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preventing mold

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Ariel, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Ariel

    Ariel Arachnoprince

    So I had the unfortunate experiance of checking on my precious A. avic MM, to find there is mold in his tank. I set up and moved him to an extra critter cage for now. I had him in a glass ten gallon, sitting normal (I know, it should have been on its side so it was vertical, but I have absolutely NO idea how to make one of those neat plexiglass lids so I can do that :eek: I definately plan to learn how, but for now he was in this. not to much substrate, a couple of sticks I bought at the petstore, a waterdish, and that bag of moss stuff. Which I'm never usuing again. Thats what had most of the mold on it, and then also one of the sticks I had in there had mold on it.

    I sprayed whatever side of the tank he was not on a couple of times a week (when ever the humidity gauge dropped below 50%)
  2. mxslanksta

    mxslanksta Arachnosquire

    the humidity gages from an lps are usually garbage
  3. natebugman

    natebugman Arachnoknight

    What kind of "sticks" did you get at the pet store? Usually what I find at pet stores is some type of grapevine and it seems to mold if you look at it funny. I use coco fiber (Bed-a-beast, etc). It usually comes in a brick that has to be rehydrated but you can also get it in bags. Avoid grapevine. I've found that cork bark works well and seems nearly impervious to mold. It is sometimes hard to find locally but it can be ordered online.
  4. Don't freak because of a little mold.

    Okay, this is how we make our lids:

    *you will need 1 sheet of plexi from Home Depot or equivalent
    *a plexi-knife/ scorer
    *yard stick
    *drill/ soldering iron/ something else to melt holes
    *handle(we use the cheap white plastic ones from Home Depot)
    *hinges(we use smallish ones from Home Depot)
    *hot glue or silicone

    Measure the area for the lid and mark the longest line(it will be you width line) with a sharpie on the sheet, using the yard stick. Make the line go the entire length of the sheet.

    Next put the yard stick along the line and hold it in place with one hand(or have someone help) and use your other hand to use the scoring knife to gently score a line. Go over the line several/many times until it is plainly visible and a groove. The yard stick will help keep the line straight.

    Next take the scoring knife and make the ends of the lines deeper and slant towards the bottom of the sheet.

    Next pick up the sheet, face your groove away from you(so the smooth side is facing you), grab on either side of the groove(on the edge of the sheet) and apply force. It should break/ snap cleanly on the groove you have made.

    Now you should have a piece that is the correct width and you need to make it the right length. Make that measurement/ groove next and snap. Now, you should have a piece that fits the tank.

    With an arboreal, you will need a retaining wall for substrate. We make ours 3-4". So measure, mark and score that line, then snap.

    Now you have a lid that is in two pieces and it is time to glue in the retaining wall. We use hot glue, but silicone(like caulk in a tube) will do as well, it just takes much longer to dry.(24 hours to fully cure and it does have fumes that need to dissipate before putting a T in the tank)

    Next take your hinges, measure and drill holes for the screws on both pieces and install on the retaining wall first. You can drill/melt holes for ventilation before you attach the actual door to the hinges.

    We attach the handle with hot glue, but you don't have to have a handle.

    We go simple for latches and use clear packing tape. You do have to replace them every once in awhile.

    i am unsure what kind of moss you bought, but we have never had mold trouble with sphagnum moss. Depending upon the 'stick' you bought, it may not belong in something that is humid. Cork bark resists mold and is a good choice. You may have had too little ventilation also.

    If you are spraying directly on the wood, that is why it developed mold. Try to mist the sides of the glass if you feel you must mist. However, i recommend not misting at all and just get a large water dish for the enclosure and moisten part of the soil once a week or so. Misting doesn't do much in the long run for humidity, just gives it a quick jump that evaporates quickly. Also, twice a week seems excessive IMO.

    Also, take the humidity gauge out, they just cause you to worry about the humidity too much and are arguably inaccurate. If you find that it looks dry, moisten it.
  5. Ariel

    Ariel Arachnoprince

    well I've thrown them out now. :eek:

    the sticks I was using were driftwood I got from the petstore, not grapevines, I don't think I've ever seen grapevine for sell. I've heard cork bark is good, I'll have to order some, I've never seen in for sale here.
    I'm not sure what kind of moss it was, but thats what had most of the mold on it.

    thanks, I've picked up some stuff to make the lid. :) hopefully I won't mess up, I don't want to leave him in the little critter cage he's in right now. and I wasn't trying to freak out, I just didn't think it would be good to leave him in the tank with mold in there.

    What would you recommend to increase the ammount of ventilation in the tank?

    I don't usually mist the branches since thats where he usually sits. I'll stop misting though, thank you for the suggestions, hopefully that will help to keep his tank mold-free.