"Soil fungus" in enclosed chamber

Mrs.Campos3

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We're having problems with Soil fungus. I'll get a picture up when I can but I'll describe it for now. They look like very very tiny mushrooms, like smaller then a grain of rice tiny. They start white then turn red. When they are red if pulled and brushed against They give of a very fine powder. When I picked them up in my hand it made my hand red. We have a closed chamber set up to keep humidity high we use a mix of repti soil, forrest floor, and coco coir as substrate. Not sure how to keep this fungus from growing. We're thinking maybe making the substrate bioactive with spring tails so they can be the "house keeping" lol. Any idea what it is we're dealing with and how to get rid of it? BTW the tortoise is perfectly healthy. We take out the fungus as soon as we see it. I'm hoping it's not dangerous for him. That's the main reason I want to get this issue resolved. Thanks in advance.
 

maggie3fan

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We're having problems with Soil fungus. I'll get a picture up when I can but I'll describe it for now. They look like very very tiny mushrooms, like smaller then a grain of rice tiny. They start white then turn red. When they are red if pulled and brushed against They give of a very fine powder. When I picked them up in my hand it made my hand red. We have a closed chamber set up to keep humidity high we use a mix of repti soil, forrest floor, and coco coir as substrate. Not sure how to keep this fungus from growing. We're thinking maybe making the substrate bioactive with spring tails so they can be the "house keeping" lol. Any idea what it is we're dealing with and how to get rid of it? BTW the tortoise is perfectly healthy. We take out the fungus as soon as we see it. I'm hoping it's not dangerous for him. That's the main reason I want to get this issue resolved. Thanks in advance.
[email protected] [email protected] @ZenHerper
 

ZenHerper

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Not a completely uncommon problem. Spores get into the packaged substrate and then enjoy the heat-and-humidity combination (especially in closed chambers that mimic caves).

Once you get to the "dusty" phase, you've gone too far -- the dust is spores that will start new rhizomes.

Most pet stores carry a "Freshwater Aquarium Salt" -- not for marine/ocean aquariums, but for freshwater tanks. Mix it by the package directions and spray the places where you have seen clumps growing. The mineral salts will dry out the mushroom cells and kill the rhizomes before they get to the reproductive phase.


Springtails are an excellent addition to any habitat (they usually ride in on substrate, but you can purchase them. NOTE: springtails and isopods are now USDA regulated and are illegal to move across state lines in the U.S. without permits. Permits are easy to get now, but that may change in the future.).

A large, active mushroom problem requires stronger measures than a young culture of detritovores can probably manage. Use the aquarium salt to get things back under control.
 

Mrs.Campos3

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Dec 12, 2021
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Sacramento
Not a completely uncommon problem. Spores get into the packaged substrate and then enjoy the heat-and-humidity combination (especially in closed chambers that mimic caves).

Once you get to the "dusty" phase, you've gone too far -- the dust is spores that will start new rhizomes.

Most pet stores carry a "Freshwater Aquarium Salt" -- not for marine/ocean aquariums, but for freshwater tanks. Mix it by the package directions and spray the places where you have seen clumps growing. The mineral salts will dry out the mushroom cells and kill the rhizomes before they get to the reproductive phase.


Springtails are an excellent addition to any habitat (they usually ride in on substrate, but you can purchase them. NOTE: springtails and isopods are now USDA regulated and are illegal to move across state lines in the U.S. without permits. Permits are easy to get now, but that may change in the future.).

A large, active mushroom problem requires stronger measures than a young culture of detritovores can probably manage. Use the aquarium salt to get things back under control.
I'm gunna completely change out and clean his tank with vet grade enclosure cleaner. I'll use the salt within each layer as a preventative measure.
 

Tom

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We're having problems with Soil fungus. I'll get a picture up when I can but I'll describe it for now. They look like very very tiny mushrooms, like smaller then a grain of rice tiny. They start white then turn red. When they are red if pulled and brushed against They give of a very fine powder. When I picked them up in my hand it made my hand red. We have a closed chamber set up to keep humidity high we use a mix of repti soil, forrest floor, and coco coir as substrate. Not sure how to keep this fungus from growing. We're thinking maybe making the substrate bioactive with spring tails so they can be the "house keeping" lol. Any idea what it is we're dealing with and how to get rid of it? BTW the tortoise is perfectly healthy. We take out the fungus as soon as we see it. I'm hoping it's not dangerous for him. That's the main reason I want to get this issue resolved. Thanks in advance.
What species and size tortoise?

This is one of many reasons why I tell people not to use soil for tortoise substrate. I would remove it all, wipe and wash the enclosure down with a bleach solution, rinse, dry, and replace the substrate with fine grade orchid bark. O bark inhibits bacterial and fugal growth. Really get in there with the bleach. Spray ad wipe it all over the whole enclosure top to bottom, and try to keep it "wet" with the bleach solution for 20 minutes before rinsing. I just did this today with an 8x3' enclosure and my eyes are still burning from it! I think I'll be smelling bleach in my nostrils for days now...
 

mark1

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I'm gunna completely change out and clean his tank with vet grade enclosure cleaner. I'll use the salt within each layer as a preventative measure.

i would be mindful of creating a salty substrate .......... i know for certain animals that will eat salty dirt ..... tortoises may be a different story .........
 

Mrs.Campos3

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What species and size tortoise?

This is one of many reasons why I tell people not to use soil for tortoise substrate. I would remove it all, wipe and wash the enclosure down with a bleach solution, rinse, dry, and replace the substrate with fine grade orchid bark. O bark inhibits bacterial and fugal growth. Really get in there with the bleach. Spray ad wipe it all over the whole enclosure top to bottom, and try to keep it "wet" with the bleach solution for 20 minutes before rinsing. I just did this today with an 8x3' enclosure and my eyes are still burning from it! I think I'll be smelling bleach in my nostrils for days now...
3.5 inch yearling red foot.
 

Mrs.Campos3

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Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Messages
27
Location (City and/or State)
Sacramento
What species and size tortoise?

This is one of many reasons why I tell people not to use soil for tortoise substrate. I would remove it all, wipe and wash the enclosure down with a bleach solution, rinse, dry, and replace the substrate with fine grade orchid bark. O bark inhibits bacterial and fugal growth. Really get in there with the bleach. Spray ad wipe it all over the whole enclosure top to bottom, and try to keep it "wet" with the bleach solution for 20 minutes before rinsing. I just did this today with an 8x3' enclosure and my eyes are still burning from it! I think I'll be smelling bleach in my nostrils for days now...
So skip the soil? What orchid vark would you suggest? Can you post a link?
 

Tom

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So skip the soil? What orchid vark would you suggest? Can you post a link?
I get mine in bulk from local garden centers. You can probably get it this way too in Sacramento. If not, you can buy Repti-bark relatively cheaply on chewy.com.
 

Jan A

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I get mine in bulk from local garden centers. You can probably get it this way too in Sacramento. If not, you can buy Repti-bark relatively cheaply on chewy.com.
Repti-Bark is on sale right now online or in-store at Petco--$14.99 for the big bag which I think is 24 qts.
 

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