Centralian Naturalistic Vivarium.

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by SoullessWalsh, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. SoullessWalsh

    SoullessWalsh New Member

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    I am in the process of making a temperate bioactive enclosure for my Centralian python, with substrate, plants, clean up crew, etc. Thought I'd just share my ideas and what I'm planning on doing and see if anyone has any advice or sees any issues with what I'm doing.

    I intend on having about a 4cm drainage layer of scoria (volcanic rock) separated by mesh, a layer of broken up natural lump charcoal, and then the main substrate. I am doing a mix of organic potting mix, peat coir, coconut mulch, some more finer charcoal, sphagnum moss, and I might add some topsoil in as well. This is pretty much based off what I already had at home or could easily find at my local bunnings, but from my limited knowledge I reckon it should be alright.

    I have gotten a few plants so far including a few eucalyptus saplings, some kangaroo grass, and a "bronze haze" and "starry night" plant. I also picked up some small plants from around my area (photo below). I'm also planning on sprinkling "Australian native flower mix" seeds (from Mr. Fothergill's) around the enclosure for extra bits of colour and ground coverage. I haven't done too much research on what plants are good and bad as I figured that as he won't be eating the plants there shouldn't be too many issues but please do let me know if any of these would be toxic or anything.

    That's pretty much it, I'd value any ideas or criticisms you have about the setup so feel free to have an input.

    Thanks[​IMG]
     
  2. sp.michael

    sp.michael Not so new Member

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    There might be a couple issues arising from this. On the plant side of things, that soil mixture would hold to much moisture for those plants in particular, and they would probably benefit from a sandier soil. Those species also require a high amount of light exposure that would be difficult to replicate in an enclosure. On the snake side of things, humidity will definitely be an issue for a bredli, and would require a lot of ventilation to remove, otherwise there's issues of possible RI and other problems arising. Also would need a heat source that could be too high for the plants to tolerate, and would also further build up humidity by drying that substrate.
     
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  3. SoullessWalsh

    SoullessWalsh New Member

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    Thanks for your feedback.

    The enclosure has a fully mesh lid and a mesh strip along the front, would this be enough ventilation to displace the humidity? It is a quite large enclosure so there should be a fair amount of air flow.
    As for lighting it will be in front of a window and also have a long UV light which I thought would be enough light for the plants.

    Heating will be either a heat mat on the side of the enclosure or heat lamp on top, or maybe both depending on what the temperatures end up being. I figured that since the plants I'm using are Australian natives they'd be able to withstand the heat to a certain extent, but I'd also place the majority of them away from the "hotspots" in the enclosure.

    With regards to the soil mixture, I could just add sand into the mix or do you think I should do a whole new mixture. Would love some ideas with this.
     
  4. sp.michael

    sp.michael Not so new Member

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    What is the overall size of the enclosure?
     
  5. SoullessWalsh

    SoullessWalsh New Member

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    approx 1200 length 450 width 600 height

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
     
  6. sp.michael

    sp.michael Not so new Member

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    A soil mix of 50% organic potting mix with peat coir and 50% sand should work out fine for these plants, as it would be a lot looser and free draining. Under the heat light it would probably be best to place just sand with some rocks, logs etc so it isnt directly hitting moist soil and raising humidity. You'd want to monitor humidity before adding the snake, somewhere around 50% would be reasonable. If its any higher you could try adding a small computer fan or the likes to try to lower this. I still think light intensity would be an issue as these are all full sun plants, and you could probably look into some high lumen output LEDs, like the ones used for hydroponics, for cost effective lighting. They're also a few tall growing plants that might not last too long at that height. Maybe look for more plants that like some shade and dont grow too large, things like mundo grass or succulents could work.
     
  7. SoullessWalsh

    SoullessWalsh New Member

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    Thanks for the help, with the sand would play sand be ok (much cheaper) or would a courser horticultural sand or something be better?

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  8. sp.michael

    sp.michael Not so new Member

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    Not play sand, or river/beach sand as the particles are too fine, you'd need a course sand, could try builders sand but give it a wash first, and make sure it isnt too scratchy for the snake.
     
  9. SoullessWalsh

    SoullessWalsh New Member

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    Ok thanks alot for your help I'll be starting to put together the setup tomorrow and will comment again if I have any issues. Thanks
     
  10. sp.michael

    sp.michael Not so new Member

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    Also have to remember that bredli are a large snakes that will probably crush any plants when adult size, and also you'll probably need night time heating with that much ventilation.
     
  11. SoullessWalsh

    SoullessWalsh New Member

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    Yeah I'll have the heat mat running 24/7

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  12. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Most temperate Aussie natives, including eucalypts, won't last a month in an indoor environment and with the structured soil mix you will be using. You will have major issues with heating if your enclosure is open at the top. It will be only a matter of time before your snake trashes the fragile environment you propose. The use of a computer fan in a tank fully open at the top will be a disaster waiting to happen - during the winter the air will remain cold, so you will be blowing a cold draught inside the enclosure. RI for sure.

    Jamie
     
  13. Monty. P

    Monty. P New Member

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    I’m interested in doing this for my Stimson aswell. Maybe we could start a thread on how to do it with all our knowledge and mistakes to help others looking to do the same thing
     

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