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Old 10-22-17, 02:38 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bioactive vivarium

Hi everyone,
So I want to go bioactive for my BRB. I have looked at BoiDude's starter kits for this and I basically have everything in my substrate that is in his kit except his bio shot which is a supplement of beneficial micro organisms and the nutrients for bioactive vivariums. Does anyone know if I absolutely need that in my substrate? I am also wondering if I can get maple leaves off my tree to add into my vivarium for the isopods to eat, would it be ok for me to get earthworms out of my yard and do I have to have springtails and isopods or can I just have isopods?
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Old 10-22-17, 03:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive vivarium

Maple leaves, assuming you are happy they are free from contaminants will be fine. Ditto worms. The more and varied bugs you put in the better.

I'm not convinced by the nutrient shot if I'm honest...
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Old 10-22-17, 04:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive vivarium

microfauna would come in automatically when you take outside stuff like those maple leaves into it..

Ideally you have isopods to break down larger materials like leaves, but you'll also need the little guys like spingtails and similar detritivores to break down the smaller materials, like isopod poop.
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Old 10-22-17, 03:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive vivarium

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Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
Maple leaves, assuming you are happy they are free from contaminants will be fine. Ditto worms. The more and varied bugs you put in the better.

I'm not convinced by the nutrient shot if I'm honest...
According to what the BioDude says the bioshot adds added oxygen to the substrate as well that you would normally get with a layered bioactive substrate if I'm understanding what it was saying. But for BRB's he doesn't recommend that type of substrate because of the way they burrow under it. So I can bring earth worms and the maple leaves without having to worry about bringing in anything harmful to the snake? Where should I get the isopods and springtails? Is Amazon a good place for that? I forgot do I need to dry the leaves before I put them in her enclosure?
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Old 10-24-17, 06:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive vivarium

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Originally Posted by Shauna0522 View Post
Hi everyone,
So I want to go bioactive for my BRB. I have looked at BoiDude's starter kits for this and I basically have everything in my substrate that is in his kit except his bio shot which is a supplement of beneficial micro organisms and the nutrients for bioactive vivariums. Does anyone know if I absolutely need that in my substrate? I am also wondering if I can get maple leaves off my tree to add into my vivarium for the isopods to eat, would it be ok for me to get earthworms out of my yard and do I have to have springtails and isopods or can I just have isopods?
I started up my bioactive setup also using the biodude's products a few months ago. Before he released his bioshot stuff so I can't comment on that. It's not so much oxygen from what I understand but it's basically a slurry of the beneficial fungi and stuff that eventually finds its way into your substrate after a few months of the isopods and springtails munching on the leaves and pooping and such.

People have been doing bioactive for ages without such a thing so I wouldn't say that it's necessary at all. More of a bonus than anything.

Unfortunately at the moment the biodude's shipping for bugs is kind of outrageous, I got both isopods and springtails initially but found that they weren't really taking to the terrarium that well so I wanted to supplement the population a bit. I found reptile ready feeders online and ordered their 8.95 temperate springtail culture and their 11.95 count of the white isopods. It came with ALOT more bugs than what came with my biodude order and was only 30 bucks shipped if I remember right, I now have isos and springtails all over in the enclosure and they are doing a pretty good job of breaking down waste already.

https://www.readyreptilefeeders.com/...tegory&path=70

In regards to your leaves. I had leftover leaves from a previous project for a terrarium but also supplemented that with some oak leaves from outside. I would freeze these before using them in your terrarium. The only reason is that when I didn't I ended up releasing a few tiny spiders that started making webs that I've had to kill every now and then when I find them and I'm sure they are eating some of my bugs.

As far as worms, I don't really think they're necessary to be honest though probably wouldn't hurt your terrarium at all to be honest.

I hope I was able to help you out if you have any other questions hit me up either here or PM and I'll be more than happy to educate you some on what I've learned throughout this experience.
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Old 10-24-17, 07:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive vivarium

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
I started up my bioactive setup also using the biodude's products a few months ago. Before he released his bioshot stuff so I can't comment on that. It's not so much oxygen from what I understand but it's basically a slurry of the beneficial fungi and stuff that eventually finds its way into your substrate after a few months of the isopods and springtails munching on the leaves and pooping and such.

People have been doing bioactive for ages without such a thing so I wouldn't say that it's necessary at all. More of a bonus than anything.

Unfortunately at the moment the biodude's shipping for bugs is kind of outrageous, I got both isopods and springtails initially but found that they weren't really taking to the terrarium that well so I wanted to supplement the population a bit. I found reptile ready feeders online and ordered their 8.95 temperate springtail culture and their 11.95 count of the white isopods. It came with ALOT more bugs than what came with my biodude order and was only 30 bucks shipped if I remember right, I now have isos and springtails all over in the enclosure and they are doing a pretty good job of breaking down waste already.

https://www.readyreptilefeeders.com/...tegory&path=70

In regards to your leaves. I had leftover leaves from a previous project for a terrarium but also supplemented that with some oak leaves from outside. I would freeze these before using them in your terrarium. The only reason is that when I didn't I ended up releasing a few tiny spiders that started making webs that I've had to kill every now and then when I find them and I'm sure they are eating some of my bugs.

