How often should I change my substrate?

@ndrew

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As the title says how often should I change it? I use coco coir.
I also noticed that after a week or so it grows these white looking cotton balls or looks kinda like spider webs. Does anyone know why this happens?
 

crimson_lotus

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Coco coir doesn't need to be changed as much as other substrates, since it should not mold, so I don't really get why white things are appearing on your substrate..

I change mine about every 6 months, maybe even longer. I spot clean as well, and because I soak my tortoise daily, she never poops in her enclosure.

Some people bake their substrate to kill all the germs and then just re-use it again. You never really have to buy a new bag.
 

crimson_lotus

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Are you sure there is nothing else mixed in the coco coir? I know for a lot of my potted plants I get white mold on the top of the soil, but again it's on soil and not coco coir.
 

diamondbp

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If you use a food tray and soak daily then I feel there is very little need to ever change the substrate. Mine do their pooping during their routine soaks and the substrate stays clean from using food trays and also the occasional spot cleaning.
I think once every 6 months would be plenty.
 

@ndrew

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Are you sure there is nothing else mixed in the coco coir? I know for a lot of my potted plants I get white mold on the top of the soil, but again it's on soil and not coco coir.

I buy the blocks from petco/petsmart. And it's the only thing I use. I don't add anything else to it.

For light I use an MVB and a basking light.
 

G-stars

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I buy the blocks from petco/petsmart. And it's the only thing I use. I don't add anything else to it.

For light I use an MVB and a basking light.

It could possibly be food or feces that's decaying/spoiling?
 

@ndrew

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It could possibly be food or feces that's decaying/spoiling?
Maybe. I'm just going to clean the Tank thoroughly and put some new substrate. I'm going to make sure to spot clean and make sure there is nothing that shouldn't be there.

Thanks for the help everyone.
 

Mavrik

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Someone on another forum told me that if it's molding quickly as such, there may not be enough air ventilation, which apparently causes mold. I have a naturally dry house, so keeping humidity in the right areas is quite an undertaking. But I invested in personal humidifiers for my RF vivs, and run those instead of spraying -- haven't had problems with mold since.
 

G-stars

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Only time I've had I problem with mold in my closed chambers with high humidity is when I miss a piece of mazuri in there for more than a couple days.
 

Prairie Mom

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Yes, you're right...the white stuff is fungus. I've had it happen to me when I let my coco coir for my enclosure plants get too soaking wet for an extended period of time. Makes sense to me that things improved with the humidifier, because I bet you're substrate isn't as soaking wet now. I'm glad things are better. I still wet my substrate, but have found the "happy mold free place" and still maintain humidity in the high 80's for my sulcata. It can be done if you ever decide to go back to wetting substrate. Grab out any fuzz you see and eventually the problem will stop.
 

Kymberlyn

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I was about to ask the same question when I found this post.
I spot clean daily and the wash the food tray when I see that it needs it. However, I know that he urinates in his pen.

Question - Does the urine have anything in it that may attract bacteria or harmful insects?

I'm asking because I seen 2 little bugs in there this morning. The bugs were the size of fruit flies but they were crawling instead of flying like a fruit fly.

I have extra coco coir here and can change is asap if necessary.
 
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