Review: Bio-Activity and the Theory of Wild Re-Creation™

Review: Bio-Activity and the Theory of Wild Re-Creation

by John Courtney-Smith (Author), David Alderton (Foreword)

The term, “bio-active” has been around a good number of years. While its practise, far longer.

John Courtney-Smith

About the author.

John Courtney-Smith, is the product manager for Arcadia Reptiles. Who are not only at the forefront of Reptile & Exotics UVB lighting. But also much of the other essential items used within the hobby. The ‘EarthPro‘ range of supplementation, dietary additions, and bug food for example.

Not only is John well respected by myself, as well as his peers. I’m privileged enough to call him a friend.

What to expect.

The book is A5 size. And, Hardback. With 374 pages, along with 80+ exclusive colour images within.

The term, “bio-active” has been around a good number of years. While its practise, far longer.

The use of bugs (clean up crew) is what many associate the word bio-active with. Certainly amongst the reptile/exotic community. But that, really is only such a small part of the whole process.

This book, to my knowledge, is the first time such has been documented in Hardback book format. With the Theory of “Wild Re-Creation™” explained. And in great detail too.

Like the other 3 books John has written, it follows a specific theme. This is prominent throughout. With other side subjects explained IF needed, and relevant to an explanation for the specific chapter at hand.

Getting down and dirty. In a sand/soil mix of course 😉

This is about as truly natural many of us have ever gone.

The book is essentially about re-creating specific wild conditions within your vivaria/tank/enclosure.

But it also goes into nutrition, water, plants, soils, UVB, and plant growth lighting. As well as specific bugs that a suited to a variety of enclosure types (arid, damp, forest, etc).

All of which are subjects that aid such re-creation.

I have used a ‘naturalistic‘ set-up many times in the 29 years I’ve kept Reptiles.

I say ‘naturalistic‘. I mean, I used a sand and top soil mix, and real plants for years.

One of my Snake in a Bio setup

This is about as truly natural many of us have ever gone.

Of course. Substrate wise, yes, Its natural. But you are not thinking about feeding that soil. Feeding those plants, naturally. And with the use of bugs to clean up waste. Rotate the earth. And feed nutrients back into the substrate. Its all a cycle.

Something of which has really come to light over the past few years thanks to the likes of my own Facebook groups. As well as the likes of RABS, etc.

Now, this book explains all the above, and In great detail.

I learnt so many new things upon reading this. Also, many ways to improve what I do currently with my bio-active set-ups, which I find very refreshing.

What I did love, was the section on specific plants suited to a specific condition set-up. Something I feel many don’t know much about. Therefore, the enclosure occupant is truly missing out.

Not only does this book help you understand the conditions needed to achieve this. But the conditions to help them thrive within the said set-up.

The sections on Pro and PreBiotic, custodians, and Bee Pollen, all of which have become very popular in the past few years. All are explained within the book also.

As well as sections on a few lesser Bio-Active associated Reptiles and Inverts, and their use of a bio-active set-up.

The Arcadia Guide to Bio-Activity and the Theory of Wild Re-Creation


This book will become the Bio “Bible” for many. Rightly so, too.

Everything you need to help your Reptile thrive in a little, or big, piece of wild re-creation, via a bio-active set-up, is in this book.

Of course. New methods, or variations on methods mentioned within the book will come to light. This is a good thing.

With all these positives. Of course, some negatives occur. These pros and cons are also covered when needed.

In a hobby that is dominated by Facebook groups, and forums for information. And the rivalry and hate that goes with that (and very wrongly). It’s refreshing to have a source like this to refer too.

John, is a member within a few of my created Facebook groups, as well as offering his expertise and knowledge as a moderator in my Bearded Dragon group. And is a great help when needed. He, like us all, only wants the very best life for our Reptiles/Exotics.

Even if the ‘bio-active’ part is the direction where you want to go in keeping your Reptile. Its well worth a read for all the great info on the other relative subjects talked about (some of which mentioned)

With methods and Technology moving forward within the hobby. Things like this book ARE needed to help the process. Help people understand. Help people give the best, longest, most enriched life for their reptile/Exotic.

If you want that…….and why on earth wouldn’t you?……then buy this book

(Available on  Amazon. Or ask your reptile stockist)

– Pete

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