working with floral foam(making burrows)

orkimedies

Arachnosquire
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Jan 6, 2007
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has anyone ever used floral foam to make burrows>?


i was thinking about carving a burrow with a cave out of this stuff and then burying it in the substrate so that when a burrowing T hides in it they will still be visible through the glass.


any info or experience would be helpful.
 

TheDarkFinder

Arachnoangel
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Dec 18, 2004
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Be very careful.

Most floral Foam contains many oil, scents, Anti fungal, antibacterial, and other preservatives.
 

Thoth

Arachnoprince
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2 things (n.b. when you say floral foam I think of the stuff made to absorb water for live flower arrangements):
1) Depending on species the t can burrrow through it and away from the glass or just web up the glass so you can't see it (so it is no guarantee of keeping your t visible)

2) Not really based on fact but more gut feeling. I saw the use of floral foam mentioned in Philippe de Vosjoli's "Arachnomania: The General Care and Maintenance of Tarantulas and Scorpions" and there is so much wrong with that book that if you followed its advice you'd end up with a dead t. So I would be inclined not to do it. de Vosjoli has a lot of great books on the care of herps but is out of his element when it comes to inverts.

I remember seeing somewhere on the boards someone using styrofoam with integral burrow along the glass for a T.blondi. I and others have used PVC pipes cut in half.

Though I do use floral foam in the humid hide for my herps.
 

luna

Arachnoknight
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Nov 5, 2005
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my best burrow pre-start

My best burrow pre-start was for a Cobalt Blue. I used a paper towel tube and a sock. I put it along the side of the tank and packed damp peat moss around it firmly, then pulled it out. It reached all the way down to the bottom of a 5.5 gallon tank; at least 9 inches. The sock was intended to wipe the glass clean as I pulled the tube out. It worked fairly well on cleaning the glass, but my girl had other plans, Once she got in she did some major modifications, including covering the glass immediately! I would still go with the paper towel tube though (don't leave it in) if you don't want to make the spider do all its own work. It made a truly awesome hole...
 

LeilaNami

Arachnoking
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Zoomed has come out with a new product called Excavator clay-based substrate. You could construct a burrow that way and add peat moss or eco earth on top for humidity
 

AphonopelmaTX

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I have never used floral foam to make a cave or a burrow because the stuff is too messy, but I bury a block of it against the side of a plastic box and start a burrow entrance at one end. This is my extent of using the stuff. I do this for my Aphonopelma sp. and Brachypelma sp. and they dig under it like it was a rock or bottom of a tree. For those of you who have seen wild Aphonopelma burrows will be more familiar with what this looks like and removing the spider from the hide is just like it would in the wild- lift the object then cup and scoop. No digging down into the substrate and no risk injuring the spider with a digging tool such as a spoon or spatula.

I have one A. hentzi who decided to "chew" through the floral foam from the bottom up to create a new entrance and all it did was make a big mess in the enclosure. There were no problems as a result, but it made its tank look awful.

- Lonnie
 

Redip Spider

Arachnosquire
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Aug 10, 2005
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I've used floral foam before to construct an artificial burrow for my A. seemani. It really wasn't difficult, and she did use it. In fact, she rarely left it and I hardly saw her except through the side of the tank.

It is messy, and does tend to get flaked off and spread about the tank. But I don't really think that there is any other real problem with it.
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
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this is from another website, but i wrote it. there is another version for tarantula burrows in which i cut the tupperware in half and put the open side against the glass of the cage. it works pretty good for opportunistic burrowers, but i have never tried it with hardcore OW obligates. it works for aphono- and brachy- pelma pretty good.

Hello. I have a nice and easy container design that has netted me baby centipedes in the past. The reason i came up with this design is that i had trouble with my substrates not holding a burrow for very long (i can do 6-12 months for tarantulas, but much much shorter for centipedes as the are constantly moving the dirt w/o webbing it). With this approach the burrow is made out of plastic and can't collapse. Yay!

1) Heavily score the inside of the small tupperware type container that is going to be the actual built in burrow. In nature the burrow walls are very rough, allowing the babies and mom to walk on the floor, walls, and ceiling. This might actually be kind of important as when i dug Ethmostigmus moms up they were always hanging upside down holding onto the eggs or nymphs.
(IMG:http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/cacoseraph/howto/howto_BIB01.jpg)


2) Cut an access hole for the burrow. Try to make sure there are no sharp burrs or points in the newly cut hole. Be careful, i always cut/stab/injure myself.
(IMG:http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/cacoseraph/howto/howto_BIB02.jpg)


3) Flame the edges of the newly cut hole to smooth out any rough or sharp spots. MAKE SURE you are actually getting a smooth edge after by feeling it. Sometimes you have to reflame little parts.
(IMG:http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/cacoseraph/howto/howto_BIB03.jpg)


4) Make a very firm cake of substrate on the bottom of the cage. Really pack it down! You don't want the centipede to be able to easily push that bottom layer around. After you have a firm cake put the burrow in. The interior of the tupperware should be facing down. Orient the tup so that the access hole is the highest part, if possible.
(IMG:http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/cacoseraph/howto/howto_BIB04.jpg)


5) Now, it took me a while to figure this out... but when you bury the burrow, you need to add and pack the substrate so that the access hole is just barely beneath the level of the new substrate once it is all packed down. If you add too much sub then the silly centipedes can't reliably find the burrow and they will stop using it.
(IMG:http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b287/cacoseraph/howto/howto_BIB05.jpg)



I guess since this involves knives and fire if you are a kid you should get your parent or guardian's help/permission before starting this project.
 

Kagekumo

Arachnosquire
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Apr 15, 2007
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Zoomed has come out with a new product called Excavator clay-based substrate. You could construct a burrow that way and add peat moss or eco earth on top for humidity
I have actually used this stuff and its not bad at all. They come in 5lb and 10lb bags. The smaller one is about $9.00 at petco. I think a 5lb bag would do just fine and you could form it over the design you cut out of the foam; sort of like a mould. Best thing is that it's reuseable. I haven't tried it yet but you're supposed to be able to re-wet it and knead it back to a manageable state.
 
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