Microwaving Dirt to Steralize?

TheDon

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Can I put some of the substrate I am going to use in my Tarantulas cage in the microwave and nuke it? is it safe?

Thnx TheDon
 

MizM

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Yes... and recommended!

Some of it supposedly comes "sterilized" but any little organism can get in if there's the least little hole in the bag. I have gotten into the habit of nuking my enclosures for a minute and a half every time I do the MAJOR cleaning.

Plus, I have had a problem with crix laying eggs. The nuker kills THEM immediately!!
 

Lopez

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Works for me, but remember any damp/humid environment is prone to mould and mites, no matter how much you sterelise beforehand.
 

Wade

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Microwave ovens are not capable of true sterilization (Code Monkey wrote a really detailed account about this awhile back), plus, like Buspirone, I've noticed that micro'd substrate is MORE prone to mold, probably because the various microrganisms that would otherwise control the mold are removed.

I used to micro my substrate, but don't anymore. I may go back to doing it, but so far I've not had any problems. It was a pain in the butt anyway.

Wade
 

Buspirone

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I accidentally deleted my post about my experience with sterilization of various substrates while editing it. I have an All American pressure cooker that really does sterilize what I put in it. I think the process you are doing would be closer to a (but not really) pasteurization of the substrate. Its an effective method to kill off insect pests and eggs in the substrate but still leaves behind spores, bacteria and other various microbes.
 

Mike G.

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Like Wade said, I've also heard that nuking the dirt kills the "good" bacteria that keeps mold and fungus in check.

Different topic but related... I can't find any of the cricket boluses after my T's eat. Do some T's not leave any remains, or I'm I not looking close enough?? If I can't find the boluses and hence leave them in the T's cage, will they decompose, or will they mold?? Is it true that T's are clean and will poop and deposit the cricket remains in one spot, or do I have to disturd my T's and clean out from under their cork bark cave???

Thanks in advance for any help!!!

Mike G.
 

TheDon

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thnx for the replies... how long do u recommend nuking for? Im not sure if i am going to do it but right now I am drying out substrate that was in my suntigers tank right now and am gonna re-add it back in but debating whether to nuke it before I put it back in

TheDon
 

MizM

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I don't know if my conditions encourage mold and such, but I SWEAR by pure vermiculite. Never had and little moldies with it!
 

Buspirone

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Originally posted by Mike G.
Different topic but related... I can't find any of the cricket boluses after my T's eat. Do some T's not leave any remains, or I'm I not looking close enough?? If I can't find the boluses and hence leave them in the T's cage, will they decompose, or will they mold?? Is it true that T's are clean and will poop and deposit the cricket remains in one spot, or do I have to disturd my T's and clean out from under their cork bark cave???

Thanks in advance for any help!!!

Mike G.
The bolus no longer looks like an insect anymore since it is mostly masticated exoskelton and webbing. I have a couple Ts that bury their boluses. Some will mold if the substrate is moist on the surface. While my T's don't go in exactly the same spot everytime they do go to the bathroom and depost there boluses in the same general area unless I disturb them or the spot. The biggest problem I see inside the shelters are cricket legs seem to fall off and get left in the shelter if they like to eat in there.
 

Immortal_sin

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I am one of the people that NEVER nuke, cook, boil, sterilize, etc any of the substrate I use. Once sterilized, it becomes not sterilized anymore once it comes in tontact with AIR .... :)
Unless you live in a bubble, I'd not bother :D
Also, if you are having mold or fungus problems, try a different substrate, or even a different BAG of substrate.
I had lots of trouble with potting soil, didn't seem to matter what brand, but have had literally none with peat moss, or a mix of peat and vermiculite.
Just my .02
 

Buspirone

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Originally posted by MizM
I don't know if my conditions encourage mold and such, but I SWEAR by pure vermiculite. Never had and little moldies with it!
Verm. is essentially inert so that lessens the chance of any growths without a food source but I have seen it grow cobweb mold and trychoderma but that was under much more wet conditions than you would keep a T and without ventilation. Many molds grow quickly in stagnant conditions with high levels of CO2. When he said substrate I was thinking peatmoss and soil rather than pure vermiculite as a substrate.
 

willywonka

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Originally posted by Immortal_sin
I am one of the people that NEVER nuke, cook, boil, sterilize, etc any of the substrate I use. Once sterilized, it becomes not sterilized anymore once it comes in tontact with AIR .... :)
Unless you live in a bubble, I'd not bother :D
Also, if you are having mold or fungus problems, try a different substrate, or even a different BAG of substrate.
I had lots of trouble with potting soil, didn't seem to matter what brand, but have had literally none with peat moss, or a mix of peat and vermiculite.
Just my .02
I have to agree with you on the sterile/not sterile statement but I think that you should always sterilize your substrate no matter what. You have no idea what has come in contact with whatever you are purchasing. If you think about it, you have no idea where these items have been stored or what they have been stored next to. Sterilizing is added insurance that you are not intoducing a foriegn substance that could wipe out your collection.

I mix up my substrate (50/50 mix of topsoil and vermiculite, always got mold with peat moss) and then bake it at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. I find that by baking it I can get more done than if I microwave it. Also, if I have any substrate left over then it goes into an air tight jar so I don't have to repeat the process over when I need more.
 
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