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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When I posted some other message on moss in my vivarium, one or more thought that since I live in Michigan, the USA, mosses may need dormancy. Well, I put the question to a PhD bryologist, my former advisor (I attended grad school in biology specializing in plants but never finished my Master's), she said no moss is known to require dormancy.

Also, someone said something about possible parasites in mosses collected. It's possible to get the chytrid fungus from them, but I found even the zoo where I volunteer use zoo-grounds mosses for one of their dart frog display.

Oh, and that bryologist/former advisor a different photo of mosses in the following photo, and said the greene one is likely Dicranum montanum and the light colored one is likely Sanionia uncinata. I think the lighter colored one was sold as Sphagnum (I know longer have the bag so I don't know for sure) but is definitely NOT Sphagnum.

 

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Like several of us have been saying for YEARS...mosses don't need dormancy. Just another example of heresy and rhetoric passed off as fact in this hobby
 

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Like several of us have been saying for YEARS...mosses don't need dormancy. Just another example of heresy and rhetoric passed off as fact in this hobby
Many species of temperate mosses do very well in the dart frog Viv. As stated, they require no dormancy, but most fail because the temps get too high in the Viv. If you can manage to keep the temps consistent and not too high, you should have no problem. With he knowledge we have nowadays, that isnt a problem at all. The hobby as a whole has been fine tuning environmental control within our glass boxes and we are having greater success with not only frogs, but mosses and plants. Most of the mosses I grow are temperates and they grow great.
 

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Good to know. I've always had my doubts as to whether any mosses required dormancy. My native MN mosses grow any time of the year if given heat, water, and light. I don't think they're complex enough to have developed a required dormancy.
 

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Simply because the zoo uses collected mosses doesn't mean that the mosses are free of parasites and pathogens...

For one example lungworms of the genus Rhabdius can live indefinetly in substrates and soils as they produce free living nematodes that then produce both parasitic and free living offspring.. hookworm larva can also survive significant periods of time under the proper conditions (and this is before we get to things like coccidia).

Some institutions do use collected materials in thier enclosures but they also tend to run surveillance on thier collections through the use of routine fecals and necropsies. These practices allow them to get ahead of the curve on problems... It should also be noted that other institutions do not allow the use of collected materials..

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Simply because the zoo uses collected mosses doesn't mean that the mosses are free of parasites and pathogens...

For one example lungworms of the genus Rhabdius can live indefinetly in substrates and soils as they produce free living nematodes that then produce both parasitic and free living offspring.. hookworm larva can also survive significant periods of time under the proper conditions (and this is before we get to things like coccidia).

Some institutions do use collected materials in thier enclosures but they also tend to run surveillance on thier collections through the use of routine fecals and necropsies. These practices allow them to get ahead of the curve on problems... It should also be noted that other institutions do not allow the use of collected materials..

Ed
All good points.

Note that this is what I said:

"Also, someone said something about possible parasites in mosses collected. It's possible to get the chytrid fungus from them, but I found even the zoo where I volunteer use zoo-grounds mosses for one of their dart frog display."

I didn't say it was completely safe. You're pretty much right about zoos--or at least the zoo at which I volunteer. The one where I volunteer tries to get fecals on every animal at least once a year. I don't know if this includes the dart frogs....
 

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I didn't say it was completely safe. You're pretty much right about zoos--or at least the zoo at which I volunteer. The one where I volunteer tries to get fecals on every animal at least once a year. I don't know if this includes the dart frogs....
I would be surprised if they didn't... the one I worked at required them twice a year (even from the dart frogs).

Ed
 

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Can you sterilize the collected mosses (local or collected in costa rica)? Or do you run the risk of not completely killing everything off and then infecting your frogs?
 

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Can you sterilize the collected mosses (local or collected in costa rica)? Or do you run the risk of not completely killing everything off and then infecting your frogs?
All wild-collected moss should be processed before adding it to a vivarium.

Procedure:
1) Bare root the plant (if necessary)
2) Soak the plant in straight water (dechlorinated if possible) for an hour or so it absorbs as much as it can.
3) Then submerge the plant in a 5% bleach solution for 3-5 minutes. (less for sensitive plants)
(5% bleach solution = 1 1/4 cups bleach per gallon of water)
4) Remove the plant and give it a thorough rinse under a faucet and allow it to dry (leave it out for a few hours at least)
5) Place your freshly processed plant into your vivarium, worry free!

Processing more sensitive flora can be tricky, but for most non-sensitive plants the above solution is fine. If you are unsure how your plant will react to a bleach solution, test a clipping of it first or ask someone with experience.

Sensitive plants (Tillandsias, and other epiphytes) should be heavily rinsed or submerged in dechlorinated water overnight to help eliminate the risk of terrarium contamination with unwanted microfauna.

Taken from here.

Hope this helps!
 

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I am also in Michigan and ,before I knew better, used lots of native mosses in my vivs. None of them really thrived, just kind of hung on until they died. Could have been that I was not caring for it properly. Now I am terrified of chytrid and don't use any native moss. Baked leaf litter!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am also in Michigan and ,before I knew better, used lots of native mosses in my vivs. None of them really thrived, just kind of hung on until they died. Could have been that I was not caring for it properly. Now I am terrified of chytrid and don't use any native moss. Baked leaf litter!
What kind of care did you give your mosses?
 
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