Testing substrate.

Grimmdreadly

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 13, 2017
Messages
29
That coco coir is great and all until you have to wait 5 years for it to dry and have to eat ramen for a month to be able to afford it long term.
I use coco coir with either peat or a cheap bag of topsoil for my fossorials. Straight coco coir for my arboreals. I normally put it by a heater to dry it out. The pre-made bags are waaaay too exoensive
 

aphono

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
462
@cold blood uses the cheapest topsoil from Home Depot or Lowe's. This is the exact same brand, same bag he uses:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/40-lb-To...suFzxB1GNyFX4bdzzHnb6lU8R5Sh71aB6oxoC_5Dw_wcB
http://www.homedepot.com/p/40-lb-To...suFzxB1GNyFX4bdzzHnb6lU8R5Sh71aB6oxoC_5Dw_wcB
He's an experienced owner so I'd say that is a very good test of it being safe for use. You could look at it as him having tested that product repeatedly and for good periods of time. I don't recall if he preps it in any way other than screening out large particles.

Check the label- do not want any animal manure or added fertilizers. "Organic" seems to be a warning flag for manure added- check for that. I did find what seemed to be regular and very nice looking top soil with less chunks at Lowe's, but the label said "barnyard manure" so I did not get it...
 

Tanner Dzula

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
190
That coco coir is great and all until you have to wait 5 years for it to dry and have to eat ramen for a month to be able to afford it long term.
depends on where you buy it and how you initially use it.

i bought 2 10b bricks for about 12.50 each at a local expo. absolutely dirt cheap for that size of a brick(about 15"X15"x5") basicly 30-40g of coco fiber when expanded. thats lasted me through ~15 rehousings so far, and I'm only now running out of the first brick.

and as for it taking for ever. i usually take half of what I'm trying to prepare, Soak it to expand, and then take the other half, and crumble it over the rest of the wet portion. what i end up with, is usually cocofiber thats already dry enough for most species, and it only takes a little bit for it to dry enough to suitable for most desert species.
 

Arachnomaniac19

Arachnolord
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
654
I just read your full post. It doesn't have to be organic, just regular filling topsoil. I'd google topsoil companies to see which add pesticides and which don't
The moss doesn't have pesticides in it either, but I want to test it to make sure that there wasn't any contamination.
 

JoshDM020

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Messages
358
The moss doesn't have pesticides in it either, but I want to test it to make sure that there wasn't any contamination.
Put a cricket or two in with it. If they die quickly, get rid of it. If they live (as long as crickets tend to) youre good.
 

BorisTheSpider

Overly Complicated
Old Timer
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
489
Take a small sample to a local nursery . Explain your situation and they will probably test it for you . They use small test strips similar to the ones that are used for testing aquarium water . The strips detect the presence of pesticides . They will also have all top soil , peat , coir and maybe even cork bark that you will ever need . "Mom and Pop" garden centers are the T keeps best resource for supplies .
 

Pisceidon

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 11, 2019
Messages
2
Take a small sample to a local nursery . Explain your situation and they will probably test it for you . They use small test strips similar to the ones that are used for testing aquarium water . The strips detect the presence of pesticides . They will also have all top soil , peat , coir and maybe even cork bark that you will ever need . "Mom and Pop" garden centers are the T keeps best resource for supplies .
Hey are you still around? I would like to ask you a question or 2 but am unable to inbox you
 
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