Bioactive questions

Lexlynn

Member
Hello everyone so I’ve decided to go bioactive. I’ve decided to completely scrap my current cage (obviously not until a new one is set) and go for the dragon strand hybrid. With that I’m looking to do bioactive. I’ve done research read my threads on here and even watch a trillion YouTube videos. Overall, my biggest concern is who to trust. I watch bio dudes video on his chameleon bio active enclosure with that bag. The terra firma soil is great for my female to burrow for nesting so I instantly was intrigued but his bag and setup has no drainage layer? He says on his site no need for drainage layer. Is that fine? To just keep everything in this bag with no drainage layer? Has anyone had experience with his kit ? I’m thinking of just doing it without the bag and follow the standard layers including a drainage layer and separation layer. Any input is helpful !
 

Lexlynn

Member
Hello everyone so I’ve decided to go bioactive. I’ve decided to completely scrap my current cage (obviously not until a new one is set) and go for the dragon strand hybrid. With that I’m looking to do bioactive. I’ve done research read my threads on here and even watch a trillion YouTube videos. Overall, my biggest concern is who to trust. I watch bio dudes video on his chameleon bio active enclosure with that bag. The terra firma soil is great for my female to burrow for nesting so I instantly was intrigued but his bag and setup has no drainage layer? He says on his site no need for drainage layer. Is that fine? To just keep everything in this bag with no drainage layer? Has anyone had experience with his kit ? I’m thinking of just doing it without the bag and follow the standard layers including a drainage layer and separation layer. Any input is helpful !
I’ve also heard he’s basically a scam so I’m scared in that sense as well. I know Josh’s frogs sells bioactive supplies as well so is that my better option?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. I ordered and use Bio Dude’s terra Sahara for one of my leopard geckos which was my first bioactive set up. Basically it was expensive dirt. For my chams I got his bags...they are too small for a standard 2x2x4’ enclosure and like all of his stuff, overpriced. Go to Home Depot and search for root bags. You’ll find plenty of sizes. I can’t recall which is the right measurements but I think it’s at least a 35 gal one. For the rest, I went by this. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/intro-to-bio-activity.2429/
With the bags, I did put a drainage layer of lava rock and covered it with screening/landscape fabric. I run my mist king about 3 times a day for 2 minutes each time and to my knowledge, nothing has leaked.
 

Lexlynn

Member
Hi. I ordered and use Bio Dude’s terra Sahara for one of my leopard geckos which was my first bioactive set up. Basically it was expensive dirt. For my chams I got his bags...they are too small for a standard 2x2x4’ enclosure and like all of his stuff, overpriced. Go to Home Depot and search for root bags. You’ll find plenty of sizes. I can’t recall which is the right measurements but I think it’s at least a 35 gal one. For the rest, I went by this. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/intro-to-bio-activity.2429/
With the bags, I did put a drainage layer of lava rock and covered it with screening/landscape fabric. I run my mist king about 3 times a day for 2 minutes each time and to my knowledge, nothing has leaked.
Thank you so much and I saw a lot of people say his stuff is overpriced. You said you did get his bags for the chams. Did you stick with it or end up using something else? His terra firma he said in his video is good for burrowing for eggs and he has some guys who breeds panthers said it was great for nesting. Am definitely curious if anyone was successful with this soil in terms of nesting as well.
 

ashdavisa

Member
Bio Dude isn't necessarily a scam, it's just generic products with his label slapped on and marketed as his own (a practice that isn't exclusive to him- Josh's Frogs has several products like that- the Bio Dude just pushes his brand so hard when it's essentially all just repackaged, marked-up stuff). His videos (from what I've seen, at least) aren't necessarily wrong either, but they're pretty rudimentary.

I've seen some people here use the bag method... It doesn't need a "drainage" layer because water can leave the bag through the fabric, and I suppose the idea is that the plastic tray in your enclosure is meant to contain it (or drain from there somehow). I personally don't like them because thoroughly watering your plants means water leaks out of any and all sides, but people make it work.
 

