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Old 08-02-2020, 01:37 AM
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Default Recycling clean up crew

I bought a used exo terra and it came with Josh's drainage layer, ABG mix, and active colonies of springtails and isos. I've got the substrates out in closed bins while I take a couple weeks to build a proper background. Can I keep the original ABG "alive" and add it 50/50 with fresh mix? Should I be concerned about contamination and just chuck it all? I'm on a tight budget but don't want my frugality to impact my future inhabitants.
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Old 08-02-2020, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: Recycling clean up crew

Is this the "solid, but filthy Exo Terra I bought off this kid"? If so, I think the obvious answer is, well, obvious.

Here's how I approach possible weak links.

If I have some weird, idiopathic frog or plant health in the future, I want to be able to reduce all unknowns beforehand so I can solve my weird future problem: I use water that I know the quality of, I use FF media I know others are using, I use supplements that are well-proven, I use decor items that have a track record of being safe, etc.

If you have a problem in the future, and you had used all good quality new items in your build, you will be able to troubleshoot your problem much more effectively. The more sketchy items you use, the less well you will be able to diagnose future issues, which I guarantee will come up at some point.

On being on a tight budget: all the more reason to spend what it takes to do it right up front, since likely doing it all over (substrate, frogs, vet bills, the whole deal) isn't cheap.
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Old 08-02-2020, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: Recycling clean up crew

I wouldn't keep the substrate. It's not worth the risk.

You can always pick out some of the isopods and start your own cultures :-). That's what I would do. You'll want to try to get as little substrate as possible from the old substrate into the new culture
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Old 08-02-2020, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
Is this the "solid, but filthy Exo Terra I bought off this kid"? If so, I think the obvious answer is, well, obvious.

Here's how I approach possible weak links.

If I have some weird, idiopathic frog or plant health in the future, I want to be able to reduce all unknowns beforehand so I can solve my weird future problem: I use water that I know the quality of, I use FF media I know others are using, I use supplements that are well-proven, I use decor items that have a track record of being safe, etc.

If you have a problem in the future, and you had used all good quality new items in your build, you will be able to troubleshoot your problem much more effectively. The more sketchy items you use, the less well you will be able to diagnose future issues, which I guarantee will come up at some point.

On being on a tight budget: all the more reason to spend what it takes to do it right up front, since likely doing it all over (substrate, frogs, vet bills, the whole deal) isn't cheap.
You are absolutely right lol it was the outside that really was gross because he had vitamin/hard water buildup and regular old dust on it as if it sat in a corner since he built it last year. The inside wasn't bad and still smelled like fresh forest. I've been trying since May to culture springtails and isopods but not having much luck with getting active cultures in or getting the few I do find to breed. Was hoping I could seed from the old stuff since I'm putting the random orange guy back into it. It's all going in the compost pile tomorrow. I will just have to wait for fall and try seeding from new cultures. Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old 08-02-2020, 08:42 AM
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I wouldn't keep the substrate. It's not worth the risk.

You can always pick out some of the isopods and start your own cultures 🙂. That's what I would do. You'll want to try to get as little substrate as possible from the old substrate into the new culture
I just "rinsed" the old drainage layer with a gallon of distilled and got a decent amount of both to float out. The dwarf isos were a pain to pick out since I'm kinda queasy about bugs. I
stopped at 30ish lol Hopefully I got enough to start cultures from. Thank you for the advice!
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