No, ants really won't do much without a queen, so unless you manage to dig up an entire nest, you would be fine. Spiders aren't going to overrun the place. If they bother you, you can try to catch them when you see them.
In plotting out my crestie's bioactive viv, I've been thinking my leo might like one too and you've compiled a lot of great resources here.
Also a big nerd hurray for beetle mating!
I have been breeding my leo's feeders and that was exciting but these guys doing well in the viv is very exciting!
I'm really enjoying watching the death-feigning beetles. I'd like to save up for some more in the future for other enclosures. <3
Bioactive is definitely something great to try if you're interested in vivariums and already comfortable with keeping a healthy leopard gecko. Not something I'd recommend for anyone just starting out with their first leopard gecko, or for any animal sick or in quarantine, but my two boys definitely seem to enjoy their enclosures.
Piled in some fresh leaf litter under the cork bark
Also been doing the following weekly:
seemed as though they weren't doing well on bi-weekly
Giving the entire substrate surface and walls a good mist down
Keeps it from getting dusty and helps stick pieces that have been knocked loose back to the surface.
Also, the geckos seem to like it and occasionally lick drops off the walls/furniture.
Blue death feigning beetles have completely disappeared. I'm not going to dig through the enclosure to find them... I guess we'll see come spring if they hibernate or if they've just died off!
Springtails are back! lol I always think they have died off, but every so often, there's a little population explosion and they are there, jumping all over the place. Starting to think they are down in the sublayer all summer and pop out in the fall and spring?
I'm trying cooling the leopard geckos for the first time this winter. We'll see if they will brumate through to February... nice to give them a break.
Coming up on the second year of these enclosures, and I think I'm going to have to do some reconstruction in some places. My plan is to remove the gecko to a traditional setup for a month or so this summer while I do some repair and rearranging of the substrate. In a few spots, I made the top crust too thin, and it's broken down. Learning lessons for when I do the new female setups... Anyway, having each gecko off bioactive for a period will also give me a chance to collect some fecal samples for routine parasite checks.
Hi, I've been taking care of my son's leopard gecko, Lola, since he's been away at college (August 2016). Lola is now in a 10 gallon fish tank and I want to upgrade her to an exo terra low profile medium sized tank (24"Lx18"Wx12"H) and I would also like to make this tank bioactive. I have access to bentonite clay and desert sand (from Terlingua TX). I'm wondering if this would be good to use as a substrate as it is from the chihuahuan desert? I would like to make her home as close to natural as possible. I will be her main caregiver for a few years and it seems easier to care for than the fish tank. My son appreciates me making this change and gives me permission to do whatever to make Lola happy and keep her as healthy as I can.
I would also like to know about your thermometers, make and where you purchased them as well as the hides.
Sorry it took me so long to reply; been busy! I think both those substrates work fine, as long as you collect from an area you know isn't polluted by roadway runoff or other sources of waste/chemicals. Here's another nice article about substrates: Bio-Active Terraria Living Reptile Art
I use digital hygrometer/thermometer combos with probes. I've tried a few different brands, but the Zoo Med and Exo Terra brands seem to last longer. The Vivarium Electronics TH-100 ones are nice and big, but they seem to eat through batteries something fierce. Thermometers, Thermostats, and Timers
I've used a variety of hides, but here's a list of my favorites:
* Zoo Med Repti Shelter (Medium)
* Fluker's Castle Crib (Large)
* Penn Plax Shale Step Ledge (both Small and Medium varieties)
* Exo Terra Reptile Cave (Medium) Caves, Hiding Spots & Misc. Decor
So, after a lot of consideration, I've made the decision to tear down the bioactive enclosures set up in my front-opening display cages.
Superworms, while excellent desert custodians, are also pretty good at escaping through the gaps around the doors at the front of my cages. This led to me finding random superworms and Morio beetles all over my home this summer. I don't mind a bug or two, but the quantity (and places) I was finding these guys really made me uncomfortable. I tried culling out the superworms and beetles and running the bioactive enclosures without, but the waste just wasn't getting cleaned up adequately. Something like lesser mealworms and beetles might pick up the slack, but I won't use those anywhere they could escape for the same reason I'm ditching the superworms. The cages are so low that trying to install some sort of shield in front of the door would make getting into them for maintenance pretty difficult. :\
I hope this won't discourage people from trying bioactive leopard gecko keeping. Any enclosure with solid walls and not a convenient gap at ground level would work just fine, and I absolutely loved my leos on bioactive. Never had a single issue with cleanliness or digestion with either of them, and they really seemed to enjoy their homes. I only hope they aren't totally spoiled now, having to go back to normal setups!
I will still be keeping my crested gecko bioactive, and I plan to set up a 10-gallon bioactive cage for blue death feigning beetles (love those guys to death!). Thanks to everyone who read this thread and offered support or ideas. I know some of you have started your own tanks, and I look forward to seeing how they progress. Please keep posting and showing off your creations!
Here's another problem I had with a bioactive enclosure and my fat tails: I had dermastid beetles and super worms that were breeding in there. The super worms were doing great, but either the super worms or the beetles were chewing on my male fat tail's tail. He constantly had an open wound there. I ultimately had to re-do the whole thing and remove all the critters. He's been fine ever since.