Lexlynn

Member
Bio Dude isn't necessarily a scam, it's just generic products with his label slapped on and marketed as his own (a practice that isn't exclusive to him- Josh's Frogs has several products like that- the Bio Dude just pushes his brand so hard when it's essentially all just repackaged, marked-up stuff). His videos (from what I've seen, at least) aren't necessarily wrong either, but they're pretty rudimentary.

I've seen some people here use the bag method... It doesn't need a "drainage" layer because water can leave the bag through the fabric, and I suppose the idea is that the plastic tray in your enclosure is meant to contain it (or drain from there somehow). I personally don't like them because thoroughly watering your plants means water leaks out of any and all sides, but people make it work.
My boyfriend and I have talked about just closing up the mesh sides with maybe plastic film and doing it that way instead of a bag. And just making a drainage layer as you usually would. His kit is $160 for leaf litter, the substrate, the “bio shot”, and moss. Wondering if that all would total less than what he even charges
 

ashdavisa

Member
My boyfriend and I have talked about just closing up the mesh sides with maybe plastic film and doing it that way instead of a bag. And just making a drainage layer as you usually would. His kit is $160 for leaf litter, the substrate, the “bio shot”, and moss. Wondering if that all would total less than what he even charges

This one? Honestly I wouldn't recommend that kit regardless of the price! It's a woodchippy-substrate, which isn't great for chameleon safety. Loose sphagnum moss shouldn't be used in a chameleon enclosure at all, and his "bio-shot" is just a 4-4-4 fertilizer with a mycorrhizal fungus (which is good for plants, it creates a symbiotic relationship with plants' roots and helps absorb nutrients) and organisms that are probably already present in any non-sterilized soil. Certainly not something to spend $160 on! You can use a much cheaper blend of peat, coco coir, sand, topsoil, etc. Leaf litter isn't particularly expensive, even from the Bio Dude.

If you were to make an enclosed bin, I'd use something rigid. Wet/damp soil is heavy, and it would put a lot of stress on the screen!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Soil: https://www.amazon.com/Fox-Farm-For...s=Fox+farm+ocean+forest&qid=1606284463&sr=8-2
Leaf litter & misc: https://www.joshsfrogs.com/bioactive/substrates.html
Horticultural charcoal: https://www.amazon.com/Mosser-Lee-ML0810-Horticultural-Charcoal/dp/B073D2BH5R/ref=sr_1_3?crid=P2H68FBN6PS3&dchild=1&keywords=horticultural+charcoal&qid=1606284529&sprefix=Horticul,aps,332&sr=8-3
Coco coir brick: https://www.amazon.com/Urban-Worm-C...3&sr=1-1-22d05c05-1231-4126-b7c4-3e7a9c0027d0
Add some orchid bark, lava rock, play sand and a little bit of (cut up) sphagnum moss from a home improvement store and you’re set. Much cheaper than the Bio Dude.
Don’t forget the isopods and springtails. @jamest0o0 sells some great bugs.
 

Mendez

Avid Member
A little off-topic, but I still find myself chuckling about the Bio-Dude's mist king video. The guy demonstrating how to set up the timer said "Dude, I don't know how to work this thing." Funniest damn thing I have seen in my life. The overall video was good, but I found it funny that it wasn't cut out.

Back on topic, the Bio-dude is no expert. He is just a retailer pushing products to the market. I would base my bioactive setup based on people who have been keeping bioactive for a long time. Many people on the forums keep Bioactive (disclaimer: I do not have a bioactive setup). I would 100% base my research on bioactive keepers on this forum, as well as other forums such as Dendroboard who keep dart frogs in bioactive setups (keep in mind that dart frogs and chameleons have different husbandry requirements). On youtube, you can watch Reptiliatus, Mike Tytula, and SerpaDesign, all of which have fantastic bioactive enclosure tips that you can learn from.

All in all, I would trust long-time keepers over a salesperson. That is not to say that you can't, shouldn't, or shan't (??) purchase from them, but I would strongly recommend getting information from an outside source who is more knowledgable on the topic.

(I am not a knowledgeable source, though I can recognize others who are just like me; the Biodude is just like me, unknowledgeable)
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
The reason I've heard many don't like biodude as well is because not only does he sell overpriced basic things, but he was a newbie that just stole the recipes and info from a bioactive Facebook group and started selling them. Not illegal, but I don't like to support that behavior either.
 

