HomeBlogHow much substrate do I need for a Naturalistic Vivarium or Bioactive Terrarium?
How much substrate do I need for a Naturalistic Vivarium or Bioactive Terrarium?
At Josh's Frogs, we've been making our very own
naturalistic vivarium substrates and supplies for over a decade. We've developed some basic rules of thumb for the amount of different substrates you'll want to use when successfully setting up a naturalistic vivarium. Below is a list of the recommended substrates, followed by a calculator. Just plug in your tank dimensions (in inches), and it'll tell you how much substrate you need!
Leaf Litter - Leaf litter provides both organic food for the microfauna and plants in the tank. Leaf litter also provides hiding places and visual barriers for the larger inhabitants of the vivarium.
Long Fiber Sphagnum Moss - Long Fiber Sphagnum moss is placed between the substrate and leaf litter layers in a vivarium to prevent the substrate from adhering to the frogs, and to increase the suitable environment for microfauna.
ABG Mix - Atlanta Botanical Gardens substrate is capable of lasting several years when used properly. ABG Mix will support a sizable population of microfauna while allowing plants to thrive. In order to give your vivarium a boost and get it cycled faster, consider adding
Josh's Frogs Bioactive Booster to the substrate. It'll add beneficial nutrients and fungi to the soil that helps with waste processing and plant growth.
Substrate Barrier - Substrate Barrier prevents the ABG layer from pushing down into the false bottom. The substrate barrier can be cut or folded to fit in your specific enclosure.
Hydroton - Hydroton (also known as LECA, for light expanded clay aggregate) is a great choice for the false bottom or drainage layer in a vivarium. LECA is a natural product, made from heated clay. It retains moisture, provides lots of surface area for bacteria and plant roots to grow, and wicks water, which will help maintain humidity in a vivarium.