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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, well after spending a great deal of time and resurses making 11 vivs look as natural as i can with a load of plastic plants - I have finaly realised that a bioactive planted viv is the way forward for my snakes! DOH! still better late than never!

So i have started to build a 3'long 2'high and 18" wide viv for my Bamboo ratsnake (porphyraceus coxi).

Im planning a deep substrate to alow for wroms as well as the springtails and woodlice, so going for 1" clay pellets, 2" peat moss/soil and shreded moss 3" layer of cocofiber/bark/soil/sand/ or somthing like that, so i will have a good 6" deep substrate.

The viv is wooden but the inside base is siliconed and lined with pond liner upto the 7"mark

I plan on getting my plants from Just air plants, they have a great web site, and my beasties from the garden/woods and maybe some tropicals from dartfrog.

I have read a load of threads, seen some stunning set ups, :notworthy:to the usual suspects - you know who you are!



I am just wondering about a few things....
  1. Heating, the book i just read says to heat the substrate, I cant put a mat under the wooden base so what do people do with such deep substrates? I have a heat cable but it states "do not submerge in substrate" on the box. Can i put a stated heat mat into the substrate above the clay ball layer? wont that saturate the terminal block?
  2. I am pushing my luck with the other half as it is (11 snakes:whistling2:) if the woodlice start escaping i will be in trouble, do they tend to stay put in the viv? or are they a common sight on the living room floor?
  3. Vents will be [email protected] the bottom on the back wall just above the substrate both 6"x1" and 2 at the top on the back wall same size with a sealed top (sliding glass doors on the froont) will this be enough to compensate for the carbon dioxide build up that is now worrieing me?:gasp:
Im sure there will be more to come but for now any advice on these will be apreciated,
oh and yes I have just read "The art of keeping snakes":lol2:
regards,
 

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Hi, well after spending a great deal of time and resurses making 11 vivs look as natural as i can with a load of plastic plants - I have finaly realised that a bioactive planted viv is the way forward for my snakes! DOH! still better late than never!

So i have started to build a 3'long 2'high and 18" wide viv for my Bamboo ratsnake (porphyraceus coxi).

Im planning a deep substrate to alow for wroms as well as the springtails and woodlice, so going for 1" clay pellets, 2" peat moss/soil and shreded moss 3" layer of cocofiber/bark/soil/sand/ or somthing like that, so i will have a good 6" deep substrate.

The viv is wooden but the inside base is siliconed and lined with pond liner upto the 7"mark

I plan on getting my plants from Just air plants, they have a great web site, and my beasties from the garden/woods and maybe some tropicals from dartfrog.

I have read a load of threads, seen some stunning set ups, :notworthy:to the usual suspects - you know who you are!




I am just wondering about a few things....
  1. Heating, the book i just read says to heat the substrate, I cant put a mat under the wooden base so what do people do with such deep substrates? I have a heat cable but it states "do not submerge in substrate" on the box. Can i put a stated heat mat into the substrate above the clay ball layer? wont that saturate the terminal block?
  2. I am pushing my luck with the other half as it is (11 snakes:whistling2:) if the woodlice start escaping i will be in trouble, do they tend to stay put in the viv? or are they a common sight on the living room floor?
  3. Vents will be [email protected] the bottom on the back wall just above the substrate both 6"x1" and 2 at the top on the back wall same size with a sealed top (sliding glass doors on the froont) will this be enough to compensate for the carbon dioxide build up that is now worrieing me?:gasp:
Im sure there will be more to come but for now any advice on these will be apreciated,
oh and yes I have just read "The art of keeping snakes":lol2:
regards,
1. I don't tend to use wooden vivs for planted set-ups- but I do know that burying a mat in the substrate is asking for trouble bigtime. You may be able to get hold of horticultural heating cables, but otherwise I would be inclined to concentrate on heating the air space- the soil is not going to get too cold in that set-up.

2) Tropical woodlice tend to stay put- they are susceptable to drying out, so don't tend to leave the substrate much, let alone the viv.

3) It might be worth putting two of the vents in the side, to get a cross current.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1.

3) It might be worth putting two of the vents in the side, to get a cross current.
Thanks Ron,

Would you recoment that in addition to the planed ones?

If the substrate will work withought soil heating then thats great as the snake in question likes quite low temps - max 27c so for the snakes sake its not an issue just wondered if it would slowdown or stop the BSS working.
Regards,
 

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If you use closable vents, it's worth having the extra ones, as it gives you more overall control- you can vent more or less as needed.

I use 'custodians' in all my vivs, heated or not. The tropical woodlice in particular multiply faster at higher temps, but they get there in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Ron, i will get some adjustable vents for the sides too then, i waqs plannig seting it up for a couple of months with just plants and custodians anyway so that should let things get going.
Thanks again,:2thumb:
 

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Welcome! One added tip; if possible use 'compost worms' or 'manure worms' - freely available in any mature compost bin or horse manure heap- they are much more tolerent of viv conditions than ordinary earthworms, and are great at dealing with even snake droppings.
 

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Something i noticed dont forget you need a membrane between the hydrolecca and the substrate. if not they will mix. using weed membrane is best but old net curtains or the plastic hessian bulk livefood comes in is great.

Tropical woodlice wont get out, but you might loos the odd common woodlice but these can be plated off as one from outside ;P

As Ron said dont bury a heat matt as that's asking for trouble. You can get soil heating cable but i find these damage the roots of plants. Personally the best method is to use a heat bulb (standard household bulb).

I find the best place for vents is front bottom and top as it allow for circulation.

I have used wooden viv's in the past without careful sealing they will rot. I seal the entire viv with silcone, then add pondliner and seal again. Cover the bottom sides and top with liner. Do each side separately and do the base first so all the side pannles overlap (i did it the other way the first time i did it and water drips down the sides and gets under the base surprisingly easily after a year of so).

Hope that helps

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks Jay,
I have siliconed the entire inside - what a nightmare! and have pondlinered the base i was then planning to overlap from above with silicon covered polystryeen, then use a bit of expanding foam and silicon and cocoa that so im fairly confident it will be pretty well sealed - hadnt actualy thought about the top:blush:
I can heat with my normal lights for the snake so thats great.

And the woodlice advice is class we do live in the country:whistling2:

Will have to see what i can adapt regarding vents, may be able to get one in the front running the whole length of the front but thin.

thanks again folks, very helpfull - and glass next time i think:lol2:
cheers,
 
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