Uses For Moss

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
I didn't want to take over a thread where I just have been told that moss may not be a good thing for larger tarantulas. Beyond usage to hold in moisture, what uses does everyone have for moss. I have been using it in random places in my enclosures as web points for my larger T's.

Do I need to remove all of it if it is laying on the substrate? What about for a juvenile female E. Sp. Red and E. Sp. Tiger. I do see my E. Sp. Tiger laying on the small section of moss sometimes and she has webbed it up quite a bit. It may create a mess to remove it and I am not sure if it will upset her.

Does this mean that "soft" plastic plants are bad too? I see my AF Davus pentaloris laying on top of a branch section that is laying on the substrate sometimes. I actually put it in her enclosure to add clutter and web points.

I thought I was providing the equivalent of a Sealy Posturepedic mattress.
 

boina

Lady of the mites
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
2,205
WHAT? Moss is bad? Why? I have a mossy patch - not sphagnum, but real growing moss - in practically every tarantulas enclosure that likes a little moisture. And there is a pic in the Pamphobeteus thread of @babelfish 's enclosures and they are covered with moss. I like it because it provides some structure. Don't tell me I should take it all out.
 

Moonohol

Two Legged Freak
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
115
I mix shredded sphagnum moss in to the substrate for Ts that need to be kept on the moist side. Not only does it help retain moisture, it also retards mold growth. Since I started doing this, I've had zero mold issues arise, whereas before I was constantly struggling with it. Sphagnum moss is my secret weapon.
 

The Grym Reaper

Arachnoreaper
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
3,887
I use it for slings that are too small for a water dish (because the enclosure size doesn't allow for a water dish), I just wet the moss every few days and the sling drinks from that, it doubles as a hide to burrow under as well.

For juvies/adults I mainly use it for decorative purposes or I shred it up really fine and mix it in with the substrate.
 

The Grym Reaper

Arachnoreaper
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
3,887

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
We started talking about it here but I didn't want to distract from the thread subject in progress.
http://arachnoboards.com/threads/help-identify-tarantula.291516/

I guess the question is whether it makes them uncomfortable. I will admit that I haven't noticed for most of my tarantulas where I have put a small section of it in one corner of the enclosure.

I was hot melting it to the side of my arboreal enclosures when the enclosure was too small to insert available plastic plants.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
I mix shredded sphagnum moss in to the substrate for Ts that need to be kept on the moist side. Not only does it help retain moisture, it also retards mold growth. Since I started doing this, I've had zero mold issues arise, whereas before I was constantly struggling with it. Sphagnum moss is my secret weapon.
About what ratio would you say that you use of moss versus substrate?
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,584
thanks @The Grym Reaper
i use moss all the time in my arboreal cages, they use it to add to their webs. i also add it to terrestrial cages, just because i like the look of it. i use it for slings and smaller arboreals mainly, theres no real reason to use it for larger terrestrials that dont need a lot of extra humidity. i cant imagine a tarantula being comfortable walking over a shifting surface either.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
I think I just clocked the thread in question, doesn't necessarily say it's bad, just that some T's refuse to walk on it for some reason or other.
I've never had an issue, I left some to dry out in my B. smithi enclosure and she would sit on top of it more often than not and even moulted on top of it.

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/help-identify-tarantula.291516/
Beat me to it. LOL.

I guess I used the wrong word in saying "bad". I just mean that the T would refuse to stay on it. I know that my Euathlus species do sit on it occasionally but I am wondering whether I should remove it as an object on the substrate.
 

The Grym Reaper

Arachnoreaper
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
3,887
As long as there isn't loads it should be fine, I think the only reason it was brought up there was because the guy literally covered every inch of the floor with it.

I use it pretty sparingly in juvie/adult enclosures, I'll glue the odd bit here and there to hides/branches/backgrounds for aesthetic purposes, maybe put a little around the water dish if I overflow it regularly or dump a patch in one corner of the enclosure just to make it look a little less bare.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
Right, there's a big difference between mixing it into the substrate and having a carpet of it covering the substrate :p Like I said in the other thread, I just have a patch of it to hold moisture. I also use peat moss (ground sphagnum moss) to help fight mold, as has been stated. But that's basically just substrate.

The issue arose because the OP of that thread had a literal layer of sphagnum moss over the entire enclosure. The only bit of dirt exposed is where the T was. Given that all of my tarantulas darn near refuse to walk on the stuff, I still think it's a bad idea to cover an enclosure in it.
 

