Live plants clean the air, retain humidity and provide cover for any inhabitants. They are generally good eaters and can become accustomed to begging. Vivarium includes isopods, rare bonsai, fern, extra block of coconut soil substrate. no comments yet. Some hobbyists recommend misting it with water to (usually) make it visually disappear, or you can choose to leave it alone, which … Most commonly the word "bioactive" is used to describe terrariums and vivariums that include natural substrate and a clean up crew. When used in conjunction with the Bio Shot, it will not only help outcompete negative bacterias and mold, it encourages the full self-cleaning, self-maintaining bioactive environment, while ensuring your invert gets the exact husbandry they need, without the worry of harmful molds and bacterias. The most common mold seen in vivariums is white & fuzzy, and is most often prevalent in freshly planted vivaria. So I just made a bioactive terrarium a couple weeks ago, and after I put my gecko in it, a lot of mold had formed. In the past, this approach to husbandry has also been referred to as keeping a naturalistic terrarium or vivarium. Kill it with fire. Since then, it has been very hard for hobbyists to replicate the same results for different biomes, such … Provided you get the right ones. Geckos, especially arboreal (tree-dwelling) ones, are fun to watch and come in a wide variety of color morphs. They have primitive gills that allow them to breathe in high-humidity environments. Bioactive is simply the latest trendy term for setting up an enclosure in a way that resembles the native habitat of its inhabitants and relies on live plants, invertebrates and fungi to help control waste. While he could munch on the pants, he usually doesn’t have any interest. Bioactive vivariums are not for all reptiles. Since you'll need to control the temperature inside the vivarium, place it somewhere out of direct sunlight and install a UVA, UVB, and basking light. What you do is put a thin layer of charcoal just below the soil. They will be easily disturbed in the first months. Many keepers are making the switch towards it due to the natural and enriching aspects of it, though it has been around since reptiles and amphibians have been kept. save hide report. Bioactive vivariums are … (Shown right) We get an email or two about this every once in awhile, but most hobbyists & vivarium builders say, "It's not usually something to be concerned about.". Now more than ever, supplies and livestock for these naturalistic setups are available to just about anyone with a terrarium, no matter the size. As your cleanup crew starts to breed and grow in number, you can stop providing the extra food. The Clean Up Crew, or CUC, is one of the big things that distinguishes a bioactive vivarium from just a glass box with dirt and plants. Consider yourself lucky, and enjoy it while it lasts! Slime molds are completely harmless, although their appearance in a vivarium can seem quite startling. The BioDudes handcrafted bioactive substrate for Tarantulas, Scorpions, Spiders, Vinegaroons and other invertebrates. What you’re seeing is the fruiting body of the mushroom – the vast majority of the organism is called the mycelium, which looks like roots and is probably spread throughout the piece of wood the mushroom is on, deriving nutrients from the wood as it decomposes. A desert system is not likely to see a mold bloom, but a cycling period allows your plants to root. Black mold spores can be dangerous for you and your pets to breathe. The slime mold pictured is actually a colony of several thousand normally single celled organisms that come together when food is scarce. In fact, we designed and created Josh’s Frogs Bioactive Booster to introduce beneficial fungus into your tank and help it stabilize faster. I can speak from experience with my Eastern Box Turtle that he loves the live plants for hiding spots. This one may not be as colorful as the orange one shown previously, but it makes up for it’s pale complexion with numbers! This style of arid bioactive vivarium could be used for many species of reptile including leopard geckos, bearded dragons, corn snakes and kingsnakes. There are specialty substrates available that are seeded with these beneficial fungi that are made specifically for bioactive setups. “Many fungi grow in conjunction with plants, helping them get adequate nutrition and fueling growth. Just simply making sure you clean up every day or so will do this issue out. In a bioactive vivarium, the millipedes will also breakdown organic matter, helping with your nutrient absorption in your soil and plants. Fungi may even benefit your plants in an even more intimate symbiotic relationship: The mycelium of some species of fungi will make connections to plants through their root systems to gain nutrients, and then share essential nutrients the plants may never get anywhere else. For a vivarium to be bioactive, a cleanup crew must be established. The term “bioactive” was coined back in the mid 1990’s. Only if you’re allergic to awesome! That’s why springtails are one of the key components to a bioactive setup. Offer them these hiding spots and they should do very well for you. This is a slime mold. Perhaps the glass is misty and filmed with a green goo. Plants grow well in