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No matter what, I get this fuzzy mold

Discussion in 'Vivariums and Terrariums' started by Dhaynes, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Dhaynes

    Dhaynes Arachnosquire

    What do you all use for wood in your arboreal set ups? No matter what, the wood I use triggers a mold out break, boil the wood, mold, bake the wood, mold. I only use Distilled water. I've had these break outs in my Whip Spider(Amblypygid.) and Cuban Orange Bark Scorpion (R. Junceus.) Everything will be fine and dandy the first week, two, maybe even a month. Then BAM, white fuzzy mold on the base of the wood. I think about one, out of seven pieces of wood, I've purchased, only one didn't give me any troubles.

    I don't DRENCH the substrate, just a little damp. What do I do?
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  2. Ludedor24

    Ludedor24 ArachnoKing

    Can always use cork bark. Aside from that just keep it dry
  3. Dhaynes

    Dhaynes Arachnosquire

    I'm using cork, right now for my R Junceus. But the substrate needs to be moist for both my arboreals. I'm using Driftwood for my Damon Variegatis
  4. poisoned

    poisoned Arachnodemon

    Perhaps you don't have enough ventilation? I found that ventilation just over the sub level prevents mold anytime.
  5. Yeah. i would stay away from wood. It will mold. I learned the hard way. Spent lots of money on several wood hides at pets store but all got this fuzzy mold. Plastic plant pots cut in half is the best. To help with making it look good buy a brown or green one and put moss over it or place substrate over it.
  6. unicyclemike

    unicyclemike Arachnopeon

    I have a few dart frog vivariums I have built. You will want to use either Ghost Wood or Malaysian Driftwood. I have both wood at 95-100% humidity without any vents on the tanks. Also have you thought of seeping the tank with springtails? They will eat the mold and any uneaten food left in the cage.
    Any of these woods should work out for you. http://www.blackjungleterrariumsupply.com/Wood-For-Wet-Habitats_c_95.html
  7. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    That white fuzzy mold that comes from wood, or rather one of the molds like that, is just plain bad news. We have a hollow core wood door that started that mold 3 years ago which in turn infected a variety of surfaces in the house. Every 3 or 4 months I have to liberally paint that door in a powerful fungicide then go over it twice with a propane torch. 4 months later and it's back. Worse yet, the mucus membranes in your nose and respiratory tract can host that bleeping fungi. The only fully effective treatment of surfaces that kills it's spores is 50% hydrogen peroxide and that stuff is too darned dangerous to go liberally sloshing on things at random, as well as it damages a lot of surfaces.

    Warning. Since someone I know tried my advice about using hydrogen peroxide and got into trouble with that stuff.
    -It will craze certain plastics. Test it using a q-tip on all surfaces. It will bleach (oxidize) anything it touches. Think ferocious! It will remove skin, like your fingerprints, faster than you can say ouch.
    -Use standard laboratory hazardous materials handling protocol. Wear old clothes and wear nitrile gloves and apron. A full face shield is also recommended over simple eye protection.
    Pour out some Hydrogen Peroxide into a glass container.
    Using a small paint brush, liberally coat all surfaces with the liquid, wait 24 hours then repeat. The second treatment kills the spores that were in the air and have landed. Do not put anything in the terrarium that hasn't been double treated. Assume all materials are infected. Dispose of left over HP by pouring slowly down a drain. Do NOT pour back into the original container. Once dry, treated surfaces are harmless.

    Oh yes. The common hydrogen peroxide, usually 2% concentration as found in pharmacys is useless. It decomposes before it can crack spores open.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  8. SamuraiSid

    SamuraiSid Arachnodemon

    Mold at the base of your wood? What kind of substrate do you use? Im starting to get mold in a lot of my enclosures that are 100% coco coir. Silly thing is I use a bone dry set-up.
  9. There are some kinds of mold that prefer drier conditions.

    The best way to discourage mold is to increase air circulation. Try using more screen vents and adding heat sources that will encourage convection air movement.

    Manzanita wood is less likely to mold than grapevine wood.
  10. ShatteredGrace

    ShatteredGrace Arachnopeon

    i have three slings right now that i just put wood in their cups a couple days ago and i have the same mold. what do i need to do (other than take out the wood) how dangerous is it to them? do i need to completely re-pot them yet again?
  11. zonbonzovi

    zonbonzovi Creeping beneath you Staff Member

    Like Neil Young and his heart of gold, I'm still waiting for that first hobbyist to come forward with an undisputed claim that mold killed their "insert spineless pet here". Heart of Mold? And I'm growing old...
    • Like Like x 2
  12. AbraxasComplex

    AbraxasComplex Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I second this.

