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Thread: Mushrooms, mycelium growth to help with decomposition

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    Default Mushrooms, mycelium growth to help with decomposition

    Because of my previous interest in fungi of the helpful decomposition type I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge on using mycelia to help with decomposition within gecko tanks. As far as my knowledge of the topic, has lead me to believe almost every type of habitat( humid and dry) has natural fungi that feeds on organic matter to break it down. And now I am curious of the possibility of using it to our geckos advantage by itself or along with an already established micro fauna colony to help break down the geckos waste .
    Last edited by Echoplexic; 10-09-2016 at 10:18 AM.

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    I don't know what kind of soil-living fungus you would propose to use. To prevent spores from being spewed into the air, you would probably want to go with some kind of macrofungus, but most of them are either wood rotting or mycorrhizal. I suppose *Coprinus* would work, but it might be picky about what kind of dung it grows on. *Leucocoprinus* sp. is another possibility -- it often grows in potting soil. In fact I have some growing in one of my live vivs (unintentionally), though I don't think that particular viv is any cleaner than the other one where it isn't. My other viv has composting worms in the soil (*Eisinia fetida*)-- that's another idea for a subterranean clean-up crew.
    3.4.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

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    I also have an unintended mushroom in my crested viv, it only lasted 2 days and was as far as my experience has taught me , is harmless but it did get me pondering on the possibility of working with fungus in another viv maybe even a leopard gecko. Of course the leopard gecko habitat is too arid for a fruiting body but still would work to host a mycelium growth under the initial rocky layers

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    Yes finding a good strain is my biggest hurdle atm, but I am under the impression that spores aren't of large concern as long as you have well established air circulation.

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    I've also heard that some mycorrhizal types will eat off of spring tails which worried me in my crested habitat but spring tails are still vigorous as ever(although perhaps I incorrectly identified the fungi(idk ))

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    I've heard of mycelia trapping nematodes (e.g. Arthrobotrys), but not springtails. I think your springtails will be fine.
    It's best not to allow fruiting bodies to mature indoors. The spores may not be toxic, but they are small and can be inhaled by both you and your animals, and cause lung issues just for that reason (and also allergies. . .) Just pluck off the mushrooms before they open and all should be fine.
    3.4.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

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    I have assumed so. I am getting off the topic anyway and can't seem to find a fungus for Leo's that would b beneficial enough for it to be worth it wich I believe is what I'm searching for

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    Thanks for replying so quickly it actually helps a lot with someone as obsessed as myself!

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    There is a kit for inoculating a piece of wood with bio luminescent fungi, but it probably wouldn't work in a leo cage, too hot and dry. I'm tempted to try it in my established planted terrarium. I sterilized the soil and substrate stuff when I built it and even with the grape wood and all and the humidity, I've never had any kind of fungus in it. No stringy stuff, no slims, no actual mushrooms. Nothing. It also doesn't have any cleaner bugs, or any other bugs. I'm sure it has bacterial decomposition, but it's very slow so I have to clean out old sheds every so often. It doesn't smell either. I've never had any problems with my one crestie living in it, and every vet check and poop test done has come back perfect. It's been up and going for almost 10 years (gecko in it for 8 1/2). Also, I was under the impression from what I've read, that spring tails ate fungus as part of their cleaning duties? If you want to checkout the glowing 'shrooms, several terrarium/vivarium supply places carry it. You could also look into suppliers of edible mushroom spore, since there are kits out there to grow your own edible ones. Not exactly what you're looking for, but I thought I'd throw it out there. Good luck!

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