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Mold issues! Help please!

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by FuzzyFreaks420, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. MikeofBorg

    MikeofBorg Arachnosquire

    I’m not trying to match the environment just making the enclosure similar with living plants and cleaners. I feel keeping them at a relative humidity close to their wild environment reduces stress for any organism. My degree is in Evolution Ecology and Organismal Biology through The Ohio State University. Maybe I’m going a bit overboard, but when we did research at OSU all our specimens had to have enrichment in their enclosures. For tadpoles this meant rocks and floating plants. For spiders live plants to anchor their webs to. The specimens seemed to have a lower mortality rate with enrichment. Trying to get as close to any animals natural environment will do nothing but benefit it. They evolved to survive in those conditions and trying to meet them as best you can will reduce stress in the animal.
  2. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

    With a degree in Evolution Ecology you should really know how wrong that statement is. Organisms evolved to tolerate the environment they live in. That does not by any means mean their natural environment is the best for them to live in. It's a balance between predator pressure, food resources, competition, and environmental conditions. Many species get relegated to suboptimal environmental conditions because they can't compete for resources with stronger species or can't avoid predation in better environments. Many tropical spiders, for example, have adapted to tolerate high humidity but don't need it at all - and even do better in lower humidity. Especially humidity is something you should NEVER just try to recreate as it is in the wild, unless you provide also a bioactive environment (like you do) and air circulation to counteract pathogens. Yes, they evolved to survive in those conditions they live in in the wild, but as a species, not as an idividual, and that incudes that a number of individuals may die from suboptimal environmental conditions as long as the majority survives because, for example, they can escape predation. Personally I'd like my individual spiders to thrive, not to possibly survive.

    I do agree with you, though, when it comes to enrichment. I think enrichment is very important and often even increases survival rates. It just doesn't need to be 'like in the wild' - it just needs to cater to some basic behavioural needs, like hiding (preferably even more than one hiding option to chose from), resting, hunting, etc...
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnobaron Active Member

    I only have 3 species that require moisture.

    Never have had a problem with mould, I think it's just down to good cross ventilation.
    I do check in the hides every 2 weeks or so just to make sure.
  4. MikeofBorg

    MikeofBorg Arachnosquire

    I agree with you. Environmental factors are what drive evolution. The animals adapts to those conditions or perishes. I guess I’m not properly describing my set up. I’m just trying to simulate the look of their environment with the decor in their enclosure along with the cleaners. I don’t try and completely match the environment to the down to soil ph or humidity. Then again I’m a disabled veteran and medically retired so I have loads of time to maintain my enclosures. And mine are on display in the house for folks to see. If I had a number of Tarantulas like see on YouTube I would go the minimalist route. It’s more work with pruning plants and keeping it from becoming a jungle.
  5. JanPhilip

    JanPhilip Arachnoknight Old Timer

    The amount of mold I got in my tanks with coconut earth / fiber was the main reason i completely stopped using it. Currently I mostly use peat in my tanks, it holds humidity very well and does not tend to mold. I also use isopods and springtails in all my enclosures, but I do not think it is necessary at all. The only tanks I do not like using straight peat in, are those that have a dry substrate. In dry tanks, I mix a lot of clay-heavy soil from the local forest into the peat. I also have friends who only use soil they collected outside with great results in all of their tanks.
  6. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Arachno-heretic Arachnosupporter

    I would go ahead and clean out the enclosure. There are probably literally hundreds of thousands of fungi. Most are probably harmless, but why take the chance?

    Say a feeder begins to munch on the mold then is captured by the tarantula a few hours or a day later.

    What happens? No one knows for sure.

    I use frog moss and peat, adding most moisture to the moss, not the substrate directly for my moisture dependent species. (Eg my T stirmi & my P sp machala to a lesser extent)

    Otherwise I keep a nice big full water dish and call it good.
  7. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    The same enrichment can be provided without the use of live plants....live plants are just more work for you.

    And this thread has little, if anything to do with enrichment...of course this is a requirement though, that goes without saying, we get on people here al the time for a lack of it. But plastic plants provide the exact same enrichment, anchor points and cover...actually they can provide these things more consistently as they don't de, can't get dismembered or uprooted as easily. IMO the live enclosures like you use almost always look fantastic...but they are more for you, as they don't in themselves, provide a superior enclosure for the t within...fake can be just as effective for the t, with 1/8 the hassle....and with a little effort, can be made to look pretty nice, too. The last thing I want to do with feisty ts, or OWs, is plant maintenance. But go for it if you so desire, I am not arguing against it...but its not automatically better for the t.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  8. FuzzyFreaks420

    FuzzyFreaks420 Arachnosquire

    Thank you! This helps
  9. FuzzyFreaks420

    FuzzyFreaks420 Arachnosquire


    I tried letting it dry out and the mold was just getting worse. So for the health of my little boy I decided to just re do it. Haveing a
    Poecilotheria regalis bolt out of there cage is not a fun situation I found out to... catch cup fail.... got him back in though
  10. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Arachno-heretic Arachnosupporter

    I'm glad you caught him. As a precaution when I maintain my P striata's enclosure, I always have the entire cage in a huge sterilite tub with about half an inch of cool water in it, better to make feet a wee bit less sticky.

    I move super slow, wear puncture proof needle stick gloves used by law enforcement and aski mask to avoid sneezing or breathing upon the tarantula.

    I put the whole entire time into the bathtub with the drain plugged up fully and the shower curtains not on the inside.

    Overall, my pokie is the calmest T I have but he can really move when he wants to. I've observed him teleporting across his cage just for fun when watching him.

    You can never be too careful. Still, getting that mold out is the right decision.

    Note the mold in the enclosure, the yellow stuff. That was the same mold in my M balfouri's enclosure who also died from impaction, as he stated in later videos covering his efforts to save his T.

    Like your pokie, the Singapore blue is an arboreal.
    • Sad Sad x 1
    • Face Palm Face Palm x 1
  11. Sicarius1

    Sicarius1 Arachnopeon Active Member

    Make sure if you leave a tank dry that you leave a straw so the t doesn't have to leave it's hide for a drink.
  12. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Arachno-heretic Arachnosupporter

    The water dish is always full, :). Everything is moist, perfect conditions. She can leave the hide and hit that anytime she wants. The lights are all off, pitch black for her peace of mind.
  13. FuzzyFreaks420

    FuzzyFreaks420 Arachnosquire

    Well now that the mold is gone this little guy decided to hide behind this stupid foam background.. he had been back there for days and I was starting to think he may be stuck. Getting in there looks easy but back out i dont know if he can figure it out? 20180619_120840.jpg 20180619_120848.jpg 20180619_120903.jpg

    I figured I would give him a little help by making the opening more wide. Was a nerve racking process of slowly sawing at it and then having to keep a eye on him the whole time making sure I do not get bum rushed or injure the little fella!