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Substrate Choices

Discussion in 'Tarantula Enclosures' started by Dave Jay, Feb 24, 2018.

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Which of these materials do you use as a substrate or in a mix?

  1. Coco/Coir peat

    72.7%
  2. Natural mined peat

    18.2%
  3. Sphagnum moss

    9.1%
  4. Topsoil/Loam

    36.4%
  5. Potting mix

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Garden soil

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Sand

    9.1%
  8. Compost

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. Bark

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. Other

    9.1%
  11. Commercial pre mixed substrate

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  12. Vermiculite

    27.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    While substrate is mentioned in many threads there hasn't been a dedicated thread since 2012.
    Things can change in all animal husbandry, so rather than revive the old one , I thought I'd start a new dedicated thread and incorporate a poll.
    Indicate the components you use on the poll, but in the comments it would be great if you could include details of which specific group/genus/species/stage of tarantula you are tailoring to.
    Please include as many details as you can about both the substrate and tarantula catered for.
    I hope this will become a valuable resource for anyone setting up a new enclosure.
    Arachnoclown likes this.
  2. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I usually use straight Coco fiber but my latest T in her new enclosure has a bit of sand, 10-15% or so, mixed in. That mix was originally intended for my M balfouri who sadly enough was impacted and passed away.

    The new spider I have in there now, P sp machala seems to like it just fine.
    Dave Jay likes this.
  3. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    I've just started with tarantulas so I can't add much advice about substrate choice for them in particular.
    Atm I have Selenotypus plumipes and Phlogius sp. 'stents' . The advice I was given was to keep these species on a 50/50 coir peat/sand mix. Being that they are approximately 1" slings I chose to add more coir peat , around 60/40 peat/sand which is still a very sandy mix. I have given them around 10cm of this mix ,at the bottom of the enclosure I have a layer 1 to 2cm of straight coco peat. I have found this to be a life saver with some of my scorpions as it will hold moisture after the substrate above has dried. It also provides a visual guide to moisture levels as when a few enclosures are side by side you can compare the colour of the peat layer.
    I have tried straight coco peat as a substrate for animals requiring a moist substrate, but I've found that a 1 in 6 sand to peat ratio is easier to pack down and it holds burrows better. I think it's easier to see moisture content by eye than with straight peat.
  4. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I use Coco fibre, I find it seems do them all fine.
    Dave Jay likes this.
  5. PanzoN88

    PanzoN88 Well-Known Member

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    Coco fiber, none better in my opinion. Some use topsoil without additives. Others use sphagnum moss. The rest of the choices you listed do not sound like safe options, bark and sand in particular, if I am not mistaken compost is best for millipedes.
    Dave Jay likes this.
  6. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    Actually it was supposed to be bark chips but I couldn't change it once posted. I tried to think of everything I've seen used as substrate or as an ingredient in a substrate mixture. I'm not recommending they all be used together or separately. Another thing I thought of since is Orchid Potting Mixture, I've come across that before too.
    Thanks for your reply, it's as much about what people don't recommend as it is what they do.
    Whitelightning777 likes this.
  7. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    I use a mix of Coco fiber and vermiculite for all my Ts. I add a little moss for my Theraposa's though.
    Dave Jay likes this.
  8. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiosity I googled coco peat and coco fibre to show how a product might be called by a different name in different countries. I am in Australia btw.
    Image results for Coco Peat coco peat.jpg
    Image results for Coco Fibre coco fibre.jpg
    I thought this may help, you don't want to order Coco Fibre online because that's what you were told on a forum and be sent the product in the second screenshot!
    Whitelightning777 likes this.
  9. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Or you might even get this instead!!

    [​IMG]
    sschind and Dave Jay like this.
  10. Dave Jay

    Dave Jay Well-Known Member

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    These are better! Just like a chocolate milkshake only crunchy! coco pops.jpg
    Whitelightning777 likes this.
  11. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    No, the OBT probably won't give it back!!
    Dave Jay likes this.
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