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.
I love this idea. I ran into a weight problem with too much soil. It’s close to a foot including drainage layer and slopes backwards. Wish I could make it deeper. Someday I may also build a custom enclosure. There is only so much a commercial enclosure can handle, but I love the idea of a deep, bio diverse base.
Mix of soil from my vegetable garden with moss, organic compost and this ExoTerra soil Ive had laying around for years. Also ordered spring tails and caught about 100 wild doodle bugs for breeding.
View attachment 221227