I’m wanting to create a bio active tank without isopods and little money nothing extravagant what light, substrates, plants are good and can I put a white pitcher plant in with my crested gecko
Why don’t you want isopods? WIthout them a bioactive tank is nearly impossible. The least expensive bioactive I can think of would be ABG soil mix with branches (if they’re collected from outside they need to be sterilized), springtails (dwarf white or other isopod species would be better), and plants (pothos work great). Other things like food/water dishes, mister, and food is usually inexpensive. The most expensive part of it is usually the tank.
You really need isopods or your viv won’t stay clean or be bio… springtails and isopods needed really.
And I wouldn’t use that plant no! They’re carnivorous, not worth the risk if a baby, and would be destroyed if used for an adult one.
Light wise we use Arcadia jungle dawn.
And substrate wise, coco fibre, mixed with orchid bark, sphagnum moss, charcoal, tree fern, peat. It all works well
I also ‘blend’ leaf litter in with it all also.
There’s a few different ways to put a bioactive vivarium together, but ultimately, it depends on what you’re trying to do by creating a bioactive system. The point behind a bioactive environment isn’t just to create humidity and have live plants, part of the environment is clean up crew, which is isopods and springtails, they’re responsible for breaking down and removing decay, mold, and excrement. There are MANY different species of isopods and springtails, as well, for multiple biomes and temperatures. If you’re building a proper bioactive vivarium, they’re made to be layered, beginning with a drainage layer on the bottom, and then usually are seperated by a layer of drainage mesh to avoid the substrate from mixing in with the drainage layer, so it’s effective at keeping the soil clear enough to “breathe”, otherwise you’ll end up with something similar to a bog if you oversaturate. Whatever soil you choose to use, whether it’s ready-mixed ABG, something you put together yourself or something like ReptiSoil, make sure your substrate layer is deep enough to support the plants AND root systems as they grow out and become established. Many people plants pothos, species of begonia, ferns and mosses for vivariums intended for crested geckos, and there’s a wide variety to choose from. Leaf litter is also important, for the clean up crew and keeping the ground from being oversaturated. As for lighting, LED is the way to go, and there are many inexpensive bulbs and fixtures to choose from. LED gives off minimal heat and will give you the best spectrum of light for plant growth.
Yep, isopods are pretty much a necessity for bioactive setups. Springtails won’t get you very far in decomposing waste from your gecko. Carnivorous plants are not good either for a baby crestie! Some good inexpensive plants I’ve used are creeping figs, pothos, philodendron, and prayer-plants. You should be able to find most of these at your local nursery, and sometimes even Home Depot or Lowes. (Make sure to completely remove any trace of fertilizers from these sources)
If you are from the U.S., than the Bio Dude can be a great source for anything bioactive, but can be a little pricey. He also has a great Youtube channel with lots of amazing information.
Hope this helped!
And yes, @ghoulishcresties, carnivorous plants are a gamble with small reptiles and amphibians, there’s ALWAYS a chance they can crawl in and be trapped by the plant, if they can fit.
If you want some really inexpensive isopods for that environment, Dwarf Whites usually sell for less than $0.50 each and reproduce through parthenogenesis. They will multiply very quickly.
Thanks for the advice been very helpful
Dwarf whites are great yes. And Tropical greys also are cheaper as very common. They’re Bigger and breed like mad too!
Porcellio types are great breeders, dairy cows here have gone mad!
I think your question has been answered
Should you have any further questions, please ask!
Very cool! Was the setup for anything in particular?
Yes, isopods and springtails, some higher humidity species I started working with recently.