Bio Active Terrarium Setup
In general, bioactive is the best way to keep your reptiles as pets. When we look at reptiles as a whole, some keepers fail because they don't properly maintain the big three when it comes to reptile farming. Good molting, breathing and hydration. When providing a good bioactive environment, it is very easy to provide the perfect care and husbandry that these animals need. With a dense substrate that retains the right air pores to properly aerate, the substrate has several humidity pores in which your reptile can easily rehydrate, lay eggs, and create clean, fresh air in their terrarium. . When keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets, it's important to remember one thing: You want to provide the best care, not the basic care, using research-driven practices and techniques. Providing all the essential elements of care will not only give your reptile a full life, but also allow them to behave like the wild animals they are by nurturing the wild instinct that makes them so unique as animals in the first place and that makes the keeper proud of his efforts.
Another advantage of a bioactive ecosystem is that the holder can use living plants. Not only do many reptiles prefer live plants in the terrarium, but it also provides many different types of benefits for them. When you keep your herbivores and omnivores on bioactive, it allows the keeper to purchase healthy plants, such as various herbs or spiny cacti that your animal can eat directly in their terrarium. This not only feeds their natural instincts, it also allows them to behave like the wild animals that they are. Many reptiles will use the live plants as a shelter (chameleons hide in living trees, tree frogs hide under wide leaves) to help them feel safer and at home. While the living plants improve air quality in the terrarium, many of them will also retain excess water in the roots, twigs or on the leaves, giving your reptiles and amphibians more options for hydration.
The Exo Terra Stone Desert and the Zoo Med Excavator preserve all the tunnels and burrows that the animals naturally create, further feeding the natural instinct of wild animals. It is very important to mix valuable biodegradable substances in your substrate. These biodegradable substances break down over time to create organic nutrients for your soil and plants, so that the biome is constantly revitalized through natural, organic processes. These essential biodegradable substances are broken down in multiple ways. The first way is through tiny organisms that live in almost every ecosystem on the planet. Springtails (wood lice) and Tropical woodlice. These important organisms break down wood, feces, shed, leaf litter, dead plants and other organic matter and convert it into viable nutrients used by your soil. They will also play a crucial role in aerating your soil. They form the backbone of many ecosystems for the right change and development. They will break down organic matter at all levels of the terrarium through fungi, mucus, mushrooms and other processes. Because these microscopic processes break down matter, they create nitrogen and other important organic compounds used by plant roots. These processes will also help with the breakdown of shed, feces, dead plants, leaf litter, forests and mosses, slowly over time to form your natural, bioactive ecosystem. You can easily find various biodegradable substances that you can collect yourself, as long as you know it's coming from a clean, pesticide-, herbicide-free area. Remember that everything you put in your terrarium stays in your terrarium because it is a closed ecosystem.
Soil ingredients such as coconut fiber, peat moss, sand, charcoal, orchid bark, spagmos and other things can all be used and mixed as desired, but it is very important to know that the soil is in line with the humidity and biome requirements. Poor soil consistency will quickly kill the terrarium and can even cause damage or death to the resident! If you don't want to make your own mix, using Arcadia Earthmix Super Charged is a great tool to get started with Bio Active, even for all desert species (such as Bearded Dragons) you can use the Arcadia Earthmix Arid. Whether you choose your own mix, or another from another supplier, make sure you apply at least a substrate depth layer of 6.5cm for tropical or neotropical and at least a depth of 10 to 20cm for all desert and deciduous/temperate forest reptiles and amphibians. It is imperative to provide this deep layer, as many of these reptiles and amphibians are cavemen and will quickly create a network of tunnels or burrows that they would naturally create in the wild.
We do advise to use a mesh or fleece layer of fuse!
