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Old 08-07-2019, 02:18 AM
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Default Mite ID/Help? (killing plant. or feeding off decay?)

https://elisabluh.tumblr.com/post/186829055686
^video of them in action

I've had some issues with plant death in my (non-frogged, yet) vivarium and noticed some mites on the glass, didn't think much of it based on the (many) threads I've looked at on the topic... but then I saw these guys that seem to be building up on what looks like is becoming my latest plant casualty and I'm at a loss. What are these? Are they hurting my plant, or just eating what's dying from another cause?

I'm wondering if I should just pull up this plant, though I doubt that would fix the problem... I'm seeing other, smaller mites in the background of the video now too... what a pain. (Thanks, iPhone X camera!)

This vivarium is very high humidity all the time (many gaps sealed- is for thumbnails) and seeded with isopods and springtails - I see springtails in here all the time. I bleach solution-soaked the plants and baked the cork bark... and read a bunch of threads here already and I'm still stumped!
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:26 AM
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How are your plants dying? Honestly I’m more familiar with mites that damage foliage. Such as spider mites that stipple leaves and create unsaleable plants. That type of mite is normally mitigated by humidity, so spider mites are unlikely your pest.

I doubt that a mite is killing your plants. It’s possible they could be a vector for disease or something but it’s more likely the case any pathogen is already present.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Mite ID/Help? (killing plant. or feeding off decay?)

Greetings,

I agree with DPfarr, these mites are not likely to be the cause of your pant issues - they are merely attrracted to your dying/decaying plants as a food source.

Tell us about your substrate mix and the recent history of this viv.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Mite ID/Help? (resolved- mold mites)

Hello all,
Thank you for your responses!
You were right, something else is contributing to the plant's downfall- I consulted with an entomologist friend of mine and she identified them as mold mites, so they eat the decaying plants but don't seem to bother the living. My springtails seem to be doing fine too, though, so these mites will just be a another snack for my eventual thumbnails! In the meantime, I'm swabbing out any visible clusters of them+eggs just to keep their numbers a little lower for the sake of the bugs I put in there on purpose.

As for the plants, I think I'm just new to plant keeping and am overwatering them or something, or they were overstressed during shipping. The vivarium is a Josh's Frogs bioactive kit - hydroton under ABG under sphagnum moss under leaf litter. It's only a few weeks old, so I'm still pretty much helicopter-parenting it, lol.

Thank you again! I hope this thread can folks with a similar problem in the future, too.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: Mite ID/Help? (resolved- mold mites)

I suspect many here would recommend ditching the sphagnum layer. I don't see a purpose for it in the viv, and I find it to be a challenging material to maintain a middling amount of water in -- it is too often saturated, or dry.
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