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Dirt! Dirty dirty dirt. (Also humidity)

This is a discussion on Dirt! Dirty dirty dirt. (Also humidity) within the Newt and Salamander Help forums, part of the Beginner Newt, Salamander, Axolotl & Help Topics category; So I've had a tiger salamander a few months, and he's all happy and playful, he loves attention and we ...

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Old 14th April 2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dirt! Dirty dirty dirt. (Also humidity)

So I've had a tiger salamander a few months, and he's all happy and playful, he loves attention and we watch TV together.

He has a little house with logs and stones and a mix of rough coco fiber, smooth tiny coco granules and ...Eco earth I think. Don't remember the name of the last one. It was sorta dirt like. He also has a pool that's maybe 6"x10" and 1.5" deep.

Anyway, I spray him alot. Like twenty times a day.

And I keep finding it dry, having to remix the soil, and he gets mad cause I'm tearing his house apart. Then he runs from me and goes to hide. (He's usually ridiculously social.)

I'm hoping that maybe if I add more dirt, it won't dry out as fast as the coco fiber. While I have a pesticide free yard, my dirt is really unpleasant. So I've been looking for a commercial dirt. However, I'm terrified of it.

I have a bag right now of Miracle Grow Organic Choice potting mix. Has anyone used this? If not, what's another good brand? (I live in the US.)

Also, does anyone have tips for increasing humidity?

My bedroom is really dark, and he lives in a dark corner behind my pillows. I have some fish tanks, and they lose water fast too. What can I do to have his place keep in more water? I have a metal mesh lid over the top, but my aquariums have glass and still lose lots of water. I'm at about 70, and its cooler in his terrarium.

Where is my water going? D: I don't wanna trade him in for a beardie. ;__;



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Old 15th April 2011   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dirt! Dirty dirty dirt. (Also humidity)

More dirt will definitely help. I use EarthGro brand topsoil. Found it at Home Depot, been using it for years. I mix that 1:1 with Eco-earth, the coco fiber you reconstitute.

DO NOT use the miracle grow brands. They all contain fertilizers, even the organic ones. They're just 'organic' fertilizers.

If you use the dirt/coco fiber mix, it holds moisture really well. I have about 5 inches of it on the bottom of the tank. They build their burrows. To water it, I usually just dump half a liter of water or so in every couple of days, when it starts looking a little drier.



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Old 19th April 2011   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dirt! Dirty dirty dirt. (Also humidity)

Thankyou~~ That is exactly what I was suspicious of. Also, after further reading, it seemed to also be mossy. D: Alot of places only seem to have brands like that, and it just sounded too... enriched to be safe.


And Yay~ I shall try that. I'm also considering some type of drainage system underneath that could hold water without making it soggy in there. Just trying to make it salamander proof is the tricky part. D: So very dry. X__x



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Default Re: Dirt! Dirty dirty dirt. (Also humidity)

I wouldn't worry about drainage. I put a thicker layer of coco fiber on the bottom of mine, and then just sandwich/mix the coco fiber and the dirt together.



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