When you choose to go bioactive, there are many different paths you can choose from to get started. An understanding of your reptile's or amphibian's care, needs, and nutrition is very important along with the requirements. This is where your options come up for you. After selecting the right size of case, figuring out what type of substrate to use is the next step. If you prefer to use your own, handmade mixes, it is very important to understand how well the soil drains, aerates and whether you need a drainage layer. If you do not want to make your own mixes, De Kammieshop is happy to offer a range of bioactive substrates from a.o. Arcadia to cater to the needs of each reptile/Amphibie while using the needs and instinctive niches of the residents in consideration. The drainage layer is the very first step in building a tropical or neotropical bioactive terrarium and can consist of many different types of material: pebbles, clay pebbles (LECA) or growth stone, Exo Terra Bio Drain or Lucky Reptile Hydro Drain would also be a good option.. Take a look at our Bio-Active range of drainagege substrates. The purpose of the drainage layer is to collect all the excess drain water from the substrate to prevent oversaturation of moisture. Oversaturation of moisture will quickly ruin and kill your terrarium. Oversaturation of water will cause a buildup of anaerobic bacteria (bad) that will outperform the aerobic (good) bacteria, creating a pH imbalance, soggy soil, root rot, and a possible buildup of toxic methane as a byproduct in your terrarium. With proper maintenance, your substrate will absorb water. Excess water will be drained away and will sit directly into the bottom of the drainage layer. As long as the waterline does not exceed the drainage layer in the substrate, the right substrate will preserve the life of the animal, cycle and even bloom. If the water level gets too close to the substrate, simply siphon off the excess water. A mesh layer or fleece layer on top of the drainage layer can help to separate the soil and drainage layer.
Since the trade began to gain popularity around the 1970s, there have been few innovations when it comes to standards of care, but overall the hobby standard has stabilized with few innovations in healthcare. Innovations in Arcadia Reptile's UVB, Mist King's automatic misting systems, Pangea Reptile nectar diets, Exo-Terra glass terrariums are all great examples of the innovation of the standard of care for the reptile hobby as a whole. However, when looking at the scale of substrates, instinctive nutrition, the ability to provide live plants to herbivores or omnivores, nutrition of maintaining tunnels and burrows and other fundamental / important aspects of keeping reptiles are old and unaffected. The term bioactive came up with its name in the mid-1990s when Poison Dart Frogs were imported using springtails and isopods (Tropical Pill Bug) in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (ABG) mix with leaf litter and other organic matter mixed to create a self-cleaning, self-sustaining ecosystem. Since then, it has been very difficult for hobbyists to replicate the same results themselves for different biomes, such as temperate forests, deciduous forests. Bobs, plains, desert and even various types of neotropical habitats. By keeping reptiles and amphibians in a 100% organic, self-cleaning, self-sustaining setup, you can accurately replicate their natural environment, which in turn feeds the natural instinctive niches that make these animals so unique to begin with. Another big advantage of bioactive is the money-saving aspect. While you may initially spend more upfront, in the long run you'll save a significant amount of money and time by not constantly replacing substrates and other terrarium accents. This one and done deal will sustain the animal's life, as long as it is properly maintained.
In almost every area of the world where life is supported, there are millions of different biological processes that take place directly under our feet and above our heads. From biodegradation of organic matter, to the different cycles that occur naturally in nature; our unique planet has many different tools for maintaining an equal balance between earth, air, fire and water. To maintain these different balances, each living organism has a unique role to play, benefiting the ecosystem or causing an abrupt change. To sustain life, there are several processes that break down organic matter or follow unique cycles, such as the oxygen, nitrogen or hydrogen cycle that creates the water we drink and the air we breathe. With that in mind, imagine a forest floor; deciduous, tropical, temperate or even sparse desert environments all have different ways of getting nutrients back into the environment to determine the efficacy and living conditions of the biome itself. This blog describes how these different processes and cycles should be replicated, as close as possible to a trapped environment when keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets. Often kept in unfurnished, human décor terrariums, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates are wild animals, which have wild instincts, adaptations that must be nurtured and strengthened for the animal in captivity to have a natural, healthy and balanced life . To mimic these cycles, creating a self-cleaning, bioactive terrarium is the best standard of care to keep reptiles and amphibians as pets. This article clearly explains the different methods to do this.