Yes, this will be for my 6mo nosy be. I will probably buy the moss, any certain type? Mixing ratio? sounds like I can source almost everything else from nature...Assuming this is for a male then my recipe would be a base of organic soil followed by a mix or organic soil, forest bark mix and also live moss, topped with leaf litter.
As for the cleanup crew, I use the giant orange woodlice and springtails. Just chuck them in and as mentioned in the other thread, feed with Arcadia Custodian Fuel or similar.
As all the internal decoration, vines etc. in mine are all natural, including some nice pieces of oak, that also helps provide a natural environment for the critters.
That's my way, no doubt others do it differently or at least by variation.
What is the Benifit of charcoal?I like to use ABG substrate, personally! I've tried the pre-mixed, ready to go formulations from Josh's frogs for smaller vivariums, but have mixed up my own, too (which is much cheaper if you need a larger volume). There are a variety of different formulations of ABG, but in general they include: charcoal, sphagnum moss, peat, and tree fern. I like to use a mixture with a certain ratio of specific components as opposed to just dirt from my garden. The charcoal, especially, is something I love in the ABG!
Josh's Frogs also offers their "biobedding" formula, which includes "beneficial fungi" for setting up bioactivity. Don't know what that means specifically, though!
As for springtails and isopods, I get tropical springtails locally from a reptile specialty shop. I've only ever bought them once to seed my first viv and, since then, I've just been taking from that source and re-seeding my newer enclosures. I like to get fun with isopods, so some of my faves are the giant canyons for their size, orange for their color, and zebras for their patterns. Really want to start a colony of clowns because they're so pretty, but it's hard to justify spending $80 on like 12 microfauna lol. For my pygmies and C. linotum I can only use dwarf white/purple isopods, though, or else they get eaten up quickly as a tasty, calcium-rich snack. There are also people on ebay that sell upwards of 100 isopods (armadillium sp. usually, or some other very bland common ones) for $20-ish, which is a great price, but they're probably wildcaught hence the low price tag.
Then I top off the soil with whatever leaf litter I have lying around. Which is usually a lot, from my various cham enclosure and other plant-based projects. Oh, and I like to feed the microfauna every other week or so with a commercially available food made for them
He's going to be one spoilt boy with his new mansion!
The bin is 6” tall so I was thinking 1-2” of drainage and the rest substrate but I’m completely open to making any changes to ensure success. What do you recommend? Think the bin should be taller? How tall is yours?How deep of a substrate and drainage layer are you looking for?
Given it's for a male, the only thing to worry about regarding the depth is for your planting.The bin is 6” tall so I was thinking 1-2” of drainage and the rest substrate but I’m completely open to making any changes to ensure success. What do you recommend? Think the bin should be taller? How tall is yours?
Never thought about a slope but I really like the idea!Given it's for a male, the only thing to worry about regarding the depth is for your planting.
Mine slopes from 4" at the front to 8" at the back 'ish'. Nothing says it has to be flat or you can't have areas that are thicker around plant roots.
I'm clueless with regards plants. I went to a garden centre with the safe plants list and hijacked a bloke working there. When I found something I liked, he would check against the list. Typically plants I liked the look of or would have served a purpose in my design, were deemed not cham safe or they wouldn't like the higher temps/humidity.So do you have other plant options available to you vs when your doing a non-bioactive viv? I want some good climbing vines...
Several benefits! (1) charcoal is great for absorbing toxins and other harmful substances in the substrate. This is especially useful for keeping your plants and microfauna happy and healthy! (2) charcoal reduces odor from things like decomposition, mold, and whatnot. (3) it's also good for drainage. I buy the chunky horticultural charcoal from local plant nurseries.What is the Benifit of charcoal?
I’m going to need about 10gallons of dirt so I will definitely be sourcing my own, what are you mixing in?
I’m also very interested in catching my own cleaning crew if that’s possible. How is that done? Just go turn over some 1/2 rotten logs in the woods?