Coco coir issues

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I have read that coco coir is one of the best substrates to use but I can't seem to make it work inside of my enclosure and I am seeking advice. I first bought the coco coir bricks and added the correct amount of water as instructed and waited. I then squeezed out as much water as I possibly could before adding the coir to my enclosure. After a few days it started to grow mold so I vacuumed it all out and cleaned the enclosure and decided to try again. This time I purchased a bag of the coir that wasn't compressed into a brick and just misted the top so that it wasn't wet all the way through and again after a few days of misting everyday it started to grow mold. It doesn't just grow mold in one spot but everywhere. A layer of white fuzzy mold everywhere on the surface. I don't understand why. I also tried to use this same coco coir in my rainbow boas enclosure with the exact same results. I'm not sure why I can't seem to get this to work. Is there something else I can use instead that is just as good for my redfoot?
 

christinaland128

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You need to let the coir air out a little, take the lid off your enclosure for a day. I actually mix forest floor with my coir. I find that the coir is a bit too muddy when they get out of their soak tub. However I love how I can grow sprouts in it, and how the torts can burrow. So to avoid the mud, I add more forest floor near the soak area. ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1491075752.491186.jpgImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1491075766.821199.jpg
 

christinaland128

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That's really odd, the mold. Maybe it's the brand? Maybe try baking it first to kill anything?
 
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That's really odd, the mold. Maybe it's the brand? Maybe try baking it first to kill anything?

It is Zoo Med Eco Earth brand? As far as airing out I am not sure that's an option since I cant open the front of my enclosure or my tortoise will be able to escape out of the front. I d have a vent in the back of the enclosure as well as air holes on the sides and the coco coir was never soaked so I am not sure why it always started to grow mold. I know it can't be a food issue because it wasn't just happening in one place. it was happening all over the enclosure and also all over my rainbow boas enclosure who was never fed inside of his enclosure. It is very weird.

This is what my enclosure looks like, this is a very old picture though so the substrate in the photo is just cypress mulch and not the coco coir I have been attempting to use now.
IMG_1870.JPG
 

Lyn W

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I've never baked any but I use boiling water to soak my new blocks to kill off any bugs etc - that seems ok.
 

legan52

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That's very strange! I keep my coir pretty wet. I dump warm water so the surface doesn't get soggy but the underneath all does. I'll mix it up a bit but I've never seen mold. I've used it consistently for over six months and I've never seen coir mold, even with high humidity and heat! Maybe it's a bad brand/batch?
 

eric joranson

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Using coco coir, the only mold I have ever gotten in a high humility enclosure is where food particles are left; or where feces or urine has concentrated. I try and control this by a daily enclosure clean up. If your enclosure is made from wood; and you have had one case of mold; the wood may actually have mold spores which can spread to new substrate. Wash down with a mild bleach solution and allowing it to dry out in the sun will help.
 
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Using coco coir, the only mold I have ever gotten in a high humility enclosure is where food particles are left; or where feces or urine has concentrated. I try and control this by a daily enclosure clean up. If your enclosure is made from wood; and you have had one case of mold; the wood may actually have mold spores which can spread to new substrate. Wash down with a mild bleach solution and allowing it to dry out in the sun will help.

I would say that might be the case but I also had the same exact issue in my rainbow boas tank which is made entirely out of glass and he is always fed outside of his enclosure. I am using zoo med eco earth. Maybe that's not the best brand? What brand does everyone else use? I have never had a problem with mold growing on his food or any other substrate I have tried using. For some reason its only ever been a problem with this eco earth stuff.
 

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