Well. . . Frick



Definitely not activated charcoal, im sure the lighter fluids in brickettes is higly toxic to animals.


Oh man, that is rough, I’m so sorry! Definitely dump all that soil and give the area a good clean. I’ve definitely made major mistakes as well.

Just a week ago I was trying out a new kind of display enclosure for my isopods and decided to try mixing in wood pellets (untreated) into their substrate because I had heard from Aquarimax in a youtube video that it was a good additive . But I neglected to pay enough attention/research what species (of tree) to use. D’oh!

I mixed Almond tree pellets into the substrate. Lo and behold, the pellets molded like crazy!!! The whole substrate became a petri dish of mold. :woman_facepalming:

Virus Growth GIF by SwitchMedia

Fortunately, for once, I had made the habitat in advance, so that the springtails would have s chance to propagate. Thus, when it molded, I still had time to make a new enclosure before my pods arrived. Phew!

Happy Joe Biden GIF by The Democrats

I’ve actually left the moldy enclosure as-is, to see if the springtails will ever colonize enough to actually kill off all the mold. I don’t plan to put pods in there, but I think it’s a cool little experiment. :nerd_face:

edit: Don’t worry, using charcoal without additives is totally fine. I just use stuff intended for aquarium use.


I had the opposite problem! I remembered that he suggested alder wood, but I misheard and thought he said chips, not pellets. Wood chips don’t exactly break down when moistened. I still found a use for them in the cage as tiny hides and to add texture/depth to the substrate thankfully, but still. I’m glad no isopods were harmed in the making of your substrate!


During a recent live stream I actually mentioned to Rus (of Aquarimax) that the almond tree pellets had molded. I can’t remember everything he said, but he indicated that he no longer mixes wood pellets in with his isopod substrate.

My little experiment has proven interesting- the springtails have eaten most of the mold, but not everything under the surface. I’m going to keep the setup for now and see if they eventually clean it all up, or if the substrate is too dense for them to penetrate in places.


Oh yeah, I think I heard him mention that too but also can’t remember the details. I feel like I’ve had decent success with that setup, although I’m curious as to why he doesn’t use them anymore. Probably isn’t harmful, but there might be better, more cost-effective ways to go about it I’d imagine! (Also, I realized after I replied that I resurrected a 3 month old thread, sorry haha!)

That is interesting that the springtails ate the mold! It doesn’t surprise me too much though. I set up a new tank like a month or two back and sometime in late December/early this month it started sprouting some mushrooms (some kind of psathryellaceae, i haven’t been able to identify the exact species) that the springtails and even the isopods are going absolutely crazy for. I experienced that early on when I set up my original tank too - there were some small mushrooms that the isopods and springtails were all hovering around. I know some amount of fungus growth is actually beneficial so I’m not too worried, although I do try to keep food from getting too moldy.


Whilst I keep a charcoal set-up, for seeding from sanitary

My most successful Springtail colonies come from my GALS enclosures, for whatever reason they absolutely love snail damn & proliferate like absolute crazy in there

Thus my usual go to is to add to my charcoal set-up from my GALS, leave a short while and then add to other enclosures from my charcoal set-up

Has the added bonus of helping keep bloodlines a little more diverse


On this forum that’s totally ok, generally speaking. :wink:

What is a GALS enclosure? :thinking: I’m curious!


Giant African Land Snails - wild type Lissachtina in this case :slightly_smiling_face:


OMG I love snails! And that’s so cool to learn that springtails like snail poop- you never know when a tidbit of info might come in handy.


Educate Yourself Shooting Star GIF


It’s something you don’t see/hear very often but I swear that it’s about triple the effectiveness of traditional Springtail set-ups

Considering I’d accidentally ended up overrun whilst I was still very new to inverts whilst talking to people far more experienced than I that are struggling to get a colony to take :sweat_smile: