Vivarium Substrates

The highest quality vivarium substrates you'll find anywhere


Vivarium Substrate Categories:


Vivarium Substrates

Vivarium Substrate Calculator
Unsure how much substrate you'll need? This tool will help!
Use our substrate calculator to instantly determine exactly how much substrate you'll need to build a vivarium in any rectangular enclosure. The minimum suggested amount of substrate & drainage media is 2.5" (each), but we've also included a spot to add your own custom height, if you'd like to calculate a different substrate depth. Enter your dimensions, and the results will display instantly.
Definition of Width X Depth X Height Vivarium
Vivarium Substrate Depth Chart
Vivarium Substrate Chart
Use this chart to determine how many gallons of drainage & vivarium substrate you'll need to make certain depths in your enclosure. Most vivarium builders recommend at least a 2.5in depth of substrate & drainage layer media (each) for best results. If the above graph is blurry, click/tap here to enlarge in a new window.
Psst... If you were using a device with a larger screen, our automatic substrate calculator would appear here!

NEHERP Vivarium Substrate: Original

Our special blend is our best-selling substrate for tropical live vivariums

NEHERP Vivarium Substrate NEHERP V1 Vivarium Substrate  NEHERP V1 Vivarium Substrate
NEHERP Vivarium Substrate NEHERP V1 Vivarium Substrate
A carefully pre-mixed substrate blend that's designed specifically for tropical vivarium applications. Our mix holds up long term and resists compacting while staying nice and "airy" to support plant & microfauna health. Pet grade coconut fiber is used in place of peat (an ingredient used in other mixes) to offer higher micronutrient contents, a more neutral pH, and a better ability to resist breaking down even in highly humid enclosures. Our NEHERP substrate supports plant life & microfauna populations with ease long term, and is the highest quality pre-mixed vivarium substrate on the market today. NEHERP Vivarium Substrate is used by zoos, museums, breeders, and enthusiasts all over the USA, we're confident that you'll love our mixture's performance & quality.
NEHERP Vivarium Substrate
$7.49/ea Gallon Bag

The original, original vivarium substrate.

Our small company was one of the 1'st in the USA to offer an improved ABG-based vivarium substrate back in 2009, and we're proud to have become one of the leaders in vivarium substrate manufacturing since then. A frequently asked question about our substrate is in regards to making the decision between traditional ABG & our NEHERP Substrate. While our response may seem biased, the truth is that there's a reason we developed our own substrate! Peat (used in ABG) is very low in micronutrients, is a very acidic medium, and is hydrophobic (which makes initially absorbing water difficult). By comparison, coconut fiber (used in NEHERP substrate) has a higher micronutrient concentration, has a near neutral pH, and isn't hydrophobic. While both varieties will work well, we're confident that our NEHERP substrates are the best out there. On a related note, pet grade coconut fiber is significantly more expensive than peat, which is why NEHERP substrate is $0.50 more expensive per gallon than ABG. :-)
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NEHERP Vivarium Substrate: Version 2

Our softer, super high quality mix for tropical, subtropical, and temperate vivariums

NEHERP Vivarium Substrate NEHERP V2 Vivarium Substrate  NEHERP V2 Vivarium Substrate
NEHERP Vivarium Substrate NEHERP V2 Vivarium Substrate
A blend specially suited for many common species of tropical, subtropical, and temperate species of Reptile, Amphibian, & Invertebrate, with a softer texture than NEHERP or ABG substrates. Beneficial calcined clay, fir bark, and cypress ingredients make up the majority of the blend, which allows it to resist breaking down with ease, support thriving microfauna populations, and grow plants with explosive results. Our Version 2 substrate is the recommended choice for the majority of species that thrive in relative humidity levels averaging 85% and under, and for any species which may dig or burrow. This original mixture of calcined clay, fir bark, cypress, blended sphagnum, rinsed charcoal, and coconut fiber is softer in texture for terrestrial species, and for any animals which may dig to bury eggs. Like all NEHERP substrates, our coconut fiber & fir bark ingredients are sourced from pet brands, and our Sphagnum Moss is AAA-Grade New Zealand product. Our V2 Vivarium Substrate is used by zoos, museums, breeders, and enthusiasts all over the USA, we're confident that you'll love our mixture's performance & quality.
NEHERP Vivarium Substrate V2
$6.99/ea Gallon

