Curing wood with salt

Eva

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
71
Does anyone have any experience with this?
I heard that soaking wood in salty water and then baking it should prevent it from sprouting mold in a humid enclosure. Does this work and is the salt (of which there must be some small residue left, even if you scrub it with fresh water afrewards - I'd reckon) safe for Ts? I'd rather not experiment on my Ts and I couldn't find a satisfying answer anywhere.
Thanks in advance!
 

G. pulchra

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Jun 7, 2005
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594
I've never used salt, baking it in the oven has always done the trick for me.

Just make sure you are 100% positive that the wood your going to use if free of pesticides and chemicals.
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
Does anyone have any experience with this?
I heard that soaking wood in salty water and then baking it should prevent it from sprouting mold in a humid enclosure. Does this work and is the salt (of which there must be some small residue left, even if you scrub it with fresh water afrewards - I'd reckon) safe for Ts? I'd rather not experiment on my Ts and I couldn't find a satisfying answer anywhere.
Thanks in advance!
Biology is not my strong suit but id guess the salt enables the wood to hold more water, which then displaces the mold causing stiff, then you dry it
 

Eva

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
71
I've never used salt, baking it in the oven has always done the trick for me.

Just make sure you are 100% positive that the wood your going to use if free of pesticides and chemicals.
Thanks for a swift reply!
So you just bake it and that works? No mold even in humid enclosures? That would be sweet, there are some (wooden) gems lying around in the forest! :)
I have used scrubbed and dried wood from that forest in my dry enclosures forever, so I hope that takes care of the question of pesticides and chemicals. Should be safe on that front!
 

user 666

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 27, 2017
Messages
353
Does anyone have any experience with this?
I heard that soaking wood in salty water and then baking it should prevent it from sprouting mold in a humid enclosure. Does this work and is the salt (of which there must be some small residue left, even if you scrub it with fresh water afrewards - I'd reckon) safe for Ts? I'd rather not experiment on my Ts and I couldn't find a satisfying answer anywhere.
Thanks in advance!
Soaking corkwood in salt water is SOP for use with hermit crabs.

I don't know that it is worth the bother.
 

Eva

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
71
Soaking corkwood in salt water is SOP for use with hermit crabs.

I don't know that it is worth the bother.
Well, hermit crabs should be friends with salt! Ts, I'm afraid, are a different thing altogeher.
 

Nixphat

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 8, 2016
Messages
62
Isn't there also something about not using certain woods like pine? I may or may not be correct on that though o_O
 

TownesVanZandt

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May 12, 2015
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Isn't there also something about not using certain woods like pine? I may or may not be correct on that though o_O
Yes, cedar and "fresh" pine wood is not considered as safe. However, I have been using driftwood that might be pine with no problems.
 

Eva

Arachnosquire
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Jan 14, 2017
Messages
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Yes, cedar and "fresh" pine wood is not considered as safe. However, I have been using driftwood that might be pine with no problems.
That was a driftwood from the sea I presume? I am trying to figure out the salt issue :anxious:
 

TownesVanZandt

Arachnoprince
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May 12, 2015
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That was a driftwood from the sea I presume? I am trying to figure out the salt issue :anxious:
No, I usually collect driftwood from some fresh water lakes in the forest. I don´t know whether the salt might be an issue or not. If you don´t have any luck finding any answers here, you might try some aquarium-forums. They seem to have a bunch of threads on how to make it safe.
 

Eva

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
71
No, I usually collect driftwood from some fresh water lakes in the forest. I don´t know whether the salt might be an issue or not. If you don´t have any luck finding any answers here, you might try some aquarium-forums. They seem to have a bunch of threads on how to make it safe.
Yeah, I might just try that, thanks!
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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Feb 22, 2013
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So you just bake it and that works? No mold even in humid enclosures? That would be sweet, there are some (wooden) gems lying around in the forest! :)
Anything organic can mold given the right circumstances... such as a humid enclosure with poor ventilation. There are mold spores in every breath you take. Fungi is one of the most ancient kingdoms on the planet, and they're good at what they do. Just because you sanitize something now doesn't mean it won't grow mold later, it just means that whatever was on it at the time will (probably) be killed off.

