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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering how important it is to 'seed' the substrate? Some sources I have read recommend gathering bunches of rotting leaf litter from outside to seed the vivarium with all sorts of stuff. However, I live in the Midwest and I am not sure how useful these critters will be in a hot tropical vivarium. Will the necessary bacteria just naturally develop without introduction of outside materials? How do you seed your vivariums?

Here is my substrate plan:
1. lay down drainage layer (either gravel, LECA, or bioballs, still deciding)
2. cover with screen substrate divider
3. layer some spagnum/bark mix on top of screen to help drainage and prevent smaller particles from washing into drainage area
4. place a layer of coco/bark on top
5. sprinkle bakers yeast on top, mist in with RODI water
6. cover with leaf litter/moss
7. add springtail culture

Wow, that looks a lot more complex than I thought!

Thanks for your help/opinions!

PS: This will actually be for a crested gecko, Rhacodactylus ciliatus.
 

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im no lizard guy, but will a crested even eat a spring? seems too small.

you have a good idea of what to do but in yuor case i think its safe to combine steps 3 and 4 and to eliminate 5 and 7

personally i use a drainage layer, then LFS then leaf litter. ive been doing this for a number of years and have yet to run into issues.


james
 

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Don't use anything from outside... I've seen it suggested on Rhacodactylus forums and other places too. It risks introducing countless pathogens, unwanted insects, and other problems into your vivarium. There's a tremendous amount of bad info about vivarium building on other (namely gecko) forums. Springtails & Isopods are beneficial and I use them in all of our Rhacodactylus vivariums, but I'd only suggest using captive bred bugs.

Vivarium Construction 101 - We breed many of our Crested & Gargoyle geckos in true live vivaria using that outline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
im no lizard guy, but will a crested even eat a spring? seems too small.

you have a good idea of what to do but in yuor case i think its safe to combine steps 3 and 4 and to eliminate 5 and 7

personally i use a drainage layer, then LFS then leaf litter. ive been doing this for a number of years and have yet to run into issues.


james
Yeah, I don't think the gecko would eat springtails. I was only adding them as a clean-up crew to deal with the poop, etc.

Also, what is LFS? A type of substrate mixture?

Thank you for your help!

Don't use anything from outside... I've seen it suggested on Rhacodactylus forums and other places too. It risks introducing countless pathogens, unwanted insects, and other problems into your vivarium. There's a tremendous amount of bad info about vivarium building on other (namely gecko) forums. Springtails & Isopods are beneficial and I use them in all of our Rhacodactylus vivariums, but I'd only suggest using captive bred bugs.

Vivarium Construction 101 - We breed many of our Crested & Gargoyle geckos in true live vivaria using that outline.
Hey, its funny I was just on your site yesterday reading what you linked + the gecko care sheet. Well I'm glad, as I was not looking forward to digging up a whole bunch of rooting leaf litter then letting it sit in a vivarium in the house.

I have several other questions from your site, would it be better to pm you or email you?

Thanks!
 
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