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    Default HELP NEEDED! I have a unique problem


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    Hello I'm new to this forum, and I'm in need of some guidance because i have been unable to find solutions. anywhere... and because of the odd nature of the problem i didn't know the best section to post this in. so here is the issue.

    first off let me say i live in Washington so it usually rains a lot, however it is summer so its not raining that much and id like this problem solved before it becomes too humid...
    I have a crested gecko and a dubia roach bin. some time ago the roach bin became plagued by grain mites because i was a nooby and left my gut load out for ages. so now i keep my roaches out doors because my parents said no more roach creepiness ect... so the house is now provent-a-mited but my gecko was in bio active set up. however the day i discovered the grain mites was the insect feeding day and I fed the roaches to my gecko. I was using a feeding dish and he ate the roaches immediately, however i left the dish in there over night and now the tank has loads of these guys! and they wont leave! i have spring tails in there... and I'm trying to not render my soil and spring tails extinct.

    here is were things get interesting. I was trying to go the all natural route by simply lowering the humidity in the enclosure, this is supposed to disrupt the grain mites reproduction rates and because spring tails are supposed to eat mites and mite eggs this shouldn't be a problem. however the humidity refuses to go down below 69% and it will still fluctuate between 69% and 88% and i haven't misted in days. originally i was having issue with humidity when i planted a maidenhair fern however i ripped it out days ago and the humidity still remains!
    in fact a few days ago i even put a dehumidifier right next to the enclosure and it remains unaffected!

    I have 3 other plants in there. a defenbachia and a philodendron i split up along with a rock from outside that was sterilized in an oven at 250-300 degrees for 3 hours and a few additional small pieces of cork wood. its a 12x12x18 enclosure it does have a drainage layer with hydro balls, the substrate is from joshes frogs, it started out perfect with the ideal humidity, but after the maidens hair fern it was never the same. in the meantime since i haven't been misting my enclosure i have my gecko in quarantine. however i want him back in his natural state because 6 quart bins seem like an awful place to be in and despite changing the paper towels frequently its starting to smell.... i will relocate him temporarily to clean it, but still... this is a major problem. any advice? if all else fails I'm considering provent-a-miting it, but i don't like the idea of doing that....

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    Welcome aboard!

    What type hygrometer are you using to measure humidity?

    I used to live in Seattle. Now I live on the NW Oregon coast. I generally spray thoroughly once a day in the evening. My male crestie is 12+ years old.

    I think the best way to de-mite is to remove everything in the enclosure, thoroughly clean it, rinse several times, and then start with fresh substrate. That means gently rinsing off the crestie as well.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    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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    Thank you for the welcoming. I specifically said grain mites because they arent the type that harm the gecko. They dont touch him and hes already in quarentine because the conditions are easier to maintain. I dont like the fact that they exist in my viverium because they have an easier time getting out and infecting other things like... all the grain and flour i have.The hygrometer i got is a digital combo one i got from amazon. Im pretty sure its accurate as i tested it against the other one that came with it. Its not like id be offended if there were a few but they are definitly affecting my springtails and im trying to do this without killing everything. Its not just my springtails im worried about. I have a backup master culture of those. Its the plants as well. And the problem still persists... how do i reduce the humidity? Because even if i solve the mite problem the humidity is still out of control and the area refuses to dry out even with a de humidifier less than a foot away. So technically i shouldnt mist until the humidity is back down to 60 but i wont be able to till ehatevers causing it goes away

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    here is were things get interesting. I was trying to go the all natural route by simply lowering the humidity in the enclosure, this is supposed to disrupt the grain mites reproduction rates and because spring tails are supposed to eat mites and mite eggs this shouldn't be a problem. however the humidity refuses to go down below 69% and it will still fluctuate between 69% and 88% and i haven't misted in days. originally i was having issue with humidity when i planted a maidenhair fern however i ripped it out days ago and the humidity still remains!
    in fact a few days ago i even put a dehumidifier right next to the enclosure and it remains unaffected!

    I have 3 other plants in there. a defenbachia and a philodendron i split up along with a rock from outside that was sterilized in an oven at 250-300 degrees for 3 hours and a few additional small pieces of cork wood. its a 12x12x18 enclosure it does have a drainage layer with hydro balls, the substrate is from joshes frogs, it started out perfect with the ideal humidity, but after the maidens hair fern it was never the same. in the meantime since i haven't been misting my enclosure i have my gecko in quarantine. however i want him back in his natural state because 6 quart bins seem like an awful place to be in and despite changing the paper towels frequently its starting to smell.... i will relocate him temporarily to clean it, but still... this is a major problem. any advice? if all else fails I'm considering provent-a-miting it, but i don't like the idea of doing that....
    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny View Post
    Thank you for the welcoming. I specifically said grain mites because they arent the type that harm the gecko. They dont touch him and hes already in quarentine because the conditions are easier to maintain. I dont like the fact that they exist in my viverium because they have an easier time getting out and infecting other things like... all the grain and flour i have.The hygrometer i got is a digital combo one i got from amazon. Im pretty sure its accurate as i tested it against the other one that came with it. Its not like id be offended if there were a few but they are definitly affecting my springtails and im trying to do this without killing everything. Its not just my springtails im worried about. I have a backup master culture of those. Its the plants as well. And the problem still persists... how do i reduce the humidity? Because even if i solve the mite problem the humidity is still out of control and the area refuses to dry out even with a de humidifier less than a foot away. So technically i shouldnt mist until the humidity is back down to 60 but i wont be able to till ehatevers causing it goes away
    When I mist my crestie George in the evenings, his enclosure shoots up beyond 60% RH. Tonight I'll get a reading. I use a couple inches of Eco Earth's coco fiber for the substrate. During the days George's humidity drops to near room humidity.

