Learn about Bio-activity
What will I need?
There are a few ways to get success and we will be looking at the most common way today. We call this the 5 layer system although different people will call it different things.
Lets talk about what each of these does first
You will first need to fill the bottom of your chosen container with gravel, small stones, or clay balls. These will act as a drainage layer, keeping standing water away from your substrate, don’t forget to wash your rocks before you use them.
2. Separation layer,
This can be any material (mesh etc) that allows water to pass though but not the substrate, We often find a black bin bag with a knife ran over it will work just fine.
Carbon can be an important part, as the water passes by the carbon it will help filter out any impurities and bacteria. Without this often terrariums will turn toxic and much life inside will die.
It can also be achieved with a “living substrate” this can be a block of soil straight from outside, with as much living in it as possible, this can pose a risk if you intend to keep an animal in your terrarium, risks from Mites or other unwelcome guests in the substrate so please be aware.
Your substrate is important, depending on what you wish to keep will change you substrate greatly, from sand and clay, to soil. Wet or dry there are many factors.
In short here’s my guide
Clay and sand mix, this is great for dry environments for insects like ants to dig.
Dry soil, this can be great for native environments and easy to maintain
Mixed, as stated this is a mix of soil, sand and clay, with some sphagnum. This offers a wet but firmer substrate.
Sometimes it can help to bake your substrate as 200 degrees for 20 mins, this will kill any bacteria or guests living within, but you will lose some nutrients and the bio active abilities of the substrate