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  1. #1
    Marty's Avatar
    Marty is offline Geckos Unlimited
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    Default Eliminating Vivarium Pests


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    A new story entry has been added:

    [drupal=5]Eliminating Vivarium Pests[/drupal]

    Necessity, mother of invention. Below is a description of a method I came up with after my vivarium got heavily infested with millipedes. This will most likely apply to any pests. Read on, you might find it useful.This was my 90gal diamond shaped prior to the Operation Jungle Fever . Millipedes got so bad that I could count hundreds of them crawling all over the tank...it was disgusting!!! I did not want to rip my tank apart because I sunk a lot of work and money into making the background and water features, foggers, lights, etc. I embedded tubes and wires in the background, plus things were healthy and well rooted and growing beautifully. I wanted to kill only millipedes and a few slugs, but nothing else. Pesticides and chemicals were out of the questions, since I kept dart frogs in the tank. Eventually they would go back into the tank. I started experimenting with carbon dioxide - CO2. It is heavier then air, thus easy to put into a tank. Any bug will eventually need air, so I figured it will die without any oxygen... Plants love CO2. After the procedure the tank would just need to be vented for a little bit to replace the air. Seemed there would be no downside! I looked into getting a CO2 tank, but it turned out too expensive and not worth the hassle.... I used dry ice, which is compressed, solid form of carbon dioxide.Here's what I did....I'm extremely excited, because my idea worked flawlessly for me and I'd recommend it to anyone with similar problem. You can do the same thing with a single orchid, by either putting it into an empty Tupperware container. No reason, why it wouldn't work. Post back if you try it.I was a bit concerned with using dry ice, because I was afraid it will lower the temp and kill my plants in the process, so I took a few precautions.

  2. #2
    cliff_f's Avatar
    cliff_f is offline Senior Member
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    Thats a really good idea. I am going to remember that just incase I ever need to do that. I probally would of just tore the tank down, now this might save me alot of hard work in the future.
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  3. #3
    Marty's Avatar
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    The trick is that the tank has to be air tight, if the CO2 leaks out somewhere, then it won't work. It's ideal to do it in an aquarium. Then top it off every few hrs. I've heard that it doesn't work on mites, though I don't know how the person did it. I know it works like a charm on millipedes. BTW, the cool thing is that this article has been published in 2 european dart frog journals, once translated into Dutch and 2nd time translated into Sweedish. I thought that was kind of cool

  4. #4
    Bowfinger's Avatar
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    Very cutting edge Marty, reminds me of the Reef tank boom, with new ways of thinking. The one thing I would be cautious of is a fungus bloom getting out of hand by a potential dangerous species...i.e. like after taking antibiotics your bodies natural candida can take over. Maybe introduction of a "good" bacteria as part of the process? But all together a great idea, and awesome looking tanks you developed.

  5. #5
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    Riverside Reptiles is offline Geckos Unlimited Admin
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    I don't know about in Canada, but here in the US, CO2 is cheap. Just go to a welding/gas supply shop. You don't have to buy the tank. It's like getting a tank of propane for your BBQ grill...you just use the gas and then return the tank when you're done. It seems it would be far easier to work with a real tank of gas than a block of dry ice. You wouldn't need a big tank of it either. The gas is compressed and thus, a little goes a long way.
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    i was wondering how u made that tank setup cuz i am wanting to do something like that for my crested geckos. like what plants u used and how u got the moss or w.e u used to cover the back of the tank

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    Hking22 is offline Newbie
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    Hey Marty, great article. Thats a very inovative solution to a potential headache. Just thought you might want to know, there was an article in the Living Vivarium section of REPTILES Magazine about "Potential Vivarium Pests: Prevention, Management, and Positive Aspects." The article was in the Volume 10, number 11, November 2002 issue of REPTILES Magazine. The article is on page 92 and was written by Rex Lee Searcy.

    P.S. The article did have anexcerpt about millipedes but he stated that the only way he knows about getting rid of them is to pick them out. He also states that if any body knows of a species of herp out there that will readilly eat these millipedes to please contact him. Well I think you found a better solution Marty.

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    I also had a big vivarium that was full of millipedes. I figured that the population boom would end when the food supply ran out. Millipedes were probably living on mould that was abundant until the mould ran out of food. That is what happened. Jusy like the real world, I see population swings of tiny creatures, usually very tiny worms, snails, arthropods, etc. In time all of them fade away. My reccomendation is enjoy the diversity and let it go away by itself.
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    lacplesis2 is offline Newbie
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    It has to be said! That is pure genius! Well done. And thanks for showing us how it's done.

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    It is funny. Although I have only been a member here for a few months I have been visiting the site on and off for a few years. I have been giving people this same information that I had read some where. LOL I did not realize that this was where I had learned it. Thanks Marty your CO2 method has helped me a dozen times or so. I will be sure to give you and geckos unlimited props in the future, now that I remember where I got the info.

    Thanks,

    Rob

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