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New tarantula owner, need really good advice on buying bedding/substrate.

gyromess1200

New Member
Hi everyone, my name is Pete furrowes, and I just recently became a new tarantula enthusiast into the hobby. I want to ask regarding substrate for my tarantulas. (I have my last block that I ordered but would like to stock up so I have plenty for a year or 2, this way it saves me time going out sourcing whereas I would have a container full of substrate for me to use at my disposal)

Okay this is where the problem is, I have been doing consistent research on the types of substrate, but at my local garden center (here in Edinburgh, Scotland) they only have bags of compost that have things mixed into it (I have asked for plain soil, and I got a mysterious look from the staff :/), now I have read not to use anything that has different substances mixed into the original compost itself, so I am left with coco coir/peat, now another problem is peat costs way too much here for me 23.00 per bag (locally) thus I am now on the hunt for decent alternative into this coco coir substrate, I have absolutely no knowledge of this but have been using it for 2 weeks which I got with my new tarantulas from online, which is why I have come here to get really good advice, and where it would be possible to buy in bulk for a cheap price but good quality coco coir.

I have been looking around various online places, but to my avail I have sourced it from 2 places, eBay and Amazon, now Amazon have coco coir, and the big 70L blocks look good, but they state its for gardens, even though its coco coir (is all coco coir the same or does each coco coir differ??) I am unsure so will need advice on this please.

On a side note, I don't plan to mix anything with the coco coir, I tend to use it straight from when it is ready and tiny bit moist), unless I really need to mix, but I don't want to spend so much on things that I do not know/feel uncomfortable about :/.

On eBay, there are good listings: (https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?LH_TitleDesc=0&LH_PrefLoc=1&_sop=15&_odkw=ibm+thinkpad+x61&_osacat=0&LH_BIN=1&rt=nc&_oac=1&_ipg=200&_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=coir+blocks&_sacat=0)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/24-x-10L-Coir-Block-Coco-Coir-Peat-Pure-Coir-Blocks-Bargain-Price-Brick-Bricks/252599511849?hash=item3ad01aab29:g:dCwAAOSwDNdVvpYb&LH_BIN=1 (THIS one looks really good value and in bulk @ 0.95p per brick, but has anyone tried it, or is it good/safe for my tarantulas) **

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-x-70lt-Coir-Compost-Blocks-Makes-up-to-210lts-Soluble-Fertiliser-10-52-10-TE/170507357698?epid=1188184536&hash=item27b307ce02:g:trYAAOSwUuFWvdlu&LH_BIN=1

On Amazon here too: (https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_pg_3?sf=qz,rba&rh=i:aps,k:coir+blocks&page=3&sort=price-asc-rank&keywords=coir+blocks&unfiltered=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1534423523)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coconut-Reptiles-Terrarium-Substrate-Briquettes/dp/B00HGHIUQ6/ref=sr_1_41?ie=UTF8&qid=1534423540&sr=8-41&keywords=coir+blocks

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ORGANIC-FRIENDLY-PLANTING-COMPRESSED-BRIQUETTES/dp/B07FW653X2/ref=sr_1_37?ie=UTF8&qid=1534423540&sr=8-37&keywords=coir+blocks

https://www.amazon.co.uk/COCO-COIR-FRIENDLY-COMPRESSED-BRIQUETTES/dp/B07CH7VZ6D/ref=sr_1_36?ie=UTF8&qid=1534423540&sr=8-36&keywords=coir+blocks

** Can anyone here please help me choose, whats good and what to stay clear of/avoid, as I am really confused, and is causing me to go absolutely banana's ;)

Any advice and good online links to best buys/deals would be nice too.
 
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DreadedNeith

Well-Known Member
I am also wondering about the soil thing. I found soil with plant food, organic, non organic, soil without plant food but it had spruce and or pine bark in it. I have not been able to find plain ol organic soil with no plant food and no pine/spruce. I have been reduced to usi g the coconut husk also. Sucks because i really want to grow some plants in my arborial enclosure. I hope you get the informatio you need. I'll look around and if i find anything I'll reply here.
 

Tortoise Tom

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
I don't know where to buy things in Scotland, but here I use coco coir. I wouldn't use any type of soil unless you can be 100% sure what composted material it is made of and that there are no additives of any kind.
 

DreadedNeith

Well-Known Member
Not sure how true it is, maybe someone with more experience than i can say. I heard that you can use soil from outside as long as there are no chemicals in it and you bake it in your oven to kill any living parisites, fungus, or insects that may be in it. Is this true?
 

gyromess1200

New Member
I am also wondering about the soil thing. I found soil with plant food, organic, non organic, soil without plant food but it had spruce and or pine bark in it. I have not been able to find plain ol organic soil with no plant food and no pine/spruce. I have been reduced to usi g the coconut husk also. Sucks because i really want to grow some plants in my arborial enclosure. I hope you get the informatio you need. I'll look around and if i find anything I'll reply here.
Thanks for the reply, really appreciate it :), definitely, I find it hard to buy due to those very problems, soil here has ether something inside it pre-mixed, and is usually more often for plant/gardening, so very hard to come by something thats clean and substance free.