Typically, people sanitize wood to kill off other invertebrates that would hitch a ride into your enclosure. Sanitizing for mold is a waste of time because it will always take root again eventually. If you want to avoid mold outright, use broken terra cotta pots as a hide. They are not organic and thus can't mold.

Note that fungus is typically not dangerous to a tarantula. My E. uatuman enclosure has a mushroom in there right now. I let it go, because the springtails will eat it eventually. Fungus is usually indicative of poor ventilation, which is absolutely a problem. Mold growth has a correlation to tarantula deaths, but not a causation. The correlation is simply poor ventilation.

TL;DR
Go ahead and bake your wood, just not for the reason of mold.
 

Eva

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
71
Anything organic can mold given the right circumstances... such as a humid enclosure with poor ventilation. There are mold spores in every breath you take. Fungi is one of the most ancient kingdoms on the planet, and they're good at what they do. Just because you sanitize something now doesn't mean it won't grow mold later, it just means that whatever was on it at the time will (probably) be killed off.

Typically, people sanitize wood to kill off other invertebrates that would hitch a ride into your enclosure. Sanitizing for mold is a waste of time because it will always take root again eventually. If you want to avoid mold outright, use broken terra cotta pots as a hide. They are not organic and thus can't mold.

Note that fungus is typically not dangerous to a tarantula. My E. uatuman enclosure has a mushroom in there right now. I let it go, because the springtails will eat it eventually. Fungus is usually indicative of poor ventilation, which is absolutely a problem. Mold growth has a correlation to tarantula deaths, but not a causation. The correlation is simply poor ventilation.

TL;DR
Go ahead and bake your wood, just not for the reason of mold.
I thought it was a bit suspicious that it would prevent mold. Too good to be true!
I wanted something cooler than a pot for a display enclosure, so I'll just give it a shot and watch out for possible problems. The wood is free of nasties as I've just baked it and the ventilation should be good, so I'm hopeful. It's for an LP, so the humidity isn't going to be high, I just like to give her a moist spot, that's all.

About the shroom:
Does your T mind it at all? Does she avoid it or does she act like it's not there? It makes sense that a fungus doesn't pose an acute threat to spiders, because fungi occur in nature too, but I would think that it might cause some chronic problems because of the spores. It's not healthy breathing the spores for humans either and I know that spiders don't take breaths the way we do, but couldn't the spores get into the book lungs anyway?

PS. I'm not questioning your husbandry by the way. I'm a huge fan of yours on youtube. Thankfully you can't see me blush behind the monitor right now as I'm responding to you, lol :embarrassed::rofl:
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
Thanks for a swift reply!
So you just bake it and that works? No mold even in humid enclosures? That would be sweet, there are some (wooden) gems lying around in the forest! :)
I have used scrubbed and dried wood from that forest in my dry enclosures forever, so I hope that takes care of the question of pesticides and chemicals. Should be safe on that front!
Keep the loga
I thought it was a bit suspicious that it would prevent mold. Too good to be true!
I wanted something cooler than a pot for a display enclosure, so I'll just give it a shot and watch out for possible problems. The wood is free of nasties as I've just baked it and the ventilation should be good, so I'm hopeful. It's for an LP, so the humidity isn't going to be high, I just like to give her a moist spot, that's all.

About the shroom:
Does your T mind it at all? Does she avoid it or does she act like it's not there? It makes sense that a fungus doesn't pose an acute threat to spiders, because fungi occur in nature too, but I would think that it might cause some chronic problems because of the spores. It's not healthy breathing the spores for humans either and I know that spiders don't take breaths the way we do, but couldn't the spores get into the book lungs anyway?

