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Old 01-11-17, 01:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
akane
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Join Date: Nov-2013
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Re: My dekayi is acting odd

My first dekay tank the soil layer fell in the drainage space and the whole thing went soggy. I pointed fans down in it and such and the large night crawlers were all unhappily on the top pooping even more moisture holding material so I finally tore the whole thing down to redo. I now run it with craft mesh over a layer of river pebbles (hardware store few dollars a big bag) and increased the sand content a little more for drainage. That setup still has live isopods, worms, mealworms, and the occasional tiny milipede can be seen in the soil against the glass. I'm sure more of the little insects have burrowed into the middle. The smaller worms have all gone down in the soil now. I have probably a good 10" of palm compost (less dusty than peat or coir), native soil (sterile top soil if you don't want the random critters or don't have a chemical free area), and a little sand (most use playsand for about $5/50lb bag). Then I fill in the biggest open area with dry leaves for hiding and critter eating. Actual fallen leaf litter if you want the critters or cut some branches and dry them indoors if not. Some like surprises and some want to control exactly what goes in there. Basically you want organics to eat, moisture holding neutral soil to live in, and something to encourage drainage over a layer that can hold the excess water drained out sort of like potting a plant. The ratios just determine exactly how long it stays wet. My desert tank is 60% sand and does not require a drainage area underneath because it doesn't get as much water or stay wet. It only supports beetles though.
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