Soil substrate - Reptile Forums

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Old 12-03-2017, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Bath
Posts: 23
Default Soil substrate

I'm considering using a soil based substrate for my snakes. It wont be bioactive with custodians, as my vivs won't allow for a deep enough substrate. My question is, how often will a soil based substrate need to completely replaced?
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Old 12-03-2017, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 4,064

I'm also interested in the answers, so subscribing for updates. Although it might get more replies in here: Habitat - Reptile Forums ?

Will you be mixing it with sand? I'm planning to source some organic topsoil, dry it out on trays (easy to add moisture later than dry it in viv), and then mix with sand and orchid bark ... difference proportions for different species. But I will possibly go bioactive (not decided yet).

My only concern would be potential for scale rot? And my thinking on cleaning out was to have a quantity of fresh stuff ready and then remove 1/2 or 2/3 of the 'old' substrate from the viv and then top up with new fresh stuff and mix. Then possibly keep a set-up with just bugs to clean the old dirty stuff? Kind of like a mini recycling centre. Am still at the early stages of looking into this.

I tried a topsoil/orchid/coco mix a few years ago for one of my Boas and it was fine, absolutely no issues at all.
Former snake keeper
Former breeder - Trinkets (C.helena) + Florida Kings (L.g.floridana) + Bamboos (O.p.coxi)
Now taking a break from the hobby
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