Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Urine Smell in Natural Viv before adding Crestie

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Urine Smell in Natural Viv before adding Crestie

    My natural viv has been cycling and I should be able to put Petrie in it this Saturday. It will be exactly a month. However, I was seeking some advice and was told I could raise my water table in my hydroballs to about half way. I have kept it at just the first row of hyrdoballs. So I added more filtered water to about half way up. One section looked like the water might be too close to the substrate because the soil and mesh was pushed down lower than the rest of the area. But not really sure...

    Anyway, prior to today everytime I opened the viv to mist it, there was just a fresh kind of smell. Now after adding the extra filtered water I noticed tonight that there is a strong urine smell in the viv. The only critters in there are the isopods and springtails. So not sure if the raising the water caused some kind of stinky gas smell to rise up or if it is something else.

    Anyone else encounter this or know what it means? How do you know if your tank has 'soured' or is not conducive to supporting a healthy environment?

    I want to be sure everything is okay before putting Petrie inside. Will see if it still smells in the morning.

  • #2
    I've never had this issue but I know if water sits too long in a Viv it can "sour"? Perhaps that is what your smelling is old icky water. If the water table is touching the substrate that could be an issue causing the smell as well. But more experienced ppl will have to comment. If that is indeed the case I don't know how to fix it other than emptying out the tank/draining it. Or just stop putting water in it and let it dry.
    Check out my website for helpful info about Crested Geckos, Gargoyle Geckos, Abronia Alligator Lizards, and Brazilian Rainbow Boas
    Sovereign Reptiles

    0.1.0 Gargoyle Gecko || Honey Bear
    1.1.1 Crested Gecko || Malakai, Snapshot, Tiny

    Comment


    • #3
      Is it possible that one of your plants is rotting? A while back I had a bromeliad that was planted in the soil rot.... it was a horrible smell. Once I removed it though the smell went away
      My vivariums
      http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/...-Live-Vivarium
      http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/...-Live-Vivarium
      http://www.pangeareptile.com/forums/...ra-Tall-Build!

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmmm I do have a small furry fern that has some rot on it as it cycles. That could be it. The smell wasn't as strong this morning and it does appear stronger in the are where that fern is. I also noticed my springtails were out n about since adding more water. Wonder if that forced them to come out of hiding. Sprinkled some yeast inside to feed them and perhaps encourage them to eat whatever that smell is coming from.

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree with Mechanical8dragon that what you are likely smelling is "old icky water."

          There should not be any water pooling at the bottom of your viv. Hydroballs should be moist but not wet! Air needs to circulate down there and get down to the plants' roots. If there is standing water, the roots will be drowned and will rot. The bacteria and fungi doing the rotting will be in a low-oxygen environment so they will in anaerobic mode. This process produces nasty-smelling gases.

          The yeast you added may help with mold growth on the surface of the soil, but to stop the anaerobic breakdown from going on in your viv, you'll have to remove the excess water -- basically, remove as much water as you possibly can, and leave the viv doors open to help dry it out as well.
          3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

          Comment


          • #6
            So I moved some of the soil around in the viv to see if it was moist or saturated. It was definitely moist but not soggy. I have quite a bit of groundcover too which helps retain the moisture.

            After moving and shifting the soil about the help it air out in some spots the smell went away. However, it did come back after awhile.

            I wonder too if it is coming from any of the plants. I know some plants do give off odors. I have a Mahogany fern, sersavanis, neherp moss, spaghgum moss, pothos, and a little furry fern. there are some air plants too and cork branches and logs. With the exception of the little furry fern, all are pretty healthy looking and are growing nicely.

            In terms of the hydroballs, I have read conflicting messages. Some say, keep dry, others say keep water at just above the first layer, and others say go half way up.
            I had it just above the first level but it wasn't until I took the advice of go half way up with water that the smell started. And that was within hours of adding it. So I doubt anything could have rotted that quickly.

            Plus my microfauna is doing great. I see them out and about, The springtails and the isopods. Now, I do see them in the day...so I'm not sure if that is a sign that something is off....plus they didn't really start appearing until I fill up the water half way. Not sure if I caused them to come up from the soil.

