"Soil fungus" in enclosed chamber

Markw84

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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.
That is a 4 qt bag Petco has on sale for $14.99. Luckily we can get the microbark. The 2 cu ft bag of Microbark is the same stuff at $11 for 50 qts. (2 cu ft)
 

Tom

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Hi Tom. We love the micro bark, but now there are bugs in it that always congregate in on his food and food rock. They jump and look like they have wings. They never get on my little guy but it bothers me that I don't know what they are. Any ideas?
Those are probably phorid flies. They are harmless detrivores and they come from the surrounding environment. You will get those with any type of substrate you use that is warm and damp. I just ignore them. They are nature's clean up crew. Their numbers can seem a bit high at first, but after they eat up all the existing food sources, their numbers reduce all on their own to a sustainable level. The best way I have found to safely reduce them is those hanging sticky traps. Personally, I just ignore them. If they bother you, you can boil, bake, freeze, or replace the substrate ever so often to keep the numbers down.
 

Mrs.Campos3

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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.
Hi Tom! We're loving the Micro bark and so is our little one. We have one issue though. Water is settling at the bottom and we have no way to drain it. Do you have any suggestions? I was thinking of taking his enclosure outside to drain every 2 weeks or so. The top is totally dry but if I dig down I can feel standing water at the bottom. Help!
 

Tom

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Hi Tom! We're loving the Micro bark and so is our little one. We have one issue though. Water is settling at the bottom and we have no way to drain it. Do you have any suggestions? I was thinking of taking his enclosure outside to drain every 2 weeks or so. The top is totally dry but if I dig down I can feel standing water at the bottom. Help!
That water at the bottom will wick up into the drier top layers. Its totally fine to leave it there.
 

Tom

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Ok. Any smells or signs I need to look for to change it out? How often should we change it?
Orchid bark resists mold, bacteria and fungus. You should not have any trouble with that.

I don't ever change it unless I'm putting a new tortoise into that enclosure. I spot clean daily, and soaking the tortoises in a separate tub empties them out, so they almost never poop in their enclosures.
 

Mrs.Campos3

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Orchid bark resists mold, bacteria and fungus. You should not have any trouble with that.

I don't ever change it unless I'm putting a new tortoise into that enclosure. I spot clean daily, and soaking the tortoises in a separate tub empties them out, so they almost never poop in their enclosures.
Oh yeah, he gets a bath daily.
 

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