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Mold Issue in Paludarium

Discussion in 'Issues, Disease and Pests' started by flyingSquirrel, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. flyingSquirrel

    flyingSquirrel Member

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    Hi all, I have a paludarium with a bunch of plants/orchids. The tank has very good air circulation with 2 pc fans (18 cfms each, so 36 cfm air movement in a 29 gallon tank). There is no mold anywhere in the tank except one small area...it's weird that this one spot has it but nowhere else, and I haven't had a mold problem in months. Anyway, the mold is a very fine fuzzy texture, sort of grayish in color, and is creeping over some moss...unfortunately it's very close to my Bulbo. minutulum and Bulbo. catenarium which are tiny, rare species. There are no animals in the tank, but if possible I'd still like to use a non-toxic treatment for the mold...also I am hoping I can use something that will not kill the live moss and liverworts I have all around the plants. Any suggestions? Thanks!
     
  2. flyingSquirrel

    flyingSquirrel Member

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    Looks like I'm SOL I guess? I may have to use something toxic then, but apply it carefully and try not to let any runoff spread around in the paludarium. In terms of fungicides, how about Daconil? Could this be applied to the substrate around the orchids (which is where the mold is growing) ?
     
  3. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What you have sounds a bit like what I was having on seedlings about a year ago. I sprayed hydrogen peroxide and it did knock it down, but I don't think your moss is going to like it.

    Can you take out some of the affected moss and test a chemical on it. See if it treats the mold; see if it hurts the moss?
     
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  4. flyingSquirrel

    flyingSquirrel Member

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    Great idea! I am not familiar with using hydrogen peroxide for this purpose. Is there a specific type I should use, or would the stuff from the drug store work? What % strength do I use? Mix with water?

    Also, what do you think about Daconil?

    Thanks
     
  5. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    The 3% you get at Target (.89) should be sufficient at full strength.
     
  6. flyingSquirrel

    flyingSquirrel Member

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    Thanks for the info and help, everybody. I just looked at the mold and it seems to be spreading and looking pretty nasty...also the newly growing leaf on the only growth of my Bulbo catenarium just browned and rotted off (MAJOR BUMMER)...whether that is a result of fungus, or overwatering, or something else, I don't know. But I do want that fungus out..I had picked up some Daconil today..I just decided to use it regardless of its toxicity, just to make sure to really put the smackdown on any fungus around my micro bulbos. I thought the Daconil would be a misty fluid, but it came out of the spray bottle as more of a gel...was unexpected. I used a q-tip and gently blotted the goo around all over the moss and tried to get it all on the mold. Whether this will kill the moss or do other bad things to the tank, I don't know, but I do know that mold has to go before it engulfs my rare orchids...
     
  7. MiKa

    MiKa Active Member Supporting Member

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    Hi,

    I have used cinnamon solution to get rid of mold and fungus as a biological and "non toxic" alternative for years with good result. Boil 500 cl. water and add 2-3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon in the hot water. Let it stand for a couple of days and percolate it. Spray the solution where needed.
    I also let cinnamon bark lay in the water reservoir in some of my vivariums as a preventive.
     
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  8. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good luck with your treatment and hope you get rid of the problem. After you do, you might want to look at why you are having the problem. I was wondering if you have much air exchange to the outside?
     
  9. xmpraedicta

    xmpraedicta Prairie angraecoid nut Supporting Member

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    I have had similar problems in my tanks and I think it is because there are pockets of stagnant air. Once you get this particular patch under control, you might want to get another fan and direct some air towards that area. Good luck!
     
  10. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    If it is just one spot of mould growth, H2O2 or any other not-big-gun fungicides will help. If mould growth is more prominent and bacterial soft infections seen on plants, as Marni told – try to increase fresh air intake. From my personal experience growing in orchidariums, especially crucial point is night time relative humidity. After losing several plants, I am dropping humidity at night. Or at least, try do not have due point & condensation in the enclosed environment at night time. What is good and beneficial in forest doesn’t necessary work in my setup.
     
  11. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    for what it is worth, live sphagnum was not affected by 3% H2O2 after 24 hours. Best not to use it on nigrohirsute dendrobiums and don't use at high temperature. Most of the trouble I was having on seedlings was when I had them under a plastic dome and didn't pay enough attention to lifting the top.
     
  12. flyingSquirrel

    flyingSquirrel Member

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    Thank you for this information...very interesting! I will have to read up more on this. What animals do you have in your vivariums?
     
  13. flyingSquirrel

    flyingSquirrel Member

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    I water/mist everything in the morning or afternoon, so it's all dry by night. Also, at night I remove a small section of the lid to drop the humidity and temps a little.
     
  14. flyingSquirrel

    flyingSquirrel Member

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    Thanks, I agree this is what is happening in my tank. I think what has happened is that one of the bromeliad pups has grown too large and blocked the fan air from reaching the orchid/moss beneath it. My tank has been 100% consistently mold free for many months, until recently...the bromeliad getting larger and overhanging the orchid is the only change that has occurred. I'm going to cut that brom pup off and hopefully that gets the air movement back to what it should be for that area.

    For those that are wondering, there is no forced ventilation or air exchange from in/out of the tank, except at night when I remove part of the lid for passive ventilation / cooling. The internal circulation at the strength I've had it at for months has been great, with no problems until now.
     
  15. MiKa

    MiKa Active Member Supporting Member

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    I dont keep any animals.
     
  16. flyingSquirrel

    flyingSquirrel Member

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    Update...
    I removed the large bromeliad pup so there should be much more air circulation over the orchids/moss. The daconil also appears to have annihilated the mold (so far), and surprisingly there doesn't seem to be too much damage to the live moss...but it's only been a day.
     
  17. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Good news. Please keep us updated.
     
  18. flyingSquirrel

    flyingSquirrel Member

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    The mold has returned, but doesn't look as bad this time. I'll probably spray the Daconil again, since it appears to have worked pretty well last time and also didn't seem to negatively affect the live moss. Will keep updating.
     
  19. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    I hope things improve for you. I back Calvin's comment that if you increase air circulation you will discourage mould from forming. I too have found cinnamon powder to be wonderful for many uses, not least of which to dust newly-cut plant tissue.