Bio-active substrate

LaurenceH

Sophisticated Ignorance
Messages
24
Location
Oklahoma
I loved Gregg Madden's article on bio-active substrate on the Gecko Time blog.

(Link for those who haven't read yet: http://geckoforums.net/showthread.php?t=71707&highlight=boi-active )

I love the idea of keeping reptiles as naturally as possible. I've never liked sterile pristine enclosures (They absolutely have a time and place, however and I'm not knocking anyone who prefers this method) and I'd like to use the naturalistic method after much, much more research. I'd like to build naturalistic vivs with some potted plants and living substrate to control mold and fecal buildup. In the meantime I'm curious to hear if anyone here uses bio-active substrate and specifically if anyone keeps feeders such as meal worms and super worms in the substrate like it says in the article. My only real concern (probably irrational) is that the reptile housed would be subject to being bitten or otherwise molested by the feeders. Especially a terrestrial species due to the extended period of time spent laying in the bedding.
 

acpart

Geck-cessories
Staff member
Messages
12,895
Location
Somerville, MA
A lot of people still wouldn't do it, but I do have one leo tank with "bioactive" substrate:
mostly eco earth with a little desert sand mixed in (really a little; leos are in little danger of ingesting it), and leaf litter gathered from outside. Since it's a desert environment, I can't keep the substrate moist enough for isopods to live in there, though I do find that the poop (but not the pee) is disappearing. An occasional superworm gets loose in there and a few weeks later I'll see a beetle. I do have some crickets that breed in there and I keep a small dish of gutload for them. I decided against seeding the place with mealworms because the substrate is dry and consequently the mealworms would probably all drown themselves in the water bowl. I haven't seen any ill-effects on the leos from the crickets, though of course, understandably, there are quite a bit of ill-effects on the crickets from the leos. I've had this set-up since July and the 3 retired breeders are thriving.
By the way, Greg wrote an article for Gecko Time about bioactive substrate:
http://www.geckotime.com/bio-active-reptile-substrate/
Aliza
 

LaurenceH

Sophisticated Ignorance
Messages
24
Location
Oklahoma
Yup, read it. love it. love Gregg, too. x-P Thanks for sharing, it helps hearing someone else's experience with it. I'm interested in keeping a desert viv with a bosc monitor and a rain forest viv with a boa constrictor. Maybe one desert viv for a leopard gecko too. Obviously there are lots of differences between these environments, species and lifestyles, but I will adjust accordingly.
 
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