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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I just got my vivarium going about one week ago. Plants are in and I have springtails and dwarf white isopod cultures in there too. Humidity has been 85-99% with temps 73-81 F. I noticed green/white mold starting to pop up yesterday on my cork throughout the tank. I have a picture attached in the link below. I know various molds/fungi will pop up as I'm cycling for the next 1-2 months, but I just wanted to check in with you all to see if this is something I should be worried about.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/749vvwcrdutd7rv/Vivmold.jpg?dl=0

Thanks so much!

-John
 

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Welcome to the board!

Looks like normal new tank stuff, John. I wouldn't worry about it. Your temps are great, but if your humidity readings are correct (and they might not be), I would bring those down a bit to 60 to 80%. There seems to a be a movement afoot outside this forum to return to the sealed conditions of best practices from 20 years ago. This does not mimic the environment that most dart frogs encounter in the wild. Darts do better with a bit lower humidity and some ventilation. Many plants tend to like this setup, too.

Mark
 

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Does look normal. Good advice about the humidity. Generally its good to have top layer of leaf litter be dry-ish so that the frogs don't get foot problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help, folks! Really appreciate it. So is the recommendation now to keep the humidity in the range of 60-80%? That's interesting since all the hobbyists I spoke to before getting this started said >80% for dart frogs.
 

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Greetings,

I think the old guidelines for >80% humidity came from ignorant assumptions that local, daily humidity in rain forests must be ~100% all the time - this same "all moist, all the time" thinking recommends sphagnum moss as a substrate as well.

Vivs without substrate and lacking living plants do not have the humidity-buffering abilities that a planted, bioactive viv does. Minimalist enclosures are more sensitive to losing humidity so keeping >80% is a safeguard against humidity drops. In a viv with properly maintained plants, a frog who feels a bit parches at 60% humidity can just take a dip in a Bromeliad well.

Your mold looks perfectly normal. Mold like this can hurt plants if they are touching moldy surfaces or materials directly but it is otherwise harmless/natural and totally to be expected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks! Is mold like this expected to go away with cycling in 1-2 months? If this mold is still present when I add my dart frogs, will it be harmful to them?
 

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Molds, fungus, weird little critters in the substrate, fungus gnats - these are all part of starting a new tank. They are all perfectly normal and will probably go away as your tank ages. Hopefully, though, weird stuff still crops up periodically. As much as I hate the marketing that surrounds the term "biocative", it is true that your tank is a living (very artificial) ecosystem that changes over time. This means that there are cycles occurring that are invisible until they reach a certain point and become apparent in the tank. I have come to look forward to the little mushrooms, slime molds, and other odd happenings in my tanks. They mean that everything is not totally controlled and regimented and that my tank has actual, natural things going on that I didn't design to happen. I find that comforting. So, that is probably way more than you wanted in answer to your question, but that's how I see it, anyway :) The hobby gets a lot more fun when you can relax and go for the ride. Part of that is knowing what is a problem and what isn't (which will come with time), but some of it is just having an attitude that you don't need to be in control of every single thing at all times.

Mark
 
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