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Posted by StephF on April 09, 2003 at 10:27:37:
In Reply to: Sphagnum? posted by nebit on April 09, 2003 at 01:55:38:
:so mike's on vacation for a few days playing live demo for my Bio proff. (they're not gonna hurt him, he's just there so kids can see him) I took the opportunity to clean house and rearrange his pen. I think the hide box is in a better locale now, and I set up the light a little different so it concentrates more in one area, with a basking spot under it. Anyways...
:I found a bag of sphagnum moss, which I've heard is good. What do i do with it? so far I put a pile in the corner tall enough so he could easily bury himself. (I let him outside the other day and noticed how much he loved to nestle in the leaves). I also put a little on one side of the hide box. I dampened it too. How long will it stay good? Does it grow mold and stuff? How wet should it be? questions, questioons, questions....
Here's how I work with it: I get myself a fairly large, clean container (bucket works) and fill it about halfway with warm water. I then put plent of dry sphagnum into the bucket. I give at least 15 minutes to soak, then I reach in and grab large handfuls, pull it out of the water and squeeze it to wring most of the water back out, like you would a sponge, then I put it in the turtle habitat, including under the hide boxes. I mist it regularly and heavily to keep it moist, and it can hold alot of water. Depending on the traffic, it gets broken down at different rates, so I don't have a schedule, but I try to replace it before it falls apart completely.
General advice: wet it thoroughly before use.
Added feature: it is slightly acidic, which discourages growth of unwanted molds etc. Acidity level is probably within the same range as leaf mould on the average forest floor.
Hope that helps.