Vivarium Substrates

ScienceDvia

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Hi all. I am setting up vivariums and was considering buying premade substrates. Do millipedes have a pH preference? Little bit acid? Isn't leaf compost a bit acidic? I don't usually carry a pH test kit around with me...

Thanks.
 

ScienceDvia

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more...

Also.......I just bought some moss from Flukers and its such a wierd green it looks fake. It says it all natural..but..

Any takers?

I live a sheltered life here in Puget Sound.
 

Cheshire

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Cocobark is what I use.

It's sold under the brand name Bed-a-beast or eco earth.

Just add water and it'll expand.

I have a 10 gallon tote that I use only for substrate. Just add a gallon and a half of water to two large bricks of the stuff.
 

ScienceDvia

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Cocoa bark?

What kind of millipedes do you keep? Do you mix any soil in with the bark?

I just mixed some of the flukers in with soil and leaf compost and my A. Gigas seems quite happy. He's exploring all over and keeps doing loops around the cage. Do they eat the cocoa bark?
 

Cheshire

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I used to keep the same species you have.

I don't believe they eat the cocobark, and I've never mixed soil in with them.

I would mix in aspen animal bedding in with the substrate so it will decompose and eventually become edible.
 

Mr. Mordax

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I have the same species as Cheshire -- I use coco fiber as well, and bury the occasional oak branch or foodstuffs to help with edibility. I wouln't use the mossy stuff. The last time I used it I wound up with a slime mold (but that may have been coincidental).
 

Drachenjager

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i use peat and rotten hard wood and hard wood leaves. I am using hickory now because that whats in my yard lol
 

ScienceDvia

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slime mould

Interesting....I was told here to use moss. I'll have to keep a watch.

I actually considered some Aspen. I have mostly Firs and Cedars here in my yard, Though I do have maple. How does A. Gigas do on Maple? He's really enjoying his current living quarters. I have some Oak burried under the substrate. I didn't want to buy peat because it comes in these huge bags.

Live and learn. Thanks, everyone.
 

Drachenjager

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Interesting....I was told here to use moss. I'll have to keep a watch.

I actually considered some Aspen. I have mostly Firs and Cedars here in my yard, Though I do have maple. How does A. Gigas do on Maple? He's really enjoying his current living quarters. I have some Oak burried under the substrate. I didn't want to buy peat because it comes in these huge bags.

Live and learn. Thanks, everyone.
walmart has some in fairly small bags thats "organic"
 

spydrhunter1

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I used to keep the same species you have.

I don't believe they eat the cocobark, and I've never mixed soil in with them.

I would mix in aspen animal bedding in with the substrate so it will decompose and eventually become edible.
I use six to eight inches of coconut coir (bed a beast, ecoearth, etc.) mixed with several handfuls of aspen bedding. I think I learned this technique from Wade and it works incredibly well for AGBs.
 

Cheshire

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Yeah, Wade is kind of a God.

Science Diva:

I have access to rotted wood if you need it.
 

Mr. Mordax

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The slime mold may have been incidental and not on the fault of the moss specifically, but you never know.

I actually considered some Aspen. I have mostly Firs and Cedars here in my yard, Though I do have maple.
As far as I know, hardwoods are ok to use. Don't use any softwoods though, because the resins in pines and cedards and the like tend to act as an insect repellant (which is why cedar chests are so popular for preventing moth-eaten garmets :)). They're generally a no-no for arthropod keeping.
 

ScienceDvia

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Thickness????

So, how thick should it be? I've got mine about 4 inches now. Should I add a couple more layers?

Also, I'd never use pine for anything...except my garden. Softwoods have too much aroma. Aroma means volatile chemicals which means danger in any book.

Thanks for all the help.
 

Mr. Mordax

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Four inches ought to be enough. :)

I'd never use pine for anything... Softwoods have too much aroma. Aroma means volatile chemicals which means danger in any book.
Good thinking! :D
 

ScienceDvia

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Thanks all

I just bought some rotted wood from Jeremy and the tank is ready to go for a new purchase...except I'm kinda worried. I sent the money and the guy cashed my check about 3 weeks after I sent it and he hasn't returned my emails.....you think I've been 'taken?'
 
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