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Is This Normal

Discussion in 'Substrates/Bedding/Flooring' started by reptibeginer, Feb 20, 2008.

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  1. reptibeginer

    reptibeginer Member

    I am using coconut husk for my CWD and I keep getting these little flying bugs that look like small gnats. I only get them when my humidity is right. If its dry in there, I don't have any problems. Every time I see them I change the substrate, scrub down the enclosure and sterilize the furniture. Is it too humid? I only have it at 75% humidity.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Typhanie

    Typhanie Elite Member

    That's a really bad substrate to use for a water dragon simply because of what you've mentioned, and because it tends to mold in high humidity. It's definitely not what you want! :)

    Try taking all of that out and cleaning out the cage really well. Then keep him on newspaper or paper towels for a little while. You shouldn't see those little bugs anymore. If you do, it's not the substrate. If not, it would be best to keep him on something sterile permanently. Repti-carpet and tile works well, and a lot of people have had success with unfertilized soil.

    Also, that's actually a little low for your humidity. Ideally, it should stay around 80%.
  3. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    First and for most your bedding really isn't the problem here, all in all aside from being really anoying gnats aren't a problem for reptiles. But more so for the plants the lava eat at. Theres really no bad bedding (ok calci sand=Evil) every one has a use. Get these gnats every year in spring and fall. They really go to anything that is moist or just hang around water bowls in the dry cages though even in cages with aspen and 50% humidity and tropical potted plants that are kept damp I find them.

    Almost every keeper will tell you that thier just a part of keeping any humidity loving species. If they reall bother you alot you can do as I've done plant a small growing Asian pitcher plant in you cage and let it solve the problem (Don't do this with really small herps, we don't want them to get eaten.)
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Those little gnats are normal and happen in humid tanks. Harmless, just annoying.
  5. The JD

    The JD Elite Member

    I've actually been contemplating this idea should I run into a gnat problem (Haven't yet, knock on wood).

    I can't find any documentation on these being dangerous for a water dragon, but I know that pitcher plants can kill small frogs and lizards. I was more worried about what will happen if the water dragon gets some of the digestive fluids on them if they knock over the pitcher? Any ideas?
  6. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    I really can't see any as being a problem to a water dragon, the fuilds would really need a long time to break down skin tissue and constant exposure provided by being inside of the pitcher, any that may happen to get on it would evaporate or be washed away before any harm would come. Even a hatchling water dragon can't fit in any one that you would plant in a cage (Unless planning a room sized cage. Then maybe N. raja).

    With a high day temp and somewhat lower night temps your best bet is a lowland species with compact growth (some can get leaves up to 2.5'). I've never herd of frogs becoming caught in the pitchers but many frogs use them to get easy food or raise their young in. Small lizards like Anoles have been known to get caught but I've never known of anything larger.
  7. The JD

    The JD Elite Member

    What do you recommend as a good small pitcher plant?
  8. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    yes, gnats are actually normal.

    they are probably fungus gnats. they thrive in moist shady soil thats rich in organic matter. so, vivs are a prime habitat for them. they will also commonly be seen around house plants, gardens, and anywhere else theres moist soil with decaying organic matter. the larva of the fungus gnat primarily feeds on fungi and decaying matter, so they can actually be beneficial to a viv. while they do occasionally feed on plant roots, they typically leave established plants alone.
  9. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    I am gonna go with getting rid of the coco substrate. It causes alot of nasty eye infections in WDs.
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