Results 1 to 9 of 9
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By infernalis

Thread: New bioactive setup

  1. #1
    Hi, I'm New Here! Intra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    23
    Country: Canada

    New bioactive setup

    I was inspired from a couple of threads I saw here and on other sites regarding a bioactive setup. This is my first attempt at creating such a setup, any advice/tips are greatly appreciated.

    I started with an approximately 30 gallon tank (36x12x18in). I put a drainage layer of Hydroballs down (about 1in deep).
    http://i.imgur.com/FpsvLCs.jpg

    I used a roll of screen door mesh and cut a separator to place in between the drainage layer and the substrate. I cut a hole in the screen and inserted a 1/2in PVC pipe with a cap, to allow adding/removing water from the drainage layer up.
    http://i.imgur.com/UlbUVCU.jpg

    For the substrate, I purchased something called Reptisoil. It says it contain peat moss, sand, carbon, and soil. I'm having second thoughts about this substrate (see below), as I do not think the drainage is that great. The depth of the substrate varies, from 3in to about 5in. I created a hill on the left side and the back of the tank, with a valley in the front right.
    http://i.imgur.com/3Lvmhwh.jpg

    For plants, I used the following: 2 pothos, 1 dracaena, and 3 small spider plant. I tried to then water the substrate, but the water mostly just pooled at the surface. Only in some areas did it actually drain to the bottom, and it seems to have stayed this way for a couple of days.
    http://i.imgur.com/yVuydJO.jpg

    Then I added some springtails to the mix, and covered the top with some leaf litter and moss (in hindsight I should have used spaghnum moss, I picked up the one called "terrarium moss"). I am looking at adding some isopods as well.
    http://i.imgur.com/omlAHCp.jpg

    I have not added any inhabitants yet (planning on adding my eastern breeding pair to it). I want to ensure the plants and microfauna become established. My biggest concern is the substrate. I may remove it all add more sand, fir bark, and lava rock to help with drainage and aeration. Another problem I encountered was the screen separator. I think it was not fine enough for the substrate, I can see some of it leaked through and is sitting on the hydroballs (although there are still lots of voids in the drainage layer). For those who have done a similar setup, I would like to hear your thoughts.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Forum Moderator infernalis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    7,920
    Country: United States

    Re: New bioactive setup

    Pretty cool. I am a huge fan of bio active, but I live way out in the country, so I dig up natural soil from my back yard and use that. It's already fully bio active.

  3. #3
    Never shed
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    46
    Country: United States

    Re: New bioactive setup

    Pothos has done well for me in my crested gecko tanks. I did not consider using for a garter snake as well.

  4. #4
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Jeff B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    1,408
    Country: United States

    Re: New bioactive setup

    Very cool! I love the idea of bio active, just haven't found the time to build one yet, but I have a 125 gal tank sitting ready. Thanks for the motivation, maybe I will finally get that project done this winter.

  5. #5
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Albert Clark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Va.
    Posts
    1,730
    Country: United States

    Re: New bioactive setup

    Congrats! The setup looks very good. Seems that the reptiles will feel right at home.
    Stay in peace and not pieces.

  6. #6
    Hi, I'm New Here! Intra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    23
    Country: Canada

    Re: New bioactive setup

    I think I killed my pothos plants due to overwatering. However, the other plants seem to be doing well. I pulled on the pothos, and there was lot of root rot. I snipped off as much of the rot as I could, and placed them in pots with dry soil. It looks like they're still dying.

    Any tips to avoid this? How often do you water your pothos? Do you just mist the soil lightly?

  7. #7
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Michiigan
    Posts
    17
    Country: United States

    Re: New bioactive setup

    I use the pothos in my tank. For right now it is in the same cylindrical non draining glass jar and I keep mine wet; watering about once per wk. Soon I am putting it into an upright sm. log that I hollowed out and will fill in with dirt. I'm still, after six months, making improvements when I get the chance.

  8. #8
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Michiigan
    Posts
    17
    Country: United States

    Re: New bioactive setup

    Hey, where do I get the springtails and isopods? Are isopods the same as roly polys?

  9. #9
    "Preparing For Third shed"
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    423
    Country: Canada

    Re: New bioactive setup

    Quote Originally Posted by Web Bacon View Post
    Hey, where do I get the springtails and isopods? Are isopods the same as roly polys?
    Roly polys, pill bugs, sow bugs, potato bugs, etc, are all names for isopods. You can collect them and springtails from outside, I collect all mine from my backyard which I know is pesticide free.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •