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Is this mold safe for millipedes?

Discussion in 'Myriapods' started by mossloft, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. mossloft

    mossloft Arachnopeon Active Member

    FL
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    So, I collected some wood for my milli (some kind of oak, I believe) and sterilized it- 200 degrees for around 45 minutes. Is any of this mold possibly toxic or unsafe for my milli? He's an O. ornatus for reference. (Sorry for the poor quality picture, my hands are super shaky.) There's gray fuzz, greenish stuff, white bumps to the right, and more gray stuff that looks like lint where i scraped off the bark (to give it to my milli) before.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Gnarled Gnome

    Gnarled Gnome Arachnoknight

    US
    If there are several kinds, it's safe to say at least one of them is probably not good. I'd toss it and use different wood. Remember even if you manage to sterilize it, spores are ubiquitous so you can get mold starting from the moment the wood cools. Moisture and air circulation are better factors to look at for mold. Sterilizing is still a good idea though
     
  3. Arthroverts

    Arthroverts Arachnoprince Active Member

    I agree with @Gnarled Gnome, I would just add that full sterilization is not beneficial, and can actually be damaging to the long-term health of the terrarium. From what I have seen, you want to cleanse the wood of any pests such as pincher bugs(earwigs), isopods, pest julids, etc. while leaving the micro-fauna and flora behind. Otherwise you will get rapid mold outbreaks once you place it in the enclosure, as the wood is like a clean slate again.

    Thanks,

    Arthroverts
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. mossloft

    mossloft Arachnopeon Active Member

    FL
    Yeah, that's why I tried to do it at the low temperature- I'm pretty sure you recommended that temp. for me lol. I'm going to get some more wood, hopefully wood that's more rotted. I think he might be molting right now, though, so I don't want to disturb him. He's been curled up in a little chamber against the side of his container for about a week now.
     
  5. Arthroverts

    Arthroverts Arachnoprince Active Member

    Yeah, I just wanted to stress the importance of it, which is why I recommended the lower temperature.
    Hope the molt comes off O.K!

    Thanks,

    Arthroverts
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. When I go out collecting rotting wood I always look to see if there’s wild millipedes and other bugs in it. Then I carefully pick them all out and find them a new place to go live and take my wood home, I wash it first and scrub off any mould and then I bake it dry and sterilized. Never had a problem this way since. I bake everything before it goes in my millies enclosures, even the leaves......
     
  7. mossloft

    mossloft Arachnopeon Active Member

    FL
    Because there was mold on it, does that mean that I didn't sterilize correctly, or that I got rid of all of the micro-fauna? It was pretty damp and wrapped up in tinfoil, could that be why?
     
  8. mossloft

    mossloft Arachnopeon Active Member

    FL
    Thank you! I think I need to find wood that's more rotted...There's a nature trail near where I live, but it's got way more softwoods like pines than it does hardwoods. I will, however, see what I can get!
     
  9. Arthroverts

    Arthroverts Arachnoprince Active Member

    Mold is natural in a millipede tank at some point or another, so unless it starts taking over or smells bad then it should be fine. If you sterilize it at too high of a temperature, then you will have huge mold outbreaks, but you sterilized it at lower temps so while there will still be mold since the spores can survive the oven, it shouldn't be dangerous and will disappear with the introduction of springtails.

    Thanks,

    Arthroverts
     
  10. Everything I sterilize still has a small amount of mold growth after awhile, but it’s nothing too significant that my springtails can’t handle. They’re really a great clean up crew! I also have Hypoaspis miles predatory mites in all of my terrariums to eat any possible grain mites and other bad mites that would like to try and make their way into my enclosures. They do eat spring tails too but it’s okay because springtails reproduce so quickly. I love springtails and Hypoaspis miles mites. They’re great.i wouldn’t keep humidity loving inverts without them!
     

  11. Just make sure you don’t get any pine or other softwood sap trees as they can be toxic to your millipedes!

    If your really having trouble finding wood I heard you could use organic apple wood or maple or oak wood barbecue pellets. They sell them in bags at Walmart. You simply put them in a bucket and add water and they turn into a fine wood like dirt that you mix into your regular dirt in your terrariums. I have been meaning to get some myself.
    Make sure you get the fruit wood pellets that do NOT have ANY added ingredients. The brand I recommend from Walmart does not have any glue or chemicals added cuz some pellets have chemicals added to them that could be harmful to the millipedes so you need to make sure of what youre getting. I attached pics of the brand I recommend that’s safe to use and the description about them. I actually learned about using them for millipedes to eat from a YouTuber who was having trouble getting decayed hardwoods for his millipedes since he lives in a big city and this is what he uses. They’re called Pit Boss hardwood apple pellets. There is also maple and oak ones. I am going to buy a bag of the Apple hardwood pellets to add to my enclosures for more variety since I just have decayed maple wood in there right now. I have maple and oak leaves and sphagnum moss, Asian forest moss as well mixed into organic black earth soil so while I only have decayed maple wood to offer I still have lots of variety for them and they get organic fruits and veggies daily as well. I also keep a small water bowl for them because they all enjoy drinking from it. Some people don’t keep waterbowls for their millipedes thinking they just get water from their environment and food but I highly recommend every one have a small bowl of fresh water they like to drink even if you have proper humidity.

    If you are really worried any of the wood you added has too much mold you can always take it out scrub off the mold bake it dry and put it back in and your good to go.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Gnarled Gnome

    Gnarled Gnome Arachnoknight

    US
    I'm using hardwood pellets for my isopods and they seem to like it.
     
  13. Oh nice, good to hear from someone else whom is using the pellets. Are you using the Pit Boss ones from Walmart too or another brand that doesn’t contain any added chemicals or glue?
     
  14. Arthroverts

    Arthroverts Arachnoprince Active Member

    Traeger is also a good additive-free brand. Do you do anything to ferment the expanded pellets or no?

    Thanks,

    Arthroverts
     
  15. Gnarled Gnome

    Gnarled Gnome Arachnoknight

    US
    I'm going to forget to answer by the time I get home to check, but I'm pretty sure I got it at a smaller hardware store as pellet stove fuel. I just checked the label to make sure it was just compressed hardwood.
    I wet it to let the pellets fall apart and mix the wood dust with the substrate.
     
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