Discussion on Mold

EulersK

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So, mold is bad. It's a sign of decay, low ventilation, and often poor husbandry. It's generally accepted in the hobby that it should be eliminated without prejudice, but I can't find any hard evidence to support this. Firstly, I'd like to see if anyone has primary literature to back up this claim. Otherwise, I'd like to hear some anecdotal evidence.

And here's mine. Mold is a pretty big problem in my collection, to varying degrees. I'm currently waiting for an isopod/springtail colony to mature so I can seed my enclosures. For those enclosures that are able to dry out, a brief drought always kills off the mold in short order. However, for those enclosures that really shouldn't dry out, mold is inevitable. The worst offenders in my collection are T. stirmi, C. fimbriatus, and H. gigas. Which you'll note are all quite defensive, so cleaning has turned into a chore. Now, of course I spot clean, but the mold occasionally gets out of hand. Especially in the T. stirmi enclosure... and she doesn't seem to mind at all. She eats and acts perfectly normally.

I've begun to think that this whole worry of mold thing is more of a correlation rather than a causation. Mold is a sign of low ventilation, which will kill any tarantula. So when we see mold, we immediately say to fix both the mold and the ventilation... but perhaps it's only the ventilation that's the problem.

Of course there are different species of mold, I understand that. Black and dark green molds are violently dealt with in my home, but white and yellow seem to be somewhat benign. Does anyone have actual data on this, even as it affects mammals?

Now, I'd like to avoid something right off the bat. "Mold is all over in the wild!" I don't care what happens in the wild. This isn't the wild. We have these creatures in tiny glass boxes in microclimates. Wild habitats have nothing to do with care in this regard.
 

Chris LXXIX

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"Mold is all over in the wild!" I don't care what happens in the wild. This isn't the wild. We have these creatures in tiny glass boxes in microclimates. Wild habitats have nothing to do with care in this regard.
Wish to leave more than one like only for this last statement, man. That's what I think and always believed... it's pretty a stupid nonsense to keep mentioning certain in "the wild" issues when we keep those in captivity, trying the best we can.
 

Venom1080

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I have a little mold in alot of my cages. No issue. I also recently found out that my violaceopes cage was infested with mold just below the substrate, was probably like that for a while, I realised him and he's fine still.
 

Paiige

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Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't one of the biggest concerns the growth of mold in the book lungs?
 

EulersK

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Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't one of the biggest concerns the growth of mold in the book lungs?
I've heard of this speculated, but never any real evidence. Not even pictures to back it up, only "There was mold, and the spider died." Again, I believe this to be correlation - there was mold because there was low ventilation, and that's why the spider died.
 

TownesVanZandt

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You raise some interesting questions here, @EulersK . Before I found the right "formula" for ventilation for my Asian species, I had mould and even mushrooms inside of their enclosures. It did cause me some stress, but the tarantulas seemed to be doing fine with it. To be honest, I think it might be more of a hazard for us than to them. I have all my tarantula enclosures in my living room and if it was mould inside of all of them, I would be breathing in the spores as well on a daily basis. However, I´m educated in philosophy and theology and not in medicine, so this is just me speculating with no science to back it up.
 

dopamine

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I saw a video that spiderengineer made about his haplos and said he regularly had problems with mushrooms growing on peat moss.
 

viper69

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One of the mods, Hobo, took a shot of a mushroom in his T tank. Didn't remove, no issue w/T health.

I always think caution, I can control the mold by removal, so I do it. I don't know if mold would affect a T as it does humans. In nature nothing surprises me.

I don't take the chance. I think mold spores are very pervasive or can be, so why take the chance?
 

Spidermolt

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Interestingly I'm actually in the experimenting stage to transfer from cocoa fiber to topsoil now and one post i read from here (sorry i cant remember the title) stated something on the lines that Ts sometimes die in captivity for unknown reasons and that cause could be from the batch of substrate itself or the T Sp. could be sensitive to that substrate without anyone ever knowing... sorry for being a little off topic but basically that theory could also relate to mold theories too where even though people see mold in their cages all the time there will be cases where ts will die without anyone ever knowing because of a certain type of mold or a sensitive T... i felt like sharing that idea.
 

viper69

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Interestingly I'm actually in the experimenting stage to transfer from cocoa fiber to topsoil now and one post i read from here (sorry i cant remember the title) stated something on the lines that Ts sometimes die in captivity for unknown reasons and that cause could be from the batch of substrate itself or the T Sp. could be sensitive to that substrate without anyone ever knowing... sorry for being a little off topic but basically that theory could also relate to mold theories too where even though people see mold in their cages all the time there will be cases where ts will die without anyone ever knowing because of a certain type of mold or a sensitive T... i felt like sharing that idea.
Would you find that info?

