Frequency of Substrate Replacement

curious juan

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Hi there. What is the rule of thumb about the frequency of changing of substrate for our T's Enclosure? This is in the notion that there are no manifestation of pests and mites in it. IMG_20170520_212350.jpg
 

Ellenantula

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I have never changed any of my Ts substrate. Even the newbie error I made years ago with a burrowed mealie -- I just sifted it out and reused same substrate.
 

user 666

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Only replace the substrate hen you are rehousing the T.

And you only do that when it outgrows the enclosure (or in the case of emergencies like flooding or infestation),
 

Nightstalker47

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Hi there. What is the rule of thumb about the frequency of changing of substrate for our T's Enclosure? This is in the notion that there are no manifestation of pests and mites in it. View attachment 240874
There is no rule of thumb for changing substrate, it's only necessary if you have a mold outbreak, or an infestation of mites, anything along those lines. So yeah if there are no pests it's not needed...

If you spot clean the substrate doesn't ever need to be changed, or refreshed. In the event of a rehouse I like to change the sub just because I like to start the new enclosure as clean as I can.
 

LiteraryRecluse

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I change the substrate whenever the substrate seems to lose its natural moisture. I find that if the same substrate has been in the enclosure too long, depending on how much ventilation there is for that specific enclosure, it becomes gradually more difficult to maintain humidity. Even if I don't replace all the substrate I find mixing it with some fresh substrate helps :)
 

curious juan

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Thank you for all of your inputs... I am leaning towards not changing substrates, especially if the T has settled in quite well in its enclosure, as I don't want to disturb its "comfort" in its surrounding. So far, I have not experienced any mites infestation, only sporadic mold growth on unnoticed bolus on the substrate. But I do remove those immediately.
 

Ellenantula

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Thank you for all of your inputs... I am leaning towards not changing substrates, especially if the T has settled in quite well in its enclosure, as I don't want to disturb its "comfort" in its surrounding. So far, I have not experienced any mites infestation, only sporadic mold growth on unnoticed bolus on the substrate. But I do remove those immediately.
Yeah, when you change the substrate -- no matter if you attempt an exact match of the previous set-up -- it is all foreign to your T. The T will be stressed and T will feel like it is in an entirely different setup.
The spot cleaning advice was good -- remove a bolus (if you find any) and you can always spot clean poop, mould, etc..
I would change substrate only as a last resort -- and in my years (knock wood) that day has not arrived yet.
 

curious juan

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That's my sentiment as well. So far, in my few years of experience, the most times that I rehoused a T is 4 times. Ikm currently contemplating using Isopods as tank cleaners. Would the T not eat them?
 

aphono

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So all of you are saying if there's mites, do a total substrate change? Bought a I. mira and saw two white mites in the AMAC box a few days after bringing it home. Grabbed and killed them when they crawled up onto the lid... let the substrate dry out(it looked overly moist to me), haven;t seen any more since then. Also kept that box away across the room, on a table with no direct contact other than the floor from the other enclosures.. not sure if that was far enough for "quarantine" but it was on the same bookcase self with the others before I noticed the mites.

The mira looks healthy, excellent eater btw.
 

Ellenantula

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Even with mites -- if it's nothing harmful or there's no infestation -- dunno if I would change substrate even then. It would be on a case-by-case situation.
 

curious juan

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If its already infested with mites that some are already clinging to the T, I would not hesitate changing subs. But if there are just a few of them, I will just let it be.
 

cold blood

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I change the substrate whenever the substrate seems to lose its natural moisture
That's insane. Substrate doesn't go bad...your issues do not lie with the substrate. With many subs they become hydrophobic if left to dry out completely....it can take a while to start soaking up water again, but it will eventually....peat is especially bad this way.

currently contemplating using Isopods as tank cleaners. Would the T not eat them?
Yes, many ts will gobble them up, which is why I gave up on isopods (many people are able to keep them alive though)...springtails are smaller and will only be eaten by smaller ts generally....I've never used them.

So all of you are saying if there's mites, do a total substrate change?
Absolutely not, only if its really bad...although with slings it takes all of 30 seconds, so I suppose why not. But only if the mites are in high numbers.

Bought a I. mira and saw two white mites in the AMAC box a few days after bringing it home. Grabbed and killed them when they crawled up onto the lid... let the substrate dry out
An I. mira should be kept bone dry....too much moisture would be detrimental for them...baboon enclosures generally don't see mites unless they are filthy because of the harsher dry enclosures they prefer.

Just seeing a few isn't an infestation, so I would just leave it dry out like it should be and you won't have any long term issues.
 

Venom1080

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heck, if substrate never goes bad, then why switch to new when you rehouse? ive started to just reuse the old substrate for the same spiders new larger cage. saves on sub when i font have much around.