    Many decaying plant leaves and wood start to mold in my tanks on the initial setup or introduction. Usually this is just a superficial outbreak and burns itself out over a few weeks, though sometimes a couple months. The mold takes hold due to a shift towards more favourable conditions and excessive nutrients, but this soon ends. Other microorganisms begin to compete with the fungi, detritivores, if present, consume it, and the fungi itself tends to utilize a large portion of the available nutrients quite quickly which stunts and hinders its growth. Balance is key and usually reaches this point on its own, but if nothing is currently housed in your enclosure you can experiment with the conditions needed to reach this equilibrium at a faster pace (more ventilation, acidic properties like peat moss added to the substrate, a large assortment of cleaning bugs, etc.).
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
    • Like Like x 3
  13. macbaffo

    macbaffo Arachnolord

    R: No matter what, I get this fuzzy mold

    Isopods will help in a humid enclosure.
  14. shebeen

    shebeen Arachnobaron

    I second this as well with respect to tropical scorpion enclosures (no experience with T habitats). I tried half log hides in my Emperor tank and they developed mold on the inside within a few days. I replaced them with terra cotta hides and although a few small patches of mold developed on the outside, it was nothing compared to the mold on the log hides. Over time, the mold on the terra cotta comes and goes but doesn't spread anywhere else. My substrate is coco-fiber.

    I think you have to put up with a little mold in any tropical enclosure, but with adequate ventilation it reaches a steady state and doesn't pose a problem. Mold resistant decorations also help. Cork bark is quite mold resistant and ghost wood, often used in dart frog habitats, develops moss rather than mold. (I hope to use ghost wood in my next Emperor enclosure.)
  15. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    I spoke to an entymologist about molds recently and he gave me some interesting advice that may be commonly overlooked.
    Examine the native environment of the animal(s) kept. Unless a completely sterile environment is maintained, usually in conjunction with synthetic materials replacing organic ones, molds and fungi are almost inevitable. The key factor is, what is the animal being kept? In the case of forest floor dwellers, their entire habitat is completely saturated in molds and fungi and they have multiple innate resistances to the molds. In essence, they and the decomposers are intertwined as integral parts of the environment.

    The only time that molds and fungi present a problem is when an animal that normally does not come in contact with decomposers is forced to live in their environment. That requires the animal keeper to make judgement calls based on what the animal is. The key factors being can the decomposers be forced into controlled circumstances or can the animal be forced into adapting, or both. As he eloquently said, "With synthesized environments there are no established rules. Trial and error experimentation is inevitably required on a case by case basis. Don't make any assumptions as mother nature holds all the cards."

    And so, following this logic, the fuzzy mold isn't good or bad by itself. It is going to depend entirely on what animal is going to live in that environment. If it is intolerant to the mold, maybe the mold growth can be retarded or maybe the animal will adapt, or both. As a few people have said, 'life doesn't live in a vacuum'. Wise words. Creating the perfect fuzzy mold free environment may not only be impossible, it is in defiance of nature.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
    • Like Like x 4
  16. Anonymity82

    Anonymity82 Arachnoprince

    I don't like mold because of what mold breeds! Mites! Again though, in small amounts not a big deal.

    I'm not sure if this has been mentioned but get some pill bugs if you can.
  17. zonbonzovi

    zonbonzovi Creeping beneath you Staff Member

    Mold breeds mites? Are they kept in feeding pens or free range? I prefer my mites grass fed rather than raised on corn. It's more natural and the marbling is exquisite. The downside is keeping those mite wrangling springtails sober and away from the farmer's daughter out on the range. Yippee ki-yay!
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Anonymity82

    Anonymity82 Arachnoprince

    Isn't that the natural order of things? Lack of venilation + bolus or other waste + damp, humid environments =mold which eventually = mite infestation?

    ---------- Post added 01-16-2013 at 05:12 PM ----------

    I didn't mean literally BREEDS ya smahtarse lol.

    English isn't my first language ya know?

    Okay, it is my only language... :/
    • Like Like x 1
  19. zonbonzovi

    zonbonzovi Creeping beneath you Staff Member

    Yeah, I know what you're getting at;) It's just difficult to get hobbyists to realize the benefit of detrivores in those kinds of setups. I can't express enough how useful springtails, isopods, etc. can be useful to the moist cage keeper(depending on what the primary animal being kept is, of course).