Bio active Questions?

NickC2468

New Member
I’ve been doing quite a bit of reasearch and I think I am ready to make a bioactive enclosure for my Male veiled. But I am still confused about a drainage layer or if I even need one. I would be very thankful if anyone could explain their drainage system. Also, I was wondering if anyone has had problems with the substrate or water falling through the mesh sides of an enclosure.

Thanks!!!
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
I’ve been doing quite a bit of reasearch and I think I am ready to make a bioactive enclosure for my Male veiled. But I am still confused about a drainage layer or if I even need one. I would be very thankful if anyone could explain their drainage system. Also, I was wondering if anyone has had problems with the substrate or water falling through the mesh sides of an enclosure.

Thanks!!!
All mine are bioactive but using exo terra's and not screen enclosures.

Assuming you will use some form of high sided tray in the base of yours, it will still collect excess water the same as mine do, so here goes.

We don't want the top soil to get into a water sodden muddy mess, just damp. So to allow water to drain from the soil, you need the drainage layer.

The main drainage layer itself is simply made of of clay 'hydro' balls, readily available. We then need a way to seperate the soil from the drainage layer so a water permiable barrier is needed between the two layers. Again it's readily available.

You need to sort out how you will remove excess water as the drainage layer will fill and we don't want water going stagnant in there or getting high enough that it's up to the soil layer.

My way is simply to use a piece of plastic pipe in the front corner that sticks up just above the top of you soil layer and right down to the bottom. A few slits or holes, small enough so only the water passes and not the hydro balls, allows you to simply siphon out the excess water.

How often you need to siphon will depend on how heavily and how often you mist. Personally I do it every couple of days as I don't want water sat in there. As you can see in the second picture, it needs doing today. I used clear plastic tube so the level can be seen but you could wider, coloured pipe that you can pop a syphon tube into.

Hope that helps.

20190107_084139.jpg20190107_084209.jpg
 
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NickC2468

New Member
All mine are bioactive but using exo terra's and not screen enclosures.

Assuming you will use some form of high sided tray in the base of yours, it will still collect excess water the same as mine do, so here goes.

We don't want the top soil to get into a water sodden muddy mess, just damp. So to allow water to drain from the soil, you need the drainage layer.

The main drainage layer itself is simply made of of clay 'hydro' balls, readily available. We then need a way to seperate the soil from the drainage layer so a water permiable barrier is needed between the two layers. Again it's readily available.

You need to sort out how you will remove excess water as the drainage layer will fill and we don't want water going stagnant in there or getting high enough that it's up to the soil layer.

My way is simply to use a piece of plastic pipe in the front corner that sticks up just above the top of you soil layer and right down to the bottom. A few slits or holes, small enough so only the water passes and not the hydro balls, allows you to simply siphon out the excess water.

How often you need to siphon will depend on how heavily and how often you mist. Personally I do it every couple of days as I don't want water sat in there. As you can see in the second picture, it needs doing today. I used clear plastic tube so the level can be seen but you could wider, coloured pipe that you can pop a syphon tube into.

Hope that helps.

View attachment 220757View attachment 220758

What do you recommend as a water permeable layer?
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
What do you recommend as a water permeable layer?
It's black weed barrier material but I do get it from my local reptile supply shop. Probably just re packaged and the price doubled from getting it at the garden center but just in case lol.
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
Thank you so much for the advice!
No problem at all.

One thing I would recommend though is to keep your springtails and isopods well fed and so breeding naturally is to actually feed them. You can try Arcadia Custodian Fuel.

Cham poop is always enough food for them to thrive on.
 

Goose502

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m always so shocked to hear how often some keepers need to drain their enclosures. I’ve never had to myself. My misters are burning through about 2.5 gallons a week, and have been for years. I use an increadibly large amount of substrate that is heavily planted with very established plants. I always figured the plants were just drinking a lot. I often dump about a gallon or so of extra water just for the plants too. Bioactive is the way to go, I applaud anyone who is willing to take that step. And besides drilling a bulkhead for drainage, using the pipe method described above is the way to go. I’ll attach a pic of my substrate levels. You can see a defined drainage layer.
image.jpg
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
I’m always so shocked to hear how often some keepers need to drain their enclosures. I’ve never had to myself. My misters are burning through about 2.5 gallons a week, and have been for years. I use an increadibly large amount of substrate that is heavily planted with very established plants. I always figured the plants were just drinking a lot. I often dump about a gallon or so of extra water just for the plants too. Bioactive is the way to go, I applaud anyone who is willing to take that step. And besides drilling a bulkhead for drainage, using the pipe method described above is the way to go. I’ll attach a pic of my substrate levels. You can see a defined drainage layer.View attachment 220780
I would say it's to with the soil. My 1st setup I used a lot of forest bark and moss in the soil mix and that one hardly needs doing at all.

The one I pictured is from my females viv and used a mix of soil and sand to make it really good at holding a tunnel. There is a lay bin in there but the same mix is used throughout. The water drains through it really quickly.

Same mister, same times as the male but much more water straight through and the humidity is always lower faster.

To be honest, it's no problem for me as we spend an hour or two every day on looking after our animals and it's just routine but I definitely put this down to soil mix.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
No problem at all.

One thing I would recommend though is to keep your springtails and isopods well fed and so breeding naturally is to actually feed them. You can try Arcadia Custodian Fuel.

Cham poop is always enough food for them to thrive on.
Did you mean to say that Cham poop isn’t always enough?
 
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