I'd be surprised if a T died from the substrate itself, assuming it's pure, ie no pesticides, other chemicals etc. But anything is possible I suppose, I don't find it probable though.
 

EulersK

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One of the mods, Hobo, took a shot of a mushroom in his T tank. Didn't remove, no issue w/T health.

I always think caution, I can control the mold by removal, so I do it. I don't know if mold would affect a T as it does humans. In nature nothing surprises me.

I don't take the chance. I think mold spores are very pervasive or can be, so why take the chance?
It's not so much a matter of not wanting to take the chance or rolling the dice. The particular species of mold I'm fighting doesn't appear in clusters, it's much more like a carpet. When I clean it, I scrape a spoon across the substrate to gather it up. When I found that the spider doesn't seem to care, I began thinking along these lines.

I've seen several threads of users destroying a burrow to get rid of uneaten prey for fear of mold. I'm at the point that I just think it doesn't matter.
 

viper69

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When I found that the spider doesn't seem to care, I began thinking along these lines.
The same can be said with Avics and stuffy air. They appear fine, and then poof dead as a door nail. I learned the hard way many years ago with a couple.

Just because you're unable to observe something doesn't mean something isn't going awry at the cellular level that leads to a grave.

There your Ts so meh. I understand where you are coming from too, perhaps they are not affected or susceptible as we may think, but I think stuff air killing Ts is a good enough indicator to me that mold should be removed. But hey, I could be wrong on this!
 

Spidermolt

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Would you find that info?

I'd be surprised if a T died from the substrate itself, assuming it's pure, ie no pesticides, other chemicals etc. But anything is possible I suppose, I don't find it probable though.
It could take me a while to find that post again but it was just more of a "there's always a chance there could be a contaminate".

I just felt like bringing that up like how any mold could look the same and never have any affects until one similar looking strain comes in and does damage without anyone knowing it and therefore result in a post "tarantula mysteriously died". Who knows maybe that's always the case or maybe what im saying is just pure gibberish ;)
 

cold blood

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I never worry about mold generally. I have a large root system in with my irminia, after a month, the whole thing blossomed into a fuzzy white mold. I did literally nothing and just let it run its course...in a month it was gone and i havent seen mold anywhere in there since.

Generally though, molds just picked out and forgotten about and is usually the result of an uneaten prey item.

Oddly i never get mold in any of my perpetually damp enclosures....i think the fan blowing across them helps a lot....im also not afraid to dry them a bit from time to time....i think the LV is the only one that never really dries out if i can help it...but i dont see mold there either.

I recall that mushroom hobo posted, it was pretty funny...i think his and my concerns about mold were similiar....or non-existent.
 

EulersK

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I never worry about mold generally. I have a large root system in with my irminia, after a month, the whole thing blossomed into a fuzzy white mold. I did literally nothing and just let it run its course...in a month it was gone and i havent seen mold anywhere in there since.
White mold definitely seems to kill itself off very quickly in our microclimates. They just expend their nutrients too quickly and die off. I used to have a bloom of white fuzzy mold every time I put in fresh topsoil, and it would always die off within a week. It's this persistent mold that makes me a bit more anxious, but a literal mushroom growing in an enclosure makes me feel better! I do remember that photo, hopefully @Hobo can post it again.
 

Andrea82

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I had mold and a mushroom growing around the waterdish of my L.parahybana. (sold him and don't have pictures, sorry).
I recalled Coldblood posting about how it would die off without interfering so i let it be. The substrate was coco peat brick. It was gone within a week, despite the substrate being still wet there. (The spider kept toppling his waterdish over)
So i guess it can be harmless, it was the white/cream colour mold.
I have read nothing that says mold is bad for T's in general. I do remember reading that that is not the case with members of the Ephebopus genus. I think it was a post from @Storm76 , which is why i have springtails in their enclosures who seem to do an awesome job at preventing any outbreaks.
 

gypsy cola

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I just let it dry out or not worry about it. Now if there is a few dead crickets and they have mold...it just looks trashy, like wearing crocs and sweatpants in public.
 
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