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Mold is normal, and it tends to grow most in the first 1-3 months of a new setup. It won't hurt your isopods, frogs, or springtails, and it will go away, though you may see an occasional, minor resurgence here and there.

If you're using potting soil in your tank, that won't do well for very long. If that is what you have in there, now is a great time to remove it and replace with proper ABG mix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mold is normal, and it tends to grow most in the first 1-3 months of a new setup. It won't hurt your isopods, frogs, or springtails, and it will go away, though you may see an occasional, minor resurgence here and there.

If you're using potting soil in your tank, that won't do well for very long. If that is what you have in there, now is a great time to remove it and replace with proper ABG mix.
what if i used just top soil bought from a store? could that cause gnats?
 

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Dendrobates tinctorus "Patricia"
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what if i used just top soil bought from a store? could that cause gnats?
Topsoil from a garden shop isn't meant to work the same way as terrarium or vivarium substrate. It isn't really designed for the constantly humid and moist conditions. If you can't find AGB, there are lots of good diy mixes that are inexpensive to make, or you can find vivarium soil at a lot of pet shops.
 

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Fungus gnats seem to pop up no matter what. They’re rather self-limiting though and are often gone as quickly as they show up. I agree that you will need to look into the various substrate options. Topsoil or potting mix won’t do well.
 

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Topsoil will not work in a vivarium. It has entirely insufficient aeration, which is why it's intended for outdoor garden use, not even potted plants, let alone the closed environment of a vivarium. Even pet stores don't generally stock substrates that work well in vivaria, which is why ABG mix was developed. If you're just getting started, buying pre-made ABG mix (acronym stands for Atlanta Botanical Gardens) is really your best option.

We have a lot of great threads on construction, and while it can be a little overwhelming when you're getting started, you'll really benefit from taking the time to read the ones we have pinned to the tops of the subforums. This one has links to some especially useful threads. Popular and Helpful Parts & Constructions Threads

Fungus gnats are a fact of life when you're growing plants indoors. I just keep a handful of carnivorous plants around to help with them, and that seems to keep them from flying up my nostrils as often.
 
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