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Thread: Eco Earth mold?

  1. #1
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    Jan 2018
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    Question Eco Earth mold?


    I bought a snake plant at a local nursery about 2 weeks ago. The soil it was planted in when I bought it had fertilizers and chemicals in it and after doing some searching online, I followed steps and suggestions for cleaning its roots and quarantining it before actually planting it in my Crestie’s tank.

    I made up a block of Eco earth in a bucket, rinsed the snake plant off so it had no more of its old soil on it or its roots, and planted it in the bucket with the Eco earth. (The Eco earth was a bit moist but not overly wet... the same as it is any other time that I would make it and put it into my Crestie’s tank.) I read that snake plants shouldn’t be watered too much and it’s best the soil is dry before watering it again, so in the 1 and a half weeks it has been in the bucket with the Eco earth I have only sprayed the substrate once (and hardly). Last night when I checked the plant out, in more lighting than usual, I noticed the mold I was planning on transferring it into his tank today, and now I'm unsure of what to do next since I've never had any mold happen before.

    Did the mold come because of the bucket that it’s been in (it is kind of deep), and the total lack of disturbance?
    Should I scrap all of the Eco earth in the bucket and just make up a completely new block to put in the tank with the plant?
    Is the plant itself even still safe to now put in with my Crestie, or do I have to rinse it clean again first?

    I’ll add that I've had my crested gecko for a little over 2 years now. The breeder that I bought him from set up his tank for me since I was completely new to any of it. It’s an 18” x 18” x 36” (WxDxH) Exo Terra and he had put in 2 live plants planted in only Eco earth (no drainage layer, clean-up crew, or anything else). Since then I would change the Eco earth when needed, and the plants have lasted until recently, which is why I bought the snake plant.

    Lastly, I might as well ask, should I be using another substrate with the Eco earth to help the snake plant thrive? Or can I continue with just Eco earth?

    Thank you! x
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  2. #2
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    Nov 2007
    Somerville, MA
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    I don't worry about mold in the enclosure. It's just one of the things that shows up periodically like mushrooms. The problem is more likely to be that misting the enclosure every evening and having a snake plant in there doesn't work since it may get too wet.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    USA: Oregon
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    Welcome to Geckos Unlimited!

    Does your bucket have any drainage? Lack of drainage might cause mold.

    Snake plants are excellent choices for crestie enclosures because they are tough enough to withstand bouncy cresties! I plant mine in separate plastic or terra cotta pots with lids/saucers for drainage instead of directly in the enclosure's substrate.

    Snake plants like to dry out between waterings. I haven't found nightly misting to be a problem. Be sure to fortify Eco Earth's coco fiber with Wonder Worm Earthworm Castings (or some other brand) as mentioned below.

    Since your enclosure measures 18 x 18 x 36 consider a 10 inch diameter overhead dome for the light bulb.

    Custom Soil Mix especially for Sansevieria (snake plant): fertilizer-free
    Cresties are hard on plants, because they bounce around like Tigger. Use resilient plants like sansevieria.

    Sansevieria varieties include squatty ones, upright ones, and very tall ones.

    Plant sansevieria in terra cotta pots or in plastic pots. CrestedRick's cork bark round planters work fine too.

    I plant most my sansevieria in this fertilizer-free, perlite-free, custom mix or in fertilizer-free sandy soil. They do well. (This mix is poor for pothos.)
    • 2/3 Wonder Worm Earth Worm Castings (pure form of humus)
    • 1/3 Eco Earth coco fiber

    Sansevieria are quite tolerant of low light. A 15-25 watt incandescent bulb from Ace Hardware or Home Depot overhead in an 8.5 inch dome fixture during the day will be all the sansevieria needs to support its growth. Let sansevieria dry out between watering.

    I use either incandescent bulbs or UVB from Zoo Med's Reptisun 5.0 T8 tubes.

    Another interesting low light plant is Ludisia discolor (jewel orchid). It's beautiful leaves are dark and velvet-like with pinkish stripes. It's bottle brush shaped clusters of small white blossoms are OK.
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 06-25-2019 at 05:36 AM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

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    Click: Leo Care Sheet's Table of Contents

    ===> No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside an enclosure <===

    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ (L kimhowelli) ~ (P tigrinus) ~ (P klemmeri) ~ (H garnotii)
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