high quality isopods mantis mantids snakes reptiles amphibians scorpions tarantulas and isopod species bred for sale in the uk

Bioactive Ecosystems

high quality isopods snakes reptiles amphibians scorpions tarantulas and isopod species bred for sale in the uk

high quality isopods snakes reptiles amphibians scorpions tarantulas and isopod species bred for sale in the uk

high quality isopods mantis mantidssnakes reptiles amphibians scorpions tarantulas and isopod species bred for sale in the uk
high quality isopods mantis mantids snakes reptiles amphibians scorpions tarantulas and isopod species bred for sale in the uk

Bit of soil, couple of leaves and it's done....WRONG

DRAINAGE

Choosing the right drainage layer is crucial when creating a Bioactive vivarium. The soil needs to be well-draining so excess water does not create soggy soil as over time and with excessive saturation the soil will begin to produce anaerobic soils, which have high populations of putrefactive microbes which are reductive and produce toxins, these soils have higher levels of soil borne diseases and can easily and most importantly, very quickly kill off CUC, plants and potentially any living inhabitant(s).

Below the substrate, you will need to begin with a drainage layer, this is where the water will flow to. The material used for the drainage layer needs to consist of material that is not decomposing and that creates pockets in-between. You will find in the Bioactive Goods section of our website our own small sized drainage substrate which works affectively and efficiently without constant changes and maintenance*. It is recommended that you use a drainage layer of no less than 4 inches.

DRAINAGE SEPARATION

All the water that flows through the substrate needs to be able to be caught in this layer.

In-between the drainage layer and the substrate you need some kind of mesh that prevents parts from the substrate to get into the drainage layer and vice-versa. You can find our drainage separator mesh again in our Bioactive Goods section.

It is also important that the water building up in the drainage layer does not reach the mesh in-between and touch the substrate directly as this would lead to soggy soil.

SUBSTRATE

When choosing a substrate you need to take into account the needs of your plants as well as the needs of any inhabitants of your enclosure. We cater to a number of different environment types and also produce animal/insect specific substrates. Be sure to apply at least a 2.5 inches substrate depth layer for tropical or neo-tropical and at least a 4-8 inches depth for all desert and deciduous/temperate forest reptiles and amphibians. This will allow for a natural gradient of dry crustal layer, moisture, root growth and microbe and beneficial bacteria growth before reaching the important drainage layer.

THE CLEAN UP CREW

There are several species that are well suited for the task dependant on the environment and what type inhabitant lives there.

 

The creatures most commonly used as a CUC are springtails and isopods (aka as woodlice or pill bugs).

 

Although, with arid type environments you may be more suited to morio worms, buffalo beetles, meal worms or the like as these can burrow in to the substrate but do not succumb to the high heats and low humidity's. Whilst some regard it as a pest that needs to be fought, springtails can be beneficial to your enclosures and plants. They eat mould and will help you to prevent root rot. We culture all our own colonies for seeding and maturing the enclosures. Check them out in our Insects/Inverts section of the website. When it comes to isopods, their abilities are similar, but most types of isopods will be fairly larger than springtails.

Let’s have a look at the most commonly used clean-up crew combo:

 

SPRINGTAILS

Springtails are tiny animals, that are technically not insects because they have internal mouthparts, whilst insects all have external mouthparts. They are hexapods that belong to a class called Entognath and prefer moist conditions.

 

That’s also the reason why you will see them appearing magically in your plant pots when you are keeping the soil fairly moist.

They fragment organic matter and therefore help to control soil microbial communities and they are involved in the cycling of nutrients. In addition, they feed on fungi and rotting roots and do not harm your plants or animals!

As the name suggests, they are wingless and do not fly but they can jump, using a specialized forked appendage called a furcula.

Whilst the tail is not used it remains underneath the body.

Having springtails in your soil is a positive thing as they help to control the health of the soil and are beneficial for your plants. You can buy springtails online. Specifically, if you are starting a bioactive vivarium we would suggest that you introduce a starter colony.

 

ISOPODS

Most isopods you would see if turning a stone in the back garden would be grey and bland. But Isopods are fascinating animals and there are hundreds of different types and with more being discovered all the time there is plenty of choice as a collector or for CUC. Some are colourful, they come in sizes big and small and they can be beneficial to your plants and bioactive setups.

 

One of the just recently discovered isopods that are quickly growing in popularity is the Rubber Ducky Isopod. They have not yet been given a proper Latin name.

They got their common name because they look somewhat like a Rubber Ducky with their yellow heads and tails and their black body. There are also other types of isopods such as the Porcellio hofmanseggi that can grow to a size of a few centimetres.

It is one of the largest land isopods discovered to date. This illustrates how diverse and different isopods are and every year new isopods are discovered.

3 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE BUYING

 

 Do I want to have isopods as a clean-up crew solely?

 Some people keep a small handful in enclosure solely for the purpose of cleaning. however some people are hobbyists owning   numerous numbers of species, with no intention of them being used as clean up crew.

  Will I keep my isopods in a vivarium with other animals that might use them as a food source?

 Most snakes, not a problem... frogs, lizards and all other insectivores, now you may have issues.

   How much am I willing to spend on isopods?

 This can range from £4.99 for x10 Dairy cows all the way up to newer species such as Blue  Lemons and Jupiter isopods which fetch an   eye wateringly £250+ for just 5 individual specimens.

THE FOREST FLOOR

After the substrate levels are complete, you may think that is everything done. To improve not only the visual enjoyment of the enclosure but to continue a well balanced healthy bioactive setup forest floor waste may be added in the form of leaf litter (from deciduous leaves), white wood shavings and pieces to full length wooden branches and cork bark.

Used as a natural hiding ground, food resource or more, this all plays an important part of the forest floor. The Forest Floor is the bottom layer of the Rainforest and its also the darkest layer of the rainforest.

The forest floor is also where decomposition takes place. Decomposition is the 
process by which fungi and microorganisms break down dead plants and animals and
  recycle essential materials and nutrients. Most of the vegetation down here consists of fungi and other
plants that live off the thin layer of decaying leaves and other matter that has
fallen from the trees onto the ground. This decomposing litter is a source of food for all kinds of
small invertebrates like termites and millipedes. Countless centipedes,
cockroaches, scorpions, slugs, earthworms, and beetles live here under stones,
leaves and logs.

FLOOR LAYER DECOMPOSITION FACTS

  • The forest layer holds the key to the proper functioning of the entire rainforest ecosystem. It is where the important process of decomposition takes place.

  • Because of the dark and moist conditions, plants, leaves, animals and other forest remains decay very quickly.

  • Micro-organisms like Saprophytes recycle and feed on the decaying matter. ...

high quality isopods mantis mantids snakes reptiles amphibians scorpions tarantulas and isopod species bred for sale in the uk
high quality isopods mantis mantids snakes reptiles amphibians scorpions tarantulas and isopod species bred for sale in the uk