate to use:confused:
 

SkyeSpider

Spider Queen
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I use vermiculite for mine. If it's a high humidity spider (like T. blondi) I also add some water bites to the substrate (thanks again for that idea, CM! :D ) .

-Bryan
 

Immortal_sin

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well, that is a loaded question LOL!
One of the things that causes great debate etc..is what kind of substrate is best?
I think it really has to do with how you keep your Ts, what species, how humid where you live is..etc.
After lots of trial and error, I use the following, either by itself, or combined: vermiculite, peat moss, potting soil.
For my arboreals, I thin layer of vermiculite seems to work well.
For the burrowers, a combination of vermiculite, and peat moss. And for my terrestrials that don't burrow, just plain peat moss.
For spiderlings, potting soil that is free of pesticides, etc.

hope that helps!
Holley
 

rknralf

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I use 100% Peat Moss of differing depths for all my tarantulas.
A thin layer for arborals, medium for most terrestials, and a deep layer for burrowers.
 

Blackwidow69

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Sep 1, 2002
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Deffanetly !!!

wow must say peatmoss mix and a high quality potting soil with no fertalizer in it at all... I use natural mosses from out side and boil it befour useing it .. But it looks natural and they seem to like it... ;P :D :D
 

Code Monkey

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Spiderlings get a mix of peat/vermiculite in a 1:2 ratio. Holds moisture really well and allows for burrowing which most of my little slings seem to want to do. I used to use straight vermiculite but changed to adding the peat when I kept collapsing their little tunnels on them while feeding and watering.

Moist to moderately moist larger slings to adults get a mix of peat/vermiculite in a 1:1 ratio with a small amount of polyacrylamide polymer crystals in the mix to hold and distribute moisture better.

Moderately dry species just get the peat/verm in 1:1

Really dry species (e.g. Greenbottle Blues) get shredded coconut bark because it looks cooler than peat/verm :)
 

ithuriel

Arachnoknight
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Aug 11, 2002
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thank you all

:) thank you for replying. seems that vermiculite/peatmoss is the average for terrestial Ts so ill give it a try and see what happens.my Ts seem to be doing ok , in fact my b.vagans is getting quite brave and not has shy , will have to get my digital camera back from my brother and take a few pictures:)
 

Solar Dart

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I've got a similar question..

...with peat moss: It seems to dry out real fast. This is what I use for my centipede, and it seems that even with misting every other day the stuff dries out to the point where it must just barely be moist enough to keep the animal alive.
Now for the two tarantulas I got, I'm using peat moss as well, mainly because it seems so highly recommended.
But my question is:
How do you keep the peat moss moist?
 

Code Monkey

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Re: I've got a similar question..

Originally posted by Solar Dart
How do you keep the peat moss moist?
That's the reason people mix it with vermiculite and, in my case, the water saver crystals (aka dry Water Bites)
 

Solar Dart

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I started soaking some vermiculite last night, and am going to switch everyone over from peat to peat and vermiculite (and some of those crystals too, if I can find them).
This is going to be a b*tch.
 

JacenBeers

Arachnoprince
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I just use black Earth topsoil and it works fine. For my big tank I have some wood shavings over it.
 

Kenny

Arachnoknight
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Aug 7, 2002
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Substrate,,none..:)

Hi all.

Since some time back I'm using no substrate at all for my avic s'lings that never seem to "touch" it all anyways.

I mist the cage walls and ceiling to keep the humidity up and with the humidifier that I have in the room.

It seem to work so far.
They don't really seem to care so much about the substrate. It's also easy to keep it "clean".

:) if you ask 10 questions about what substrate to use you will get 20 different answers back.

Kenny
 

Solar Dart

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That's very true. In all honesty, the substrate-moisture issue really concerns me only so far as the centipedes are concerned. I'm sure I could get away with a weekly misting to the T's, and they'd be fine.
 

Code Monkey

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Re: Substrate,,none..:)

Originally posted by Kenny

:) if you ask 10 questions about what substrate to use you will get 20 different answers back.

