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Old 09-08-17, 10:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bioactive Setups

How long does it take for the springtails and isopods to really get going. I bought more of them just to be safe and added those as well and I still only see a few when I lift the water bowl. What kind of watering schedule do you guys do? I set it up at the end of July and maybe I'm just having unrealistic expectations or something.
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Old 09-08-17, 12:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive Setups

Well, isopods will take a while to get going... couple of months really. Spingtails should go off in the a month or so, even less. It takes a while to fully establish everyone though. Make sure they have a nice moist place to be and plenty of leaf litter, more specifically leaf mold as it takes approx 6-12 months before leafs are decomposed enough to become pillbug/spingtail food
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Old 09-08-17, 12:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive Setups

can you throw in some snake poop for dessert?

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Well, isopods will take a while to get going... couple of months really. Spingtails should go off in the a month or so, even less. It takes a while to fully establish everyone though. Make sure they have a nice moist place to be and plenty of leaf litter, more specifically leaf mold as it takes approx 6-12 months before leafs are decomposed enough to become pillbug/spingtail food
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Old 09-08-17, 12:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive Setups

They eat it all, except for any left over hairs, yack.
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Old 09-08-17, 12:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive Setups

I've been thinking about a bioactive setup for the Cali garter when she's larger, but how do you create a warm side? Wouldn't soil substrate spread the warmth from a heat mat too evenly? Vertical temp gradient?
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Old 09-08-17, 01:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive Setups

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I've been thinking about a bioactive setup for the Cali garter when she's larger, but how do you create a warm side? Wouldn't soil substrate spread the warmth from a heat mat too evenly? Vertical temp gradient?
Ceramic heat emitter.
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Old 09-08-17, 01:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive Setups

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Ceramic heat emitter.
Or any other overhead heater... UTH won't work with bioactive as the substrate is too deep and besides it will kill your cleanup guys
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Old 09-08-17, 01:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive Setups

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Or any other overhead heater... UTH won't work with bioactive as the substrate is too deep and besides it will kill your cleanup guys
You can do the heat pad on the side thing as well. Overall just being creative on how one would accomplish this feat.
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Old 09-08-17, 05:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive Setups

I use CHE's on tanks with screen tops, not a problem there. Just not familiar with bioactive in general, though I do have springtails in the cypress mulch in my rack tubs, lol.
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Old 09-09-17, 11:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive Setups

Depends on species, temperature, food source.... Some particularly handle dry better than others. My blue tropical isopods devoured leaves from fresh to mold to nonexistent in their culture in about 8days and doubled their population if you count all the tiny ones running about and someone who sells several species said they can be slow to reproduce. With the leftover gecko food they can fill 3 new cultures every couple months except I keep forgetting about them periodically. Their containers are mostly bare now until I collect more bags of leaves but they'll eat them by the 50lb feed sacks I keep for reuse from my rodents. I can't keep the actual reptile enclosures as moist on top and I don't want them so full of mold so it takes them a few weeks to eat the leaves down and increase anywhere near as much population but certainly not months. They won't do anything below 80F, preferably more like 82-84F area, and then start to have issues above about 90F along with being very moisture picky. They die instantly if the top dries out. I need some dry hardier warm temp isopods because some of my tanks are relying on all beetles from too little moisture for the blues.

The temperate isopods take 6+ months to see much of anything and they don't do well in a small culture container. I mostly had luck with them in my 40gallon breeder tank with a big log to live under but also kept a population going in a 10gallon I made deep in soil, leaves, and wood pieces for a dekay brown snake and his earthworm food source. Temperate isopods and springtails can stop breeding periodically altogether since some would have to survive the winter season buried under things while it freezes for months but they are hardier and the population almost never dies out completely while the fast pace of the blues and managing temp and moisture has resulted in killing a couple cultures completely along with having them die out of a few tanks. I put the temperates in around october and found the populations had started to increase some around the following march. Even when I emptied the 10gallon of inhabitants, quit misting, no light, no heat, and ignored it for 4months with no leaf litter left before taking it down a week ago I found temperate isopods here and there alive in the dry soil I was scooping out. I don't have much for springtails because I sometimes collect native soil and it has predator mites which wipe out all things near their own size every time. I have to repopulate after they run out of food source if I want springtails again or sometimes natives will survive hidden and start to appear many months after the mites are gone with some extra food beyond leaves and wood. The leftover crested gecko food of fruit, insect, and egg protein works pretty well for growing more cuc. I just set the dishes under the heat lamp until the liquid mix is back to dry and pop the discs out to throw in damp areas.

Maintain a damp area 100% of the time. I use logs or rock piles to keep the snakes mostly out of them and protect the soil from the top heat drying the surface while the cuc lives under there. Smaller groups will exist in the leaf litter and around decor even at the driest point. Rain days depend on the tank and allow them to spread out better periodically. Around 1-2times a week with maybe some inbetween misting in dry winter for my damper soil mixes, daily misting for the crested geckos and twice daily for the tropicals, and a little water once a week or 2 mostly targeted at the debris that keeps it moist there longer for the desert or near desert tanks. My rosy boas only have mealworm/darkling beetles instead.
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Old 09-11-17, 05:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Bioactive Setups

Thanks akane. I actually put some leaves I got from the back yard in there. I hope they didn't have any mites on them. I waited like 3 weeks before using them lol.
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