One of the best ways you can create a thriving ecosystem in your vivarium is by adding insects. Beneficial insects like woodlice, worms, and beetles will eat the waste that your pet produces along with dead or decaying plant matter, and they'll turn it into nutrients that can feed your plants. You can purchase starter colonies of insects from a store that sells vivarium supplies, then introduce them to your vivarium so that they take up residence inside. To learn four benefits that insects bring to your vivarium, read on.
1. Reduces Mold Buildup, Keeping Your Pet Healthy
One of the biggest benefits of adding insects to your vivarium is that it helps keep your pet healthy by reducing mold growth. Mold can be a problem in tropical vivariums that need to be kept humid. It will start growing on any wood mulch you put on the floor of the vivarium. Amphibians and reptiles can become ill if they come into contact with too much mold. Insects will eat the mold that grows on the wood mulch, preventing it from building up and potentially posing a danger to your pet.
2. Simplifies Cleaning
Adding insects to your vivarium makes keeping it clean easier. Insects eat the waste produced by your pet along with all of the dead leaves that your plants shed. You won't have to spend as much time manually removing waste from your vivarium since the insects will break it down for you.
3. Provides Your Pet With a Sustainable Food Source
Once you have a thriving colony of insects established in your vivarium, they'll provide a supply of live food for your pet. Amphibians will eat woodlice, grubs, and beetles, and reptiles will eat mealworms and earthworms. As long as they're healthy and eating well, the insects in your vivarium will continue to reproduce, providing your pet with a sustainable food source.
4. Improves Plant Health
The waste that the insects produce enriches the soil, providing food for the plants in your vivarium. In addition, woodlice, mealworms, and earthworms will break apart the soil as they crawl around in it. This keeps the soil aerated, which helps plant roots take up oxygen, helping them grow stronger. Aerated soil also drains very well, which prevents puddles of water from forming on the floor of your vivarium which can cause plant roots to rot.
Overall, adding insects to your vivarium helps keep your pet healthy along with the plants inside. If you feel that insects would be a good addition to your vivarium, purchase a starter colony from a store that sells vivarium supplies.