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Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:51 pm
by Gormagon
Wickedpogana wrote:
Gormagon wrote:My problem with boiactive is (though quite EYE pleasing) ""health issues"".
Moist soil is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Both are detrimental to a dragons health. Respiratory infections and scale rot would high on the list and would have a devastating outcome. Not to mention the fact that they tend to lick everything and boiactive substrates could be ingested causing an impaction risk.
So with all of that being said, I will not risk the lives of my dragons so their homes would be more eye appealing.

If you must go bioactive.... Get an animal suited for that environment.

The bacteria and fungi is no issue that's why you have clean up crew , and they do lick everything but a few grains womt hurt if your husbandry is correct and u feed out of bowls and dragons live in arid conditions with there are arid bioactive
Substrates it's not only enriching for you to look at but its best for him with live plants and being able to dig and natural find bugs in the substrate like they would in the wild bioactive substrate is the best route I have two substrates tile on one side and bioactuve on the other impaction is caused by incorrect housing not licking at his substrate and you can coat it with coconut fiber to make it more packed and wont get in the air and it wont get in the air if u have the right mix to begin with and leaf litter on top wont let him scoop it up and it's as simply as watching your dragons behaviors.Any dragon I've seen on bioactive is more healthy the owner does more research and knows more and isnt lazy with it there is no health issues with bioactive as much as you made it seem the clean up crew will eat the substrate and poop it out making it more nutritious having them on just sand is what you made it sound like


You can do it any way you want, in the end it's your dragon. As you stated bioactive can go south if not monitored closely. I have a 10hr a day job (in the off season) , 12 to 16hrs a day/ 7 days a week in spring and fall. I can't stay on top of something like that if I wanted to. I'm not lazy!!!
Personally I steer clear of advising ANYTHING that might harm someone else's dragon.... I couldn't sleep thinking that I did.

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:54 pm
by Wickedpogana
Gormagon wrote:
Wickedpogana wrote:
Gormagon wrote:My problem with boiactive is (though quite EYE pleasing) ""health issues"".
Moist soil is a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. Both are detrimental to a dragons health. Respiratory infections and scale rot would high on the list and would have a devastating outcome. Not to mention the fact that they tend to lick everything and boiactive substrates could be ingested causing an impaction risk.
So with all of that being said, I will not risk the lives of my dragons so their homes would be more eye appealing.

If you must go bioactive.... Get an animal suited for that environment.

The bacteria and fungi is no issue that's why you have clean up crew , and they do lick everything but a few grains womt hurt if your husbandry is correct and u feed out of bowls and dragons live in arid conditions with there are arid bioactive
Substrates it's not only enriching for you to look at but its best for him with live plants and being able to dig and natural find bugs in the substrate like they would in the wild bioactive substrate is the best route I have two substrates tile on one side and bioactuve on the other impaction is caused by incorrect housing not licking at his substrate and you can coat it with coconut fiber to make it more packed and wont get in the air and it wont get in the air if u have the right mix to begin with and leaf litter on top wont let him scoop it up and it's as simply as watching your dragons behaviors.Any dragon I've seen on bioactive is more healthy the owner does more research and knows more and isnt lazy with it there is no health issues with bioactive as much as you made it seem the clean up crew will eat the substrate and poop it out making it more nutritious having them on just sand is what you made it sound like


You can do it any way you want, in the end it's your dragon. As you stated bioactive can go south if not monitored closely. I have a 10hr a day job (in the off season) , 12 to 16hrs a day/ 7 days a week in spring and fall. I can't stay on top of something like that if I wanted to. I'm not lazy!!!
Personally I steer clear of advising ANYTHING that might harm someone else's dragon.... I couldn't sleep thinking that I did.

Bioactive aren't harmful as I said if he licks it should avail to no problem if you have correct husbandry good uvb output good basking temps and hence why I mention CLEANUP CREW they break down the soil and make it more richer and finer no way shape or form harmful they live on worse substrate in the wild and most wild beardies have nutrient deficiencies and still can pass it through I get regular vet check ups most recent was 2 weeks ago and I've personally seen her lick her substrate only when I first introduced it cause that's what they do to know their environment never seen her do it again and if you feed from a food dish no problem vet always tells me I have one of the healthiest dragons they've seen I offer two substrates so its not like he cant escape the particles if you have the right mix you have 0% chance of respiratory issues either its not harmful at all what's harmful is that paperwork mentality give your beardie some enrichment with live plants and some loose substrate lmao stop being so worried about impaction especially if your already doing what's supposed to be done I make sure my dragon is fed it's not like he would shovel down the substrate even if he was hungry

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:17 pm
by MrSpectrum
DragonQueen3 wrote:My daytime humidity is around 10% if I don't spray in the cages. Night time can go up to 30%.

