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Bad substrate?

Discussion in 'General Tarantula Discussion' started by Rs50matt, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. Rs50matt

    Rs50matt Well-Known Member

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    I've moved both my g pulchripes into new enclosures and started using a mix of top soil and coco fibre (50/50) with a splash of vermiculite and both of them spend their time off the substrate on the side of the enclosure. The sub is dry and I'm lost as to why this is happening. I have one other enclosure with this substrate but It's owner is in transit.

    Any help would be appreciated, hopefully find out what's up before my new t turns up
  2. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member Premium Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Did you pack it down...they like compacted soil. Also did you soak the vermiculite before using it....if not it will wick the moisture out of everything even the spider.
    Tortoise Tom likes this.
  3. Rs50matt

    Rs50matt Well-Known Member

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    Yea it's packed down and I didn't know you need to soak the vermiculite but it was mixed into damp soil which has since dried out .

    One is on the sub atm and was on it earlier but as soon as I turned light on and looked in he crawled up the side
  4. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member Premium Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    They are probably just getting use to their new enclosures...they should be fine.
  5. Rs50matt

    Rs50matt Well-Known Member

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    I've packed the sub down more. I think it was ok but just to make sure. I'll give them enough time to settle. One has eaten. Other hasn't but I'll give it time
    Arachnoclown likes this.
  6. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Not trying to be an alarmist, but I would remix with washed vermiculite. If the soil is packed and dry, they shouldnt be avoiding it..
  7. Rs50matt

    Rs50matt Well-Known Member

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    I'll be honest. The vermiculite content is minimal. I'll keep an eye on them today but maybe look at removing them and starting from scratch
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  8. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member Premium Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    You could water the substrate pretty good to get the vermiculite wet then cap the top with dry top soil and coco fiber.
    MassExodus likes this.
  9. KezyGLA

    KezyGLA Well-Known Member

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    They will just need time to settle.
  10. Tortoise Tom

    Tortoise Tom Well-Known Member

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    I have no way of knowing what the issue is there, but here is my take on "soil' as a substrate. Bought-in-a-bag soil from the hardware store or garden center is made from composted yard waste. It might be totally safe in one batch, and the next batch might be made with oleander and azalea clippings. No way to know. I know this because of the tortoises. I once bought some soil to use under some baby tortoises in an outdoor sunning cage. I wanted to grow lots of plants for them to graze on, so I used soil. Some of the soil had not completely composted and there were clearly jacaranda leaves in it. These are toxic if the tortoises eat it, and they are likely to eat it. Walk down the aisle at Home Depot and look at the tons upon tons of toxic yard chemicals that people are buying and spraying all over their yards and houses. These insecticides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, and who knows what else, goes onto their yard, they mow it, throw the clippings in the bin, the bin gets picked up and taken to the companies that make the bought in a bag soil, and then it ends up on a shelf for us to buy. Or not. I choose not.
  11. Rs50matt

    Rs50matt Well-Known Member

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    Tom I used top soil not compost. As an update to this post only 1 of my g pulchripes stays off it now even thou I've topped it with coco fibre (dry). Turns out it was me being worried over nothing. Sub is fine. It just likes to hide on top of his hid in the corner of the lid (its dark there). Do see it on the sub to get water and every now and again but I guess it just likes to chill up there
    MassExodus likes this.
  12. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Ahh, you got a goofy one. The bane of us all. I found Avics to be weird as hell. But cool little guys.
  13. Tortoise Tom

    Tortoise Tom Well-Known Member

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    My above post is in reference to any type of bought in a bag soil. "Top soil" is made from composted material same as any other type of bagged soil for sale at the store.