Is this appropriate for a bioactive terrarium?

Discussion in 'Chameleon Identification' started by Vnessinessa, May 17, 2018.

  1. Vnessinessa

    Vnessinessa Member

    So, I put boiled pebbles, and hydroballs on the bottom along with an unfinished drainage system. I have added the mesh layer and have added some organic soil and plantation soil from exo terra along with a little exo terra bark. I can add more soils if necessary... I have planted a hibiscus, an umbrella tree, and one other that I forget what it is called, but I know it's one of the best for chams. Anyhow, is there any way I can improve? I have not ordered any isopods or springtails as of yet. Do they have to be a special species for each bug? Do they have to be tropical? Also, how will I know if the ventilation is okay or not? Thanks for your input. Much appreciated....
     

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  2. Vnessinessa

    Vnessinessa Member

    Sorry... I posted in the wrong area....
     
  3. Vnessinessa

    Vnessinessa Member

    I really dont know how to delete thread. Inam sorry that it is a duplicate...
     
  4. CamrynTheCham22

    CamrynTheCham22 Avid Member

    One of the administrators will probably do it for you.
     
  5. Remkon

    Remkon Chameleon Enthusiast

    I have added some worms and isopods from my backyard to my substrate in addition to some tropical isopods...

    The idea is that the bugs clean up the mess your cham makes aswell as dead leaves so imo any non toxic insect that does this and is able to survive in the substrate is a good one.
     
    jamest0o0 likes this.
  6. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    One thing about your plants, the hibiscus probably won't last, they need a lot of light and are prone to pest infestations when stressed.

    White and pink springtails seem to be the go to. I have random species in mine from outside as well. The critters are a huge part of bioactivity. They clean waste, aerate the soil, break down nutrients for plants, etc. I really like the giant canyon isopods, they get pretty large and can even be fed off. As remkon mentioned, the more biodiversity you get in there, the better. I've only ever bought springtails and isopods, but there are also different millipedes, isopods, worms and whatever else in there that hitched in on plants I kept outside. If you have FB check out RABS group, listen to anything involving john courtney smith on Cham breeder podcast. He has some great books too.
     
    VerucaSalt likes this.
  7. Syreptyon

    Syreptyon Avid Member

    I would use different soils if I were you. The basic exoterra ones you're using are not optimized for bioactive enclosures. Maybe they'll work (I honestly don't know), but there are better choices. I use a combination of the ABG mix and the Biobedding tropical bioactive mix, both from Josh's Frogs, which are made for this exact purpose. You really want your substrate to include charcoal (helps keep things clean) and beneficial fungi (to feed your future springtails), both of which are excluded from those exoterra ones.

    As for springtails/isopods, there are a lot of choices - especially for isopods. Just do some reading to determine what will work for you. I use a variety of isopod species because I like to see the biodiversity in my viv's microfauna
     
  8. Vnessinessa

    Vnessinessa Member

    That is so great.... I was thinking of grabbing some things such as isopods, worms, and springtails from my yard, but I was concerned about what if they carry any diseases, or have ingested pesticides or fertilizers. Is that not so much a concern? I have ordered some isopods online so, hopefully they will thrive in my terrarium after I add better soils to my terrarium.
     
    jamest0o0 likes this.
  9. Vnessinessa

    Vnessinessa Member

    Thank you for the excellent information:) I really appreciate it.
     
    jamest0o0 likes this.
  10. Vnessinessa

    Vnessinessa Member

    Thank you so much! I will look into ordering these soils right away! Much appreciated! This has helped so much :)
     
    jamest0o0 likes this.
  11. Vnessinessa

    Vnessinessa Member

    I tried buying from Josh's frogs, but I am in Canada, and says they won't ship to where I live :(
     
  12. Vnessinessa

    Vnessinessa Member

    Do you know how I could make my own mock up version of the ABG mix?
     
    Alexander1 likes this.
  13. Chompingreens

    Chompingreens Member

    Look up the mix and buy each ingredient/substrate. U may find mixing your own beneficial or find something that works better. I would Also stray away from anything brought in from outside your house u never know what it may be harboring/ contaminants. Buy from a reliable source. Anything from outside your house should be at least pasteurized. Love the effort!!! Also u may want to move your lights to one side of the enclosure to try and make some gradients in temperature.
     
  14. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    Uh oh, here comes the sterilization, contaminants, parasites posts involving bio that have pretty much zero backed evidence. Go in the woods away from human traffic. Grab some stuff. You'll be fine :)

    Edit: not trying to attack the above, I've said the same things in the past. But it's really overblown. It amazes me people are afraid to put an unsanitized branch in their cage, but will feed crickets every day rather than cleaner food options.
     
  15. Remkon

    Remkon Chameleon Enthusiast

    Latest branches I got from my backyard. I dont live in a heavy trafic area and know me and my neighbours don't use pesticides...
    Besides why would I put my chameleon in the backyard on a sunny day but not give him wood from that same backyard...

    I'm also kinda a 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' kind of guy so I believe having a bit of dirt is good for the immune system as well.

    But to each their own, if people feel more confident sterilizing everything before throwing it in the enclosure they should.
     
  16. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    @Remkon yeah, I agree 100%. That's the same thought process I have about it all. If it helps people sleep to clean everything though, no problem, to each their own.
     
    Johnnyjames572 and VerucaSalt like this.
  17. Chompingreens

    Chompingreens Member

    Yeah I understand what your saying,in some situations u can get away with it as having an adequate environment for your animal to sustain its top condition to health surely that captive can survive as all animal come from the wild at some time in its lineage. But telling an average person that doesn’t have the knowledge of what some experienced keepers is a little stray. I’ve done many bio’s in the past. No measuring here. You would be surprised what you find in an Agra culture alone from your back yard nor what your neighbors are doing. What happens when your captive suddenly falls short of its prime condition because it’s been exposed to added stresses that are not native to its region. History tells. Trust me I’m not an perfect example of anyone. I’ve had many experiences throughout my days and my experiences tell me to tell people that are not as experienced to take caution in things they are not familiar with until they have gained the knowledge to make their own choices without the help from others. Crickets,I’m not a fan of so that isn’t even a topic I’m not going to ramble about as we have a similar mind set on those lol. Everybody is right. Not trying to head butt. Peace.
     
    #17 Chompingreens, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  18. jamest0o0

    jamest0o0 Chameleon Enthusiast

    I agree you don't want chemicals and whatever. That's why it's important to collect away from human traffic. I've still never seen a chameleon die from something outside on a branch, plants, etc.
     
    Goose502 likes this.
  19. Vnessinessa

    Vnessinessa Member

    Thank you everyone! Everyone has such great advice! I have my tank fully set up now, and I am excited to see how it works out! I got my dwarf isopods today, and my tropical springtails :) I ended just buying everything I need, but maybe when I become more experienced I will feel better about taking stuff from outside. My little guy had to go to the vets again for his eye infection, so I really dont wsnt yo cause him any extra stresses... I never thought I would be giving my panther pain meds, antibiotics, and anti inflammatories:p finally his eye is almost perfect again:):D
     

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