My female hasn't shed since October which I find very concerning. I was thinking maybe using Reptisoil with play sand and moss would be an appropriate way to combat the extreme dryness here in the desert and she would start shedding again

That seems a bit dry. Most sources aim for ~30% to 40% (±) daytime and ˂ 55% nighttime. A little variation from that is probably expected.

I'm not a fan/proponent of particulate substrates or bioactive enclosures for arid clime reptiles; I prefer tile (that's a whole 'nother ball-o-worms). My enclosure humidities were too dry, and spritzing 4X a day wasn't practical for me, so I added some live (potted) plants. They raise humidity via aspiration and evaporation directly from the soil. They raised my daytime RH from ~20% to 35%+ and nighttime from ~30% to 55%.

There are several other ways to raise humidity as well.
how to increase humidity in vivarium

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:51 am
by DragonQueen3
Yes I know this is very low. I live in the California desert so our outside humidity even drops to 10% sometimes. I spray inside the cages for extra moisture (25-40%) but there is nothing I can do if I have to go out for the day.

I've tried using crockpot filled with water to get water in the air, I have a small portable diffuser I also tried with just water. I'd rather not use an actual rain maker or fogger since that isn't much related to their natural habitat but I do need options.

This is one reason I wanted to use a soil based substrate. I know that reptibark could be an alternative but I've actually seen 1 of my beardies eat that before so no go.

Furthermore, I do know that by using higher basking temperatures you can help prevent impaction. I changed the basking temp for my little dude up between 110-120 once I saw him eat some substrate and he has still been pooping regularly with no signs of pushing or struggle.

Ps. Substrate was changed to a repticarpet for beardie above

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:10 am
by DragonQueen3
I also know the pros and cons of bioactive. As my Exotic Vet told me before brumation that I've had perfect care so far, makes me feel like I can properly care for a new environment.

Cons
Higher humidity can cause respiratory issues if not handled correctly.
Impaction can occur from eating substrate alone or swallowing some while hunting insects.
Soil will need to be physically churned every month or so to keep healthy with air pockets and prevent mold.
Soil and clean up crew will need to be sprayed with water every week or so.
Poops and will need to be hand cleaned until clean up crew has a large enough population to start doing work.
Urates cannot be broken down.

On the other hand, My dragon gets to dig and hunt freely.
She will have plants to munch on in the event that I'm very busy or home late and don't get to feed on time.
She will gain more muscle mass due to the amount of climbing and digging now possible.
She can create her own spot for egg laying instead of having to use a lay box provided
And her environment is closer to her natural habitat so she can be more like a wild dragon.

The only thing about using soil that I'm unsure About, is being able to pack it down so it would be a bit harder like the clay found in their natural spaces.

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:40 am
by williamk34
I just want to start out and I want to say I'm not trying to start an argument but I find it funny how often I see this thinking that bioactive enclosures will get them sick yes if they're done wrong it can be very problematic to any animal I work at a reptile house all I do is mess with enclosures I will admit I am new to bearded dragon the but I have owned many different types of reptiles monitor lizards snakes tegus every one of them requires different types of care and just like bearded dragons you can make you active enclosures ranging from harsh desert to a lush jungle environment and trust me on this one I actually preferred the more Savannah to Desert environments very much easier and the only serious problem I have ever had was the bearded dragons like the strip the elephant feed of all vegetation I know if my setup I went pretty elaborate I have a microclimate maintain that about 35 to 40% humidity and personally I live in a very humid environment and I have no problems messing around with the humidity the only type of enclosure that I do not recommend when it comes to bearded dragons are the large communales yes you can keep a few of them together but more often than not you'll see them eventually start to fight one another and when to bearded dragons actually get into a fight especially the males they're pretty territorial which is pretty funny for something that size. Personally for my dragons when I went over to bioactive I have saved a huge amount of money on paper towels yes the initial setup made cost a little bit more than usual but the only thing that you usually have to get afterwards is the occasional plant if you like having plants in them and the leaf lettering. In Australia bearded dragons have multiple biomes and environments proper husbandry proper care and assembly of the environment that you are creating.