            I have not added anymore water and propped the door open to let it dry it out a bit since I shifted the soil to expose the netting. I am misting lightly as well.

            I guess I will just let it sit another few days to see if that has helped. But I really do wonder if it isn't coming from that Mahogany fern....

            Comment


            • #7
              If there are roots of a plant rotting it will full on stink. I would get that standing water out. At least down to one layer of the hydroballs. You can do it by placing paper towels or a cloth towel and letting the water wick out. It will take amwhile, but necessary. Also, depending on the type of wood, some smell bad with misting, like grapevine. Moss will also smell funky at times. Good luck!

              Rachodactylus Ciliatus

              2.2.5.2
              MUNKEY, PEACHES, MORROW, THIMBLE, KILI, GOLLUM, FALCOR, CHEECH & VALENTINE

              Rachodactylus Auriculatus
              1.2.1 KEKO, ARRO, PEBBLES & FALCOR

              Comment


              • #8
                Okay, so I figured it out. When I added the water to raise the level it did NOT make contaminate my soil. My soil had great moisture content in it but was not soggy as I thought it might had become with the added water. In fact, when I dug down to the mesh my mesh was pretty dry. And I took several big whiffs and smelled nothing but fresh soil...no murky icky standing water smells whatsoever. Besides I don't think it was ever in there long enough to become standing water as the smell started within a couple of hours of adding the extra water. My water levels were kept pretty shallow prior to that and I honestly think that forced some of the odors already present in the viv to become stronger....not sure why but I just think it did.

                Now here's the thing...I've been saying it smells like urine....that was my mistake...it doesn't smell like urine....it smells like CAT PEE. No, I don't have cats and if I did they would never have been able to get inside the viv. So I researched online what plants smell like CAT PEE and several popped up including some ferns and cedar.

                So I stuck my nose in deeper into the viv and narrowed the odor to the Mahogany Fern. I rubbed the leaves and smelled them and the odor was definitely coming from it. the extra moisture in the tank due to the added water may have stimulated it to produce a stronger odor. Plus, I have two big cedar chips (viv safe) that also had a faint smell of cat pee. Not to mention the cedar chips that are added into the ABG soil.

                I have now put all the soil back and fixed up everything. Not sure what to do about reducing the CAT PEE smell odor other than removing the Mahogany Fern which I honestly do not want to do as it is quite an attractive plant and appears to be thriving. As long as the odor doesn't cause any health risks to my crested I will just deal with it. I might look into adding some additional charcoal to see if that would absorb the odor.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Interesting. I didn't know that any ferns smelled like cat pee.

                  I used to grow a variety of trees in the genus Annona as house plants. Eventually they got too big and I gave them away. Before that happened, though, it became obvious that it was worthwhile to avoid brushing past the soursop tree because its leaves smelled like cat pee in a major way. . .
                  3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah it could also be my own sensitivity. For no one else in my family can smell it. Just me. The odor gets stronger at certain points of the day so it probably builds up in the small area.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just an FYI, cedar is on the "no" list of woods for crested geckos...

                      Rachodactylus Ciliatus

                      2.2.5.2
                      MUNKEY, PEACHES, MORROW, THIMBLE, KILI, GOLLUM, FALCOR, CHEECH & VALENTINE

                      Rachodactylus Auriculatus
                      1.2.1 KEKO, ARRO, PEBBLES & FALCOR

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yikes! But what about how they are mixed in w ABG?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have no idea why cedar would be on the no-no list. I have used cedar in my crestie enclosures -- including fresh cedar branches -- for 2 years, with no ill effects.
                          3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Now I am confused. They are two large nuggets. But there are smaller ones that came with the ABG from Pangea n neherp

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              CORRECTION....there are NO cedar chips in the ABG mix from Pangea or NEHERP. My apologies! Those are other wood chips that just looked like cedar to me. Whew! Simple enough to remove the cedar nuggets. Thanks!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X