it, and it “drains well while slowly wicking moisture to the surface,” he says. Isopods, otherwise known as pillbugs, sowbugs, woodlice or rolly pollies, are amazing little janitors. The cleanup crew will breakdown waste, mold, and/or fungus and the breakdown of such will provide nutrients for the live plants. Even then, you should consider keeping them in a separate tank from your pet for at least 1–2 months, and wait until they breed the first generation for you. Here are some tips on setting up a bioactive terrarium for your reptile or amphibian — plus how to choose the appropriate cleanup crew for your new setup. An alien. These kinds of enclosures are suitable for animals that require higher humidity and moisture (crested geckos, true toads, frogs, etc). This is a slime mold. As stated before, you may need to give extra food to get them started. Don't forget to give the video a thumbs up! They can be used as food for smaller amphibians. A lot of this can be credited to the bioactivity of our setups. A bioactive enclosure or “Vivarium” is a self cycling system, containing multiple levels of life. Vivarium” are essentially umbrella terms for enclosures containing cold-blooded creatures Millipedes have a very unique defensive niche, which is when intimidated they roll into a tight ball and release a toxic substance, which if ingested tastes awful. Petful is reader-supported. The insects and fungi in your bioactive terrarium will consume decaying bits of food, mold and waste, which will help maintain a healthier substrate. They are stunning green and red and full of personality. The good, the bad and the ugly. Mold comes in many different colors – the most common are white or green. No, just kidding! Salamanders are fascinating animals, and the ones I’ve listed above are colorful. While you can go out into the woods or around your neighborhood to find some of these bugs, you should be sure they are in an area free of pesticides. Today we’re talking about terrarium bugs. Once the ecosystem is in balance and your bugs are breeding well, you don’t have to do much other than spot cleaning every once in a while. . The springtails haven’t eaten it yet, even though I put half of a culture in. I definitely recommend these janitor insects if you ever decide to jump into the naturalistic enclosure. The vivarium is specifically set up to match Brazilian style climates and thus would stress the gecko out to much if it had a switch of tanks. Some nice slime mold growing in my vivarium. Step 1: Choose an Enclosure. The substrate allows the plants to root and grow. Pics, videos, questions and discussion on any aspect of a bioactive enclosure are all welcome here. This is why the substrate they live in must be kept moist, or they’ll die. Fungi play an important role, too. In the first 6 months or so, expect to see lots of mold. The insects and fungi in your bioactive terrarium will consume decaying bits of food, mold and waste, which will help maintain a healthier substrate. This, in turn, is beneficial to live plants in the enclosure, as it is natural fertilizer. It is simply a reaction to being in an unfamiliar territory. Terrariums are billed as the ultimate no-maintenance houseplant setup, so it’s not surprising that many newbie terrarium owners are a little miffed when, a few months in, things start going wrong. They may also serve as occasional snacks for frogs or small reptiles in the enclosure. Traditional Vivariums I'm slowly getting closer to actually starting to build my terrarium/vivarium setup. When Terrariums Go Bad: 6 Tips for Troubleshooting (Mold? In r/bioactive we want to use the broader idea of setting up any sort of enclosure in order to mimic the animal's natural environment. They busily scurry to the surface when I mist the substrate and gather around bits of dropped food eating leisurely. They feed on mold, fungi, pollen, algae and decaying matter (decaying roots, plants, etc.). When we set up bioactive enclosures, we’re creating the perfect environment for countless animals. Many frogs are colorful and readily available. With a starter culture, you will be able to have your own colony of breeding individuals in time. I've been doing a lot of reading on various enclosures, substrates, heating methods, and all the other necessities for keeping a corn snake happy. Mold will not harm your plants or frogs, and is a completely normal part of the cycling process of a new vivarium. But keep in mind spores are microscopic and everywhere in our environments. Some poison dart frogs were housed utilizing springtails and isopods in the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (ABG) mix with leaf litter and other organic matter mixed in to provide a self-cleaning, self-maintaining ecosystem within the animals’ enclosure. In addition, decor is pre-cleaned before planting and moss is inspected/rinsed for freshness. They consume mold and decaying matter in their environment. To help create a more natural, self-maintaining ecosystem — a bioactive terrarium — you’ll add certain insect species into the substrate. If you use live plants in your enclosure, be sure they are turtle-safe. Here, I’ll post photos of different unidentified organisms and try to shed some light on what they are, what they do, and the like. Always supervise the oven if you plan to