Mold on leaves in roach enclosure?

aphono

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
462
Mold/whitening(fungus?) is starting to show on some leaves for the A. tesselata and Therea olegrandjeani. Harmful, needs to be removed or no..? I do change out the fruits and veggies, just not sure what to do if leaves start to get affected?
 

aphono

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
462
Side questions- do they really need leaves? Some are telling me no yet others insist very strongly on it.

Do the leaves need to naturally turn brown and fall before collecting or will fresh picked green leaves then dried out be okay?

I have both species in topsoil with some eco earth mixed in. The cheap Home Depot one(Earthgro if I remember the brand correctly) with no fertilizer or manure added. Is this a good idea? Figured they would appreciate the composted materials if they go for that in addition to the leaves and fruit/veggies. If this is a bad idea, what substrate is best.
 

Sarkhan42

Arachnodemon
Joined
Dec 29, 2015
Messages
735
Side questions- do they really need leaves? Some are telling me no yet others insist very strongly on it.

Do the leaves need to naturally turn brown and fall before collecting or will fresh picked green leaves then dried out be okay?

I have both species in topsoil with some eco earth mixed in. The cheap Home Depot one(Earthgro if I remember the brand correctly) with no fertilizer or manure added. Is this a good idea? Figured they would appreciate the composted materials if they go for that in addition to the leaves and fruit/veggies. If this is a bad idea, what substrate is best.
#1. Mold happens, do your best to spot clean, but don't worry too much about it. Shouldn't cause any huge problems. I suggest getting some springtails, they thrive with most roach species in my experience.

#2. Both need leaves for their development. I also recommend some decaying wood mixed into their sub, has proved really successful results for me. Went from 12 roaches to 130 babies or so pretty easily(Therea). Not sure on if you can just dry green leaves, possibly? Give it a try and see if they take.

#3. That sub should be fine, plus it comes cheaper that way. Just make sure it has no additives.
 

WeightedAbyss75

Arachnoangel
Joined
Feb 22, 2014
Messages
921
That mold is very common, and usually means that your enclosures are too moist. If you can, get some isopods. They will eat all of it and thrive in humid conditions. If you can't get any, then you may want to tale out the molding parts and add ventillation. That mold isn't good to be in with your roaches, so I'd just spot-clean if the spread is small. Also, keep a good eye on your fruits. If left in too long, they seem to grow that mold very easily and it can spread to your leaves.

IMO, I think leaves are very important. It doesn't hurt to add them, and many roaches appreciate it in their diet. I know the consensus about A. tesselata is that they either need or really like hardwood leaves in the enclosure. I have some in my colony's enclosure. Not sure about T. olegrandjeani, but I figure it wouldn't hurt. From what I have heard as well, freshly dried green leaves can still have harmful natural pesticides from the trees. The best time to get them is when they are dead and falling off of the trees. Then they have no risk of having any natural pesticides and the roaches still love them :D Just be careful about having the leaves get soaking wet, that can be a recipe for mold as well, especially if they are green freshly dried :D
 

aphono

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
462
Thanks to both of you. I'll try spot removing at first and see how that goes and you are right about ventilation.. made a lot of holes but apparently not enough. I'd show picture of the set up but phone is dead.

Reason for asking about green leaves- it is the desert here.. hardwood leaves not exactly falling down from the skies, ha. There is a Populus fremontii(Fremont cottonwood) in my yard.. seems everything eats it(heck, even a moth is laying caterpillars that bore through its wood) so got to thinking about maybe pulling leaves off it and drying.. but seems I should wait until fall. The leaves in the enclosures are Grevillea robusta(silky oak), naturally shed and browned.

The topsoil has wood chunks in it. Will this serve as decaying wood for them? I could cut and save some of the cottonwood's thicker twigs? It probably decays pretty fast, as their wood is soft.

Another question.. how moist do you keep the substrate? I was trying to keep one end moistened with the opposite mostly dry. Reading around today I noticed a couple suggestions to keep the bottom layer moist with the top dry.. how do you do that? Seems like a good trick for some extra control over the molding issue on the surface leaves and fruit/veggies.
 
Top