Is it really possible to keep substrate damp w/o mold growth?

vancwa

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Oct 3, 2011
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I have dry substrate environment terrestrials and want to expand to species that require damp substrate. I am afraid of mold. I know, not sopping wet, and good cross ventilation and still am not convinced.
 

KezyGLA

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Apr 8, 2016
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Ventilation is key.

It is easier to add moisture to an enclosure than it is to remove it. Plenty of ventilation holes on side and lid.

If gets a bit dry just add water.

Safe.
 

ledzeppelin

Arachnobaron
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Jan 8, 2013
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434
I agree. Lots of ventilation.. I have many damp enclosures and nothing ever molds :) But it is necessary to remove any organic remains after feeding.. Those mold in a flash..
 

xFujimoto

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Sep 27, 2014
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Depending on how damp you need it, you can always dampen one area, then when the humidity starts to drop, dampen a different area and allow the first spot to dry a little.

If you're going to need an overall damp enclosure though, excellent ventilation and organic cleanup is key. Any damper enclosures I've had, I've made sure to spot clean more frequently.
 

chanda

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I'm always battling mold in my moister enclosures, even with good ventilation. What I try to do is rotate the damp spots by moving the water dishes periodically and misting different parts of the cage on different days so the various areas of the substrate have the opportunity to dry out in between - but the overall moisture level in the cage is still kept up. It's not perfect and I still get the occasional spot of mold - especially if I miss a dead cricket - but at least it's manageable.
 

Venom1080

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eh, just scoop out any moldy sub with a spoon every now and again. mold rarely pops up in well ventilated and maintained cages. besides, if its just a little bit, i dont even bother.
 

cold blood

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I'm always battling mold in my moister enclosures, even with good ventilation. What I try to do is rotate the damp spots by moving the water dishes periodically and misting different parts of the cage on different days so the various areas of the substrate have the opportunity to dry out in between - but the overall moisture level in the cage is still kept up. It's not perfect and I still get the occasional spot of mold - especially if I miss a dead cricket - but at least it's manageable.
Dont mist, thats a mistake. For ts that require dampness, its better to pour water onto the sub, specifically on the sides so the water flows to the bottom where its needed. In truth, most of the time the surface moisture is inconsequential, its down in or near the burrow where it belongs thats important. My damp enclosures generally are dry at the surface much of the time.

That sub surface moisture also remains a LOT longer, whereas that surface is going to dry much much faster.
 

creepa

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Sep 24, 2010
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Just use springtailes and isopods and you dont have to do anything anymore exept feeding and watering...

The springtails and isopods take care of the mold and bolusus...
 

Red Eunice

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Mar 2, 2014
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Dont mist, thats a mistake. For ts that require dampness, its better to pour water onto the sub, specifically on the sides so the water flows to the bottom where its needed. In truth, most of the time the surface moisture is inconsequential, its down in or near the burrow where it belongs thats important. My damp enclosures generally are dry at the surface much of the time.

That sub surface moisture also remains a LOT longer, whereas that surface is going to dry much much faster.
I keep my Cyriopagopoeus enclosures the same way. Topsoil is the substrate in use. In my area, a single row of 7/32" holes on all 4 sides, seems to work best. With the furnace running, I do pour in water more frequently, about once a month. The top inch or so may dry out a bit, as CB stated, but is moist where the burrow is.
 

Andrea82

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Jan 12, 2016
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I started using springtails when i got my E.murinus. Awesome critters, no mold at all so far. My B.kahlenbergi likes to dump its waterdish, creating a very wet spot in the corner. It used to break out in mold, but i added some springtails, no more mold. :). And when the spot is dry again, the springtails die, or move to the next wet spot. I move its waterdish for reason above.
Springtails really break down remains, boli or poop fast. They are also nice pinpointers to where i may have forgot a spot. Just look at a place wherw there are lots of springtails and take it out.
 

ThorsCarapace22

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Feb 20, 2019
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I keep a T. Stirmi in a 20gal enclosure, I made a acrylic lid with quite a bit of holes. Because I don't have cross ventilation I feel like I work alittle extra to avoid mold.
 

Andrea82

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Jan 12, 2016
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Update on how I keep my E.murinus (I've established she's a girl, yay!).
I switched from cocofiber substrate to cheap peat substrate, and this works much better. Even leftovers don't mold, and the peat holds moisture way better than cocofibre.
The combination of her webbing with the moisture looks quite nice, almost as if her enclosure frosted over. I'll try and take some pics when I get the chance.
I don't bother misting, I just pour water straight on the substrate. Just be careful that it doesn't spill out through the ventilation holes... :bucktooth:
 

Ellenantula

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Sep 14, 2014
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I'm not overly upset over bits of mould. I have several Ts that require damper conditions. Let's be honest, mould spores are everywhere all the time, just looking for favourable conditions to thrive in. I only remove mould if it's in a small and easily accessible area. And even then, I often leave it alone and just shrug it off.

Hate for a fear of mould to prevent you getting the T of your dreams. Mould is 'wild' just as Ts are. And with some Ts, the perfect T conditions are also perfect mould conditions -- a little mould won't harm Ts. While I wouldn't prefer an enclosure entirely covered in mould (or mushrooms) for aesthetic reasons, I understand having a T may mean also hosting some mould guests (or [gasp] even springtails and mites). And I usually spot any mould deep down below top substrate, not necessarily in top layer (I pour water in deeply so it sinks to bottom).

I love my cat, but her water bowl will grow algae. I just clean the dishes and go on with life as usual. You can't beat nature (at least, not without harmful chemicals). Let your T thrive and accept you may get some mould or a mushroom here and there. It doesn't necessarily indicate poor husbandry -- and if micro-organisms thrive -- your T may thrive also.

Good luck and don't worry so much. Ts in the wild deal with all sorts of micro-organisms and do well!

[haters -- I'm ready!!! lol}
 

MainMann

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Feb 25, 2019
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Yeah it's possible to avoid it as much as possible, but there's no guarantee that mold won't grow. Ventilation is key, and don't let the substrate get soaking wet. Another great tip is to spot clean any bolus as fast as possible, and they catch mold pretty quickly.

Another factor that i think comes to play is where you put your T enclosures and where you live. If you put your Ts in a shelf where air circulation is great, it can minimize the chance of mold growing, and vice versa if you place your Ts in a basement or live in a humid country. Just my two cents though based on observation!
 
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