Vermiculite!?!

Selenops

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Looking through a bunch of sites when I came across the small caption in a general care sheet at www.tarantulas.com

Warning: There is new evidence that some commercial grade vermiculite may contain harmful levels of asbestos-like substance. This substance has been implicated in causing serious lung disease in humans.
That doesn't sound good and I have never been a fan of vermiculite for it's ability to stain inverts metallic gold. I have acquired a L. quinquestriatus with shiny gold legs once and that did not make me very happy. Just thought I would post this as a cautionary warning against vermiculite for users.
 

Talkenlate04

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Vermiculite is fine.....Granted you should not use only Vermiculite. I do mix it in with some peat and it works just fine. I have never had anything supicious come from using it and dont think I ever will.

That warning is geared toward humans cause Vermiculite can travel in the air when you are working with it and you should not stick your head in the bag and breath deeply cause you might grow a third nipple or something...... :D

But the way a T breaths is much different and I really dont think you have anything to worry about.
 

Code Monkey

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Actually, that warning is pretty much complete horse manure.

http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=869

Minute quantities of asbestos were found in 4 of the North American vermiculite mines about 5 or 6 years ago. A subsequent random sampling was able to detect trace levels of asbestos in ~15% of the commercial products in the United States. The levels were never above safe amounts, nor is there any known way to get the form of asbestos found in the vermiculite into the body in a disease threatening manner. Nonetheless, it was pulled from the shelves at many chain stores.

Subsequently, the mines were cleared, and not even trace amounts of asbestos are found in commercial products today.
 
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Talkenlate04

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I was working on finding that thread to I remembered seeing it lol........... You would have to eat the stuff for weeks and wash it down with milk to have anything really happen..... its one of those urban scares that was taken way overboard. I love the stuff it works great for me.
 

Selenops

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No, personally, I'd never switch to vermiculite -- coconut shavings are working marvously.

But I have occassionally discovered inverts with metallic gold discoloration on their legs tips and elsewhere and that disgusts me. If they are still molting to maturity, then it isn't a real concern.
 

Talkenlate04

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I am not sure you are seeing something that was caused by vermiculite. And as I mentioned it is not something you would use by itself. I mix with peat...... it makes it easier for some of the burrowing species and holds the moisture needed for some of the asian species that like to tunnel and burrow. I have never seen or heard of this discoloration you speak of.......
 

Anastasia

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now, while ya discussin substances
I saw a organic seed starter, looks nice and fluffy
look true ingredients, moss, blah, nudder kida moss, blah blah, vermiculite, blah, and lime<loam, lol, ooops>
question, is lime harmful to T's?
it is a natural stone, if I think it is :?
 
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Talkenlate04

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I would be careful with products like that....... Peat and loam and vermiculite are all fairly simple products....... Potting soil can be tricky cause most of the time there are weed killing agents and fertalizer.

The thing is most of us know what works now. So while trying something new might discover something that works better why mess with something that we know to work? Peat and vermic for me. Coco fiber.... ill use it if I have to But I am not fond of it.
 

Anastasia

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I would be careful with products like that....... Peat and loam and vermiculite are all fairly simple products....... Potting soil can be tricky cause most of the time there are weed killing agents and fertalizer.

The thing is most of us know what works now. So while trying something new might discover something that works better why mess with something that we know to work? Peat and vermic for me. Coco fiber.... ill use it if I have to But I am not fond of it.
Thank you, Dear, lol, u knew what I wuz talkin about :D
yes, I agree about not messin wit things what we dont know, but this is the only way we learn,
dont we ;)
 

Selenops

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I have never seen or heard of this discoloration you speak of.......
I have encountered this several times, makes the extremities (and other parts) of your invert appear as though it crawled through someone's metallic gold eyeshadow (or to a lesser extent, nailpolish).
 

Talkenlate04

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I have encountered this several times, makes the extremities (and other parts) of your invert appear as though it crawled through someone's metallic gold eyeshadow (or to a lesser extent, nailpolish).
Oh so you are saying that it bothers you that it gets on the T....... not that it has killed or hurt any of those T's
 

Selenops

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Oh so you are saying that it bothers you that it gets on the T....... not that it has killed or hurt any of those T's
Yeah, it's a tiny pet peeve, mainly due to the fact it doesn't look the least bit natural to the invert descriptions and it can be avoided.

Killed or hurt? I haven't read any documented cases. =P
 

IndianaSlim

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Figures....

Of course, this is just my luck, I read this right after I buy this HUGE 20 - 30 pound bag of vermiculite. I had bought this other vermiculite that looked like it was mixed with dirt but I hate how my T's drag the dirt into their water dishes. Guess I have to mix this new vermiculite I bought with something now.
 

Code Monkey

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Of course, this is just my luck, I read this right after I buy this HUGE 20 - 30 pound bag of vermiculite. I had bought this other vermiculite that looked like it was mixed with dirt but I hate how my T's drag the dirt into their water dishes. Guess I have to mix this new vermiculite I bought with something now.
You can use just plain vermiculite without any major issues, however it's not ideal as it won't support any sort of burrowing. I've played around with straight verm with some of my Brachypelma but found it less desirable than just coconut coir (which is what I use exclusively for any new enclosures at this point).
 

PINK1081

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I have seen what Megalon is talking about not on my T's but in the water dishes (clay type ) and I think it is the really fine vermiculite used for seedling mixes. I used a fine mix a few years ago and some that dried in the bottom of the dishes was almost impossible to scrub out, but never see it from the larger grade vermiculite.

Jim
 

Selenops

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I have seen what Megalon is talking about not on my T's but in the water dishes (clay type ) and I think it is the really fine vermiculite used for seedling mixes. I used a fine mix a few years ago and some that dried in the bottom of the dishes was almost impossible to scrub out, but never see it from the larger grade vermiculite.

Jim
No Ts with shiny gold socks, eh? LOL!

It is entirely possible this only happens with finer grade vermiculite.

Same reason I refuse to use calci-sand with my desert inverts, there is a pic of an Adroctonus ssp on the net somewhere and has made rounds in threads before with people exclaiming "OMG, a striped Androctonus?!"-type reactions. What it really is is an Androctonus that was placed in a calci-sand substrate and suffered the misfortune of getting damp or moisture or something, which makes that substrate extremely sticky and when it dries it hardens on inverts like candy.
 
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