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Annoyance with mold in terrarium...

Posted by Matt_NB NB Z4 (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 21, 04 at 15:39

I seem to have a problem with mold in my terrarium. It appears as a stringy, white, spider web type of fungus, and I CANNOT get rid of it.
I have a large bog terrarium, with about 90% of the lid covered with glass. I thought initially that the square holes in the lid would allow for adequate air circulation. Within two weeks the mold began to grow. At that time I rigged up a trusty old CPU fan in one of the holes, with an adapter, then hooking the system up to a digital timer which turns on the fan for two minutes every two hours. (I know this is completely dumping the air because the sides of the glass, which are normally fogged up with condensation, clear to almost crystal clear). Then the cycle begins again.
The plants inside do not seem to be bothered by the mold at all. Everything is reproducing and doing well.
Also, if it might be useful information, I have a terrarium heater that sticks to the glass underneath (15 Watts) which holds the temperature during the summer season at a constant 80 degrees. My lighting system are Hagen's Life Glow bulbs set on a different timer to simulate summer and winter.
I'd be extremely greatful if someone could help me to pinpoint why exactly the mold persists on infesting my terrarium. I spray the ground surface in the terrarium once a day with about a half of a liter of rainwater (I only use rainwater). All my plants are carnivorous plants, growing in live sphagnum moss, and the mold seems to love that. Oh, one more thing...I live in a basement apartment. Could the coolness and dampness of the air down here play a role in this? Even though inside the terrarium is warm?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Annoyance with mold in terrarium...

I think the only way to cut back on the mold is the air movement. I have a terrarium set up with only orchids and mold use to be an issue prior to a more constant cpu fan use.

I also have a collection of CPs are all outside now (ohio) and are doing fine, undoubtably with less humidity then your set up can provide. Have you tried leaving the fans on for a longer period of time? What is your humidity level at now? test it with the fans on for a longer period... also what types of CP do you grow?

RE: Annoyance with mold in terrarium...

I also have this mold in my terrarium in a few places, and I don't really worry about it. It won't hurt any of your live plants as it only 'eats' dead stuff. I'm actually amazed that you have any mold, since your plants are growing in live sphag! I don't think there is anything you can do other than leaving your fans on more, though this may seriously compromise your humidity. You could try using RO water instead of Rainwater. Who knows, maybe the rainwater has mold spores in it! RO water is run through a UV sterilizer as well as an RO unit, so it should be totally sterile. You can buy it quite cheaply in those large blue bottles at grocery stores and wine-making supply stores.

RE: Annoyance with mold in terrarium...

I had a spider web type mould, and it successively killed a large circle in my terr. In the end I sprayed on a solution of mancozeb (manganese and zinc organic complex) and it all disappeared. The mancozeb also killed a lichen (not surprising) and some moss (surprising, it may be have an osmotic effect rather than a chemical effect - I think I used a bit too much :-(). Anyway, after that everything seemed to stabilise so I haven't touched it in a month.

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