Substrates

Ashphetamine

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
50
Greetings! :)

Now, I've done a lot of research- I've read the threads, read the books, studied the polls, and I know from experience with friends' T's basics about substrate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have two [soon to be three] adult Rosies in large kritter keepers. I know its better too have too much sub vs too little- but I would like to verify my choice in substrate before I go filling the tanks with it.

I picked up from my local Petco a 10qt bag of ZILLA "Jungle Mix". It was advised to me by the store manager- a lady who refused to handle the store's Rose Hair [which respectfully leads me to believe she cares to know very little about them :embarrassed:]

I've seen pet stores keep T's on wood chips- which in my opinion is a mortal and ultimate sin. This particular mix has wood chips in it- but its not strictly wood. It looks to me as if someone dug a bag full of dirt out of their flower bed.

Obviously, as with any substrate, I have to watch for mold and parasites- I also have to clean it regularly because I feed my T's. :wall:Yes yes- I know all this. Its common sense when it comes to habitat!

My questions:
  • is there any low maintenance kinds of substrate? For example, the stuff I have now- is it more or less likely to mold or develop parasites, etc?
  • what are the greatest threats to my T's from the substrate I choose?
  • Is there certain things that have to be avoided? for example- dont ever use Fir peat moss because it.......to the T's
  • If this is a poor choice of substrate, what can i do to make it safer or what would you advise me changing to[and why]?


In any case, I'd like to get a better feeling about this Jungle Mix- right now its making me nervous because of the small chunks of wood. I trust ZILLA's products- but I know better than to trust woodchips!

Thanks in advance to all those who reply! :worship:
 

WeezyTheAvic

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Messages
12
yeah i wanted to know the same thing my petstore doesn't have coconut fiber blocks the one that expands when wet i know the hydroponic store has what looks like the same stuff just shread coconut fibers u do the same thing to it a small block makes 20gal of substrate once u get it wet
 

Kuro

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
55
the Zilla mix has some type of fir tree chips in it and firs are related to pine trees and the oils can be harmful.

i use eco earth(coco fiber) for all my T's and it works great. i know some people use peat moss or potting soil that free of chemicals and other additives and it works well for them so i guess if you couldn't get eco earth you could peat moss or potting soil thats free of any chemicals
 

KoriTamashii

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
420
the Zilla mix has some type of fir tree chips in it and firs are related to pine trees and the oils can be harmful.

i use eco earth(coco fiber) for all my T's and it works great. i know some people use peat moss or potting soil that free of chemicals and other additives and it works well for them so i guess if you couldn't get eco earth you could peat moss or potting soil thats free of any chemicals
Yeah... until this point, I have been using the Jungle Mix. The more I use it, the worse it seems to be.

I will be switching to potting soil as soon as I'm able.
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,659
Greetings! :)

Now, I've done a lot of research- I've read the threads, read the books, studied the polls, and I know from experience with friends' T's basics about substrate.
:clap: Welcome to the forum!:D


I have two [soon to be three] adult Rosies in large kritter keepers. I know its better too have too much sub vs too little- but I would like to verify my choice in substrate before I go filling the tanks with it.
Good rule of thumb for substrate amount is allow only about a leg span and a half between the top of the substrate and the top of the enclosure.



...I've seen pet stores keep T's on wood chips- which in my opinion is a mortal and ultimate sin. This particular mix has wood chips in it- but its not strictly wood. It looks to me as if someone dug a bag full of dirt out of their flower bed.
My thoughts about it, exactly. There are some that use it, but personally I wouldn't.

Obviously, as with any substrate, I have to watch for mold and parasites- I also have to clean it regularly because I feed my T's.


You shouldn't have to worry about mold in a G. rosea enclosure and parasites aren't really a concern either. As far as cleaning, all you need to do is remove the boluses(food waste) after the T has finished with it. It will be in a little ball, sometimes they web it, sometimes they dump it in the water dish, sometimes they hang it from things and sometimes you never find it.(don't stress if you can't);) There is no reason to do more than that to clean an enclosure, unless you have an infestation that you are unable to get under control in any other way. By changing out the substrate in a T's enclosure, you are taking away all things that make it 'home', out. Sort of like taking all the furniture, pictures and curtains down and only leaving blank walls, so when you put the T back in, it will have to start settling in again. No need to stress the T, unless it is the only way to fix a situation.



[*] is there any low maintenance kinds of substrate? For example, the stuff I have now- is it more or less likely to mold or develop parasites, etc?
We have never used that substrate, so I can't offer an opinion on that one. However, we have used peat, coco fiber and potting soil(no fertilizers). Any of these are low maintenance and I have recommended all of them in the past, but currently our substrate that we like best for terrestrials is a 50/50 mix of coco fiber and peat, with a little bit of pavers sand added. If you are going to allow your T to burrow, this will hold up a burrow nicely. We found that just peat tended to get too light and fluffy when it dried out to hold up a burrow, so we have changed to this mixture recently. Our G. rosea has herself a multi story complex in her 10 gallon tank currently, she is fond of remodeling, so she might change that eventually.:)

[*]what are the greatest threats to my T's from the substrate I choose?
If it does have wood in it, and that wood is from coniferous trees then it could contain harmful oils. Cedar actually contains an oil that is used in pesticides, so steer clear of evergreens. Otherwise, substrate doesn't really present a threat.

[*]Is there certain things that have to be avoided? for example- dont ever use Fir peat moss because it.......to the T's
You want Sphagnum peat moss if you are going for peat.

[*]If this is a poor choice of substrate, what can i do to make it safer or what would you advise me changing to[and why]?
I would say that isn't a good choice for substrate, and to seek a better one.(like I said above though, there are those who use it) The chunks of wood can be abrasive and since we are trying to provide our pet with better conditions than they would have in the wild, why risk abrasiveness? If you can get coco fiber and peat, mix them together and you are good to go. Otherwise, stick with the coco fiber, or potting soil.

Once again, welcome to the forum! :D There is a very informative link in my signature to peruse and the advanced search on the forum itself can be your best friend, if you just buddy up to it and buy it a drink!:) Remember to search in the Tarantula section to get more relevant results, if it is a specific species, search by title and you can use multiple words in quotes to yield better results.
 

WARPIG

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 29, 2007
Messages
822
Straight Peat, nothing better.
Cheap, holds moister well, never had mold issues, and did I mention CHEAP!!!

$5 gets you a WHOLE lotta peat.

PIG-
 

curiousme

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,659
Straight Peat, nothing better.
Cheap, holds moister well, never had mold issues, and did I mention CHEAP!!!

$5 gets you a WHOLE lotta peat.

PIG-
That is one advantage of it and why we still have 2 cu. ft blocks of it in our basement! ;)
 

GForce14063

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
May 24, 2004
Messages
368
I use peatmoss that I strain through a screened lid for a aquarium and then I add 40% vermiculite and then microwave for 5 minutes makes a excellent substrate and alot cheaper then store brands.
 
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