sponge or no sponge ?

Steve Nunn

Old Timer
Aug 30, 2002
Originally posted by Nixy
We have eight T's.
I use them with Three of them.
Explained why too.

As for pray insects and fecies......

Pray insects usualy last,,,, They don't.

They drop, hop once if that and are Lunch.
Well you only use three sponges and you clean them regularly, so no problem, you don't have in excess of 100 T's. You have your reasons, doesn't mean everyone can go and put sponges in their enclosures with no fear, does it. It's not just fecal matter that causes the bacteria either.

Insects may get eaten straight away, some may not (I guess it would depend if you plonk one in at a time)and the keeper may not be able to get the cricket out without upsetting everything. What you are saying is hypothetical and I'm saying why take the risk.

My response was in general and in no way related to you and your keeping habits. You defended your reasons (no need, as I said I wasn't replying to you)and I certainly understood them, doesn't mean I'll change my keeping methods as I keep a few more then seven. I hope you understand my point. There's no offense or flame intended your way.



Old Timer
Jul 22, 2002
Originally posted by Steve Nunn
I shouldn't jump in here and answer a quesion to Wade, but, how many times have you had a good look in a rainforest? Rotting wood, dead fungus and numerous other bits and pieces soak up massive amounts of water via capillary action, same as a sponge. I wouldn't be letting a T drink from any of that either.

Good point. Never thought of that before.


Old Timer
Aug 16, 2002
Originally posted by lam
Well, they don't have water bowls in the wild, but they do have big ponds, little ponds, tiny ponds that are made by rain water being trapped on leaves, and moisture from the forests themselves. Water bowls are the closest things to the little water pools in forests. What would you be finding in the wild that resembles a sponge?
I love what Steve said, wish I had thought of it. I suspect that many wild T's rarely, if ever have the opprotunity to drink fom open water. Most won't wander that far from their burrow to go to a steam or pool, but they might get a chance immediately after a rain. That wasn't exactly my point, however.

My point is that almost nothing we do with T's in captivity reflects their natural state. We keep them on peat moss, vermiculite, coconut fibers, potting soil etc...some may be organic, but none represent the T's surroundings in the wild. We feed them cultured prey insects and vertebrates (often pre-killed!) that most would probably never encounter in the wild. They're subjected to unnatural light, supplemental heat and indoor temps, and keep them in boxes. If we feel like it, we can create a a terrarium that LOOKS natural, but this is purely for our own benefit, the T's aren't fooled.

In light of all this, saying that sponges shouldn't be used because "T's don't have them in the wild" is not a valid argument. The fact that they can become bacteria farms IS a very valid, and provable, argument.

If one wants to go to the trouble of cleaning/replacing them, sponges can work. Nixy uses sponges to solve specific problems. She understands the potential problems and has taken measures to prevent them. It may not be the course of action I would have chosen (I have around 100 T's, can't imagine keeping all those sponges clean!), but if it's working for her, great!

On the humidfier sponge thing, I think bacteria is still an issue. The manufactures recomend disinfecting and changing the sponge periodically. I prefer the more modern humidifiers that are less high matinence and don't use sponges.