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 How to tell if it's time to change your substrate

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Mr. Mordax
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PostSubject: How to tell if it''s time to change your substrate   5/15/2009, 11:10 am

Many newcomers to the hobby are unsure of how often to replace the substrate in their emperor scorpion tank. Many also panic when they see mold growth, thinking it's dangerous to the scorpions. So, two common questions are "when do I clean the tank?" and "is mold harmful?"

I think this photo should answer both questions (click to show):

Spoiler:
 

This tank is home to three perfectly healthy subadult emperors. The substrate was last changed around three years ago, when I first got into the hobby. The false-bottom was installed sixish months later, using the same substrate.

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/15/2009, 1:54 pm

I was wondering today actually if I should change my pandinus Imperator 4I substrate! they should be adults by now and have had yet another death! im now down to 4 out of 19...and im thinking is there something in the coco fibre!
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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/15/2009, 4:02 pm

Soooooo ... What you're saying is that the substrate should be changed when we start seeing mushroom-like objects growing on the surface?

I have a feeling I've wasted a good amount of substrate in the past year and a half.
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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/15/2009, 4:28 pm

I have a couple of tanks that havent been changed since maj 07 Very Happy works like a charm Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/15/2009, 6:27 pm

holy ****!!!


where did the blooms come from then?

it actually looks quite nice lol Razz

I don't really change my substrate, it seems after a while the soil just establishes it's own little clean up crew and stuff doesn't go all mouldy.
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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/15/2009, 8:58 pm

lol and i started thinkin I was bein a bad keeper by reusin the same substrate the closest to clean as it gets is me remodeling the setup and just stirrin it all up hah
But I do remove leftovers from the crickets if I can get to it.
I figure mold couldnt hurt them really its all over my hides and spreading across the tank. Unless it mutates from the radiation becoming bent on destroying all humans and hungry for world domination again! But that hasnt happend in years so its all good..
Although judging from that picture it looks as though it may be a second coming BEWARE THE FUNGUS AMONG US!
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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/16/2009, 12:35 pm

Those aren't mushroom-like growths Brandon, those are the real deal! The spores are probably floating around just about everywhere, but the substrate was old enough that it had broken down to the point where some mycelia could feed on it and establish a system.

I'd seen some yellow on the side of the tank, below the soil level, and didn't really worry much about it. Then the fruiting bodies developed.

It would make a pretty cool setup to have mushrooms naturally growing in my tank, but the spores trigger allergies in some people (including Lori), so I cleaned it all out yesterday.

For a while there it looked like something out of a Grateful Dead poster. Razz

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/16/2009, 1:14 pm

I've always worried about mold since one of my emps appeared to have mold growing on it.

I worry at the slightest white blob in the soil...

But now I know what to.

Despite that i've always realised its stupid, as in the natural they obviously don't live in mold-free environments.
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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/16/2009, 1:31 pm

Yeah, there's probably plenty of mushrooms growing in Ghanaian forests.

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/16/2009, 1:46 pm

Yeah, but won't the methane being released have an effect seeing as they are trapped in a tank. Whereas in the wild they are in the open and so it doesn't affect them?
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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/16/2009, 2:08 pm

Since when do mushrooms release methane? And unless you have your tank sealed, a lot of air can exchange by diffusion.

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/16/2009, 2:22 pm

Update: did a bit of research, and IDed it as Leucocoprinus birnbaumii, also known as the yellow houseplant mushroom. Originally tropical, then spread worldwide through potting soils as it doesn't have a host tree association.

Inedible, reportedly poisonous (my research suggests the most it does is give you bad indigestion), otherwise harmless. Very common in potted plants and greenhouses. Polysaccharides extracted from the mycelia have shown to inhibit tumor growth in lab mice.

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/16/2009, 3:05 pm

Yup. I've wasted a lot of substrate. I used to change the substrate every 2-3 months ...

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/16/2009, 3:33 pm

it is pretty cool. Alot of folk seem to worry about moulds and such, when the scorpions are obviously going to come into contact with them in the wild.
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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/20/2009, 6:50 pm

Mr. Mordax wrote:
Since when do mushrooms release methane? And unless you have your tank sealed, a lot of air can exchange by diffusion.
LMAO I agree mike I never heard of a farting mushroom Razz
I remember you telling me several months ago when I first joined this forum that I should not be changing my substrate.
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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/21/2009, 9:07 pm

hey Mike Thanks alot for postin this topic.Ive had a mold problem for a while,now and I havent been sure what to do about it.Now I know I can just leave it be

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/21/2009, 10:11 pm

Is that it between the glass and the tank?

That could be the mycelia forming -- I saw that for a while before I saw the mushrooms sprout.

How old is that substrate?

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/21/2009, 11:26 pm

yeah thats it.Ive already seen one mushroom in the tank but it was about 4 inches from breaking the surface.

The substrate is about 8 months old

edit: the mushroom in the tank was white but looked similar in shape to the one in your tank
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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   5/22/2009, 12:35 am

The coloration is prone to some variation, but there's a good chance it's the same kind. Post a pic if / when it breaks the surface.

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   6/15/2009, 2:31 pm

I know its abit grave digging
But since i got a cool shroom in one of my tanks allso and found this cool shroom id thingie on the net that allowed me to ID it to
http://www.mushroomexpert.com/leucocoprinus_birnbaumii.html

wich is the same as mikes

the id guide is this www.mycokey.com

its pretty cool.. and might help orthers in finding out if the shrooms they have is lethal or not.. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: How to tell if it's time to change your substrate   6/15/2009, 5:15 pm

I found out after reading an issue of the ATS journal that if these mushrooms sprout up, fall into a water dish, and rot, the water is toxic to tarantulas. Shocked

So probably best to remove them when you find them.

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