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Substrate question

Discussion in 'Tarantula Enclosures' started by Todd Westin DVM, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. Todd Westin DVM

    Todd Westin DVM New Member

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    Going to be setting up about 12 enclosures for my two current T's and 10 others that I am about to pick up at a local show. All are Brachypelma or Grammostola, and all are 3" or less. What would be a good substrate for the widest range of terrestrial tarantulas. More than willing to mix substrates to get the best of all worlds. Thanks in advance. Doc
  2. Entity

    Entity Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    i use eco earth cocofiber. works perfectly for those species. the ones that are obligate burrowers u might wanna had some organic soil to make the sub a little firmer, but cocofiber is definelty the way to go In my opinion.
  3. Kymura

    Kymura Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Same, I buy the blocks as its a bit cheaper down my way, but generally coco fiber mixed with a bit of chopped up moss for my slings.Or a bit of organic topsoil if I think they need it.
  4. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Same. All of my Brachys and my rosea are on a mix of organic potting soil (food and fertilizer free) and the eco earth cocofiber bricks. I've found the bricks have more fiber in them and allows for better burrowing than the loose bags of eco earth, it's more powder like. The mix also holds moisture well for my smallest slings that benefit it from it like the LP.

    You'll want to stay away from the coco husk or wood chip substrates, they can't burrow in that and the sharp edges could be harmful.
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  5. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I would say the best all around substrate is jungle mix by zilla, its fir and coco peat mixed, holds moisture well if needed, and is good for burrowing, it comes moist and holds its shape out of the bag. Great for lazy people like me that don't take the time to mix in vermiculite and potting soil.
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  6. Tomoran

    Tomoran Well-Known Member 3 Year Member

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    Coco fiber works well for the arid species. If you want to go the less expensive route, topsoil and peat also work great. For my moisture-loving species, I'll mix the topsoil, peat, and some vermiculite (but I also seem to find tranquility in working with dirt, so that likely makes me a bit odd). The funny thing about substrate is that you can ask ten different keepers and get ten different answers. :)
  7. Kymura

    Kymura Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    going to buy a bag and try it, been under the weather and easy sounds good to me right now lol
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  8. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    agreed. I have a 1 cu ft bag of topsoil to mix in with the coco fiber from the compressed bricks (i find it has more fiber than the bagged kind to help hold form for burrowing) and handful of vermiculite. I mix it all but the vermiculite in a sterlite tub and use that for all my T's. I added the vermiculite to the A. genic's and the LP enclosures and occassionaly mist the spahgnum moss for the genic as he likes to come out and sit on it while i'm feeding the others. Then when it's his turn he's a grey and white bullet streak into his hide lol. The LP gets the occassional misting on the wall, he likes to drink from the tiny droplets.
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  9. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    It comes moist Kymura but it will dry out if you're using it for a dry species. One thing though, it will distribute moisture to the bottom very well, and hold it, and while the top might look dry there will be very damp soil under it, so it's easy to over saturate it if you don't keep track, check the substrate view at the sides, or poke a finger in it. I've fouled up a few times and had to remove the spider and change the substrate because it was swampy. It's easy to do in the winter when the heater kicks on and you worry about the babies drying out.
    Kymura likes this.
  10. spider4747

    spider4747 Member

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    I don't want to spam the forum with another enclosures thread. My big rosehair is on top of a piece of wood, as if she's trying to avoid the substrate. She may just be trying to keep the wood in vicinity like she's been doing (one foot on the wood etc etc). I plan on buying a big brick for all my arachnids, and later some jungle mix for the arboreal but it won't be for 10 days. I'm wondering if i should remove the substrate now (its old and mixed with some dirt for some reason; the paranoia of parasites crossed my mind) and give her something like newspaper FOR NOW until I get her the good stuff. she's eaten quite a lot this month.
  11. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Substrate is probably too moist for her. rosea's like it bone dry. Her and the GBB are my only T's on just eco earth coco fiber and i keep it dry. All of the others are burrowing fiends so i have them in a top soil and eco earth mix to hold shape better for their burrows.

    Personally i wouldn't go newspaper. No idea what the ink would do to a T, as well as stain them black ;)
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  12. spider4747

    spider4747 Member

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    I suspect moisture as the culprit, what do i do in the immediate present?
    Misinformation made me repeat mistakes including misting
  13. Meludox

    Meludox Well-Known Member

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    Just waiting for it to dry out would be the best option, I suppose. Or you could dry the substrate out in the oven.
  14. MassExodus

    MassExodus Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    If you have any dry substrate, you could pull the t out, and mix it in, maybe leave a thin layer of dry sub on top. That should chill the spider out a little. He wont start to settle until its dry anyway.
  15. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    just remember to remove the T first ;)
  16. spider4747

    spider4747 Member

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    This is crap! I dumped the substrate out (mixed with dirt, i don't even know how!) and now she's sitting in newspaper shreds!
  17. Paul Bowen

    Paul Bowen Member

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    How about organic gardening soil? Does it have to be top soil?
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