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Hi,

I recently bought an Exo-Terra with the intention of live planting it and keeping crested geckos.

I'm doing as much research as I can and won't buy the geckos until I'm certain the vivarium is running well and at the right humidity and the plants are established, but I'm very excited about actually getting started!

I have a few questions I wonder if anyone could help me with about the substrate:

1) I know that both regular hydroleca and Zoo Med HydroBalls are expanded clay. What is the difference other than considerable price?

2) Is it better to use terrarium mesh or Hydro Fleece as a separating layer between this and the substrate?

I intend to have a water feature (I have read up on this and seen plenty of arguments about it, and have no intention of putting the geckos at any risk, but if anyone has any concerns about it that then please let me know: I may not have considered some things) - it will be very low level and slow moving and the pool at the end will be small and made very shallow with the use of river pebbles while allowing the water level between the gaps to be deep enough for the pump to work (I'm not quite sure how to explain what I mean) and there should be no risk of drowning.

I'm thinking the fleece would prevent bits of substrate falling through to the drainage layer and therefore reduce potential clogging of the filter. Are there any disadvantages to it? Which would be preferable for plants to root well?

3) I plan to have a coconut fibre substrate layer as it's good for the plants to root in and should have a very low risk of impaction, as far as I understand. I intend to have the set-up bioactive so will have springtails and woodlice in there. Do they have any preferences about the substrate and separation layer?

Thank you very much in advance for any help!

Fae.
 

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143 Posts
Hi,

I recently bought an Exo-Terra with the intention of live planting it and keeping crested geckos.

I'm doing as much research as I can and won't buy the geckos until I'm certain the vivarium is running well and at the right humidity and the plants are established, but I'm very excited about actually getting started!

I have a few questions I wonder if anyone could help me with about the substrate:

1) I know that both regular hydroleca and Zoo Med HydroBalls are expanded clay. What is the difference other than considerable price?
just use hydroleca its cheaper and does the same job.

2) Is it better to use terrarium mesh or Hydro Fleece as a separating layer between this and the substrate?
just get the cheapest one you can find as all it does is sepperate the soil from clay balls.

I intend to have a water feature (I have read up on this and seen plenty of arguments about it, and have no intention of putting the geckos at any risk, but if anyone has any concerns about it that then please let me know: I may not have considered some things) - it will be very low level and slow moving and the pool at the end will be small and made very shallow with the use of river pebbles while allowing the water level between the gaps to be deep enough for the pump to work (I'm not quite sure how to explain what I mean) and there should be no risk of drowning.

I'm thinking the fleece would prevent bits of substrate falling through to the drainage layer and therefore reduce potential clogging of the filter. Are there any disadvantages to it? Which would be preferable for plants to root well?

3) I plan to have a coconut fibre substrate layer as it's good for the plants to root in and should have a very low risk of impaction, as far as I understand. I intend to have the set-up bioactive so will have springtails and woodlice in there. Do they have any preferences about the substrate and separation layer?
i dont think they will have any preference to which substrate you use just use enough to cover your plant roots.

Thank you very much in advance for any help!

Fae.
Hi
See red above
 
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