A More Naturalistic Cage?

Posted By: SilentComedy

A More Naturalistic Cage? - 08/31/15 11:13 PM

So, let apologize first of all if this sounds really weird to any of you- I'm trying to apply snake-keeping practices to glider-keeping to try and see if I can pull anything productive from it.

I was wondering about bioactive substrate.

Now this is where you basically create a miniature eco-system in your animal's habitat. And I actually have one set up for my water dragons. You have some substrate like topsoil and throw in some plants and bugs. Springtails will break down the feces of the animal, while isopods go for uneaten food and dead insects. These nutrients are then absorbed and transported throw earth worms, and then deposited for the plants to take use of and allow them to thrive. It's really interesting to say the least, and it means that you never have to clean out the substrate (you'd be harming your habitat if you did- actually. You're getting rid of the bacteria, bugs, and nutrients if you change too much at a time), and after four years I still haven't cleaned the substrate in my dragons' cage. It's not even nasty or anything, and so long as I clean up any mess too big for the bugs to handle, it basically is self-sufficient.

Would this work for a sugar glider? I mean, granted, I'll be prepared for it to snack on some of the little buggies, it happens in my dragon cage (I saw my alpha female helping herself to an earthworm just last night- actually. They're healthy little snacks). Would I be able to have live plants, dirt, and these tiny bugs without it harming the sugar glider? Thanks for any input here, and sorry if it sounds weird to any of you or like a no-brainer question.
Posted By: CandyOtte

Re: A More Naturalistic Cage? - 09/01/15 05:23 AM

This is probably not workable for a sugar glider habitat.

Earth worms are not suitable for feeding to sugar gliders.

You will have to clean the glider's cage pan frequently to remove leftover food scraps that gliders will leave each morning unless you look forward to raising your own fruit flies. Gliders would also pick up spoiled food scraps and the dirt on it to eat if it were left in the cage.

Sugar gliders would probably not do well with any type of dirt in their cage. Any plants you put in the cage would be stripped of their leaves and probably not survive the gliders. Gliders would probably toss the dirt around the room as well.

You would have to be very careful of the types of plants used near your gliders because they are likely to eat parts of the plants which might be toxic.

Most of us either line the cage pan with paper or leave the pan empty and just wipe it out daily to remove glider pee, pooh and food scraps.
Posted By: Feather

Re: A More Naturalistic Cage? - 09/01/15 06:01 PM

I agree with Candy,

I myself do not use anything in the drop pan of my cages. I just bring them out to the kitchen and run everything down the garbage disposal.

Nice wash with Dawn dish soap and a rinse and back to the cage they go.
Posted By: SilentComedy

Re: A More Naturalistic Cage? - 09/02/15 01:39 AM

I don't mind cleaning out the enclosure- I was just interested in the idea of this. I usually try to replicate a similar environment to what they'd find in the wild when it comes to my snakes since they are far from domnesticated yet, and seeing as sugar gliders are also still wild, I was trying to apply the same logic. Thanks for your input, and I'll try for a more sterile type of enclosure since they seem to thrive in these just as well. Thanks so much for your input!
Posted By: Philwojo

Re: A More Naturalistic Cage? - 09/02/15 01:57 PM

Sugar gliders are not wild, they are very different now from what they were in the past and there is still a lot of old information out there. Captive gliders now are very domesticated and not like their wild relatives and have very different needs. It doesn't mean they don't still have tendencies of their wild relatives, but things like their diet are very much different between the two. Check out posts from Peggy (srlb on the board) and all the work and research she has done on gliders.

Posted By: SilentComedy

Re: A More Naturalistic Cage? - 09/02/15 07:51 PM

I'll definitely do that, thanks! I'd thought that they were, and that was my mistake entirely. I think I remember reading it in a care sheet, although which I don't remember, so that was my mistake for not clarifying the issue before.
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