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agentbsmithi
01-13-2006, 03:32 PM
..makin my seemanis new home.

anyways, im in the process of drying my bed-a-beast as to sterylize it and dry it quicker. i put it on like 200 and im hoping this will be warm enough. i did searches and usually people put it around 200 to 250? also i put the rest outside to dry in the sun. think any bugs or mites will get in it if its out there? i wouldnt wanna defeat the purpose of buying new substrate or anything.

agentbsmithi
01-13-2006, 03:33 PM
oh yeah, im baking it in the oven haha. forgot to mention that detail.

cacoseraph
01-13-2006, 04:17 PM
oh yeah, im baking it in the oven haha. forgot to mention that detail.
i tried drying coconut coir in the microwave one time

it's possible to set that stuff smoldering, heh

agentbsmithi
01-13-2006, 04:55 PM
i tried drying coconut coir in the microwave one time

it's possible to set that stuff smoldering, heh

i know it is.

i have it in the oven right now at 300 degrees and its takin forever just to dry up all the water in it. i got the other half outside in the sun and thats not gonna be dry forever.

cacoseraph
01-13-2006, 04:56 PM
i know it is.

i have it in the oven right now at 300 degrees and its takin forever just to dry up all the water in it. i got the other half outside in the sun and thats not gonna be dry forever.

when oven drying i keep stirring the substrate, so it can steam off easiest

makes your house smell sort of like the forest

agentbsmithi
01-13-2006, 04:58 PM
when oven drying i keep stirring the substrate, so it can steam off easiest

makes your house smell sort of like the forest


haha yeah, smells like a greenhouse. i got the front and back door open.

ive been stirring it to establish that effect. i cant rush it though, i mean they hold 4 quarts of water so yeah.

should i even dry it out to "bone-dry" dryness? i have a seemani, and they could use a bit of moisture i think. i wouldnt mind leaving a bit of moisture.

eman
01-13-2006, 04:59 PM
Why bother sterilizing the substrate? This will not eliminate mites or any other unwanted pests for very long. Keeping a healthy soil is the way to go. You might want to take a look at the topic of substrates in "Tarantulas and Other Arachnids" (second edition), by Samuel D. Marshall. He explains that he's had the best results using "garden soil" for his ts - mainly because of the bacteria and "unwanted pests" which help keep the soil healthy. ;)

I've been using top soil for years and the only times I've ever had any issues with mites was mainly due to either poor ventilation, lack of maintenance in removing prey remains or a bad soil mixture to begin with.

Good luck!

agentbsmithi
01-13-2006, 05:01 PM
Why bother sterilizing the substrate? This will not eliminate mites or any other unwanted pests for very long. Keeping a healthy soil is the way to go. You might want to take a look at the topic of substrates in "Tarantulas and Other Arachnids" (second edition), by Samuel D. Marshall. He explains that he's had the best results using "garden soil" for his ts - mainly because of the bacteria and "unwanted pests" which help keep the soil healthy. ;)

I've been using top soil for years and the only times I've ever had any issues with mites was mainly due to either poor ventilation, lack of maintenance in removing prey remains or a bad soil mixture to begin with.

Good luck!

to be frank im not really doing it so much for steralization, mainly to get all the water out. i just dont want it too wet, and i dont wanna sit for hours and let it air dry. evaporation takes sooo long.

i was going to use topsoil also but i couldnt find any organic kind for some reason? all the topsoil i could find had compost pine and cedar and ash and stuff. i dont even know why its so hard to find plain non chem dirt.

eman
01-13-2006, 05:07 PM
to be frank im not really doing it so much for steralization, mainly to get all the water out. i just dont want it too wet, and i dont wanna sit for hours and let it air dry. evaporation takes sooo long.

i was going to use topsoil also but i couldnt find any organic kind for some reason? all the topsoil i could find had compost pine and cedar and ash and stuff. i dont even know why its so hard to find plain non chem dirt.

Ah, I see.

Yes, I agree - sometimes just plain unfertilized organic top soil can be a real pain to come across (especially in winter)!

Cheers!

liveprey
01-13-2006, 05:10 PM
i dont even know why its so hard to find plain non chem dirt.
I had that problem also.:) I use coconut now and haven't had any probs. I just squeeze the crap out of it and fill the tanks. It will eventually dry.

agentbsmithi
01-13-2006, 05:12 PM
haha dude i wrapped half of it in a black t shirt (in case it stains) and just squeezed the hell out of it like they do when they make mozarella haha. i got so much water out but theres still some. i think itll be ok. ill mix it with the dry stuff i baked and it should be ok, you think? i mean id prefer it bone dry, but it doesnt have to be to be alright, does it?

liveprey
01-13-2006, 05:19 PM
Ha! It'll be fine, just make sure it cools down before you drop in your T or he'll think he's in a sauna.:D

GailC
01-13-2006, 05:22 PM
I just baked some bed-a-beast the other day too, it took like 6 hours at 300 deg F and it was spred real thin on a cookie sheet. Next time I'm going with peat or top soil.

