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Posted by iwana on April 12, 2003 at 09:24:06:
Thanks again for all your input. This is such a great forum. :-) I'm really glad I didn't just rely on the info I had found on the net. Evidently, there is a lot of contradictory information out there on these lizards.
At this point, I have everything I need to set up a home for the tribs. Now, I am wondering what to use as a substrate. I've used many in the past, including cypress mulch, peat moss, etc. I used to use a mixture of peat moss and vermiculite for a pair of curly tail lizards, liked the look of it and the lizards seem to appreciate it, since it was easy to burrow in it.
One problem I have found with this type of substrate, however, is that it tends to mold if it gets too wet for too long, and I'm concerned that with the high humidity that needs to be maintained in the tribs' terrarium, that there will be a lot of mold. I've never noticed mold on mulch-type substrates because I ended up ditching it early on, since I noticed that the lizards would end up eating some and couldn't burrow comfortably.
Mold growth seems to be a frequent problem with peat moss (I've noticed it with my house plants, as well), but I still prefer to use it rather than the mulch/bark because it seems more beneficial to the animals. When setting up the terrarium, I thought of putting a layer of gravel, then some cloth, then soil, then sphagnum moss (the gravel and the cloth is to provide drainage, in case water spills from their "pool").
I also thought of adding a layer of charcoal between the cloth and the soil, to help prevent mold since I heard somewhere that this helps. Anyone have any thoughts on this?