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Old 9th December 2012   #1
skelly98
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Default Hello! Does anyone know anything about bioactive enclosures?

Well, first off i would like to say hello. My name is Mitch, i am thirteen years old, i keep reptiles, rats, and my tiger salamander. I joined this forum because i want to learn more about these cool animals, get knowledge about axolotls (wich i plan on getting one of), and Possibly learn how to do a bioactive enclosure for my tiger salamander, boots.

I currently have boots in a ten gallon tank with sphagnum moss, a water dish, and a hide, but i want to give boots a nice burrowing substrate with poop eaters and plants, to make it more aesthetically appealing and give boots an nicer, more stimulating place to live.

Now, for the plants and poop eaters... i don't want to use worms (although i use these as a main diet when i take boots out for feeding) because of the risk of boots attacking one and swallowing substrate or moss, and i know most plants get destroyed pretty easily by tiger sals.

Has anyone done this? Does anyone have any advice?

Regards,

Mitchell.

PS a video of what the habitat looks like now: My new tiger salamander - YouTube



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Old 12th December 2012   #2
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Question Re: Hello! Does anyone know anything about bioactive enclosures?

Anyone?



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Old 12th December 2012   #3
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Default Re: Hello! Does anyone know anything about bioactive enclosures?

Sphagnum isn't really an appropriate substrate for salamanders. It's pretty acidic.

I'm not sure what you mean by 'bioactive enclosure'. Do you mean a naturalistic setup? There are lots of threads on that in the Vivaria section.



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Old 13th December 2012   #4
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Default Re: Hello! Does anyone know anything about bioactive enclosures?

If you use plain top soil (not potting soil) you'll have a better chance of having a substrate where wastes break down naturally (is that what you mean by "bioactive"?). For decomposers, consider various types of woodlice.

I use a substrate mix of coco fiber, top soil, and bark chips. It seems to do a good job of breaking down wastes.



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Old 13th December 2012   #5
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Default Re: Hello! Does anyone know anything about bioactive enclosures?

Alright, got coconut fiber in and getting some topsoil tonight. Thanks! What kinds of plants do you think might work? I'm also looking into springtails, anything I should look for?



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Old 13th December 2012   #6
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Default Re: Hello! Does anyone know anything about bioactive enclosures?

Woodlice aka rolly polies are key. Make sure the topsoil you get has no wetting agents or fertilizers.



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Old 14th December 2012   #7
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Default Re: Hello! Does anyone know anything about bioactive enclosures?

Alright, they are mixed in with some pothos. But i can't find a source of isopods or springtails, any ideas where i could find some in canada? I'd do a reptile expo, but there is not one of those for months....



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