Lexlynn

Member
This one? Honestly I wouldn't recommend that kit regardless of the price! It's a woodchippy-substrate, which isn't great for chameleon safety. Loose sphagnum moss shouldn't be used in a chameleon enclosure at all, and his "bio-shot" is just a 4-4-4 fertilizer with a mycorrhizal fungus (which is good for plants, it creates a symbiotic relationship with plants' roots and helps absorb nutrients) and organisms that are probably already present in any non-sterilized soil. Certainly not something to spend $160 on! You can use a much cheaper blend of peat, coco coir, sand, topsoil, etc. Leaf litter isn't particularly expensive, even from the Bio Dude.

If you were to make an enclosed bin, I'd use something rigid. Wet/damp soil is heavy, and it would put a lot of stress on the screen!
I was worrying about that today too. Not sure what I could use yet but I’m going to research some more. We’ve also discussed turning a tall dresser (not sure wording for it... a chest of drawers??? Maybe idk) into a chameleon enclosure. Biggest worry is ventilation with that. But thank you for all your help definitely needed it !!!
 

Lexlynn

Member
The reason I've heard many don't like biodude as well is because not only does he sell overpriced basic things, but he was a newbie that just stole the recipes and info from a bioactive Facebook group and started selling them. Not illegal, but I don't like to support that behavior either.
I agree completely. Would definitely not support that. A few you tubers I’ve watched for my leopard gecko referenced him too so I checked it out and he was not quite intelligent in terms of chameleons but was making a chameleon bioactive enclosure so it seemed kind of weird to me I guess.
 

Lexlynn

Member
A little off-topic, but I still find myself chuckling about the Bio-Dude's mist king video. The guy demonstrating how to set up the timer said "Dude, I don't know how to work this thing." Funniest damn thing I have seen in my life. The overall video was good, but I found it funny that it wasn't cut out.

Back on topic, the Bio-dude is no expert. He is just a retailer pushing products to the market. I would base my bioactive setup based on people who have been keeping bioactive for a long time. Many people on the forums keep Bioactive (disclaimer: I do not have a bioactive setup). I would 100% base my research on bioactive keepers on this forum, as well as other forums such as Dendroboard who keep dart frogs in bioactive setups (keep in mind that dart frogs and chameleons have different husbandry requirements). On youtube, you can watch Reptiliatus, Mike Tytula, and SerpaDesign, all of which have fantastic bioactive enclosure tips that you can learn from.

All in all, I would trust long-time keepers over a salesperson. That is not to say that you can't, shouldn't, or shan't (??) purchase from them, but I would strongly recommend getting information from an outside source who is more knowledgable on the topic.

(I am not a knowledgeable source, though I can recognize others who are just like me; the Biodude is just like me, unknowledgeable)
Thank you I’ll check those you tubers out!! Watched a hand full I’m taking notes like I’m in college again. Go figure I was a bio major for a year ???
 
I’ve also heard he’s basically a scam so I’m scared in that sense as well. I know Josh’s frogs sells bioactive supplies as well so is that my better option?
Lex check out this site https://www.neherpetoculture.com/ they are all about bioactive supplies though they are geared toward dart frogs i think much of the supplies would be useful. I've ordered from both them and joshs frogs in the past and have been happy with the experience both places. I used ne herp when setting up my bioactive whites tree frog enclosure.
 

Highway61

Avid Member
The reason I've heard many don't like biodude as well is because not only does he sell overpriced basic things, but he was a newbie that just stole the recipes and info from a bioactive Facebook group and started selling them. Not illegal, but I don't like to support that behavior either.
Not only that, but he doesn't stand by the over priced junk he peddles. That grow light he slaps his Bio-Dude stamp on, probably made in a Chinese prison camp, complete garbage that breaks instantly just screwing it in the fixture the first time. Run, don't walk from the Bio-Dude.
 

Lexlynn

Member
Just curious how your bioactive journey is going?
Oh lord lol where do I begin. My first step was dragon ledges and transferring to real plants which plants itself has been a nightmare for me lol. I’m looking to move in a few months so I’m pushing it off until then unfortunately ):
 
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