Bioactive questions

Livingstons Lizards

Established Member
Basically without repeating everything everyone's already said, I keep all my animals in bio active and have been experimenting wirh it for about 9 years. If your looking for a commercial mix the ABG mix I've found is your best bet. NE Herpetoculture is a great site and I've used them for several of my smaller builds. However for your purpose and of that size as stated above would be a bag of organic potting soil, without fertilizer or perlite, preferably without mulch. Depending on the humidity levels your going to want to mix in either peat moss and or sphagnum moss. For the separator, generic vinyl screen will work. The main issue I've always had has been the drainage layer. The clay balls can be expensive & heavy. I've been using Matala Mat. Same thing used in pond filters. I've only started using it recently but so far has been promising.
 

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GrayMadder

Chameleon Enthusiast
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 !
So I will speak from experience, I actually bought this when I was chameleon planning. And IT DID NOT WORK well at all. First off, it was expensive and the "no need for drainage" is a lie. The bag will get mold and gross and it turned into a huge mess and I ended up chucking it and replanting everything in pots. (I don't have a bioactive enclosure) but I will say that this was in fact NOT bioactive.

⭐⭐2 out of 10... would NOT recommend. (1 star would equate to the infamous cham kit sold at petstores 🤣🤣)
 

Andy1987

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 !
This is my bio active set up it’s habistat, I have a drainage layer but don’t have a drainage valve , I remove the excess water manually from the drainage layer when it’s getting full, I do this with air hose a bowl and abit of sucking to create a vacume and it pulls all the excess water out, I wouldn’t be able to
Operate this process with out a drainage layer to Put my air hose into, he uses that bag with mesh cages, the bag is basically to stop the substrate and water coming through the gaps in the mesh, it has no other use
 

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This is my bio active set up it’s habistat, I have a drainage layer but don’t have a drainage valve , I remove the excess water manually from the drainage layer when it’s getting full, I do this with air hose a bowl and abit of sucking to create a vacume and it pulls all the excess water out, I wouldn’t be able to
Operate this process with out a drainage layer to Put my air hose into, he uses that bag with mesh cages, the bag is basically to stop the substrate and water coming through the gaps in the mesh, it has no other use
Yours looks great! What kind of drainage layer did you use?
 
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!
Thanks for all the info!
 

Andy1987

Member
Yours looks great! What kind of drainage layer did you use?
Drainage layer is bio balls, can’t remember the specific brand though, but I’m pretty sure it’s what I’ve attatched in the photo 👍🏽 it has no built in drainage valve but it just syphon out the build up of water using air hose and some pvc pipe
 

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