Kenny
Not quite true. If you ask an unlimited amount of Tarantula owners (which I've effectively seen since this topic comes up frequently) and tallied up all the differences you would find the largest group uses some sort of mix of peat and verm. Followed closely by the straight peat or straight potting soil parties. Followed by the Jungle Bedding/Bedabeast party. Then you get into the straight verm. After this you will find the bare bones astroturf crowd. And almost last are those minimalists who don't use anything at all except some paper towels that they can change easily. Last are the weirdos who have them on some sort of decorative sand or stone.

I think that's maybe eight or so combos. Care to name the other 12? ;P

Basically, so long as it's "dirt" and can hold moisture, it will work. I favor peat/verm because it's cheap and by mixing ratios I have control over texture, density, and moisture control which I don't get with anything else.
 

Paul Day

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Sep 8, 2002
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Substrate is really a matter of preference, but I am going to confuse you more with my opinions.

I have been reading up on Calcium Sand. Most hobbyist say nono to sand, as I have in the past, but I think it is a nice change from "dirt". I would only use it for a terrestrial desert species though, like a Red-Knee, or Desert Blonde. I have also read that it isn't as small in particles as regular sand is, therefor it won't get into the booklungs. I tend to believe that, though even so I have read in previous publications that sand isn't really as bad as it's cracked up to be anyway. When considering substrate, I also consider what looks the best in my tank. I do not think peat looks very nice, but it certainly is sufficient.

The abrasive woes towards sand I do not think are justified nor make sense, as spiders do not weight as much as humans compared to the sand. Plus, we wouldn't use it for finicky reptiles if it were so abrasive. Tarantulas are far less picky. I'll give it a try, and let you all know how it was. If the spider starts climbing the walls or looking uncomfortable, I'll let you know.

For spiders that need to burrow and need higher humidity levels, peat is still the best way to go. Bed-a-beast is coming under fire constantly from all angle for having various problems. My experiences with it suggest it grows fungus easily. Of course, peat can be used with any species, it is the ultimate value substrate.

Vermiculite is something I use with spiderlings, but I wouldn't use it with terrestrials. It is dusty, unstable to walk on, and gets all over the place. For arboreals, I often use another pet-store substrate called "Repti-bark", which I had been using for years for my crickets, which much success, so I decided to use it for my arboreal tarantulas, and the stuff is very mold resistant. You can allow things to decay on it without fouling up the tank (which is useful in the case of crickets). It also absorbs moisture contrary to popular belief, just not AS well as some other substrates. But just mist more frequently to get around that.

So that's what I use. 2 cubic foot bags of peat are grand, but I would rather make a nice setup and spend a couple more bucks on calcium sand or repti-bark then make an ugly tank filled with dirt. Of course, for some spiders, peat is the only viable and safe solution.

Pauly
 

Paul Day

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Oh yeah, I also find that peat/vermiculite mixtures do not absorb moisture that much better then peat alone. You still have to mix up the substrate to get the "wetness" to go deeper into the soil. Peat and bed-a-beast though, work very good at absorbing moisture, and would be a good substrate for any burrower that needs high humidity. Plus the acidity of the peat counteracts the breeding ground for mold that bed-a-beast often generates.

Pauly
 

Kenny

Arachnoknight
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substrate...

Hi..:)

Well,,

When I wrote 20 different answers, the word "opinions" would have been more in place than "answers".

I've been using jungle-mix mixed with coconut bark, worked/working fine and, now, this is my opinion;P

I know that moist is important for many species after collecting info. from people that know better than I do in T care, but then sometimes it's the common sense as well together with the info. one gets from good sources that also can make good solutions:)
I used that "way" a lot for my Discus breeding I had for 7 - 8 years and I had healthy fishes all the time.
Believe me, there are a looooot of opinions in Discus breeding as well:), but it comes with the trade so to speak.

Like now,,I get info. from good sources/people that knows this better than me and then I add this "common sense" thingy and during my first "shivering" 3 months as a T owner now, I have had my 4 s'lings going around with molts, ( my A.Avic doing 2:nd molt yesterday ),eating and just doing fine.

With common sense I mean that , mold for example like moist that stays around and damp stale air so to make sure that it doesn't get there so to speak is important, IMHO..:)



Kenny
 
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