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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I'd like to know if some of you have tried putting preserved moss (with glycerine and water) or dyed moss (with food colorant) in terrariums containing isopods ?
I'll explain : I have small terrariums contening only isopods and springtails, with a light source sufficient for them but not enough to keep moss alive (it'll eventually die, turn yellow and dry out whilst having sufficient humidity). So i'd like to put dyed or preserved moss in them instead,to keep it looking fresh and alive looking.
I know isopods would eat the moss so I'm concerned about the dangerosity of such mosses.
I'd think food colorant wuold probably be less harmfull than glycerine preserved moss, but before trying anything I'd like to have your insight.

Thank you so much
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I wouldn't do that.
Thanks Scott, but I can't help wanting to know why. What is there in food colorant that could harm them ? It's a pretty inert ingredient to me.
I have a scientific approach to that : if I don't find reviews, I would want to try myself on a small sample.
For now I've only found the "I wouldn't try this" kind of comments but without any arguments. So that's my wonder : is this gut feeling is based or pure speculations or is it based on facts / experiments ?
 

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I wouldn't do that either.

Food dyes are not remotely "inert". The only thing safe about food dyes is that human food typically contains relatively small amounts of it, and there is a very good argument to be made that these chemicals should not be added to any consumables in any amount.


I am willing to bet that the colorants applied to decorative moss are not regulated or tested in any way. This is coming from a US citizen, though, where adequate safety regulations are something of a taboo.
 

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There are all natural food dyes you can make yourself from steeping certain plants. If you were going to do this with your own dried out moss, I'd think that's fine. If you're thinking of buying the already dyed, decorative moss that you find in places like craft stores, then definitely not. You have no idea what's in the dye or how much they used, even if it is listed as "non-toxic" or "food safe." Those standards are created for human consumption. There's no way to know what they would do to an animal unless you experiment on your own. Which, why risk your animals lives/health, even if they are only bugs? Not to mention, isopods would much rather have leaves and wood to crawl around under than moss. If you want some color in your viv, then I'd recommend finding some low growing, low light plants to give you a similar look.
 

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If you want some color in your viv, then I'd recommend finding some low growing, low light plants to give you a similar look.
Peperomia emarginella is a really tough, tiny plant. I'm always amazed at what conditions it will tolerate - from actually growing into water features, to out in my 30% humidity living room where I forget to water and it dries out almost completely, to the completely enclosed tiny lamp terrarium that I often forget to turn on so it gets light only sporadically.
 

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I used dyed chartreuse reindeer moss from Josh's Frogs. And a JF lichen stick which could be color enhanced. For the first time I'm wondering if it's safe for Darts. I already glued it into the tank.
 
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