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Mold?

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by TitoAndKatt, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    How do you guys handle mold in cages? Shiiva is all moved into her new cage. We are living in Seattle this year which is much more humid than AK, and her cage is less ventillated and holds the humidity in better - which is great and she is loving it. Unfortunately, I am now struggling with a mold issue. All of her wooden cage furniture molded. I took it all out, cleaned the cage, and soaked the wood pieces in bleach for a few hours. I scrubbed them and I rinsed them thoroughly (they were soaked in clean water for a solid day, with the water changed every couple of hours), and then I set them out in the bathroom to dry. I have to throw away her log hide though because just in the time it was sitting to dry, it molded again!! I haven't had to deal with this issue before - in Alaska it was next to impossible to keep the humidity up so mold was never an issue. I'm not sure what the best way to keep mold out of the cage is. Thoughts?
     
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    What cage and substrate are you using? I seem to remember you were getting a t-8 or something. This is the reverse of the normal problem we see, so it could be as simple as a change of substrate, a smaller water dish, or as a last resort adding more ventilation.
     
  3. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    I don't even know what a t-8 is so maybe you're remembering someone else? It's a PVC cage 48"x24"x12"tall. 40Watt Radiant heat panel, one fluorescent light. No substrate. When the initial mold happened I didn't even have cage carpet in there yet - I found the mold when I took everything out to put cage carpet in.
     
  4. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Was refering to one of these:Animal Plastics T8 Terrestrial Cage which is what it sounds like you have, or one very similar. Anyway, try baking the problem pieces in the oven at 200° for an hour, including that piece you threw out if it's not totally gone yet, and see if the problem returns after that. Go to a smaller water dish too. Do you have a hygrometer in there and what is it reading, btw?
     
  5. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    I do have a hygrometer but I set it on a table and haven't moved it back to the cage yet :/ I'll have to stick it back in tonight. I haven't tossed the log yet so I will definitely try baking it! Any idea if that will make our apartment smell? A smaller water dish makes me leery as the dish she has is already the smallest dish she can have and still be able to soak (she's a big girl - 4'9"ish and about 5lb), and she has been soaking a Lot - she's in shed. She has a history of shedding issues (even when I was able to get her humidity super high for the week she was shedding she still often had issues) so even with the higher humidity I admit that I am hesitant to take that self-soaking ability away from her.
     
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    I have no idea how much smell the baking of the wood might create, but I'm sure there will be some. Probably not enough to bother the neighbors. And none out of 40 ball pythons of mine have a dish big enough to soak in. It shouldn't be necessary, and if your having so much humidity that mold is becoming an issue, I doubt you need a soaking dish. Once you get the humidity stabilized where it should be (I keep mine around 50%) all you shoud need is to do a little heavy misting or at most give the big water bowl back when you notice her going into shed. I usually just mist mine.
     
  7. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    With absolutely no water in her cage and the cage dried out (there was a lot of condensation) the humidity is still almost 60% :/ Going to bake the wood pieces tonight - all of them molded again (and I haven't even put them back in her cage). Hopefully baking does the trick. Her climbing log is really cool and I've never managed to find one quite as branchy and solid enough for her to climb. :(
     
  8. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, that's probably the ambient humidity where your at right now, not much you can do unless you have heat or A/C going, both will pull moisture from the air. Good news is that 60% is still in the acceptable range for a BP, and you shouldn't need to raise it much if at all during sheds. Hopefully the baking will kill the mold spores on the wood pieces and stop that problem. The other alternative is to just let the mold run its course, often it will "bloom" the die back, maybe just keep scrubbing till the problem stops. Lots of work, but I too hate to chuck pieces of wood once I have them.
     

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