Baking Potting Soil & Peat Moss

kitty_b

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what is the common protocol for sterilizing potting soil and peat moss?

mainly looking for temperatures, length of time, and what people prefer to bake in. basically, i want to make sure i get it clean, but don't set my house on fire in the process.
 

Lopez

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I stopped bothering baking/sterilising soil years ago, and haven't had a major mite or mould problem since. :)
 

padkison

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I'd be interested in the answer to this one as well.

I bake wet ecoearth at 300 for 1/2 hour in 9x13 pyrex baking dishes. I don't have any science to back this up (other than it is above the boiling point), but figure that will give time for the whole pile to reach 300 for a decent length of time.

I tried 300 with used eggcartons and was informed by my smoke alarm that I should adjust the temperature down.:eek:
 
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Windchaser

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Lopez said:
I stopped bothering baking/sterilising soil years ago, and haven't had a major mite or mould problem since. :)
Same here.
 

AfterTheAsylum

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Windchaser said:
Same here.
I second... third... second?...

I agree here. In all likelihood you won't have any issues to begin with, and if you do they are controllable.
 

NeilD

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I have only had problems when I don't remove left overs, in particular if they have had pinkies and the blood has flowed onto the substrate, but its easy to find and just needs removing
 

edesign

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never baked or nuked any of my peat moss...no problems so far. However, when moving decorations from one tank to another during cleaning/rehousing I will wash them off and throw em in the microwave for about 30 seconds or so...I think that's long enough :?
 

Ronj

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Never ever bothered with baking substrate, I have read threads here before and most believe that it is a waste of time and energy.
 

Lover of 8 legs

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NeilD said:
if they have had pinkies and the blood has flowed onto the substrate, but its easy to find and just needs removing
Is this for attention & dramatic effect? If you choose to feed your Ts pinkies that's your choice but posts like this are the sort that reflect badly on our PASSION! What fascinates you more: the flowing blood or the Tarantulas????
 

Leiurus87

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or, he/she is simply stating the well known fact that feeder mice,live or dead, are messy :p
 

Pennywise

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I buy Schultz's Peat in small sealed bags

It is ready to use immediately. You can save money if you buy baled peat
but I got a batch that had a chemical additive of some kind. It had a
chemical odor and my T's didnt like it. They went as far as digging to the bottom
glass of the tank and sitting there rather than on the moss (choke) I gave
the bale to my wife for gardening then I went to Ace hardware and bought
more Schulz's peat. I have never had an infestation problem of any kind.
 

Thoth

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The only time I would bake any substrate is if you got it from nature, ie. yard et c.

Then the common protocol is set oven to 200°F and heating layer the soil no thicker than 4 inches and bake the soil until it reaches about 160°F (approx 30-45 mins) Be warned use a lot ventilation because of the odor of baking soil is not pleasant.

Personal I do what Mexican8s does and use bags of shultz peat moss, usually I'll mix in vermiculite. Though if I get bark or branches from outside I'll bake at 250°F for about an hour.

Microwaving is unreliable method to sterilize plus it can cause fires.
 

Wikkids_Wench

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Thoth said:
The only time I would bake any substrate is if you got it from nature, ie. yard et c.
Likewise - I've only recently sterilised peat that I had to use from a bag that had been stored in the garden (I needed substrate fast!).

Thoth said:
Microwaving is unreliable method to sterilize plus it can cause fires.
That, however, I would disagree with. The only time microwaving substrate should be dangerous (providing your microwave is in good working order) is if you don't take the precaution of moistening your substrate first, and if you leave it in the microwave too long. 3 minutes on full power is the longest substrate should be nuked for, before being allowed to cool slightly. The three minutes can then be repeated if desired.
 

Thoth

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The fire risk is easily avoided, but with microwave heating it is uneven in the best of ovens sothere might be cool spots, so if you want to have it completely sterilized conventional oven is best
 
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