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Wood/Bark for Arboreal Enclosure

Discussion in 'Vivariums and Terrariums' started by Troy Cummings, Jun 6, 2018.

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    Hey guys! First post, so forgive any mistakes please. I also searched the forums and nothing relevant showed up, so I can at least say I tried to search haha.

    Anyways, I converted a Pioneer Plastics acrylic clear display case (from Hobby Lobby) into a terrarium for my avic avic, and that went fine. Set up the substrate and climbing materials for her. That was like 2 days ago, and I have yet to move her into it yet. Today, I noticed there was mold on some of the branches I had used, specifically the parts below the substrate.

    Obviously, the mold grew because it was wet, but because it wasn't really THAT wet (substrate is cool, slightly damp to the touch), and it has only been a day or two since I put the branches in, I'm assuming that the wood I used is prone to mold.

    My question is what types of woods are good to use in an arboreal enclosure? I bought the wood from Petco so I assumed it was sanitized, but is it possible that the mold grew not because of the TYPE of wood, but because it wasn't sanitized? Would the same thing have happened if it was cork bark and it wasn't sanitized?

    I don't know what types of wood I can use other than cork bark, but cork bark to my knowledge only comes in slabs, but I want something that I can use as branches. Thanks in advance! IMG_5080.JPG
  2. arachnidgill

    arachnidgill Arachnosquire

    Cork bark is always your best option, however I have heard you can use dried driftwood. As for the mold, your enclosure is too wet. Avics do better in a completely dry enclosure with a water dish. No misting, no dampening the substrate.
  3. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Mold has nothing to do with sterilization (which btw is unnecessary)...it has to do with moisture and ventilation.

    I use drift wood almost exclusively without issue.

    If your enclosure has good ventilation and the mold is minor, i would just let it run its course...which could take days or a couple weeks.

    What species are you housing here?
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. I have 30 evenly spaced holes drilled on two opposite sides of the enclosure, decently sized holes too, so I assume that the ventilation is above adequate. Hell, I haven't seen any condensation on the acrylic walls (other than when I misted it to wet the substrate so it was easier to shape, obviously), so I really don't think ventilation is an issue.

    The substrate was never soaked, just moderately damp. I didn't think that would be an issue but I suppose it is, there's no other reason for the mold to have grown. They were two relatively small spots on two different pieces of wood, So I think I'm just going to bake the soil and the wood to kill off the mold on there now and redo it, just not moisten the substrate as I did this time. Now my worry is that because I planned on putting a pothos plant in there, the water required to keep the pothos plant alive will make the soil prone to mold growth.

    Anyways, she's an avic avic. I'm probably going to drill some more holes just in case, the more ventilation the better, right?
  5. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Keep the substrate dry....mist less often and when you do, mist less.
  6. Will do, thank you. I just took the dirt and the branches out of the oven (to kill the mold), gonna let them sit for a couple days and try building it again. This time, barely any (if any) misting.
  7. vespers

    vespers Arachnodemon

    That wood appears to be grapewood, which will.quickly mold and rot in most enclosures that aren't desert/dry habitats

    Woods suitable for tropical.enclosures include:
    Cork bark
    Driftwood (including so called 'Malaysian' driftwood)
    Ghost wood
    • Informative Informative x 2
  8. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm toying around with kiln-dried birch wood right now. Workin' great for the dry T enclosures, giving it a shot in my more humid gecko enclosures. Any thoughts on birch and humidity?
  9. vespers

    vespers Arachnodemon

    I've never attempted to use birch in an invertebrate or herp enclosure before, so I can't speak from experience. You could always try it out in an uninhabited humid enclosure first to see how it goes, though I'm guessing it may mold over.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I think it is mopani, but it could pass as grapewood so I'm not too sure. Regardless I'll get some driftwood, it seems like it would suit all my needs and be mold resistant.
  11. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Cork bark is the most impervious wood product I've used to mold. I've never had mold on cork, even in tanks that had mold in them.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Nonnack

    Nonnack Arachnoknight

    I have the same kind of wood as you in one of my terrariums for almost a year, and its all fine. Just don't moist substrate where where wood is touching it.

    • Like Like x 1
  13. Sicarius1

    Sicarius1 Arachnopeon Active Member

    You have some amazing enclosures!
    • Like Like x 1