bake wood. For geckos, Brinks swears by Josh’s Frogs BioBedding Tropical. Like many fungi in the vivarium, they’ll only be visible for a brief time before disappearing, sometimes never to be seen again. Slime molds are not a true fungus, but they serve many of the same purposes in a vivarium. Animal Introduction . Enclosures not included. To set up a vivarium for a bearded dragon, start by purchasing a vivarium that is 2 feet by 3 feet by 4 feet in size from a pet store. A bioactive vivarium is, in simple terms, a replica of your reptile's natural habitat. To help maintain the fungi within the enclosure, you’ll need to add wood, leaf litter and other organic materials to the substrate as they are broken down. The gecko is 2 years old male. The powdery white growth appears to be a variety of mold (sometimes called mildew). This often helps discourage mold growth. What is it? Most of these can quickly become problem areas for a terrarium. This connection will go a long way to improving both the health of the soil and plants. Like mushrooms, they are often gone very shortly after they are first seen. Plants are in and I have springtails and dwarf white isopod cultures in there too. Mushrooms will not harm your frogs or plants, and actually can contribute to a cleaner and healthier vivarium. Buy starter cultures if you want to add them to your enclosure, or start a larger culture for multiple tanks and as a food source. Your gecko may display agitated behavior when first moved to a new enclosure, but don’t be tempted to blame bioactive! Use charcoal in the soil. There are a few frogs on the list above that are voracious eaters, so you’ll need to be careful about not overfeeding them. How to Build a Poison Dart Frog Vivarium . Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Complete Vivarium Kits The best bioactive terrarium kits, totally customizable by you! They like sticking close to the ground and underneath dark hiding spots. Crested and Gargoyle Geckos are your best bet if you want one that can tolerate handling. What should I do? When this mushroom appeared in a vivarium, several hundred of them were visible. Bracket fungus are quite uncommon in vivaria, as they seem to require decent airflow to thrive. The lowest level animals, or “clean-up crew”, are usually Microfauna like Isopods and Springtails. The items you add to the enclosure might begin to mold, especially if you have a snake that needs high humidity. Are they harmful? There are various species on the market with different colors and sizes available. Best enclosures, substrates, etc. “Some products, such as Josh’s Frogs Bioactive Booster, provide beneficial fungal spores and trace elements that can be added directly to the soil.”. It should be maintained and managed in a way to ensure the husbandry of the animal is paramount. Our most precious plant, the Monstera Obliqua does great as well. In the years I’ve been working with vivaria, I’ve only seen a handful of slime molds crop up. Some insects can keep your terrarium clean, rich in nutrients and free of pests, whereas others simply are the … Call in the Clean-up Crew: Terrarium Insects & Bugs Read More » You will need to stick with animal species that come from more tropical and temperate habitats. Yecch) Jane Perrone December 4, 2017. Hi, I am new to reptile keeping and I maybe bit off more than I could chew. In the first 6 months or so, expect to see lots of mold. Some kind of neat bracket fungus, a close relative of the mushroom. Many reptile hobby shops and online vendors now sell these beneficial bugs at reasonable prices. It’s a mushroom, and a brightly colored one at that! Our Complete Vivarium Kits include everything necessary to turn any common enclosure into a beautiful and long lasting bioactive terrarium. If you have an area near you that is free of pesticides, you can collect wood and then bake it in the oven at 250–300 degrees Fahrenheit for 30–60 minutes to kill any parasites. This is an invaluable perk for amphibians and reptiles that may be sensitive to fungal or bacterial infections. It will have live plants and soil. Composed of beneficial insects, fungi, bacteria, and other microfauna, the CUC consumes feces, mold, and other types of waste while also aerating the substrate and keeping harmful pathogens at bay. These are just the fruiting bodies of the network of fungi under the soil. Is your frog tank being invaded by aliens? Kill it with fire. The cleanup crew will breakdown waste, mold, and/or fungus and the breakdown … Do Bioactive Vivariums Smell? Slime molds are pretty uncommon in vivaria, but will randomly pop up from time to time. best. This fungi network is made up of thin, white hairlike structures called mycelium, which has been shown to form a beneficial relationship with plants. Standard aquaria work well, but it’s best to use hinged glass covers. Fungus + Humidity Problems in Bioactive Vivarium 08-24-2018, 12:35 PM. It will have live plants and soil. What exactly is a “bioactive enclosure”? A bioactive terrarium usually involves several elements that work together in balance to create a naturalistic, aesthetically pleasing home for reptiles and amphibians. As mentioned, mushrooms are only the fruiting bodies of the network of white, hairlike mycelium and help break down organic waste and transform them