So I’ve recently shared photos of our new guy, Gary. We currently have him in an enclosure with paper towels as a quarantine period until we get him eating and settled in.
I’m working on gathering all the things I need to do a bio active enclosure. What substrate do you recommend? I’ve got some bricks of eco earth, can that be used by itself or do I need to mix in peat moss/other items? I’ve also got some clay balls that are for a drainage layer to go in the bottom.
His enclosure is a 20 gallon hexagon front opening tank. We’ve got some cork bark, a pretty big piece of Manzanita wood, a piece of cholla wood, a fairly good size hide that attaches to the wall of the enclosure. And plants. We picked some up at tinley with him and am planning to add them once we start the final set up.
Anything I’m missing?
Editing to add: photo tax
you could just use eco earth but I would mix it with some orchid bark, charcoal, play sand, and organic topsoil. I would say 40% eco earth 20% orchid bark 20% play sand and 20% topsoil and a hand full or two of charcoal thrown in. other than that it seems like it will work great.
Also his patterning looks amazing!
Would it be the end of the world if I avoided sand? Lol sand just makes a mess and I’ve only got one enclosure for now.
no not at all it just helps aerate the substrate and helps it not get compacted. I would just add some extra bark and topsoil
Something I didn’t think of until now as well was a layer between the substrate and the clay balls/drainage layer. How important is that? would fabric used in flowerbeds be suitable for this?
It is needed for more humid bioactive enclosures. I would guess that it would be fine to use flowerbed fabric as long as the substrate can’t get through it.
I’m looking to ideally keep the humidity around 70-80% for my Gargoyle. I imagine it wouldn’t hurt anything to have the fabric anyway. So i’ll grab some of that as well. Why not.
I wouldn’t keep your gecko at 70-80% at all times. I would recommend letting it dry out a little during the day to about 50-60 percent. At night that will be good to have it at higher humidity but they can develop some problems being too humid
You do want a screen or something between the balls and the dirt. Keeps the dirt from filling in between the balls and making them pretty much useless. I just used a super cheap potting soil with no additives. Mine hasnt been digging or tunneling. I dont think they do that. As long as the dirt will support the plant life, I think its good. You will also need a clean-up crew.
We used a piece of window screen as a barrier between the balls and the dirt.
Yeah, some springtails and isopods of some sort, I haven’t dug into that yet. If we had planned to get this guy at tinley I might’ve grabbed some there. Going to likely have to order some now.
Ohh, good call. I think I actually have some sitting around in my garage.
Petco here at home has isopods and springtails for sale now. Might be a local source?
Didn’t even think to look there when I picked up the enclosure from Petsmart. I was going to grab some dubias there but the one we went to they were all dead. i’ll give the other local places a check first.
I know setting up bioactive after Isn’t exactly the most ideal scenario, but like I said… The Wife fell in love with the gargoyle, so he came home with us.
Also here’s some of the plants we picked up from tinley. You can ignore the rest of the plans in the 2nd and 3rd pic, those are houseplants my wife’s been growing and propagating. I’m not sure if those are safe/able to go into the enclosure so went with ones we knew would be okay at tinley.
Yeah you really need to let the plants settle before putting the Gecko in or you may find they don’t do well.
I don’t have gargoyles but I keep cresties, here is a link as to what I do for my bioactive enclosures, if it helps.
Just seen your plant pics. There’s a list on the link I sent with what plants I’ve used also.
I’d suggest plenty of logs or similar climbing options in hope the plants don’t get destroyed
Yeah, so to give an idea of what we have for branches/climbing. Here’s his current quarantine set up, and the branches/bark that we got.
I put my hand for a size reference on the cork flats.
Likely going to remove some of the pieces of wood in the bottom of his current set up, just wanted him to have plenty of space to get off the ground for now. Need to figure out some things for higher up. I know you’ve used the rope bridges before, we like that idea as well. So we have plenty of playing around to do!
Just curious, what do you provide as far as UV-B?
(I know you said you don’t have gargs, but I hear that their care is almost the same)
Coco fibre, little orchid bark, moss, clean up crew! Just like cresties