I have had trouble finding some reasonably priced drainage for vivariums lately. I would like to go with a Matala layer like depicted in this video because clay balls are apparently very expensive. I will need them in large amounts (36"W*18"L) of floor space. The BioDude would be my go-to for this, but for the desired size and for 1.5" of drainage, I would easily be dropping another $75+ not including shipping (usually another $15+).
Any help? What do you use? I would like it to be light if possible. Thanks!
I’m not sure how deep you need it (just over 10l for every inch deep). If you use 2.5" then you only need about 25 liters. I use Mother Earth Hydroton. 25l is only $25 and it’s cheaper in bulk (I believe they sell a 50l bag for much less than $1/L). I’m not sure what clay balls you’re referring to but these ones are very inexpensive (compared to other options). I’ve also found that to save money on bioactives you can use screen as a drainage barrier (if you need a lot). This is what I’ve gotten in the past but you might want to use this. Of course I have to ask, what are you putting in this? If I had the space and money I would love to get a tank that size for Ranitomeya fantastica. What are you planning to use for substrate? Do you buy it premade or make it yourself?
I was actually planning on doing an experiment with my Leopard Gecko bio vivarium. I am using 3/4 BioDude’s TerraSahara and 1/4 peat moss/coco coir mix. The low humidity doesn’t hold moisture very well which caused some die-offs of isopods in the past. I have P. scaber and P. laevis as a CUC.
It is hard to keep the moisture in lower layers of the substrate moist while keeping the top layer dry and low humidity while supporting the Microfauna in a leo vivarium, so I am trying to find other ways
Otherwise, depending on the circumstances and how I feel that day, I may move a communal Costa Rican auratus setup into the tank, but I would have to get more because I only have two currently.
I would like to learn how to make some good bioactive substrate, but not sure where to start, what is essential, what to avoid, etc. so I just leave it to the pros for now
Yep, I got super lucky with this enclosure. I would never pay full price, but somehow there was a person on a local classifieds marketplace (KSL Classifieds) who had a ball python in it, but wanted to build a custom viv for it. They were getting rid of a 36W"*18L"*18H" front opening for $60 I swooped in and contacted him within 10 minutes of the listing and picked it up withing 30.
Yep, they are definitely a joy to keep! They are sorta the stereotype “Dart Frog” everyone thinks of so it is super cool for them to see them in person. Next ones hopefully will be D. tinctorius for me! I just love how they look
Thank you so much! I will definitely be integrating this into my setups in the future!
Yep! It has been sitting in my room with the setup plans for almost a year, but I decided to take charge and get going on it this last month. I also have multiple 24*18 that I will be setting up and selling that I bought all for $50 each
Yep, I don’t think you have it where you are located, but in UT, ID, and WY we have an online marketplace called KSL Classifieds. I sell all the things I produce on there, and there is lots of second-hand stuff for great prices like the FB marketplace. I am addicted to finding deals and not missing out on sales, so I have, like 30 saved searches I get emails for
I won’t lie, 50% of them are things like “isopds” or “terarrium” and “rowchez” to make sure I don’t miss any that were spelled incorrectly
Ikea sells bags of the clay balls for fairly cheap. ODLA Growing media, clay pellets - IKEA The Lava rocks they use for landscaping/grilling is also an option. You might need to crush it into smaller pieces, but it should do the job.