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What does your substrate consist of?

NorseDad

Active Member
Hey Folks,

I've been starting to play around with substrates. I've found I like top soil a bit more than coco fiber. I was thinking about doing a mix on my next enclosure. For those of you who do mixtures, what's your formula?
 
I've been using a 45-45-10 mix of organic topsoil, cocofibre and peat moss with a very very very thin top layer of vermiculate that I rake across with my tweezers and extremely loosely stir in the enclosure before putting a T inside.
 

Jeremy-psychonaut

Well-Known Member
Tarantula Club Member
I’ve been experimenting with a mix of topsoil Peat moss Coco fiber sphagnum moss a little bit of charcoal. I have a bio active enclosure in mind with this mix seems to work well so far
 

Jeremy-psychonaut

Well-Known Member
Tarantula Club Member
I bought some commercial substrate and once I figured out how they made it, it didn’t seem that complicated
My only concern is that the products I’m using aren’t really organic but so far so good
 

PanzoN88

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
3 Year Member
While I only use coco fiber currently, I have thought about incorporating topsoil and peat, as well as a couple other things.
 
Never used cocoa fiber. If you mix some top soil in with peat moss, it will make it a more natural like substrate that packs down better. I imagine adding the topsoil to the cocoa fiber would do the same thing. I've never used measurements but mix top soil into it until it feels right to you and can pack down good. If its a burrowing species, I add some vermiculite to the bottom layer of substrate. I honestly don't think it's worth its space in storage to buy a huge bag of vermiculite though and I only use it because I already bought it when i was starting out.
 
I would also like to add that in my experience, peat moss is way too fluffy to use on its own. I had a small amount of cocoa fiber that i never used and it also seemed fluffy. I've never tried pure top soil, but i bet it would work better than the former two options if compared in their unmixed form. I have heard that it can make it muddy though. This is irrelevemt if you don't eat the substrate.
 

LRH83

New Member
Isn’t a plug for the company but I’ve been using Pro-Rep Spiderlife. I switched to it after having mould issues and mites far too easily with coco. Springtails never took to coco fibre properly for me.
Since using spiderlife I’ve had no issues with either and springtails thrive. It keeps nice and damp as I need it to for different species and if kept well can be kept fairly dry and compact for fossorials and slings.
 

m0lsx

Well-Known Member
Tarantula Club Member
I use cocoa fibre in my enclosures & in some I used to top that with a shallow layer of Komodo tropical or coconut terrain, to give it some texture on the surface. But I stopped doing it, simply because I felt it added nothing. I also have some Vermiculite that I have started adding to the cocoa fibre in new enclosures where the inhabitant likes a little more humidity.
 

Jeremy-psychonaut

Well-Known Member
Tarantula Club Member
Isn’t a plug for the company but I’ve been using Pro-Rep Spiderlife. I switched to it after having mould issues and mites far too easily with coco. Springtails never took to coco fibre properly for me.
Since using spiderlife I’ve had no issues with either and springtails thrive. It keeps nice and damp as I need it to for different species and if kept well can be kept fairly dry and compact for fossorials and slings.
I used biodude for a while but it’s kind of expensive
 

Combat Advantage

Active Member
Sounds good. It sounds like those aren't anything exotic.
I've not tried those but have used carcoal/biochar to enrich soil nutrients like you said, but for my plants. I'll burn some maple limbs from a tree that im going to cut down and use that. I have some coconuts that might work too. I was going to turn it into home made personal supplements, toothpaste, etc.

Do you have any house plants in your set up?
 

Jeremy-psychonaut

Well-Known Member
Tarantula Club Member
Sounds good. It sounds like those aren't anything exotic.
I've not tried those but have used carcoal/biochar to enrich soil nutrients like you said, but for my plants. I'll burn some maple limbs from a tree that im going to cut down and use that. I have some coconuts that might work too. I was going to turn it into home made personal supplements, toothpaste, etc.

Do you have any house plants in your set up?
No not yet I want to wait until it’s the permanent enclosure for them
I also wanted to get a substrate mixture my Ts and I liked down before I moved further with my idea
If you have any plant suggestions I’d appreciate some ideas
 

Combat Advantage

Active Member
No not yet I want to wait until it’s the permanent enclosure for them
I also wanted to get a substrate mixture my Ts and I liked down before I moved further with my idea
If you have any plant suggestions I’d appreciate some ideas
Since I have bracys that like low humidity, I haven't found anything but cactus that would work. Unfortunately, as much as I want to do a bio active enclosure like yours, with plants included, I'm concerned about the girls getting poked with the spines. I raise a bunch of prickly pears that would thrive, but that's about it until I find another dry choice with no needles. Perhaps an aloe, but that needs lots of light too.

All the same, the charcoal sounds good for the occasional cricket that doesn't get eaten or found the same day. Right now, its a simple arrangement of ceramic water dish, coconut hide, outdoor carpet with coarse vermiculite. Whenever I offer a soft cotton bed, they usually push it out of the way.
 

Jeremy-psychonaut

Well-Known Member
Tarantula Club Member
Since I have bracys that like low humidity, I haven't found anything but cactus that would work. Unfortunately, as much as I want to do a bio active enclosure like yours, with plants included, I'm concerned about the girls getting poked with the spines. I raise a bunch of prickly pears that would thrive, but that's about it until I find another dry choice with no needles. Perhaps an aloe, but that needs lots of light too.

All the same, the charcoal sounds good for the occasional cricket that doesn't get eaten or found the same day. Right now, its a simple arrangement of ceramic water dish, coconut hide, outdoor carpet with coarse vermiculite. Whenever I offer a soft cotton bed, they usually push it out of the way.
My bracy does the same thing
 
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