Caring for the bio-active terrarium

Caring for the bioactive terrarium

Bronze Bio-Active Kit

Bio-active enclosures are one of the more popular choices for the new age keeper.

Perhaps you have decided to go bio-active and are looking for information, or you already have your enclosure and want to know how to best care for it.

Caring for Live Plants

Bio-active terrariums are all different depending on what substrate, live plants and custodians you choose. You may have a drier desert style bioactive tank, or a humid forest environment. Either way, live plants do require maintenance in order to keep them healthy.


creating a drainage layer

Bioactive enclosures generally have a drainage layer at the bottom in the form of hydro balls, draingage mesh or substrate. This prevents plants from becoming water logged as the drainage layer keeps any logged water away from the substrate and plant roots. It is important to drain the water from the bottom of the tank so that the drainage layer can work correctly and to prevent build up of mould or toxins. You can do this with a tube to syphen the water out.


Trimming live plants

Live plants, if cared for correctly, can grow very fast. Due to the lighting in bio-active enclosures, along with consistent good conditions, plants thrive and this means they can grow very tall or long and may start to over take the enclosure. It is important to trim your plants, not only to care for them but to allow your pet to have access the UVB and Heat that it needs. You can use a pair of scissors to trim your plants and cut them back as required.


Watering live plants

It is important to water live plants, and equally ensure that they are not over watered. A drainage layer should be installed as one of the first parts of putting your bioactive tank together. Plants should be watered when the substrate starts to dry, you can spray them regularly along with a good watering as required. A good way to know if your plants need watering is by looking at the enclosure as a whole, if it appears dry with little humidity then your plants will need watering.

Looking after custodians

adding bioactive custodians
adding bioactive custodians
adding bioactive custodians

Bioactive custodians are inverts that are used to clean the waste of your animal, live plants and dead live foods. Isopods and springtails are a common and recommended addition to the bio-active enclosure. Although Isopods feed off waste, there are some additions which help to keep them in the best health and encourage them to breed. If you find that you dont see many then it may be that you need to add more custodians in order to increase the colony.

Bio-active custodians feed on rotting plant matter and animal waste.

Leaf Litter

BPL Leaf Litter 1000ml

Leaf litter can be added to the bioactive terrarium for aesthetic appeal, natural enrichment and feed custodians. Bio-active custodians will feed off decomposing leaf litter.

Springtail Food

ProRep Springtail Food, 150g

Most springtails feed on fungi growing on rotting plant matter. This food provides all of the nutrients to successfully keep and breed springtails in an intensive culture.

General Care

Along with plant and custodian care, there are some general care tips on the bio-active enclosure.


Cloverleaf ABSOLUTE+ Reptile Bio-Tope Spray 100ml

Concentrated Live Microbe Culture- helps you to get the most out of your plants

This Culture will keep soils Fresh and healthy. Can also be added waterfalls when using false bottoms in the terrarium


cleaning the terrarium

Some people choose to have a part aquatic system for small fish to be kept in, or just a place for your pet to have a splash. You can use a siphon to clean this, in the same way you would use it to empty water from the tank if you accidentally over water plants



Using an automatic misting or rain system allows you automatically water your tank and offer a drink to your pet.

This can be timed at intervals. Bio-tope can be added to your mister or sprayer.


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