OP, never unless mites or tons of mold.
 

aphono

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That's insane. Substrate doesn't go bad...your issues do not lie with the substrate. With many subs they become hydrophobic if left to dry out completely....it can take a while to start soaking up water again, but it will eventually....peat is especially bad this way.



Yes, many ts will gobble them up, which is why I gave up on isopods (many people are able to keep them alive though)...springtails are smaller and will only be eaten by smaller ts generally....I've never used them.



Absolutely not, only if its really bad...although with slings it takes all of 30 seconds, so I suppose why not. But only if the mites are in high numbers.



An I. mira should be kept bone dry....too much moisture would be detrimental for them...baboon enclosures generally don't see mites unless they are filthy because of the harsher dry enclosures they prefer.

Just seeing a few isn't an infestation, so I would just leave it dry out like it should be and you won't have any long term issues.
Thank you! That is what I thought- dry for them, was surprised at how moist the enclosure was- cocofiber was dark. The substrate has completely dried out, the only water it gets is in the bowl, as you and every one on here says.

How long does it take for a total mite death by dryness? I'd like for them to be completely gone before moving it back to the bookcase, because of the two P. sazimai slings, these do appreciate some moisture in their substrate.

My concern was nipping it in the bud- an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure and all that. A nice relief dryness and picking out boli(?) is all it takes..
 

cold blood

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How long does it take for a total mite death by dryness? I'd like for them to be completely gone before moving it back to the bookcase, because of the two P. sazimai slings, these do appreciate some moisture in their substrate.
It really depends on how many mites there are and how high or low the natural humidity in your area/home is....it can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
 

BishopiMaster

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That's insane. Substrate doesn't go bad...your issues do not lie with the substrate. With many subs they become hydrophobic if left to dry out completely....it can take a while to start soaking up water again, but it will eventually....peat is especially bad this way.



Yes, many ts will gobble them up, which is why I gave up on isopods (many people are able to keep them alive though)...springtails are smaller and will only be eaten by smaller ts generally....I've never used them.



Absolutely not, only if its really bad...although with slings it takes all of 30 seconds, so I suppose why not. But only if the mites are in high numbers.



An I. mira should be kept bone dry....too much moisture would be detrimental for them...baboon enclosures generally don't see mites unless they are filthy because of the harsher dry enclosures they prefer.

Just seeing a few isn't an infestation, so I would just leave it dry out like it should be and you won't have any long term issues.


Peat is organic matter, and will eventually lead to some exponentialish function of spores and mold,

The ideal frequency replacememt substrate should be: the square of the t's provided boluses, to be counted once a fortnight, to log dubia, of a fresh nymph


Seriously though there is an old post here, i could not find it, i think the dudes name is darkness or something, but he explained how if you leave peat and coco fibre in a jar the peat will mold faster in like 90% of cases, so maybe more often, i think it could be beneficial to a keeper to change the substrate for things like spores and that micro environment in the soil that we believe in.
 

cold blood

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Peat is organic matter, and will eventually lead to some exponentialish function of spores and mold,

The ideal frequency replacememt substrate should be: the square of the t's provided boluses, to be counted once a fortnight, to log dubia, of a fresh nymph


Seriously though there is an old post here, i could not find it, i think the dudes name is darkness or something, but he explained how if you leave peat and coco fibre in a jar the peat will mold faster in like 90% of cases, so maybe more often, i think it could be beneficial to a keeper to change the substrate for things like spores and that micro environment in the soil that we believe in.
Interesting...I always understood that the natural acidity of the moss prevented mold.

I use peat moss mainly in enclosures with burrowers that require constant moisture....I've literally never seen a speck of mold on peat moss in the 3 years I have used it.
 

The Grym Reaper

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Interesting...I always understood that the natural acidity of the moss prevented mold.

I use peat moss mainly in enclosures with burrowers that require constant moisture....I've literally never seen a speck of mold on peat moss in the 3 years I have used it.
I've never had any lasting problems with mould on peat, I might get the odd bit of white fuzzy mould pop up when I first set up the enclosure if I've mixed up a new batch of sub (peat/coco fibre/fine vermiculite) but it all dies off within a couple of days.

I find that straight coco fibre tends to mould like crazy.
 

user 666

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heck, if substrate never goes bad, then why switch to new when you rehouse? ive started to just reuse the old substrate for the same spiders new larger cage. saves on sub when i font have much around.

OP, never unless mites or tons of mold.
because it is easier to fully set up an enclosure and then transfer the T.

And I don't really switch to new when I rehouse; I just scoop the substrate out of my bin. The old substrate goes into the bin after I remove the plants and bits of webbing.
 
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