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Thread: Going bioactive

  1. #1
    "Preparing For First shed"
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    73
    Country: United States

    Going bioactive

    After having my garters for about about 1.5 years I finally began turning the 40 breeder into a bioactive setup. Iíve kept them on newspaper and then aspen. Theyíre in a 20 long on aspen as I let the bioactive setup establish itself for awhile.

    I bought way too many clay pellets/hydroballs and way too much organic topsoil! I probably used 1/3 to 1/4 if each bag. I also filled in the drainage layer before accidentally reading online that you need to wash the clay balls first! Had to remove everything and wash it in small batches in the tub since itís frigid outside here.

    1/ Wash and lay down 2-inch drainage layer of clay balls. (Home Depot carries them in the summer but not in the winter. I had to go to a hydroponic specialty store.)
    2/ Cut window screening to size with a few inches excess all around to keep dirt level from falling into drainage layer.
    3/ Lay out natural stones for hot hide. (Itís very stable.)
    4/ Cut coco fiber mat to fit back and attach with Velcro strips spaced a few inches apart across the top and a few toward the bottom. I didnít want a foam background but I wanted something naturalistic that would allow vines to climb and attach. I also didnít want to commit to gluing anything on the glass.
    5/ Lay out plants, water bowl, cold hide and climbing branch. (Then remove.)
    6/ Sprinkle a thin layer of horticulture charcoal on screen to help filter/clean water as it drains through.
    7/ Mix substrate: 1 part organic topsoil (didnít use potting soil bc I donít like the perlite), 3/4 part play sand, 1 part orchid bark, 2 parts sphagnum moss, a handful of horticultural charcoal. Layer on top of drainage, screen and charcoal layers. I went 2-inches deep in the front and 3-4 inches in the back.
    8/ Unpot and wash plants, and plant in tank.
    9/ Still need to add isopods and springtails.

    It took me several hours over two nights to pull this together. Thatís on top of multiple shopping trips to two stores and two garden centers.

  2. #2
    "Preparing For First shed"
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    73
    Country: United States

    Re: Going bioactive

    More pics since we can only post 5 at a time

  3. #3
    "Preparing For First shed"
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    73
    Country: United States

    Re: Going bioactive

    Last pics

  4. #4
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Jeff B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    1,410
    Country: United States

    Re: Going bioactive

    Looks great. Now you have leftovers you can make another one and get more garters.
    Don't be afraid to use styro and concrete and commit to siliconing to the back of the aquarium you can easily remove down the road if you want to change out, its not really that big of a commitment.

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