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Old 01-09-2021, 08:56 AM   #1
Zoo Med Creature Soil with leopard gecko??

Trying to make a bioactive vivarium for my leopard gecko, and wondering if Zoo Med's creature soil would work if blended in with some other substrate? So far I haven't been able to find any substrates that will support live plants while not being horribly tropical and high humidity (like ABG mix). Has anyone tried this, or otherwise have any other suggestions for a good bioactive leopard gecko setiup?
Old 01-09-2021, 09:48 AM   #2
Socratic Monologue
I don't keep my leos -- currently about 60 of them -- "bioactive" (since they don't need it, and thrive when kept much more simply, and don't inhabit areas with any substantial plant cover), but I do keep dart frogs (who are the opposite in all these regards).

The humidity is mostly a function of the ventilation, not the substrate, contrary to what sellers of overpriced substrate want you to believe. Leos need mostly dry surface area, and a moist-ish hide (better, two -- one warm, ~85-90F, one a bit less warm, ~low-mid70s) to retreat to.

More pressing concerns with the substrate have to do with digging (which some leos do a lot of when given opportunity) and heating (belly heat would be difficult to provide with a thicker, moist substrate), and impaction (leos pounce on food, including worms that escape from bowls; substrates are not digestible, and some -- notably coco fiber -- have a lot of impaction risk).
Old 01-09-2021, 09:59 AM   #3
Would you suggest something like Josh's Frogs's "Dig-It" or excavator's clay for burrowing then? My gecko's in sand right now (my mom and I didn't know any better when first setting up the tank) and while she doesn't seem to ingest much of it, I'd like to get her something larger grain and more likely to stimulate natural behavior.
She's 14 years old and mostly inactive, and now that I'm older and have learned more about animal husbandry, would like to be able to let her have the best and most natural life possible.
Old 01-09-2021, 10:43 AM   #4
Mine are on newspaper with large rocks to climb on or hide behind. They should never be on loose substrate like sand - I would get rid of it TODAY.
Old 01-09-2021, 11:20 AM   #5
Socratic Monologue

I recommend some sort of completely non-ingestable substrate too (I use textured kraft paper, and cork bark for hides).

Healthy>natural for all animals.

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advice, bioactive, gecko, leopard gecko, live plants

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