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Old 09-30-03, 07:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The trick with any substrate (when it have to do with humid conditions) is NOT to keep it always humid...
Terrariums for spp that needs humidity, must dry once every day.
Small openings for ventilation and drying once a day.
That's all i do with any substrate for humidity i use.
Otherwise, whatever you do, you will always have problems with molding spots in the terrarium.
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Old 09-30-03, 08:08 PM   #17 (permalink)
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one trick I heard of for high humidity animals is the use of open rubber door mats, the ones that are 1-1.5" thick and probably the ground rubber used in playgrounds would work as well. Cleaning would be more tedious but a rinse and drop into boiling water(maybe a bit of disinfectant) makes it reusable so after the initial costs it should last a long time. Just an idea from outside the box.
 
Old 09-30-03, 10:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Well here is my story at the Zoo we had a green Anaconda that was removed from her pond and placed in a 8 X 4 X 4 cage and all I did difrent with her was spray extra in the mornings a rule of thumb is that your cage must be dry B4 you spray your cage and it must "LOOK" dry 1-2 hours after spraing. By doing this I got 100% sheds all the time.

I was under the impresion that condensation was bad. cause condensation is more then humidity it is evaporated water that has no where to go but on the sides of your cage.
and to get that kind of humidity your substarte is VERRY wet not damp but wet. I just learned that a wet substrate can give you a lot of problems so I would be verry carefull.

I dont know how your herps are set up so I dont know what kind of guages you have but I would get a digital hygromreater to tell you what the humidity is at any given time you check your cage.

to have 85% humidity is one thing but to have condensation I think that only hapends affter 100% humidity.

I am not an expert but that was just my experiance with that animal in general. All my animals are verry easy to keep content but you have humidity loving animals.
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Old 10-01-03, 08:20 AM   #19 (permalink)
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No, you're right on that one. By the time the air becomes saturated enough with water to cause droplets to form, your ambient humidity is 100%.

I underestimated the ability of moss tohold moisture, so we're going to be taking another run at it just putting in dry moss and misting it down instead of soaking it first, then mixing it with dryer moss to distribute the moisture. So far it's worked well in one of the other rubbermaids... no condensation, but the air is still nicely moist.
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Old 10-03-03, 12:29 AM   #20 (permalink)
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For my snakes I use newspaper, paper towel, or bath towels. All work great. The leos get the papertowel as well. For my tortoise, snails, and frog I use peat chunks. As Roy mentioned, a bonus in using this substrate is that you can safely feed on it, unlike most other loose substrates. Because it is so acidic, it resists mold as well. I kept my rainbows on sphagnum for all of 2 weeks. I hate the stuff in that application. Its too messy, and it's impossible to spot clean.

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Originally posted by chondro python
to have 85% humidity is one thing but to have condensation I think that only hapends affter 100% humidity.
I am going to have to disagree here. Condensation can be caused by numerous things. It can be caused by temperature, ventilation, or where the evaporated water collects. Condensation can definitely occur in drier environments as well......far from 100% humidity. Have you ever noticed on windows in buildings during very cold weather how sometimes you will find condensation on the windows? This is due to temperature difference on either side of the glass. This can occur in 30% ambient humidity. Several of my enclosures have condensation, none of the ambient humidity levels ever reach 100%. The moisture doesn't escape quick enough due to controlled ventilation, so it gathers on the sides. Condensation is not necessarily a bad thing. All depends on the situation and cause.

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I currently keep only dry species and have them all on Alpha or Beta chip made by Nepco . Not sure if you have a supplier out your way, but these are lab grade particulate substrates.
They can be spot cleaned, and I also feed on them..everything except small newborns...
http://www.nep-co.com/labindex.html
I'm quite surprised they would use a product like alpha chip in any lab settings due to the fact that it is made from softwoods. All softwoods contain phenols which have been proven to be the cause of such problems as respiratory problems, neurological damage, and liver/kidney damage in small animals and reptiles. This issue would no doubt have serious consequences on any testing the rodents would undergo, since their immune system and ability to process would be compromised.

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Rainbows do exelent on oak leaves litter, just try it and see!
I've never heard about this nutrient-rich substrate being used for snakes...but I did try to find some for my millipedes. Now one would assume it would be easy enough to find! I went all over the place, parks, forests, everywhere.....came back empty handed
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Old 10-03-03, 09:31 AM   #21 (permalink)
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For my tortoise, snails, and frog I use peat chunks. As Roy mentioned, a bonus in using this substrate is that you can safely feed on it, unlike most other loose substrates. Because it is so acidic, it resists mold as well.
Ever put peat under a microscope? I've seen more microscopic yeasts and fungi in peat than in most topsoils. And the types of mold peat does harbor tend to be the ones that produce a lot of mycotoxins. I see a lot of respiratory, skin and digestive tract infections caused by peat substrates.
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Old 10-03-03, 09:55 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I think the only substrate everyone agrees on is paper towel.

However, I use peat b/c I hate when paper towel gets wet, snakes poo and then smear it all over, getting themselves covered in it. Even for just a few hours, some weird skin infection can set in. No thanks! I'll take my peat moss any time of day. That bacteria that was mentioned. Asperguillis (spelling?) is found in the air anyhow. We inhale it all the time.
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Old 10-03-03, 10:07 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Aspergillus is a mold, and yes, it's found in the air, but not in a form where it emits mycotoxins. It's when it combines with a protein source such as soil, peat, etc. that it becomes nasty. In the air it's not really feeding off of anything and so not producing any nasty metabolites.
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Old 10-03-03, 11:50 AM   #24 (permalink)
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...

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I'm quite surprised they would use a product like alpha chip in any lab settings due to the fact that it is made from softwoods
Isn't it just made from Aspen (like beta chip is)?? If so, Aspen is NOT a softwood. Hard wood all the way. And not only that, its tops on the list for the least amount of extractives (bad thingies).
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Old 10-03-03, 12:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Aspergillus is a mold, and yes, it's found in the air, but not in a form where it emits mycotoxins. It's when it combines with a protein source such as soil, peat, etc. that it becomes nasty. In the air it's not really feeding off of anything and so not producing any nasty metabolites.
Are not the mucus membranes proteinaceous?

Since it's in the air, could it not settle onto any other substrate (aside from news paper) and start to grow.
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Old 10-03-03, 12:25 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Mucuous membranes have more immune system protections such as T cells and lymphocytes than protein, so the odds of aspergillus growing in the membranes is very small unless it's an immunocompromised individual. Most of the time when you find aspergillus in nasal swabbings it is in the process of being flushed out of the body by increased mucus production, rather than recently inhaled stuff. Aspergilosis is normally a result of inhaling or ingesting whole colonies of the stuff at a time rather than just inhaling stray airborne organisms.

Yes, it can grow in almost any substrate in small quantities, but soils and mosses are the ones that provide the most fuel for it to develop into colonies capable of pumping out mycotoxins. It actually does grow on newspaper and any other paper product, but not in amounts that tend to threaten healthy animals. There isn't usually enough protein in paper products to support more than a few generations of the stuff so the growth is self-limiting.
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