Hey everyone, I'm new here and I'd like to get some opinions on a terrarium design I've been brewing for a few months. I've got an 85 gallon I plan to use for my 5 foot female ball python, and I really want it to feel natural. I'm talking small decomposing insects, the natural bacteria, etc.
The substrate I want to use is a natural red-orange from a local location to mimic the Ghana soil look. To top it off, I'm going to have some west African grasses and I was wondering if watering and lighting will be enough for the grass, given the soil is properly set up with a drainage layer.
My first step should be the base layer, I grabbed a big bag of clay pebbles to make a false bottom. Based on what I've read, I should have some sort of cloth barrier between that and the soil.
My questions are, how should I go about making the soil I collect safe for my snake? And say I have a huge piece of drift wood...Could I just pour boiling water over it a few times over?
I know this is a lot for a first post, but it's something I've been planning for a while. Any advice would be greatly appreciated