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:37 am
by MrSpectrum
DragonQueen3 wrote:I spray inside the cages for extra moisture (25-40%) but there is nothing I can do if I have to go out for the day.
....
I'd rather not use an actual rain maker or fogger since that isn't much related to their natural habitat but I do need options.

The only difference between spritzing the inside of the cage and an automatic mister is... there isn't any, except the automatic part. You can time how often and for how long while you're away.

There are other options in the articles in the link I posted previously.

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:05 pm
by DragonQueen3
Yes, the link mostly provides options to do with soil, ex. Porous substrate, 3 inch deep, use soil and moss, a hydroball layer at the bottom of the tank covered by substrate. Although it does mention moving the tank, getting a mister, or adding live plants.

Since I'm unable to move the tank out of my room, I think going bioactive is best in my opinion. Half of the options to raise humidity would already be used in a bioactive set up anyways.

Thank you for the help and opinions.

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:36 pm
by Wickedpogana
DragonQueen3 wrote:Yes, the link mostly provides options to do with soil, ex. Porous substrate, 3 inch deep, use soil and moss, a hydroball layer at the bottom of the tank covered by substrate. Although it does mention moving the tank, getting a mister, or adding live plants.

Since I'm unable to move the tank out of my room, I think going bioactive is best in my opinion. Half of the options to raise humidity would already be used in a bioactive set up anyways.

Thank you for the help and opinions.

I prefer 4 inches especially if you have plants

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 9:11 am
by MrSpectrum
Gormagon wrote:You can do it any way you want, in the end it's your dragon.

Ooh ! 😣 (wincing), I think that statement was out of frustration, but I understand where it's coming from.

One of the biggest problems (aside from previous arguments) I have with this bioactive enclosure fad for arid reptiles is that there are NO credible (i.e. peer reviewed) studies that I'm aware of. No cases (for example) of a reputable entity (not someone with a bias or something to prove) raising 100 BDs in arid enclosures vs. 100 BDs in bioactive enclosures, and comparing results. All evidence in favor is anecdotal, e.g. "I had/have a BD in a bioactive enclosure, and he did fine." That's the kind of flawed argument I was taught to watch out for in science, "All Forrest Elves walk single file. How do I know? I saw one once."

If there are outliers, fine--there usually are, but what are the statistics? One dragon in a hundred thrives in bioactive? One in ten? One in five? One in two? That still means 50% still won't. The argument that it all comes down to correct husbandry falls in the same category. And since these little buggers are hardy, and it can take months-years for some issues to adversely affect them--and then they crash. How is one to know whether it was just one of those things, poor husbandry, or the wrong habitat?

We seldom--if ever-- :dontknow: hear from people who've tried bioactive and their lizard perished. I can understand that--it's embarrassing/humiliating, and who'd want to admit that they'd caused/contributed to their beloved pet's demise? Too many people post worries about that as it is (e.g. Am I doing this right?)

Another factor seldom/never discussed with regard to bioactives is enclosure size. If I could reasonably provide an enormous (like 4' x 8' or larger) enclosure, I might reconsider doing bioactive, because then I could afford to do it right--and reasonably reproduce the actual biome they come from. I'd also have to be a lot wealthier and be able to hire care-taking help. But most of us have to provide what's more reasonable, and provide additional enrichment/stimulation in more reasonable ways. Without that, and in a limited enclosure, a bored captive is more likely to engage in abnormal behaviors, which can be deleterious. Removing potential hazards reduces the likelihood/possibility of regrettable results. Zoos and other wildlife keepers have recognized and addressed this for decades now. Gone (I hope) are the days of keeping big cats in 10'x20' cages, leading to cage psychosis, etc. Same with chained elephants, great apes, and many other examples.

Obviously, bearded dragons aren't big cats or elephants, but they will--and do--exhibit stress and other behaviors and health issues if/when confined in the wrong habitats/enclosures (which are a part of proper husbandry).

Who are the biggest proponents of bioactive enclosures? Check google and/or YT, and it appears the biggest proponents are not scientists/animal behaviorists/veterinarians, etc. but entrepreneurs/businesses with something to sell you (on).