Coir is on the top of my mind right now, just finding it hard to choose whether the above are okay or not. The links to the listing show that they are plain coir, with nothing added, so would this still be safe to use? I am unsure will need more replies too :).

Super, thanks for the links, although sadly I'm not in the US, would have got those as they are really better priced than they are here in the UK, especially when they offer bulk quantity in the US. I have heard buying Eco earth is sometimes a hit and miss, (mold/not that good, over priced due to packaging...) is this true?

Not sure how true it is, maybe someone with more experience than i can say. I heard that you can use soil from outside as long as there are no chemicals in it and you bake it in your oven to kill any living parisites, fungus, or insects that may be in it. Is this true?
Yeah, I definitely hope some more replies will come though here, helping us out with this.
 

gyromess1200

New Member
I don't know where to buy things in Scotland, but here I use coco coir. I wouldn't use any type of soil unless you can be 100% sure what composted material it is made of and that there are no additives of any kind.
Thanks for the reply :), I live in Edinburgh, so its really quite pricey here, as I live close to the town center, things can get very expensive here (due to the tourism it brings, so prices tend to get stacked up even for locals), so why I was deterred away from purchasing Irish moss peat, the bags are just to expensive for me.

When I asked about non treated soils at my garden center, the sales rep kinda looked funny at me, so he stated we don't have anything of that sort, only for gardening needs. So I walked away, I did look at their coir bricks, they have them but again at 4.97 per brick, I did not think it was worth the buy. So I looked on eBay and Amazon, they have coco coir cheaper, but I don't have a clue which to buy, hopefully others here will reply too and guide me in the right direction.
 

Whitelightning777

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1,000+ Post Club
I would recommend 100% organic peat with nothing else mixed in. Wood and ceder are fatal to tarantulas.

The best thing to do might be to travel to a pet store even if it's a days drive and get EcoEarth which is essentially cocofiber.
 

Enn49

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I would recommend 100% organic peat with nothing else mixed in. Wood and ceder are fatal to tarantulas.

The best thing to do might be to travel to a pet store even if it's a days drive and get EcoEarth which is essentially cocofiber.
Peat is virtually unobtainable in the UK now.
 

Whitelightning777

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1,000+ Post Club
Unavailable? Even from Amazon or by mail order? I've heard that some peat bogs exist in England from which very old human remains have been extracted. If that's the case, coco fiber will work if one monitors it for mold and it doesn't get to moist beyond what the tarantula requires.
 

Enn49

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Staff member
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Unavailable? Even from Amazon or by mail order? I've heard that some peat bogs exist in England from which very old human remains have been extracted. If that's the case, coco fiber will work if one monitors it for mold and it doesn't get to moist beyond what the tarantula requires.
It's not just the human remains but nature in general, wildlife, plants etc.
 

DreadedNeith

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the reply, really appreciate it :), definitely, I find it hard to buy due to those very problems, soil here has ether something inside it pre-mixed, and is usually more often for plant/gardening, so very hard to come by something thats clean and substance free.

Coir is on the top of my mind right now, just finding it hard to choose whether the above are okay or not. The links to the listing show that they are plain coir, with nothing added, so would this still be safe to use? I am unsure will need more replies too :).



Super, thanks for the links, although sadly I'm not in the US, would have got those as they are really better priced than they are here in the UK, especially when they offer bulk quantity in the US. I have heard buying Eco earth is sometimes a hit and miss, (mold/not that good, over priced due to packaging...) is this true?



Yeah, I definitely hope some more replies will come though here, helping us out with this.
I'm nlt the best person to give advice on this topic as I am new to the hobby myself. I have however been wonder a lot of the same things. So i have done a little research on the topic. I found this website https://tomsbigspiders.com/2014/07/30/choosing-the-right-substrate-for-your-tarantula/ It has information on substrate options for Ts. Maybe someone here with more experience can vouch for this site and the information on it. The site also mentions that Scotts topsoil is a good option for a substrate. Again I have never used this product and dont know much about it. Maybe someone here can vouch for It. I use eco earth coconut fiber and haven't had an issue with mold except for when i first got my T. The enclosure my T came in already had some eco earth in it and i saw a couple mold spots but I think this was due to the previous owner not cleaning out the leftover dead crickets that the spider had eaten. I make sure I take out any dead feeder insect as soon as the spider is done eating. I also dont mist the inside of the enclosure. If the coconut fiber is completely dry i will over flow the water dish a little bit when i change the water. I really hope someone ca review my comme t and vouch for any product or information I've given.
41MGD0cyAyL.jpg
I've also heard of people mixing sphagnum moss i with the topsoil in order to make it a bit more acidic which helps prevent mold. People have also mentioned using cheap brands as long as there isnt anything in it that would hurt the T. Ive aso heard that you tend not to have mite problems when using topsoil.
 

