Vivarium Substrates (All)
The best bioactive terrarium substrates available!
About Our Bioactive Vivarium Substrates
Our company's reputation was partially formed around our absolute top-quality bioactive vivarium substrates & inexpensive bioactive base kits. Our bioactive substrates last long term, grow plants beautifully, foster healthy mycorrhizal fungi, and support populations of beneficial microfauna. The topics of drainage, pH balance, resistance to compaction, and the mix's ability to support the necessary living organisms were carefully considered when we first designed our substrate back in 2009. Every blend of live vivarium substrate we offer is of the absolute highest quality, and has been proven for years to be long-lasting, dependable solutions. We're proud to say that our substrate is used by zoos, museums, breeders, and enthusiasts all over the USA, and we're confident that it's the highest quality & best performing pre-mixed vivarium substrate on the market. We also carry the necessary leaf litter, screen separator, and drainage layer media necessary to create truly complete live vivarium ecosystems. We do our best to ensure our products stand out, and hope you'll give each one's description a read to see what makes our lineup special. We love this stuff, and we hope we can help you create your dream bioactive environment.
Vivarium Substrate Calculator
Instantly figure out how much substrate you'll need!
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.
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NEHERP Bioactive Substrate Kits
A discounted 1-click solution for creating bioactive base layers
NEHERP LDL: Lightweight Drainage Layer Substrate
Our lightest and least expensive drainage layer media
NEHERP LDL Is Only: $1.97/Liter | $1.90/Quart
Only $6.49/Gallon in our Substrate Base Kits!
* Weights/Volumes May Vary +/-5%
NEHERP Leaf Litter
Natural consumable bedding for vivariums with Isopods and/or Springtails
2) Drain & refill the pot with fresh clean water
3) Bring the pot to a boil for about 2-3 minutes
4) Allow to cool, then strain leaves before use!
NEHERP Vivarium Substrate: Original
The original high performance store brand bioactive substrate mix
Our carefully proportioned substrate was designed to be the ideal blend for tropical live vivarium ecosystems ranging from 75-99% R/H. Having been in production since 2009, ours is the longest-running & most proven store brand substrate mix available for bio-active enclosures. Our substrate is packed with an appropriate quantity of aggregate ingredients which help it to to resist over-saturation and compaction, while remaining nice & airy long term. During product development, our goal was for NEHERP Substrate to support flourishing plant life, and foster healthy populations of microfauna, mycorrhizal fungi, and beneficial microbes. Each of these trophic layers of biological activity are necessary for the enclosed environment to function as desired once the primary inhabitant is introduced. We're proud to say that our substrate is used by zoos, museums, breeders, and enthusiasts all over the USA, and we're confident that it's the highest quality & best performing pre-mixed vivarium substrate on the market. Read more...
We're open & honest about what's in our substrate for a reason. Our ingredients are absolutely top of the line, and we don't skimp on any of the important stuff. We work directly with one of the last tree fern importers in the USA, and even mill our own from time to time to help keep up with demand. Our coconut fiber is sourced directly from a mainstream pet supply brand - not from a horticultural supplier whose less expensive product may have higher salinity. Same goes for the fir bark, which is specifically marked for use with Reptiles & Amphibians. Even the Sphagnum Moss is the same brand we carry separately, which is AAA-Grade New Zealand sourced product. The organic charcoal ingredient is a fine-milled natural hardwood product sourced from an American-based manufacturer. If you can think of a way to use higher quality ingredients, we'd sure love to hear how.
NEHERP Vivarium Substrate: Version 2
A Bioactive Substrate designed for a wider variety of environments
Our NEHERP V2 Vivarium Substrate Blend was specially designed for a wider humidity range than our tropical V1 mix. Thanks to a tweak in the (equally high quality) ingredients list, we're able to recommend this blend for live vivarium ecosystems ranging from 55-90% relative humidity. The wider range of acceptable conditions makes this our most versatile blend, and we've had success using it with everything ranging from Dart Frogs to Geckos. Having been tested & used consistently since 2012, this blend has been universally well received by a wide variety of enthusiast communities, and has even passed out our original substrate in popularity! When used as described in our VC101 & VC102 articles, this substrate will support plant life, as well as populations of microfauna, mycorrhizal fungi, and beneficial microbes with ease. We're proud to say that this blend is used by zoos, museums, nature centers, breeders, and hobbyists all over the USA! Read more...
Like all of our NEHERP substrates, this mix includes only the absolute highest-grade ingredients available. The coconut fiber, cypress mulch, and fir bark ingredients are all sourced from a mainstream pet supply brand which specifically manufacturers each for Reptile & Amphibian use. The Sphagnum is AAA-Grade New Zealand sourced product, and both the calcined clay & fine grade charcoal are sourced from a trusted US-based manufacturer. We're really proud of this mix, and we're confident you'll absolutely love it.
NEHERP Vivarium Substrate: ABG Mix
A mixture pioneered by the experts at Atlanta Botanical Gardens
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. In our experience, this blend is best for enclosures which will range from 75%-99% relative humidity. 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. Because it contains peat moss (which is hydrophobic), we strongly recommend pre-moistening this substrate by mixing water into it before using it in a vivarium. Read more...
Not all ABG Mix is the same. We stick closely to the original recipe (posted above), but it seems that the overwhelming majority of commercially available ABG Mix follows a different set of ingredients. Even with identical ratios, our ABG Mix is designed to stand out thanks to it's higher-grade of ingredients (described above). If you are shopping around for prices, please be sure to compare both ingredients and the grades of ingredients. We're proud to offer the best ABG mix available, and that's not a gimmick. In New Englander terms, "It's wicked good substrate!". With that said, both types of NEHERP Vivarium Substrate are actually higher in micronutrient contents, lower in acidity, and are also not hydrophobic. (Authentic ABG mix is awesome, but we like the performance of our NEHERP brand stuff even more!)
NEHERP Vivarium Substrate Clay Aggregate Mix-in
An optional clay mix-in thought to increase substrate drainage & longevity
NEHERP Screen Separator
The perfect screen separator for use between substrate & drainage layers
AAA-Grade New Zealand Sphagnum Moss
AAA Grade New Zealand Sphagnum Moss
Expands to 2 gallons when hydrated
Expands to 3.17 gallons when hydrated
Expands to 10.57 gallons when hydrated
Expands to 21.13 gallons when hydrated
Expands to 63.40 gallons when hydrated
Expands to 317 gallons when hydrated