Over time you will discover that despite your best efforts many things are going to get past those methods since they really only work if you cook the things under pressure (autoclave or pressure cooker) for a significant period of time or bake them for 12-24 hours until the core of the wood reaches temperatures that are going to kill most things... In the end, all that is really needed is a good scrubbing in fresh water (no bleach) with a good stiff brush (wire for personal preference) followed by a through drying. (I dry leaves for at least six months). In no small part, your greatest risks of unwanted things is going to come in with the live plants...
I appreciate the info. As you said, it sounded good at the time.
Some times we learn the easy way, and some times we learn the hard way. But in the end we all learn. As long as these strange things don’t hurt my frogs, I guess all things are ok. I did bake the wood in my viv for over 4 hrs; sometimes longer. There were times it smelled like it was on fire. Next time, I will pressure cook all wood . Sad thing is I own a pressure cooker big enough to hold the size of wood in my viv.
How long do you pressure cook the wood. What psi do you use? My pressure cooker has 5, 10 or 15 psi. There are no frogs in the viv yet. If it were your viv, would you pressure cook the wood at this time. Or learn the lesson and move on?
That particular stuff looks pretty cool IMO. It reminds me of some of the soft corals in my reef tank. I have found that fungus proliferates in the first few weeks or months after setting up a new viv and then it tends to come and go in manageable cycles. It helps to have severals species of springtails. I sometimes feed my springtail cultures with store-bought mushrooms (that I freeze first to kill any mite eggs). I've seen a 1-inch mushroom cap completely disappear in a week.
If you seed the viv with several species of springs and put some yeast or mushroom slices under the top layer of leaf litter, the populations will increase quickly and they'll start munching on the fungal growth in the viv. It beats trying to find a pressure cooker big enough for most nice pieces of wood.
I don't have a huge number of springtails, but I can give you a starter culture of tropical whites when we go to the Sarasota meet if you don't already have some. Those would be on the house.
You are sweet to offer to start some cultures for me . I have seeded the vivs with white tropical Springs, so I don't need them at present.
The fungus is really awesome and you are right it does look like a coral. The color is a yellow orange, very bright and it is growing on a very dark piece of mopani wood. The contrast is great making the yellow pop, just like coral does. It is extremely small, and hard to see the detail of with the naked eye. Looks like the wood has been painted overnight. The fungus has been growing for a week now, but only on one piece of wood.
I just thought that baking for 4 to 5 hrs would kill any spores. Shows how wrong I was. I am glad Ed got me straight, as I was starting to think maybe my house had all kind of fungus spores living in it, and it is only 7 yrs old
The biggest question was the safety of my frogs. I guess I am just new and every little thing gets me excited.
The frogs should be fine with the fungal growth... Cooking the wood can actually result in more favoriable conditions for fungal growth as it not only kills off potential competitors, it can result in softening of the wood so it can penetrate better...
While people often suggest springtails to control the fungus in the cages, this often really doesn't change the fungal load as the fungus can grow faster than the springtails can consume it... The lack of fungus after several months is probably more due to conditions not being as good for fruiting.
If you are going to pressure cook it, I would suggest 15 lbs.
i think that fungus looks cool! i'm sure that many people (me included) wanted that stuff in his vivariums. Once i got quite cool mushrooms in my vivarium from tree fern panel, but they usually dont like light