Thoth
01-13-2006, 05:23 PM
It should be fine with a little bit of moisture. A.seemani like a bit on the humid side. The only t I've encountered that had serious issue with damp substrate was a G.rosea. Even my GBB didn't mind it until it dried out.

agentbsmithi
01-13-2006, 06:15 PM
cool, thanks for all the tips guys. i decided to bake it for a while and dry out, but i left it a big on the damp side so itll hopefully hold its burrow well. i took a handful and squeezed and a few drops came out but i had to squeeze damn hard.

monkeywrench133
01-13-2006, 06:41 PM
Hi there, newbie question: do you really want the top soil bone dry? When the T burrows, as my G. Rosea does, won't the burrow collapse if there isn't some moisture in the soil?

eman
01-13-2006, 07:34 PM
Hi there, newbie question: do you really want the top soil bone dry? When the T burrows, as my G. Rosea does, won't the burrow collapse if there isn't some moisture in the soil?

Good point. Having bone dry top soil does indeed result in dusty thin soil which is useless for burrowers (I am not a proponent of the bone dry theory to begin with). I usually mix my soil with mulch and/or dry leaves, small twigs, bark, etc. This gives the soil proper texture which allows ts to burrow as much as they want without the burrow collapsing. For opportunistic burrowers, I usually provide a large peice of cork bark for them to construct a natural burrow.

I then allow the soil to dry out a little and water it occasionaly (not too moist). I tend to err on the dry side, just not bone dry. This method has worked very well for me over the years.

:wumpscut:
01-13-2006, 11:53 PM
with over 380 vivariums in the last 3 years, we've never baked substrate. why? if it's too sterile....well, tomatoe tomOtow...i guess...?

lilmountaingrrl
01-14-2006, 12:28 AM
I use the coconut fiber in my T's & spiders enclosures, and I've never baked it. I havent encountered any problems yet, so I hope I dont run into any in the future. I've looked for topsoil without additives, and cant seem to find any that's undoctored, either. :(

:wumpscut:
01-14-2006, 12:33 AM
I use either outside soils or a brand named SuperSoil from HomeDepot. SS has no animal products, chemical fetilizers and comes in a brown and white bag with yellow colors fonts...where are you located?

agentbsmithi
01-14-2006, 02:27 AM
i should have never said steralize in the first place. my main agenda was getting the substrate dry enough to house my t.

mission was successful. :D

Skuromis
01-14-2006, 02:47 AM
agentbsmithi, you destroy the whole substrate by drying it this way. All microorganisms in it will be killed. Thats fine for mold, milb's and all the other ''good'' things.
It might be better to wait, until it is air dried.

agentbsmithi
01-14-2006, 02:54 AM
agentbsmithi, you destroy the whole substrate by drying it this way. All microorganisms in it will be killed. Thats fine for mold, milb's and all the other ''good'' things.
It might be better to wait, until it is air dried.

i didnt totally dry it out, its still plenty moist. i baked half or maybe even less than that in low heat over a short period of time, anything else i just wrapped in a thin shirt and squeezed moisture out, and let air dry. im sure its fine. ill let you guys know.

monkeywrench133
01-14-2006, 09:30 AM
i didnt totally dry it out, its still plenty moist. i baked half or maybe even less than that in low heat over a short period of time, anything else i just wrapped in a thin shirt and squeezed moisture out, and let air dry. im sure its fine. ill let you guys know.


Ok, I'm not asking this to be a jerk, I'm asking because I'm inexperienced:

What was the point of baking it then? It doesn't really sound like you accomplished anything. Am I missing something?

**EDIT** Sorry, I did miss something. I didn't realize it was compressed coconut fiber you were talking about, I thought it was top soil.

Dom
01-14-2006, 09:54 AM
I know you didn't want to sterilize but just as an aside baking to sterilize isn't necessarily a good idea because you kill off beneficial organisms that keep things in balance. By sterilizing you may open the door for molds to take hold that would have been held in check by the microorgansims in the substrate.
To kill mites etc. you could warm it up to 160-180F for 15-30 mins. This would not kill of the beneficial micro-organisms.

The quickest way to dry it out is to wring it out using an old cloth or t- shirt.Warm it up and then spread it out in trays or on a garbage bag and put a gentle fan on it, mixing it up a couple of times a day.

Sgt Boomhower
01-14-2006, 10:33 PM
My seemani was quite unhappy until i got its humidity correct. I use the coconut fibers and also just sqeeze the water out by hand, leaveing it damp. I also added gell crystals for cricket water into the mix. This helps keep the humidity stable for a longer period of time. Now my T loves to stay in its burrow because he is more comfortable. No more hanging out by the water dish for humidity{D , but no more viewing my T.:8o

jojobear
01-14-2006, 11:00 PM
agentbsmithi for future reference take your brick of bed-a-beast and put it in a rubbermaid container and only add 2 quarts of water to it (ionly used 8 qts for three bricks instead of 12 qts) and let it sit overnight with the lid on it. The next morning you should have a fairly good consistency (you will have to stir it around with your hands to get any of the really dry parts mixed in) if not you can add more water as needed but as others have commented it wil dry out very quickly in the T's cage.

:wumpscut:
01-15-2006, 02:21 AM
we used hortasorb but find nothing compares to soil, milled peat moss and sand.

we use three bricks of bed-ugh beast in the EBV vivarium and if you look you'll see a difference in the growth of the plants from the right to the left. BOB just doesn't hold good for a vivarium but it is good enough for more simpler minimalist habitats!

eman
01-15-2006, 03:33 AM
we used hortasorb but find nothing compares to soil, milled peat moss and sand.

we use three bricks of bed-ugh beast in the EBV vivarium and if you look you'll see a difference in the growth of the plants from the right to the left. BOB just doesn't hold good for a vivarium but it is good enough for more simpler minimalist habitats!

This is what I have experienced as well.