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Drainage Layer Substrates

Top quality drainage substrates for bioactive vivariums

About Drainage Layer Hide Drainage Info Show Substrate Calc. Hide Substrate Calc. Show Item List Hide Item List Narrow Your Search Hide Search Menu
Bioactive Substrate Layers

About Bioactive Terrarium Drainage Layers

(An excerpt from Vivarium Construction 101)
The drainage layer catches any water that flows through the substrate, keeps the substrate layer from becoming saturated, helps to sustain a healthy microfauna population, and keeps humidity stable within the enclosure. This allows for the healthy, "airy" substrate layer necessary for long-term vivarium success. This layer should ideally have a depth of 2.5-3 inches, but this can vary slightly relative to the size of the enclosure used. Rinse whichever media you choose thoroughly to remove dust before using it, and don't add water to your drainage layer until the vivarium is completed. Pouring water over the plants, through the substrate layer will ensure the drainage media below won't shift, and it'll add beneficial tannins from the leaf litter & soil to the drainage layer below. Water should rise about 1/4-1/2 way up the drainage layer, and should never be allowed to raise into contact with the substrate layer. Also, try not to let it dry out completely, since that will negatively impact the relative humidity within the enclosure.
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Definition of Width X Depth X Height Vivarium

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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Oops... Our substrate calculator is available for larger devices only!
We've got a downloadable substrate depth chart which might help in the meantime. Tap to view!

Exo Terra Bio Drain Mesh

A fine screen for separating substrate & drainage layers

Exo Terra Bio Drain Mesh
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NEHERP Staff Description:
A soft ultra-fine screen separator by Exo Terra. The mesh in this product carries a unique pattern, and continues to be a favorite for especially particular hobbyists.
Manufacturer Description:
The Exo Terra BioDrain Terrarium Draining Mesh is part of the BioDrain Terrarium Draining System. The non-toxic mesh will keep the underlying Draining Substrate separated from the decorative terrarium top-layer substrate. It also allows proper water drainage when used in combination with the BioDrain Terrarium Draining Substrate, as the BioDrain Terrarium Draining Mesh prevents contamination of the water by decorative substrate particles. It is ideal to create water parts and a biological filtration system in the terrarium using the Exo Terra BioDrain Terrarium Draining Substrate.
Nano Mini Small Medium
Nano - 8in X 12in
$2.79/ea
Sold Out!
Stock Notification!
Our records show that this product has very little or no stock left at the moment, but we're expecting a shipment imminently. If ordered today, we'd expect it to ship within 1-5 business days.
Nano Mini Small Medium
Mini - 12in X 12in
$2.99/ea
Sold Out!
Stock Notification!
Our records show that this product has very little or no stock left at the moment, but we're expecting a shipment imminently. If ordered today, we'd expect it to ship within 1-5 business days.
Nano Mini Small Medium
Small - 18in X 18in
$4.99/ea
Sold Out!
Stock Notification!
Our records show that this product has very little or no stock left at the moment, but we're expecting a shipment imminently. If ordered today, we'd expect it to ship within 1-5 business days.
Nano Mini Small Medium
Medium - 18in X 24in
$5.99/ea
Sold Out!
Stock Notification!
Our records show that this product has very little or no stock left at the moment, but we're expecting a shipment imminently. If ordered today, we'd expect it to ship within 1-5 business days.
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Exo Terra Bio Drain Substrate

Exo Terra's Drainage Layer Media

Exo Terra Bio Drain
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NEHERP Staff Description:
A more attractive "volcanic rock" looking alternative to a other Drainage Layer Media like LECA, LDL, and Hydroballs. A very nice looking product, despite it's significant weight.
Manufacturer Description:
Exo Terra BioDrain Terrarium Draining Substrate is a natural, non-organic substrate that allows excellent drainage of the terrarium. Sold in 4.4lb bags. (About 1.25-1.5 gallons/ea)
$7.99/ea
Sold Out!
Stock Notification!
Our records show that this product has very little or no stock left at the moment, but we're expecting a shipment imminently. If ordered today, we'd expect it to ship within 1-5 business days.
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LECA Drainage Layer Substrate

Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate

Hydroton Leca
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NEHERP Staff Description:
The "original" drainage layer substrate for vivariums! It's an inert, PH neutral clay product that holds up long term without breaking the bank. The round shapes maximize surface area between pieces, which supports the important beneficial bacteria growth in live vivariums. Leca allows for proper drainage with minimal 'wicking' in living vivariums which is necessary for the long-term success. Sold in 1-gallon resealable bags.
$6.49/ea Gallon
Sold Out!
Stock Notification!
Our records show that this product has very little or no stock left at the moment, but we're expecting a shipment imminently. If ordered today, we'd expect it to ship within 1-5 business days.
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NEHERP LDL: Lightweight Drainage Layer Substrate

Our lightest and least expensive drainage layer media

NEHERP LDL Bag Substrate NEHERP LDL Bag Substrate
On Sale Now!
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A New England Herpetoculture Product:
The original is back & better than ever! Our updated lightweight drainage layer media features a neutral pH, light weight, and more natural appearance. This product is made from completely natural fired clay, and is guaranteed to hold-up long term. At only around 2.4lbs per gallon, the manufacturer we work with offers an especially light product which offers about a 50% weight savings over other brand-name drainage layer medias. (Up to 15% lighter than a competing brand of clay aggregate!) This product has plenty of surface area for beneficial bacteria & microbes, a perfect amount of capillary action for plant growth, and an especially low weight to keep your terrarium as light as possible. This product ships at our standard low rates!
$5.99/ea Gallon
On Sale Now!
Usually $5.99/ea
17% Off - $4.97/ea Gallon
Sold Out!
Stock Notification!
Our records show that this product has very little or no stock left at the moment, but we're expecting a shipment imminently. If ordered today, we'd expect it to ship within 1-5 business days.
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NEHERP Screen Separator

The perfect screen separator for use between substrate & drainage layers

NEHERP Screen Separator
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The same ideal-size screen separator mesh we include in all of our Bioactive Substrate Base Kits! Ours are carefully cut, and are guaranteed to fit the dimensions selected below. Our screen separators prevent substrate from passing through, but allows water to flow freely from substrate layer down to the drainage layer, without any of the water pooling issues sometimes experienced with weedblock or fabric style material. If you'd like a custom, large, or uncommon size, please select the "custom" option on the right side, and simply select the corresponding square inch size. These are shipped rolled, so it's easier to lay out & use immediately compared to folded liners. We often give a little extra just to be sure clients have enough, as they are very easily cut with scissors if necessary.
Select Your Enclosure Type:
Select Your Enclosure Type:
Screen Separators For Vertically Converted Enclosures:
Select Your Enclosure Type:
Screen Separators For Aquarium-Based Enclosures:
Select Your Enclosure Type:
Screen Separators For Front Opening Terrariums:
Select Your Enclosure Type:
How Many Square Inches Is The Screen You'll Need?
(Multiply Width X Depth of screen for sq/in)
0-1000sq/in 1000-2000sq/in
0-1000sq/in 1000-2000sq/in
Requested Screen Dimensions:
How Many Sq/In Is Your Screen? (Select below)
Sorry, we're only able to accommodate simple square & rectangular shapes. Dimensions must not exceed 48in in any direction.
0-1000sq/in 1000-2000sq/in
Requested Screen Dimensions:
How Many Sq/In Is Your Screen? (Select below)
Sorry, we're only able to accommodate simple square & rectangular shapes. Dimensions must not exceed 48in in any direction.
Sold Out!
Stock Notification!
Our records show that this product has very little or no stock left at the moment, but we're expecting a shipment imminently. If ordered today, we'd expect it to ship within 1-5 business days.
All dimensions are listed in Inches.
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Zoo Med Hydroballs

An expanded clay aggregate substrate for use in drainage layers

Zoo Med Hydroballs
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NEHERP Staff Description:
This is Zoo Med's Drainage Layer media. It's dark color & smaller grain size make it a popular choice for those looking for a LECA alternative. Available in 2.5 lb bags (Roughly one gallon)
Manufacturer Description:
Zoo Med Hydro Balls Expanded Clay Terrarium Substrate can be used as a base layer underneath substrates to create an underground water table in your pet’s Terrarium. Add water to create a natural “aquifer” and increase humidity levels for all tropical species. Excellent substrate for live plant root growth in Naturalistic Terrariums. Available in 2.5 lb bags (Roughly one gallon)
$5.49/ea 2.5lb Bag
Sold Out!
Stock Notification!
Our records show that this product has very little or no stock left at the moment, but we're expecting a shipment imminently. If ordered today, we'd expect it to ship within 1-5 business days.
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