Bioactive Mentor

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
#41
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.
Will definitely be doing that! Smell was one of my concerns!
 
#44
I use exo terra’s, so substrate is probably 6-10 inches. I utilize the slope method as well. If I was going full custom, I like the idea of 2 inches or so of drainage, and substrate depths of 12-18 inches. I like thinking of the bottom as a giant planter. The giant volume of soil will accommodate TONS of benificial microflora and insects. I would look at it as though I was planting out the enclosure once, then leaving it to become it’s own micro climate/environment. All the volume of substrate and space in general should create an amazing self sustaining environment. Basically add water and light, and watch the magic happen.
 

Andee

Chameleon Enthusiast
#45
@Andee got any cleaning crews in that bug shed of yours?
sorry for slow response, been shipping inverts and making dog treats. I currently do not have springtails, but i have isopods though i need to check the numbers of the colony.... it seems i can part with about 10. i was planning on buying some extra to add more to them for new blood. Depending on the species you end up going for prices of isopods get insane but those are the speciality pods usually. Like montenegros, canyons, rubber duckies etc. Certain species of dwarves can be mildly pricey like zebras or powder blues and purples but honestly you just need dwarf whites and if you want some snack sized ones a small starter colony of giant canyons works. It should run you around 50.00 at most.

I want to buy either some zebras or montenegros soon
 
#46
For my setup, I use organic soil, organic compost, fine sand, charcoal, sphagnum moss, fern fibers, coco peat, orchid bark as my substrate. Do not use clay or anything with fertilizers.

As for the microfauna I bought 100 dwarf white isopods and 100 dwarf grey isopods a long time back, I have thousands of them now. I also have white springtails but they got overrun by naturally occurring silver springtails.
 

salty dog

Established Member
#48
Sweet build!!!!! I'm jealous lol... looking forward to see it finished!! Cham and insect poo is great fertilizer, just thought I'd throw that out there, also you might want to use clay balls as part of substrate allows for easy drainage, I put french drains in my vivs
 
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#51
Got about a 5’ stack of driftwood in my back yard that I’m going to pick through this afternoon. I’m putting a lot of bromeliads and air plants in the driftwood. I love the weathered/reclaimed look of driftwood. Also shaved off some sections of oak tree bark with ferns growing out of them, might use them to hide the supports in front of background. I’m also going to hang one Manzanita branch upside down from each of the two roof supports. After that I have no other plans yet, just going to go where it takes me from there.

I’m open to some ideas if you any one has them!
 
#53
Got about a 5’ stack of driftwood in my back yard that I’m going to pick through this afternoon. I’m putting a lot of bromeliads and air plants in the driftwood. I love the weathered/reclaimed look of driftwood. Also shaved off some sections of oak tree bark with ferns growing out of them, might use them to hide the supports in front of background. I’m also going to hang one Manzanita branch upside down from each of the two roof supports. After that I have no other plans yet, just going to go where it takes me from there.

I’m open to some ideas if you any one has them!
That's going be top notch. Now your wife knows why you kept a 5' stack of driftwood lol.
 
#56
I have also read that they can work as well but don’t put too many and make sure you have lots of leaf litter and other organic materials mix in with your substrate. I would also put them in later once some of the leafs and wood starts to decompose a bit so they would have plenty of food, but I am not 100% sure so maybe someone that knows better can help you out
 
#59
The thing about earthworms is that they can get into the drainage layer, they can also deposit substrate into the drainage layer. Also they prefer a colder temperature. Dead and gooey earthworms are one of the nastiest and stinkiest things to ever exist.

Also they eat a lot. Don't put too many, they can turn your substrate into mush in no time. They are also hermaphrodites, any two of them can breed.
 
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