    I don't see how you can remove the grain mites without uprooting the plants and rinsing them off too. I'm not comfortable using provent-a-mite.

    If your ABG substrate from Josh's Frogs is too wet, there may be insufficient airflow to dry it out no matter what you do.
    • Are you separating the ABG substrate and the hydroballs with weedblocker cloth? That prevents the substrate from mixing with the hydroballs.
    • How deep is your substrate?
    • How would you describe it now: damp, wet, or soggy?
    • What is the ambient room humidity where the 12 x 12 x 18 inch high enclosure sits?
    Last edited by Elizabeth Freer; 09-04-2019 at 04:03 PM.
    "If you can hear crickets, it's still summer." ;)

    "May the peace that
    You find at the beach
    Follow you home"

    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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    Turns out it may be hypoaspis mites after talking with the provent a mite guy again. Anyway it doesnt solve my humidity problem. I have like 2 inches of substrate i beleive... the soil is damp. I do have some bio degradables in there... but not much, im using a mesh screen peice to seperate most of the substrate but its not a super fine mesh for weeds, its almost like screen door. The ambient humidity is in the mid 50s generally. The haight is about where my stomache is... so... 3-4 feet off the ground.

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    I don't know that lowering the humidity will do the job. I've never gotten grain mites in a gecko cage; it's usually in my cricket or superworm container. I'm including a link to an article I wrote about getting rid of grain mites. For your situation, if it's grain mites as opposed to hypoaspis, here's what I recommend you consider:
    --remove the plants and pot them temporarily. Take them outside and spray them with water to knock off the mites. I think you'll be able to get the mites off the plants
    --look at the top of the enclosure. You may need to remove the cover to do this. If there are mites at the top, wet a paper towel with really hot water and swab it down. Do this every other day (I allude to this in the article)
    --consider replacing the substrate as Elizabeth recommends. It will get rid of most of the mites, I think. You may have to replace the drainage layer as well
    --I don't know what size your crested gecko is, but I have found that 12x12x18 is too small for an adult. Consider getting an 18x18x18 or 18x18x24 (keep watching craigslist so you can get them cheap)and setting it up with new substrate etc.

    If it's hypoaspis mites, it seems as if those are beneficial based on what I've read.

    Here's the article: How I Got Rid of Grain Mites - Gecko Time - Gecko Time

    Aliza
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    Yeah. See part of this whole bio active thing ive been doing is partly to understand more about nature and what role humans play in it. Which is why i have resorted to using provent a mite in my house but not the enclosure. It seems to me mites of some kind are inevitable... id rather have the good guys than the bad. Im so burnt out today ill have to read that article. Thank you a bunch. I do remember a post saying i may consider raising thw humidity even higher for a few days will kill them off...but this whole things been making me reconsider bio active... i never even considered that mites being a simple annoyance would be so... i dunno... its like i know they arent that bad but i feel this urge to hate them...
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    Are the mites in your house as well? There are all sorts of tiny white things in my many bioactive enclosures. They are not in my house. They are not overrunning my enclosures either. Maybe I missed some important info but is it possible that you're overthinking this and if you leave it all alone it will work itself out?

    Aliza
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    in terms of natural controls, what about some carniverous plants right around the viv?

    and if you re-do the enclosure, you can save the plants. when I buy new plants I always treat them in the tub with non-toxic insecticidal soap, let it sit several hours to overnight, then rinse thoroughly. it never caused any issues with the geckos at all, but would remove hardware store pesticides plus any hitchhikers that came in with the plants.
    [I]* Morelia spilota harrisoni * Morelia spilota mcdowelli *Liasis olivaceous olivaceous * Blaesodactylus boivini * /I]

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    Thanks for your reply. Thats an interesting tactic. However i discovered new factors. One is that the substrate i got from joshes frogs is probably not as well designed for crested geckos like i thought it seems like an abg mix possibley and thats probably more suited for frogs. The second is that i took a few different mite samples to a friend thats a scientist and looked at one under a microscope. This thing looks streight up demonic, like a mixture of old school religious artworks with a dash of sci fi alien killing mechine abomination! That being said it looks to be a predatory mite. I still need to take more samples but i think somehow its a hypoaspis miles. Dunno how i got that in my tank.. . I mean i know how i got it in my geckos and my beardies tank but not how i got it in my roach bin... thats a mystery. Now the mites seem to crawl around thw beardies glass front.... and they seem almost non existant now, probably too dry... and they seem to have eaten almost every single springtail in the geckos tank.... so i dunno. I dont think i can spend any more money on re doing the enclosure as works picking up... i think i may rehome him. It makes me a little depressed seeing him in that quarenteen bin... its a bummer because i spent alot of time and money on that enclosure... and due to these suckers being such a problem its guerenteed to become an issue again if i make another viv...

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