As far as worms, I don't really think they're necessary to be honest though probably wouldn't hurt your terrarium at all to be honest.

I hope I was able to help you out if you have any other questions hit me up either here or PM and I'll be more than happy to educate you some on what I've learned throughout this experience.
Thank you so much im sure I will definitely hit you up as this will be my first bioactive vivarium. One more question can I go buy plants at home depot or something like that to put in my vivarium? I know they would have to be organically grown I'm just not sure if they would introduce anything bad into it.
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Old 10-24-17, 10:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive vivarium

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Originally Posted by Shauna0522 View Post
Thank you so much im sure I will definitely hit you up as this will be my first bioactive vivarium. One more question can I go buy plants at home depot or something like that to put in my vivarium? I know they would have to be organically grown I'm just not sure if they would introduce anything bad into it.
For me I'd purchase them online, simply because many of those plants are sort of cherry picked for terrariums, they don't seem to be that much more expensive either, even with shipping. The fern I got from thebiodude is doing amazing. If you buy online I would recommend getting plants only in pots, avoiding clippings especially if your snake is a decent size. I bought plant clippings from a different vendors and my snake killed the crap out of them. I also worry about potential pesticides and fertilizers hurting the bugs.

I do know that some people use the plants from the hardware store or if you can find an organic garden. And you get to inspect the plants before you buy them so there are benefits. Overall it's gonna be your personal choice.

I also would say that if you have the opportunity to give the terrarium a month or so to let the plants get established before putting the snake in it would make the plants more likely to be successful. I lost 2 of the 3 plants I initially got (only one was from the dude) because they were clippings and I've yet to replace them to be honest lol.

I hope that was some help!
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Old 10-25-17, 01:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive vivarium

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
For me I'd purchase them online, simply because many of those plants are sort of cherry picked for terrariums, they don't seem to be that much more expensive either, even with shipping. The fern I got from thebiodude is doing amazing. If you buy online I would recommend getting plants only in pots, avoiding clippings especially if your snake is a decent size. I bought plant clippings from a different vendors and my snake killed the crap out of them. I also worry about potential pesticides and fertilizers hurting the bugs.

I do know that some people use the plants from the hardware store or if you can find an organic garden. And you get to inspect the plants before you buy them so there are benefits. Overall it's gonna be your personal choice.

I also would say that if you have the opportunity to give the terrarium a month or so to let the plants get established before putting the snake in it would make the plants more likely to be successful. I lost 2 of the 3 plants I initially got (only one was from the dude) because they were clippings and I've yet to replace them to be honest lol.

I hope that was some help!
That was very helpful thank you My snake is only like 2 months old so I don't think she will be hurting any plants yet lol. So one more question...for now haha I am going to be building her a new vivarium at some point, will it be difficult to transfer the bioactive substrate when I do that? I mean I know not technically but will it kill all my bugs and what not?
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Old 10-25-17, 03:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive vivarium

If you just dumped the substrate straight from one vivarium to the other you likely wouldn't kill many if any bugs.

Transferring the plants will shock the plants pretty good so it might not be the worst idea to transfer them a few weeks early with a good chunk of soil.
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Old 10-25-17, 03:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive vivarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
If you just dumped the substrate straight from one vivarium to the other you likely wouldn't kill many if any bugs.

Transferring the plants will shock the plants pretty good so it might not be the worst idea to transfer them a few weeks early with a good chunk of soil.
Ok thank you
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Old 10-26-17, 02:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive vivarium

If the leaves are off a tree they won't bring in soil dwellers you need. Most things you'd get will likely die off or be useless. Fallen leaves will get you all sorts of things. I just boost my tanks with a little yard soil even if mostly using purchased (you want right below the main roots of the grass or weeds where there will be some space and dying plant matter) or just scooping thicker piles of leaves that have been on dirt. Some dislike the risk of random things you get but those random things make a more complete ecosystem. You can however run a tank on very minimal cleanup crew and no plants depending on it's design. Arid tanks in particular I only have beetles. Some tanks I only have isopods because my soil has a ton of mite species and one happens to be a predatory mite. They eat all other mites, including pests so have proven useful, but they also eat all other small things including springtails and have no issue spreading through my unsealed hardwood house so every time I bring in yard soil every tank gets the springtails attacked. I've even found the predatory mites hanging around the bathroom sink after adding them to the crested gecko tanks that share a vent between rooms. They are gone within a day and die quickly once their food source is gone so I can add springtails from a sterile culture later but as soon as I bring in more yard soil or if I treat any tanks for some reason such as we kept getting rodent mites from pest mice and found adding the predator mites back was the best way to control them until the pest mice give up trying to spread to the house every year when the weather changes so I'm constantly killing nearly all the springtails and never can keep a population going. It's all isopods and beetles with some soil microbes and burrowing centipedes that came in with yard soil and fallen leaves. The centipedes seem to disappear over 6-8 months too. Probably just not the right food sources for them. I know my millipedes I keep on purpose can sometimes be quite picky. The feather millipedes only eat rotting or moldy hardwood and particularly oak.
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