I don't expect to change the minds of any pro-bioactive fanatics. As the saying goes,
There is no zealot like a convert.
so... you folks go do your thing. I hope you do everything correctly and are successful, for your pet's sake.

I don't come from an anti-bioactive for arid reptiles place. As I've said many times, I heard the concept, and thought it was a cool idea. But, opinionated as I am, I also come from a background of science and critical thought from a very young age. From that background, I know that every issue has at least two sides, and often more than two. I've looked into bioactive enclosures objectively, and while they make perfect sense for tropical and temperate clime reptiles, they do not--from everything I've read/watched--make sense for arid clime reptiles.

It's been my experience that when some (not all) people post/ask about a CON-SUB, they're not really looking for facts/information or opinions--they're looking for validation for something they've already decided upon.

Don't take my word for it--do your own research (as I know the pro-bioactives say they've done).

I'm going to stop for now--not because I have nothing more to say, but because I'm older, getting tired, and can see I'm beginning to ramble a bit... :oops:

Best wishes to all

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:01 am
by Gormagon
MrSpectrum wrote:
Gormagon wrote:You can do it any way you want, in the end it's your dragon.

Ooh ! 😣 (wincing), I think that statement was out of frustration, but I understand where it's coming from.

One of the biggest problems (aside from previous arguments) I have with this bioactive enclosure fad for arid reptiles is that there are NO credible (i.e. peer reviewed) studies that I'm aware of. No cases (for example) of a reputable entity (not someone with a bias or something to prove) raising 100 BDs in arid enclosures vs. 100 BDs in bioactive enclosures, and comparing results. All evidence in favor is anecdotal, e.g. "I had/have a BD in a bioactive enclosure, and he did fine." That's the kind of flawed argument I was taught to watch out for in science, "All Forrest Elves walk single file. How do I know? I saw one once."

If there are outliers, fine--there usually are, but what are the statistics? One dragon in a hundred thrives in bioactive? One in ten? One in five? One in two? That still means 50% still won't. The argument that it all comes down to correct husbandry falls in the same category. And since these little buggers are hardy, and it can take months-years for some issues to adversely affect them--and then they crash. How is one to know whether it was just one of those things, poor husbandry, or the wrong habitat?

We seldom--if ever-- :dontknow: hear from people who've tried bioactive and their lizard perished. I can understand that--it's embarrassing/humiliating, and who'd want to admit that they'd caused/contributed to their beloved pet's demise? Too many people post worries about that as it is (e.g. Am I doing this right?)

Another factor seldom/never discussed with regard to bioactives is enclosure size. If I could reasonably provide an enormous (like 4' x 8' or larger) enclosure, I might reconsider doing bioactive, because then I could afford to do it right--and reasonably reproduce the actual biome they come from. I'd also have to be a lot wealthier and be able to hire care-taking help. But most of us have to provide what's more reasonable, and provide additional enrichment/stimulation in more reasonable ways. Without that, and in a limited enclosure, a bored captive is more likely to engage in abnormal behaviors, which can be deleterious. Removing potential hazards reduces the likelihood/possibility of regrettable results. Zoos and other wildlife keepers have recognized and addressed this for decades now. Gone (I hope) are the days of keeping big cats in 10'x20' cages, leading to cage psychosis, etc. Same with chained elephants, great apes, and many other examples.

Obviously, bearded dragons aren't big cats or elephants, but they will--and do--exhibit stress and other behaviors and health issues if/when confined in the wrong habitats/enclosures (which are a part of proper husbandry).

Who are the biggest proponents of bioactive enclosures? Check google and/or YT, and it appears the biggest proponents are not scientists/animal behaviorists/veterinarians, etc. but entrepreneurs/businesses with something to sell you (on).

I don't expect to change the minds of any pro-bioactive fanatics. As the saying goes,
There is no zealot like a convert.
so... you folks go do your thing. I hope you do everything correctly and are successful, for your pet's sake.

I don't come from an anti-bioactive for arid reptiles place. As I've said many times, I heard the concept, and thought it was a cool idea. But, opinionated as I am, I also come from a background of science and critical thought from a very young age. From that background, I know that every issue has at least two sides, and often more than two. I've looked into bioactive enclosures objectively, and while they make perfect sense for tropical and temperate clime reptiles, they do not--from everything I've read/watched--make sense for arid clime reptiles.

It's been my experience that when some (not all) people post/ask about a CON-SUB, they're not really looking for facts/information or opinions--they're looking for validation for something they've already decided upon.