PS. I'm not questioning your husbandry by the way. I'm a huge fan of yours on youtube. Thankfully you can't see me blush behind the monitor right now as I'm responding to you, lol :embarrassed::rofl:
Eva, maybe try a two pronged approach, you could use your hide of choice, and place it ON non-organic matter, such that it couldn't be seen so well.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,301
I thought it was a bit suspicious that it would prevent mold. Too good to be true!
I wanted something cooler than a pot for a display enclosure, so I'll just give it a shot and watch out for possible problems. The wood is free of nasties as I've just baked it and the ventilation should be good, so I'm hopeful. It's for an LP, so the humidity isn't going to be high, I just like to give her a moist spot, that's all.
Fair enough, I've done the same thing with a couple of my display enclosures. Is the LP larger than 3"? If so, then don't really worry about mold. LP's should be kept predominantly dry with the occasional dose of humidity. I overfill the water dish, let the substrate dry out completely, and then repeat. You'd have a more delicate balance if you had to keep it moist 24/7 like some species. You may see an initial bloom of white fuzzy mold when you first create the enclosure - perfectly normal. That type of mold will die off very quickly and likely won't return. About the only mold that you should be worried about is your typical black mold. That stuff is bad news to many animals, and I wouldn't risk it with my T's. You really shouldn't run into that, though.

About the shroom:
Does your T mind it at all? Does she avoid it or does she act like it's not there? It makes sense that a fungus doesn't pose an acute threat to spiders, because fungi occur in nature too, but I would think that it might cause some chronic problems because of the spores. It's not healthy breathing the spores for humans either and I know that spiders don't take breaths the way we do, but couldn't the spores get into the book lungs anyway?
Well, she's an obligate burrower and the mushroom(s) are on the other side of the enclosure. So I doubt that she even knows they're there. As for the spores... perhaps. Honestly not sure on that one, and I don't think anyone knows. I'm sure that spiders have some defense mechanism against clogged up book lungs just like humans have ways of removing debris from our lungs. Purely speculation on that front, though. I'm not too worried just because of how much mold I fight in my collection. If some of these spiders haven't died from it yet, then I don't see it as a threat. Plus, the springtails probably make short work of mold spores! Voracious little buggers, they are.

PS. I'm not questioning your husbandry by the way.
This is a discussion forum. Question everything... it's how we learn :p
 

BobBarley

Arachnoprince
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
1,487
Mushrooms, mold, etc. have never been a problem for any of my t's. I once had a bunch of mushrooms growing in an enclosure with several Neoholothele incei. Eventually the mushrooms burned themselves out and died. The t's never had a preference for or against going near the mushrooms. I've had similar experiences with mold.
 

Eva

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
71
Is the LP larger than 3"? If so, then don't really worry about mold. LP's should be kept predominantly dry with the occasional dose of humidity. I overfill the water dish, let the substrate dry out completely, and then repeat. You'd have a more delicate balance if you had to keep it moist 24/7 like some species.
She's massive, which is why she gets a sexy new eclosure:happy:
I don't like overflowing water dishes because of the stuff that grows under them if I do it, but I dampen a spot for her once a week, I think she appreciates it. So I'll just make sure to do the dampening far away from the wood I guess. I wouldn't dare put a piece of wood in a really humid enclosure!
Well, she's an obligate burrower and the mushroom(s) are on the other side of the enclosure. So I doubt that she even knows they're there. As for the spores... perhaps. Honestly not sure on that one, and I don't think anyone knows. I'm sure that spiders have some defense mechanism against clogged up book lungs just like humans have ways of removing debris from our lungs. Purely speculation on that front, though. I'm not too worried just because of how much mold I fight in my collection. If some of these spiders haven't died from it yet, then I don't see it as a threat. Plus, the springtails probably make short work of mold spores! Voracious little buggers, they are.
It's hard to know if they don't mind or they're just resilient I guess. My Hysterocrates sp. looked like she didn't give a toss about the mold, but I dug her out anyway, poor thing:D
I didn't mean it would do a mechanical damage, like clogging the book lungs, I meant it might be a carcinogen.
Or perhaps I should learn to be a bit more chill about it!
 

Eva

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 14, 2017
Messages
71
Just thought I would post some pictures of how she's looking in the new enclosure.
If anyone wants to see :) IMG_0724.JPG

IMG_0729.JPG
 
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