Enn49

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@gyromess1200 Most of the coco fibre sold on eBay under Reptile supplies or by invert shops is safe for Ts.
 

gyromess1200

New Member
@gyromess1200 Most of the coco fibre sold on eBay under Reptile supplies or by invert shops is safe for Ts.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/24-x-10L-Coir-Block-Coco-Coir-Peat-Pure-Coir-Blocks-Bargain-Price-Brick-Bricks/252599511849?hash=item3ad01aab29:g:dCwAAOSwDNdVvpYb&LH_BIN=1 (THIS one looks really good value and in bulk @ 0.95p per brick, but has anyone tried it, or is it good/safe for my tarantulas) **
Thanks for the reply, so the one above that I linked to for coir will be perfectly fine to use, it says it contains nothing inside it, and its just organic 100% coir only, Would these bricks be okay to use for my tarantulas?

Also will mixing this into the coir above make any difference? (can I user this fine grade vermiculite for my substrate as a mix with coir?)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ProRep-Vermiculite-Spider-Bedding-Substate/dp/B008HDR53M/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1534562766&sr=1-1&keywords=vermiculite&refinements=p_76:419158031,p_72:419153031

I buy most of mine from http://spidershop.pl/product/wlokno-kokosowe/?lang=en, it's cheaper than the UK and Polish postage is very reasonable too.
Super, I'll look into this, thank you for the link. :)
 
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gyromess1200

New Member
I would recommend 100% organic peat with nothing else mixed in. Wood and ceder are fatal to tarantulas.

The best thing to do might be to travel to a pet store even if it's a days drive and get EcoEarth which is essentially cocofiber.
Thanks for the reply, I would consider buying Irish moss peat, but the bags here are just too expensive, even for a common size one, I don't think its worth me buying it, I'd also love to travel outside my town, but I just don;t have the time due to work, which is why I am considering buying coir in bulk. Possibly if I get the chance to go, then I will consider getting or finding cheaper priced bags of peat.
 

gyromess1200

New Member
I'm nlt the best person to give advice on this topic as I am new to the hobby myself. I have however been wonder a lot of the same things. So i have done a little research on the topic. I found this website https://tomsbigspiders.com/2014/07/30/choosing-the-right-substrate-for-your-tarantula/ It has information on substrate options for Ts. Maybe someone here with more experience can vouch for this site and the information on it. The site also mentions that Scotts topsoil is a good option for a substrate. Again I have never used this product and dont know much about it. Maybe someone here can vouch for It. I use eco earth coconut fiber and haven't had an issue with mold except for when i first got my T. The enclosure my T came in already had some eco earth in it and i saw a couple mold spots but I think this was due to the previous owner not cleaning out the leftover dead crickets that the spider had eaten. I make sure I take out any dead feeder insect as soon as the spider is done eating. I also dont mist the inside of the enclosure. If the coconut fiber is completely dry i will over flow the water dish a little bit when i change the water. I really hope someone ca review my comme t and vouch for any product or information I've given. View attachment 31715I've also heard of people mixing sphagnum moss i with the topsoil in order to make it a bit more acidic which helps prevent mold. People have also mentioned using cheap brands as long as there isnt anything in it that would hurt the T. Ive aso heard that you tend not to have mite problems when using topsoil.
Superb, thank you for the link and helpful information about topsoil, this will give me some insight about variations of the soil, and what to look out for, but I highly doubt I;d find any bags here, at the moment everything is branded soil with additives mixed in, and I'd rarely be able to find a supplier that physically stocks soil without the added bad things inside it.

Nonetheless you have provided a good link for me to read on, thank you :)
 

MassExodus

Well-Known Member
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3 Year Member
I would recommend 100% organic peat with nothing else mixed in. Wood and ceder are fatal to tarantulas.

The best thing to do might be to travel to a pet store even if it's a days drive and get EcoEarth which is essentially cocofiber.
Wood and cedar are fatal to tarantulas? They live on wood! Do you look at what you type ? I mean, I know, I'm a drunken asshole, but think before you type. CERTAIN WOODS REPEL INVERTS, VERY FEW. Cedar is one. Fixed.
 

DreadedNeith

Well-Known Member
Superb, thank you for the link and helpful information about topsoil, this will give me some insight about variations of the soil, and what to look out for, but I highly doubt I;d find any bags here, at the moment everything is branded soil with additives mixed in, and I'd rarely be able to find a supplier that physically stocks soil without the added bad things inside it.

Nonetheless you have provided a good link for me to read on, thank you :)
Happy I could help even if just a little. Are you not able to order online? Do they have a Home Depot or Lows near you?
also when going into a garden center or hardware store, ask if they have top soil. Dont ask for potting soils or stuff for animal enclosures. The people there dont usually knkw anything about the soil or potting mixes they are selling. Just try to find potting soil and read the ingredients. Look to be sure that it is only potting soil and doesnt have any kind of fertilizers (organis or not), chemicals, spruce, cedar, or pine wood or bark. Since you posted I've done a bunch of research and this is the best I could come up with. I am very interested in using soil as i want to grow moss and plants inside my enclosure. Ive also read that a lot of people are using soil collected from outside. I'd just make sure there are no chemicals, fertilizers, spruce, pine, or cedar bark, and also no where near a road as oils and chemicals from cars can leach into soil and near by plants. I eventually want soil in my Ts enclosure with natural cleaners like springtails. I really want to creat an environment that is very close to the environment my Avic would be in in the wild.
 
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