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Tiger Salamander & Axolotl (Ambystoma tigrinum, A. mavortium spp, etc.) The Tiger Salamanders and the Axolotl are so popular amongst hobbyists that they have been given their own topic. If you're particularly interested in the Axolotl, there is a large section of the forum devoted mainly to beginner Axolotl enthusiasts (not this topic).

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Old 27th February 2018   #1
Raella
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Default Live/Bioactive substrate?

Is this something I could do for my Tiger Salamander? I currently use something I need to add water to that I buy at Petco that seems to work well, but I like the idea of his/her waste being absorbed by the system rather than just accumulating over time.

Is there anything I should read up on before trying this? Not sure what Iím doing really as Iím new to terrariums.



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Old 1st March 2018   #2
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Default Re: Live/Bioactive substrate?

I'm not really sure what you're asking. You could try adding small animals that eat waste?



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Old 1st March 2018   #3
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Default Re: Live/Bioactive substrate?

Thatís basically what Iím talking about. What animals would that be?



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Old 1st March 2018   #4
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Default Re: Live/Bioactive substrate?

You could have a substrate with leaves and aquatic isopods which the salamander will eat and they will act as a cleaner crew.



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Old 1st March 2018   #5
Michael Shrom
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Default Re: Live/Bioactive substrate?

If you mean bioactive substrate for a terrestrial substrate just add isopods and maybe some springtails.



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Old 2nd March 2018   #6
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Default Re: Live/Bioactive substrate?

Springtails and isopods are good for eating decaying matter and controlling mold growth in the terrarium. I personally use springtails in with my giant centipedes and never have mold issues



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Old 22nd May 2018   #7
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Default Re: Live/Bioactive substrate?

Can I put isopods I find in the yard in my tiger salamander tank or is it best to buy them.



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Old 23rd May 2018   #8
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Default Re: Live/Bioactive substrate?

Hello,


From my experience and some of my friends' :


- for terrestrial big-sized caudates (tiger salamander for example) : you may regularly add some dead leaves (preferably oak) above the substrate. The targeted effect is maintainig a high Carbon/Nitrogen ratio. Isopods and springtails can help to get rid of waste but they need a Carbon source, just like bacteria.


- for terrestrial small-sized caudates (small Plethodon species for example) : the substrate must provide some of the food for the caudates. One good solution is a mix 3/4 oak / 1/4 maple, in which springtails and isopods thrive well. One may take a stock of maple leaves in autumn because maple leaves disappear very fast in nature.


In these two cases, the first little animals (worms, springtails, isopods...) can be added with a rich substrate (garden compost for example) in the bottom of the tank.



- for aquatic caudates : adding some dead oak leaves in the water help managing nitrate levels (adding a Carbon source once again).


Of course, avoid surpopulating the tank.



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