boina

Lady of the mites
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
2,205
It's interesting that so many people say their tarantulas refuse to walk on it. I use moss in parts of most enclosures but the moss is quite short and I've several Ts that seem to absolutely love it. My Sericopelma spends most or her time on the moss and by now I've covered half of her enclosure with it. My Avic spends a lot of time on it, too, and the Cyriopagopus slings have made their webs between the moss plants - they had enough space to burrow and some bark pieces, too, but they rejected those in favor of the moss. The P. irminia actually constructed two webs, one in the moss and one behind a bark and uses both alternately. The Cyriopagopus and the irminia have longer moss, though.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
Maybe I am okay. I currently have been placing a section maybe 4" square or smaller in one corner that has some sphagnum moss. I never wet it and only placed it to create some clutter and targets for web points. I would want to remove it if the tarantulas don't like it. I guess I will pay more attention to that area going forward because I really haven't thought about whether the Tarantula's avoid it or not.
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
4,584
It's interesting that so many people say their tarantulas refuse to walk on it. I use moss in parts of most enclosures but the moss is quite short and I've several Ts that seem to absolutely love it. My Sericopelma spends most or her time on the moss and by now I've covered half of her enclosure with it. My Avic spends a lot of time on it, too, and the Cyriopagopus slings have made their webs between the moss plants - they had enough space to burrow and some bark pieces, too, but they rejected those in favor of the moss. The P. irminia actually constructed two webs, one in the moss and one behind a bark and uses both alternately. The Cyriopagopus and the irminia have longer moss, though.
i dont think anyone's talking about live moss. :p
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
It's interesting that so many people say their tarantulas refuse to walk on it. I use moss in parts of most enclosures but the moss is quite short and I've several Ts that seem to absolutely love it. My Sericopelma spends most or her time on the moss and by now I've covered half of her enclosure with it. My Avic spends a lot of time on it, too, and the Cyriopagopus slings have made their webs between the moss plants - they had enough space to burrow and some bark pieces, too, but they rejected those in favor of the moss. The P. irminia actually constructed two webs, one in the moss and one behind a bark and uses both alternately. The Cyriopagopus and the irminia have longer moss, though.
How long will live moss live if it gets very little natural light? The idea of providing it sounds interesting for appearance along with possibly being like by the tarantula. But I suppose it would only be useful for species that like moist substrate as well. Finding a source that can be trustworthy for not having other pests included with the moss could also be a problem.
 

boina

Lady of the mites
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
2,205
How long will live moss live if it gets very little natural light? The idea of providing it sounds interesting for appearance along with possibly being like by the tarantula. But I suppose it would only be useful for species that like moist substrate as well. Finding a source that can be trustworthy for not having other pests included with the moss could also be a problem.
Moss does live astonishingly long withough light, at least several month, and it doesn't rot when it dies, it just doesn't look so nice and green anymore. I've moss in some enclosures for over a year without changing.

And the other pest... well I didn't want to get into this, but since it came up...

The German school of thought is actually opposite to the American take on this and it goes like this:
1. Do NOT use coco fiber substrate/eco earth/etc. because it's sterile and if one pest starts to grow on it it will take over
2. Instead go into the woods (no pesticides there) and dig up some dirt and use that
3. If you chose to use potting soil instead at least seed it with earth from outside.
4. You WANT living things in your earth, like scavenging mites, springtails, etc.etc. whatever lives in you local dirt.
5. You WONT get a 'pest' outbreak that way because you have a balance of different bugs/mites/fungi/bacteria/whatever and not one of them can take over
6. Do go and collect wood and moss from the woods and DO NOT sterilize it - see above.

It actually works. A lot of very successful German breeders work like that. But the thing here is: Germany is about at least 500 to 1000 miles north of the nearest habitat of any tarantula relative, meaning there are no tarantula parasites anywhere around. I'm not sure I'd try the same approach in Arizona and I've no clue what lives in South Carolina.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
Moss does live astonishingly long withough light, at least several month, and it doesn't rot when it dies, it just doesn't look so nice and green anymore. I've moss in some enclosures for over a year without changing.

And the other pest... well I didn't want to get into this, but since it came up...

The German school of thought is actually opposite to the American take on this and it goes like this:
1. Do NOT use coco fiber substrate/eco earth/etc. because it's sterile and if one pest starts to grow on it it will take over
2. Instead go into the woods (no pesticides there) and dig up some dirt and use that
3. If you chose to use potting soil instead at least seed it with earth from outside.
4. You WANT living things in your earth, like scavenging mites, springtails, etc.etc. whatever lives in you local dirt.
5. You WONT get a 'pest' outbreak that way because you have a balance of different bugs/mites/fungi/bacteria/whatever and not one of them can take over
6. Do go and collect wood and moss from the woods and DO NOT sterilize it - see above.

It actually works. A lot of very successful German breeders work like that. But the thing here is: Germany is about at least 500 to 1000 miles north of the nearest habitat of any tarantula relative, meaning there are no tarantula parasites anywhere around. I'm not sure I'd try the same approach in Arizona and I've no clue what lives in South Carolina.
I suppose I would be worried somewhat about chemicals more than pests in my local area. But I probably could go slightly north into the Appalachian hiking trails and find lots of moss and dirt like you describe. But that would be a little scary with my inexperience on T's. I would probably be more comfortable with something that I could grow for a while in an aquarium tank without extra occupants that need identification. I already struggle to find my small T's with my magnifying glass.:D
 
Top