Viv substrate options?

Realevil1

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 7, 2016
Messages
56
Looking at substrate options better/nicer than standard coco fiber. I really really dislike the look of coco fiber. Anyone have a pre-bagged, T safe, alternative that works well in vivariums.
All opinions and suggestions welcome thanks.
 

cr4igo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
21
@Realevil1
ABG mix could be an alternative. I believe some board members make their own mixtures. I prefer the Eco Earth substrate. Could potentially depend on the species of T you are working with too.
 

symbol

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
41
Topsoil works well for many (most?) species.

ABG mix could also be an option, but I'm not sure how well it would hold burrows, so I'd probably save it for predominantly arboreal species, personally. There are a bunch of places you can buy it bagged/pre-mixed in the States, but I don't know of any Canadian sources off the top of my head. It's pretty easy to make your own if you wanted to go that route though.

I've also heard of people using a mix of clay and sand for arid/desert set-ups.
 

Realevil1

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 7, 2016
Messages
56
Well in a nut shell i am going to be building a planted 30" x 13" x13" forest floor biotope this month so im looking at best options for good substrate.
 

cr4igo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
21
Well in a nut shell i am going to be building a planted 30" x 13" x13" forest floor biotope this month so im looking at best options for good substrate.
If you're going for an all out 'Vivarium' arrangement, ABG mix is commonly used. I've purchased it from Josh's Frogs as well as Neoherp culture. I've used it for dart frogs only. Compared to Ts... The frogs are higher maintenance. You're probably considering Isopods if you're going this route?
 

cr4igo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
21
Well in a nut shell i am going to be building a planted 30" x 13" x13" forest floor biotope this month so im looking at best options for good substrate.
Neoherp has a layer breakdown that might be helpful. Certainly more involved but worth reading.
 

Realevil1

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 7, 2016
Messages
56
Anyone have preferences on clay hydro balls vs crushed lava rock for drainage aswell?
 

cr4igo

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2016
Messages
21
Anyone have preferences on clay hydro balls vs crushed lava rock for drainage aswell?
Check on the nerherpetoculture.com website- I'm not trying to advertise for them but their stuff is competitively priced and its lightweight. I doubt you'll be moving the enclosure but if you needed to it would weigh less with their material. If you did a bulk buy with substrate and other things or maybe even one of their kits, you'd save cheddar and come out with a great vivarium. The hydroballs can get a bit heavier with moisture. Never touched lava rock.
 

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Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
41
@cr4igo: I believe neherpetoculture and Josh's Frogs only ship within the States. OP is in Canada. You're right about neherptoculture having some great articles and resources though. I especially like their lighting chart: very useful for figuring out type and amount of lighting needed.

ABG should make an excellent substrate for a forest floor type planted vivarium. As I said, my only hesitation with it would be if you were planning on putting any fossorial species in there. If so, you might want to look in to using a different mix or amending the ABG somewhat to hold burrows better.

Also, if you're going for a forest floor look, a generous portion of leaf litter can help hide the ground if you're not crazy about the appearance of the substrate itself.

I've only used expanded clay balls for my vivariums so far, so I can't really comment on how they compare to other options. I do like the clay so far though.
If you're primarily concerned about weight, you could always make a false bottom out of elevated egg crate/light diffusers. That way, if you needed to move it, you could always drain/siphon the water out and just have the weight of the substrate to worry about.
 

Realevil1

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 7, 2016
Messages
56

EXO TERRA BIO DRAIN - ANYONE USING IT?
similar to the NEHERP drainage rocks looks like?
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
12,447

EXO TERRA BIO DRAIN - ANYONE USING IT?
similar to the NEHERP drainage rocks looks like?
Don't know the prices up there. BUT, down in the USA, the same product used in the botany hobby will be much less in price than the product marketed for the Herp industry. Do yourself a favor and check for the same products in other markets.
 

vespers

Arachnodemon
Joined
Aug 18, 2012
Messages
705

EXO TERRA BIO DRAIN - ANYONE USING IT?
similar to the NEHERP drainage rocks looks like?
Its not the same stuff. I've used both. Bio-drain is pretty much lava rock, whereas Neherp's drainage material (and Josh's Frogs) is a form of growstone/feather-lite and weighs less than the bio-drain.
 
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