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Fungus + Humidity Problems in Bioactive Vivarium

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  • TAD
    I don't have a vivarium, so I'm afraid that I'm not too much help on the fungus, substrate, etc. But I do see you have grapewood in there, and that I KNOW will mold in a humid environment. So you might want to replace that with mopani or some other wood that is water-resistant. I hope others with viv experience will chime in to help you. Your tank looks terrific, but I know you need to get the fungus/mold issue under control. Do you have a layer of hydroballs with mesh under the substrate? That would help with drainage.

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  • tmurraywj
    started a topic Fungus + Humidity Problems in Bioactive Vivarium

    Fungus + Humidity Problems in Bioactive Vivarium


    I am new to reptile keeping and I maybe bit off more than I could chew. Over a year ago I began doing some serious research into crested geckos and into bioactive setups. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to offer my animal a bioactive vivarium and I spent many months gathering all the supplies I needed to make one. A few months back I finally put it together with live plants and a cleanup crew and all that jazz. I had some small outbreaks of fungus, but I had read this was perfectly normal and it would eventually die down once the environment balanced out. It eventually did die out and the parameters of the environment seemed to settle down. Temperature and humidity was good and fairly consistent (for humidity, reaching the low 80s at night after misting, but drying up to around 55 during the day).

    I finally adopted by crested gecko (he's an adult) and for the last couple of weeks he's been getting used to his new home. However the fungus has returned, and it is now fairly prevalent throughout the setup. I wanted to ask people on this forum if this was normal or not as I had previously read that major outbreaks would be in the first month or two.
    I am also concerned by the amount of it, which consists of at least 2 species (one producing small white mushrooms, the other yellow mushrooms) with the addition of very visible mycelial networks beneath the earth, and sheets of white mold across the surface of the ground.
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    In addition to the fungus, my humidity has become really difficult to control, as it refuses to dry out much during the day (even if I mist VERY sparingly once a day in the evening – enough to offer some water for the gecko to drink). It stays consistently in the 70s (mid-to-high 80s after misting), on occasion dropping down to 65 during the day.
    If anyone has any experience with crazy fungal blooms and all-of-a-sudden uncontrollable humidity, please let me know.

    Tank: 24''x18''x36'' Exo Terra with one Exo Terra light canopy
    Equipment: digital thermometer + hygrometer combo, compact fluorescent lights (for the plants)
    Soil: a mix of repti-soil, fir bark, coconut fiber and sphagnum moss
    Cleanup crew: springtails (I had isopods when starting out, but I haven't seen a single one for many weeks)
    Plants: parlour palm, sansevieria, lipstick vine, pothos, fittonia, pepperomia
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    Thank you for taking the time to read this,