I think we need to get rid of the word 'bioactive'

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Fully agree with your statement and the alternative with the plants in their pots. Unfortunately I want and need the full height of soil as an alternative lay bin.
All the other plants hanging in the enclosure, have their plastic pots been swapped with cocos fibre pots. Looking more aesthetic and regulates air / moist better, the soil inside the pots can 'breath`better.
I wasn't making an argument to keep plants in their pots, it's personal preference. I changed those enclosures. I personally like my plants planted into the substrate without flower pots(I've posted those pics before), but I did this fast when I moved and didn't have time. I kept it like this for a year until I slowly changed them over. Just showing how simple 'bioactive' can be while still accomplishing the task of being clean.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree "bioactive" is overrated as a term. I'm so tired of the endless debates on this topic. Chameleons live above the ground anyway.

PS. Love the leaf litter bottom, looks way better than the plain bottom most people use.

Thank you, I switched them over, but I just wanted to show how easy it could be. Most of my enclosures have been fully planted without the flower pots.

Chameleons may live above ground, but many go to the ground, and they are within close proximity to the cage floor in captivity. I agree though, the debates get old, glad this stayed as an interesting discussion. Thing is, it's relatively new to US chameleon keeping, so you'll naturally get pushback. The paranoia that surrounds cham keeping in general makes people worried to add variables to their enclosure, which I can understand even if I don't always agree.
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
I wasn't making an argument to keep plants in their pots, it's personal preference. I changed those enclosures. I personally like my plants planted into the substrate without flower pots(I've posted those pics before), but I did this fast when I moved and didn't have time. I kept it like this for a year until I slowly changed them over. Just showing how simple 'bioactive' can be while still accomplishing the task of being clean.
I agree with statement about the term (and the pots is a great alternative);)
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Pardon my asking for clarification...just coming off a 13+ hour shift and brain not at peak functioning. Are you saying that if one were to just toss even a thin layer of soil and some live plants, they would be considered ‘bioactive’ even without intentionally adding any CuC? Am I wrong in my belief that it is the addition of beneficial buggies that make it a true bioactive?
Also, who the heck would be sterilizing their soil? What kind of madness is that?!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Pardon my asking for clarification...just coming off a 13+ hour shift and brain not at peak functioning. Are you saying that if one were to just toss even a thin layer of soil and some live plants, they would be considered ‘bioactive’ even without intentionally adding any CuC? Am I wrong in my belief that it is the addition of beneficial buggies that make it a true bioactive?
Also, who the heck would be sterilizing their soil? What kind of madness is that?!

Yes, technically it would be bioactive if there is beneficial bacteria that breaks down waste. In reptile terms, the CuC is usually considered too I'll admit(and like I said, you should have a CuC). Honestly, soil is going to have some sort of detrivores show up at some point 99% of the time, even if you can't see them. Whether it be springtails, millipedes, isopods, mites, etc.

And nobody is sterilizing soil over and over, but often before it is shipped soil needs to be sterilized I believe? Also people do it to reduce risk of pests and whatever else coming into their enclosures. Usually a one time thing and the soil recolonizes over time. You can tell when soil needs time for bacteria to colonize when patches of mold show up everywhere, leaf litter, wood, cork, etc also get moldy if they are first sterilized. You'll see this happen a lot with new coco coir too. Just give it time to cycle and you have a bioactive enclosure.
 

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
I use the term like everybody. I think the thing is it is a created buzz term that has taken hold. It truly has many meanings and no meaning at the same time. Often by context we understand what somebody is talking about. The reality is if there were no bio activity going on in an enclosure, molds and fungus would thrive. Like @jamest0o0 says it could be a millimeter thick and it will have bacteria.
What we seek to create is a natural cycling, self cleaning enclosed biotope. This is long to say so it became "bio-active" kind of like "Extreme" in advertising. I do wonder where it originated though?
I like "Self cycling system" for that is really what we ate talking about.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
The pill bug army doesnt take sides.

IMG_20210318_062717.jpg
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
in the cannabis industry, they call it living soil. I always liked that... anyhow I was curious about a soil health issue ...it seems that springtime has unleashed gnats upon many a keeper and I am trying a few options one was nematodes, which seemed extreme but it wasn't ruled out ( ordered it cause ill use it in other applications if not with cham plants) about 5 other plans hatched and I was curious should they fail and I do go nematodes does that mean I'm killing off my cuc and any potential to stock bsfl ? i have a dozen or so plants all potted into my build and would like to keep a healthy balance of iso and springtails in the mix more than using nematodes if they would create an issue with the systems long term overall soil health. if its a one way street with nematodes i want to know before I make that turn
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
in the cannabis industry, they call it living soil. I always liked that... anyhow I was curious about a soil health issue ...it seems that springtime has unleashed gnats upon many a keeper and I am trying a few options one was nematodes, which seemed extreme but it wasn't ruled out ( ordered it cause ill use it in other applications if not with cham plants) about 5 other plans hatched and I was curious should they fail and I do go nematodes does that mean I'm killing off my cuc and any potential to stock bsfl ? i have a dozen or so plants all potted into my build and would like to keep a healthy balance of iso and springtails in the mix more than using nematodes if they would create an issue with the systems long term overall soil health. if its a one way street with nematodes i want to know before I make that turn
I have no experience using nematodes so can't speak much on it. As for gnats, everyone here probably has heard me say sundews at this point. I swear, I could have won a record for most soil gnats in one room a few years back lmao. I added a butterwort and 3 sundews(drosera capensis) which were a few inches long each. Over the course of the week they pretty much turned black with gnats, doubled maybe? in size, and almost completely eliminated the problem. Within a few weeks I was actually hoping for more gnats just to keep the plants fed lol. By then there were none left. It was like as soon as they hatched, they flew to the sundews.

All of that said, some people have had mixed experiences with sundews. Some types of flies aren't as drawn to them. Like fruit flies IME didn't go near them. The little black fungus/soil gnats were almost immediately drawn to them though.
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
after reading the account of the sundew I'm stoked to add some and plan to put a few near the enclosure as a long term plan and can put them inside as needed when he free ranges i don't want him getting sticky lol my guys a bull in a china shop when it comes to foliage but I'm looking at a few angles i will use the nematodes in one way or another in the garden but maybe not the cham enclosure until i know if they will eradicate my cuc... btw those giant isos are absolutely awesome I'm going to need more / will they play nice with dwarf whites ...I've ordered a nep for inside the enclosure but know it won't fix this issue but will help me get used to the care for c.p as i have failed with venus fly traps as well as others in the past
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
after reading the account of the sundew I'm stoked to add some and plan to put a few near the enclosure as a long term plan and can put them inside as needed when he free ranges i don't want him getting sticky lol my guys a bull in a china shop when it comes to foliage but I'm looking at a few angles i will use the nematodes in one way or another in the garden but maybe not the cham enclosure until i know if they will eradicate my cuc... btw those giant isos are absolutely awesome I'm going to need more / will they play nice with dwarf whites ...I've ordered a nep for inside the enclosure but know it won't fix this issue but will help me get used to the care for c.p as i have failed with venus fly traps as well as others in the past
I kept my sundews on a windowsill, the gnats will leave the cage and head towards them IME. Many nepenthes do very well in cham cages. Mine loved it. They do a pretty good job at killing off flies and bugs too.
 
Top Bottom