into nutrients within the soil. By introducing these specific types of fungi to the enclosure, you can create a mature, healthy bioactive cycle more quickly,” he says. “Setting up a bioactive enclosure is not as straightforward as your more typical habitat,” he says. Mushrooms and fungi will cause wood in a vivarium to break down a bit more quickly, but that’s part of nature. Over a year ago I began doing some serious research into crested geckos and into bioactive setups. In a terrarium with air humidity above 90% and daily sprinkling, any plant or houseplant would quickly develop root rot and eventually mould. In a functional bioactive terrarium, the waste products will be broken down by these detritivores, reducing or eliminating the need for cage cleaning. Springtails and Isopods will make short work of any mold. They actively hunt for bugs and worms and love to bury themselves in mulch, moss and dirt when they have a chance. Mold comes in many different colors – the most common are white or green. I started my own isopod culture with 25 individuals, and it took a few months before they started breeding. 0 comments. Mold likes to grow on wet, nutrient rich surfaces. All are included in the trade. Many of your reptiles and amphibians will spit them right out with exception of a few specialists. This requires a basic understanding of ecology of the species you would like to keep on it. Leaf litter may also help retain moisture in the substrate. Having an ABG mix and a bioactive vivarium prevents this. They are a member of the cleanup crew on the seabed, mirroring their land relatives. Hi everyone, I just got my vivarium going about one week ago. Occasionally, especially in the first few weeks of your bioactive terrarium setup, you may have a few mushrooms pop up. Preventing Mold: Let me just give you some tips and guidelins on how to reduce the prospect of mold growing in your terrarium. Bury soft vegetables or peelings about 1–2 inches in the substrate once a week or so. Terra Aranea is a one of a kind substrate that was thoroughly tested for over a year prior to it's release in 2019. This appears to be an unusually colored blue mold. This can be a big help. The biggest benefits, though, are that the substrate is kept free of mold outbreaks and more harmful types of bacteria aren’t allowed to flourish. There are a few box turtles that do very well in a bioactive terrarium. A bioactive vivarium is, in simple terms, a replica of your reptile's natural habitat. In fact, all our plants in the vivariums are thriving. The funny thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes the bugs themselves are enjoyable to watch within the enclosure. Sort by. It is the canvas onto which you will paint your tropical terrarium. For a vivarium to be bioactive, a cleanup crew must be established. Do not be too concerned about Millipedes … I wouldn’t recommend breathing it in, but it will not harm your plants or frogs. Also, plenty of mites, springtails, worms, and isopods crawling all over the place. Yet another variety of mushroom. Springtails and Isopods will make short work of any mold. Remember to research your chosen reptile or amphibian species well before bringing them home. Because bioactive terrarium setups tend to be more on the tropical side, most desert species won’t be suited for them. As Zach Brinks from Reptiles magazine says, “The bioactive movement promises a better standard of care with a fraction of the time required to keep our critters clean.”, But Brinks also cautions that “with great power comes great responsibility.”. A bioactive terrarium is a terrarium for housing one or more terrestrial animals that includes live plants as well as populations of small invertebrates and microorganisms to consume and break down the waste products of the primary species. With self-cleaning bioactive terrarium setups becoming more popular with people caring for pet reptiles and amphibians, so too are the “hidden janitors” within these enclosures — the so-called cleanup crew of small bugs and worms that break down the pets’ waste products. Named for their jumping behavior, springtails are white arthropods measuring no more than 1/4 inch in size. A bioactive substrate is any substrate that recreates an ecosystem, essentially. Terra Aranea also retains all burrows and hides. They also aerate the soil as they burrow through it. Also, make sure to clean out any water left in the tank. They are well-known in the hobby and can reach lengths of up to 1 foot. Isopods love to hang out under water dishes, bark and leaf litter. Many tropical or subtropical enclosures often call for higher humidity, which involves using moisture-holding substrates like Eco Earth or potting soil. They may also serve as occasional snacks for frogs or small reptiles in the enclosure. The substrate may also have fungi beneath the surface that help break down waste and other materials — a process that turns the waste into nutrients for live plants in the enclosure. These gigantic versions play an important role in the decomposition of whale carcasses — yes, dead whales — that fall to the ocean floor. Log in or sign up to leave a comment log in sign up. Be the first to share what you think! Humidity has been 85-99% with temps 73-81 F. 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