Don't take my word for it--do your own research (as I know the pro-bioactives say they've done).

I'm going to stop for now--not because I have nothing more to say, but because I'm older, getting tired, and can see I'm beginning to ramble a bit... :oops:

Best wishes to all


Well said my friend!!!

Yes, it was out of frustration, we have the Bio bunch come on here every now and, then trying to push it but they will never convince me it's a good thing.

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 11:54 am
by Wickedpogana
Just cause your dragon can live in it does it means hes happy what if you had the bare miniumn like 1 cot and 3 meals and 4 walls stop beng scared and give your dragon some enrichemnt its not expensive lol a bioactive substrate cost less then 60 to 80$ bucks you can constuct it your self and for 80 bucks you should have more then extra substrate left over, they live on particle subtrates for 100 and thousands of years in the outback ive raised 1 dragon on bioactive for 16 years before his passing, now i have my 2nd dragon on tile amd half bio . People are scared of what they dont understand and i know alot about ecosystems enviroments etc dragons are in arid enviroments but thats why they borrow alot cause in their natural wild habitat they borrow to reach the cold moist middle "dirt" in the extreme heat or hide inbetween rocks me and my grandpa has done alot with reptiles im 25 and hes been doing it long before me lol we have 4 ball pythons, a blue tongue skink, 1 beardie and a tegu ive never had an issue with bioactive subtrates for tropical or ARID reptiles all reptiles live in particle substrate in the wild now i know the arguement "beardies live longer in captivity because you can remove hazourds "yeah and i seen alot of yoing beardies have to be euthanized because of human error so that arguement is invalid with the right husbandry loose particle is fine you can do just as much wrong with tile as you can bioactivley and TRUST THIS people who has done bioactive set ups most likely has done the extra mile of research for their animals where others couldnt care too

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:04 pm
by Gormagon
You have proven my point, you said it yourself.
"yeah and i seen alot of yoing beardies have to be euthanized because of human error

We try to keep it simple, so others can do it right. Bioactive is NOT simple and, if done wrong can be devastating. Not to mention The 60 to 80 dollars for materials that YOU think is cheap. A lot of people on here have a hard enough time making bug payments for their dragons.
We try not to confuse folks any more than we have to.

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:17 pm
by Wickedpogana
Gormagon wrote:You have proven my point, you said it yourself.
"yeah and i seen alot of yoing beardies have to be euthanized because of human error

We try to keep it simple, so others can do it right. Bioactive is NOT simple and, if done wrong can be devastating. Not to mention The 60 to 80 dollars for materials that YOU think is cheap. A lot of people on here have a hard enough time making bug payments for their dragons.
We try not to confuse folks any more than we have to.

Good job on taking one sentance and using it against me dont forget to add the rest PEOPLE SAY THEY LIVE LONGER IN CAPTIVITITY THEN WILD BUT IVE SEEN YOUNG CAPTIVE BEARDIES EUTHANIZED becuase of human error and mind you wild ones hunt and more on particles and most wild ones have calcium defiency and still passes the substrate so if your housing isnt subpar your okay and mine has two substrates so no problem quoute me right next time not twisting my words she obviously have done her research and is here to get more of it just cause your stuck on newspaper and dont want to lengthen your knowledge thats on you stop trying to spread your narrow outlook with your one sentance repsonse and yes 80 dollars isnt much to us when we care enough to put that extra dollar to improve your dragons life quality it doesnt matter how much it is and maybe it doesnt matter to her either cuase it isnt just a simple reptile so stop making it out to be one and maybe we wont have as many first time mistakes .Noones confusing anybody do your reseach, Lead dont follow cheap reptiles dont mean their care is look at the green anole for example . As i said before human error as in not the right lights even the wrong food even sand if you know your stuff bioactive is the best route espiecally if you do it correct. a vet visit should be atleast once a year so if 80 bucks is too high for your animal maybe you shouldnt have one The substrate is a one time invenstment nonetheless

Re: Bioactive

PostPosted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:22 pm
by Claudiusx
Moderator Comment:
Alright guys let's not beat a dead horse here. I'm good with back and fourth discussion but we are going in circles now. Both sides have weighed in with pros and cons. Let's just leave it at that. And allow others to contribute their opinions if they so choose. Otherwise, this thread will need to be locked, and that would be a real shame.