The origin of V2 substrate:

Did you know NEHERP Substrate V2 was originally designed to replace NEHERP & ABG substrate? It's true! Ever since 2011, the availability of tree fern fiber (a primary ingredient in NEHERP & ABG substrates) had become increasingly difficult, and we worried the supply might dry up completely. To prevent a potentially tough situation, we set out to develop a vivarium substrate without the (usually critical) tree fern ingredient. In 2012, we began mixing & testing about a dozen different substrate recipes to help us determine the efficacy of each. With the first long term tests concluded, we decided on the ideal mix, & released V2 to Insider Subscribers in late 2014. In August 2016, we concluded our longest term (over 3 year) test of V2 Substrate in a wide variety of vivarium humidity & moisture conditions. Thanks to the awesome results, we're now comfortable recommending V2 substrate for an even wider variety of vivarium inhabitant species. With many hobbyists leaning towards calcined clay substrates nowadays, we're glad to offer what we believe may eventually become an industry standard.
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NEHERP Vivarium Substrate: ABG Mix

A mixture pioneered by the experts at Atlanta Botanical Gardens

ABG Substrate NEHERP ABG Vivarium Substrate  NEHERP Atlanta Botanical Gardens Vivarium Substrate
ABG Substrate NEHERP ABG Vivarium Substrate
Authentic ABG mix is often regarded as "industry standard" by enthusiasts, and has been a proven solution for vivarium substrate since long before NEHERP opened for business. To ensure the best quality product for our customers, we use only the highest quality ingredients available in our ABG mix. Our Sphagnum moss is AAA grade from New Zealand, our peat moss is OMRI listed from Canada, and both our Fir Bark & Coconut Fiber ingredients are sourced from a pet supply brand. Tree fern is increasingly difficult to find nowadays, but we've secured a source & even periodically mill our own tree fern fiber out of raw tree fern in-house. Like our best selling NEHERP substrates, it's conveniently pre-mixed in-house, and each gallon is packed tightly for a great value. For best absorption, pre-moisten this substrate by mixing water into it before using it in a vivarium.
ABG Mix Recipe: 2 Parts Tree Fern Fiber, 1 Part Peat Moss, 1 Part Charcoal, 1 Part Sphagnum Moss, 2 Parts Fir Bark
NEHERP Vivarium Substrate: ABG Mix
$6.99/ea Gallon

Not all ABG is created equally...

A few price-match emails have popped up lately, so we figured we should post a note about our ABG. If you are shopping around for prices, please be sure to compare both ingredients and the grades of ingredients. We're proud to have sourced the absolute best quality ingredients for our mix, and that's not a gimmick. In New Englander terms, "It's wicked good substrate!". :-)
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NEHERP Vivarium Substrate Clay Aggregate Mix-in

Ordering ABG or NEHERP mix? This optional clay add-in is thought to increase drainage & longevity of substrate

NEHERP Clay Vivarium Substrate
An easy & inexpensive way to get a type of clay substrate blended into a proven substrate mixture. Some vivarium enthusiasts mix clay & other aggregates into substrates, with the goal being to increase drainage and longevity, and maximize microfauna proliferation in the mix. This material is arcillite; a calcined clay product that's commonly used as a potting soil add-in, and even in egg laying media! Each gallon bag of substrate receives one full cup (8oz) of clay mixture with each purchased amount. This will not break down over time.
This product will be mixed-in to the Vivarium Substrate in your purchase before being packaged. Available with NEHERP/ABG substrate purchase only.
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