Vivarium Substrate Question
As some of you may know, I'm in the process of building a large vivarium. Floor space is 5ft x3ft. It is going to have a false bottom/sump setup, and the substrate will vary from 3-10 inches deep.
In the past I've always used CoCo bedding (ground coconut fiber). However, this vivarium will have a pretty extensive water feature and I need something that will drain better. That's why I was excited to find out that black jungle has a new product called Dendro Bedding (see link http://www.blackjungle.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=BJTS&Product_Code=DB&Category_Code=SUB ). It supposedly has superior drainage ability.
Then I started thinking. First of all, this stuff has absolutely no nutrients. My vivarium will be big enough so that the waste from its tiny inhabitants just won't add enough natural fertilizer to support blooming plants. Also, I really want a soil that is biologically active. By this, I mean soil that has an active cultures/organisms that will break down dead crickets, plants, ect. I just don't think this stuff is "complex" enough to facilitate such activity.
So, now I am in the dilemma of not knowing what substrate setup I should use. In summary, I am looking for something that:
-has superior drainage
-can easily support biological activities
-will last a long time
-won't leach mud or silt
Any ideas/past experiences that you can share? Thanks in advance for all your great advice.